• Examples of the Best Defensive Moves in Scrabble

    Scrabble is definitely one of the best board games out there, and being so will definitely pave the way for a number of benefits pertaining to one’s intelligence, both on the verbal and non-verbal side. Anyway, this game of words isn’t actually all about words. Although this sounds rather ironic, words are just your weapons: what matters more is how you use them. That being said, playing defense in Scrabble is as important as scoring points, just like in team sports like basketball and soccer. What is the use of scoring a hundred points in basketball if you let your opponent score 110? The same applies to Scrabble, you need to limit your opponent’s scoring capabilities. So, let’s take a look at some of the best defensive moves in the game and how it will help you achieve victory.

    Closing down the board

    close scrabble


    If your opponent is good at playing defense and in closing the board, it will definitely be a long game for you. Anyway, closing down the board in Scrabble is one of the best ways to play defense, although it is a double-edged sword: by limiting your opponent’s scoring chances, you limit your own as well. This strategy involves doing the following:

    • Limiting the action to one half of the board. This allows you to eliminate your opponent’s scoring opportunities while allowing you to dictate the pace of the game.

    • Following your opponent around the board, blocking his access to the multiplier squares. Doing this will certainly irritate even the best Scrabble players.

    • Playing words parallel to the tiles placed by your opponent. This will not only reduce his scoring chances, but it will also limit him from placing a word in the first place.

    Bear in mind that this strategy is only effective if you somehow had a head start and leading your opponent by a lot of points. That being said, if you’re lagging behind by more than a dozen, disregard this strategy and only employ it if you’re leading!

    Score more with little words

    little words


    Before you employ this strategy, you first need to learn the highest scoring two, three and four letter words out there. These types of words come in handy if you’re aiming to close the board – the fewer tiles you play, the less opportunities your opponent will have. That being said, these include the following:

    • Zax – the highest scoring three letter word at 19, it can provide a truckload of points, especially if you place the Z and the X in multiplier squares.

    • Fez – it dishes out a base score of 15 points. Make sure to place the Z in a bonus square though.

    • Qi – the letter Q is one of the most scorned letters in Scrabble, mainly due to a lot of people finding it hard to think of a word containing it. Adding an I after it will give you 11 points, and a chance to get rid of it permanently.

    Hog all the hotspots

    HotspotsToday, we will disprove why greed can actually be good, but only in Scrabble. This pertains to hogging all the hotspots, or as previously mentioned, the multiplier squares. This method is rather simple: if you see numerous vacant multiplier squares, immediately use it, even if you’re going to earn less than 10 points. Taking all of the vacant hotspots means reducing the bonus points that your opponent would have earned!

    Playing a defensive game is definitely one of the unwanted scenarios of most Scrabble players. That being said however, bear in mind that playing pure defense isn’t highly recommended, since it will produce a down-to-the-wire finish most of the time. Know when to play a two letter word, and grab the opportunity to score a bingo if you can!