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Subject: Speed Scrabble rss

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Beth
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My boyfriend's brother introduced us to this variant over vacation, and it really lives up to its name. You can play Speed Scrabble solitaire, or with two, three, four, or (just barely) five players, but we suspect it could easily expand with the use of more letter sets.

RULES
The Scrabble board is not used. Put all the tiles facedown and mixed up in the middle of the playing area. Each player takes seven tiles, keeping them facedown until the "start" command is given. Each player then flips over his tiles and proceeds to construct a Scrabble-style crossword in front of himself.

When a player uses all of his letters, he says "go" and all players take another letter. Players are permitted at any point to change words that they have made, or even completely destroy their "boards" and start fresh. You may repeat words as many times as you want.

Play proceeds in this way until all letters in the mixed pile are taken, or until there are not enough letters to allow ALL players to take a new letter when "go" is said (these extras are discarded). The first player to use all of his letters at this point says "done" and play immediately stops except if a player is in the physical process of laying tiles for a word, in which case that player is permitted to finish his word.

Scores are discovered by counting up the points each word makes. Obviously, there can be no "double letter score" as such, but a letter that is used in more than one word scores for each word in which it appears. For example:
BOARD
U
D
D
Y
The three-point "B" would end up giving this player six points, since it is used twice. Any letters not used in the player's board are tallied up and subtracted from the player's score.


TIPS, HINTS, & TRICKS
1. There have been a couple of times where we have all found ourselves stumped, or at least unwilling to be the one to disassemble his board in the hopes of finding a better combination of letters. You may find it useful to agree to a "go" at this point. Another suggestion is to simply "go" after three minutes have elapsed.

2. It is all about the short words with the high-scoring letters on the corners.

3. Don't feel bad about using a series of tiny words--rapidly issuing several "go" commands is a great way of throwing your opponents off-balance.

4. This may be initially difficult for long-time Scrabble players, but don't worry about changing ALL of your words around at the beginning of the game. Conversely, unless you have had a divine vision, it is not a good idea to disassemble your ENTIRE board late in the game.

5. QAT is a word. Cherish it.


If you try playing this and it doesn't make sense, I've forgotten something, so please ask.

Speed Scrabble is fun for filler, as well as those times when you want to play with letters but don't want to sit down to a serious locking of horns. It's also nice to use as a way of helping your brain get used to quickly shuffling letters around, for when you do want to play real Scrabble.
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Nate Felger
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Cool!
My family and I play what we call 'Satan Scrabble'.
Same concept as your variant, except when one person uses all their tiles they say 'take two' and everybody reaches for two new tiles.

We also score differently. When one person has used all their tiles and there aren't anymore to take, everyone adds up the point totals for their UNUSED tiles. That is their score for the round. After someone reaches 100 points the player with the lowest score is the winner.

My mother is incredibly crafty at this game.

-mst3nate
 
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John Gravitt
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Northglenn
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Thanks. Someone mentioned Speed Scrabble last weekend while were playing Take Two. I was unfamiliar with Speed Scrabble and haven't thought to Google it. Your explanation was just what I needed and another use for my Alpha and Typo cards although that would take a huge play area unless cards are allowed to overlap.


 
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True Blue Jon
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Tis is very similar to the game Syzygy but it comes with three times the number of tiles.
 
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Key Locks
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A group of friends just taught me this game recently. We usually draw four or five tiles at the beginning, depending on the number of players, and we also use the "take two" rule. The group that taught it to me just loves it, probably because it is exciting and fast paced but also involves a little skill. Personally, I think it can be fun but it often takes the things I don't like about Scrabble and makes them worse. First, Speed Scrabble rewards the use of what I call "Scrabble words" even to a greater extent than the original game. Scrabble words are words that Scrabble players memorize and use to get big points, but you'll never actually see these words used anywhere else (see qat above). Some people get excited about learning all the Scrabble words, but I am not one of those people. My second complaint (which is related to the first), is that when I play Scrabble, I would like to be rewarded for coming up with interesting words from my vocabulary. Scrabble instead tends to reward people who use certain high scoring letters in the right combinations, regardless of how mundane the word is. Speed Scrabble magnifies this problem; as you said, the main strategy is to make lots of short words and use all your high point letters twice. Blech.

Still, a lively game played with good friends can't be all bad, and since they all like this game so much, I doubt I would be able to convince them to go back to regular old Scrabble any time soon. So, you take what you can get. Also, Speed Scrabble has the advantage of accommodating more players, to a certain point. After you get over five or six players, you really need another set of tiles to keep the game from becoming too chaotic. But this fact combined with the fast pace of the game makes Speed Scrabble a decent party game, with the right crowd.

By the way, I asked my group if anyone knew who invented Speed Scrabble, but no one could give me a definite answer. Does anyone here know?
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Big Guy
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West Chester
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This is really interesting.

I just got introduced to this game by family (it's holiday vacation time).

The way we played it, you deal out the tiles face down until they're evenly distributed, keeping the extra few in the center of the table. Then each player flips up 5 tiles from their supply.

Play proceeds as in the original post, except when you use all your tiles you call out "Pick!" and everyone gets one more tile. When one player finishes, he or she also scores the points from everyone else's unused tiles plus the extra tiles in the center of the table.

You play many rounds, adding up the scores round after round. You stop whenever you want, though we did end up stopping when one player had far more points than the others, and then starting over.

The game was called "Pick".
 
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Ben Huber
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We play this game as well (known to us as "Speed Scrabble", however with a couple of slight variations:

-Each player starts with seven tiles.
-On a person calling "Go" (having used up all their tiles), each player picks up two additional tiles.
-Players are able to re-arrange their "crosswords" at any time - with the exception of the last player who called "Go" who is stuck with their setup as is - able to add on the two additional letters, but not able to do any other re-arranging until someone else says "Go".
-Scoring - normal scoring (adding up all horizontal word scores and all vertical word scores), with subtraction of letter value of tiles not used.

 
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Matt Lee
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I should note that Bananagrams is the same game using a differrent mix of letters.
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Tom P
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Leezer wrote:
We usually draw four or five tiles at the beginning, depending on the number of players, and we also use the "take two" rule.


This is the way I was taught as well. It's a fun version, especially in the pub or when there are more than two people (I hate Scrabble with more than 2)
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Randy Cox
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klz_fc wrote:
I should note that Bananagrams is the same game using a differrent mix of letters.
It should also be noted that Bananagrams is nothing more than a redo of the earlier Pick Two! or Double Quick.
 
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-=::) Dante (::=-
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KEW GARDENS
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Randy Cox wrote:
klz_fc wrote:
I should note that Bananagrams is the same game using a differrent mix of letters.
It should also be noted that Bananagrams is nothing more than a redo of the earlier Pick Two! or Double Quick.


Not exactly "nothing more" as they did streamline the game by removing the variable scoring values on the tiles.

As such, you can play Banagrams with a Pick Two! set but not vice versa.
 
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