Rules & Regulations

Object of the game Forming words, in a crossword fashion, on the scrabble board, using letter tiles of different values. The aim is to score the most number of points using your letters as well as the Premium squares, to maximize the point accumulation. Start of play
  • The start of play and seating is determined by the draw of tiles
  • The letter drawn closest to ‘A’ starts play. A blank tile beats any letter.
  • All players drawing the same tiles will draw again.
  • All tiles are to be returned to the bag before the start of play.
  • The seating at the table will be determined based on tile selection, as will the order of play – moving clockwise around the table.
  • The tile bag is shuffled before the start of play.
  • The first player draws 7 tiles from the bag, without looking into the bag, or trying to feel the letters.
  • The first player’s time starts as soon as she sees her tiles.
  • The next player then draws her tiles, and so on for the remaining players.
  • The player has up to 2 minutes to make her play, or forfeit her turn. She may choose to pass her turn, with a score of zero, or exchange her tiles. The player has to announce that they are ‘passing’ or exchanging tiles. (See Challenges section)
Forming words on the board
  • The first player has to play her word across the center square, placing words either horizontally or vertically. The center square must be used in the first play. Diagonally placed words are not allowed.
  • Once a player has set her tiles on the board, she can shuffle them around, but once her word is set, she cannot change or remove them.
  • The score is recorded by the referee (or the player if no referee is available)
  • Once a turn is complete, a player must draw fresh tiles from the tile bag replenishing her rack (with the number of letters used in the previous play), always maintaining 7 tiles on her rack.
  • A player may ask to feel the bag, for number of tiles, at any point in play.
  • The clock for the next player starts as soon the previous players scores have been recorded.
  • The subsequent player must make a word connecting to and using one of the previous players letters, making a complete word in the connection. If at the same time, they touch other letters in adjacent rows, those must form complete words, crossword fashion, with all the letters. The player gets full credit for all words formed or modified on her turn.
  • Legitimacy of words can be challenged (refer to ‘Challenges’ section)
  • The words must be a minimum of 2 letters or more (refer to ‘2 letter words’ section)
  • No tile may be shifted or replaced after it has been played and scored.
Example of word forming sequence: Scrabble Example In the case of over drawn tiles
  • If the player discovers she has over drawn, the referee (or opponent in case there is no referee) will blindly pull any random tile from the overdrawn tiles and put it back in the bag
Playing a blank
  • When playing a blank tile, the player must state what letter it represents. It remains that letter for the rest of the game.
  • The player has to verify the letter is a blank by rotating it on both sides.
Exchanging tiles
  • A player may, in her turn, choose to exchange one or more of the tiles on her rack for new tiles.
  • This is provided there are enough tiles in the bag for the exchange.
  • The exchange constitutes her entire turn, and the score of zero.
  • The player must announce she is using her turn to exchange her tiles, and state the number if tiles being exchanged.
  • She must place the tiles being exchanged, face down on the table, and draw the equivalent number from the bag, and place them on her tile rack.
  • The tiles to be exchanged are then to be put in the bag with the remainder of the tiles and the bag shaken before the next play begins.
  • A player may challenge an opponent’s word if they wish. Only one of the words played on that turn can be challenged, and not a previously placed word. If the opponent played letters that formed two words, the challenger must state which word she is disputing.
  • The challenge has to be “called”, after the opponent has made their play on the board.
  • The clock is stopped at the time of a challenge.
  • The word in dispute will be written on a challenge slip, spelling verified by the player, and presented to the Word Judge for verification.
  • The WJ will consult the official tournament dictionary and verify the authenticity, spelling and acceptability of the word. If the spelling is incorrect, neither the Word Judge nor the referee will correct it.
  • If the word is found unacceptable and incorrect, the player must remove her tiles and return them to her rack, scoring zero for her turn.
  • If the word is found acceptable, the letters remain on the board. The challenger loses her turn, and gets a zero for her score.
  • The dictionary used will be the official Scrabble Dictionary. Concessions for British spellings will be made if necessary.
  • Each letter has it’s own score value, indicated by a number at the bottom of the tile.
  • A blank tile has a score of zero, and can take on any letter, but not it’s(the letter’s) designated value.
    • 0 Points – Blank tile.
    • 1 Point – A, E, I, L, N, O, R, S, T and U.
    • 2 Points – D and G.
    • 3 Points – B, C, M and P.
    • 4 Points – F, H, V, W and Y.
    • 5 Points – K.
    • 8 Points – J and X.
    • 10 Points – Q and Z.
  • The score for each turn is the sum of the letter values in each word formed during the play, plus the additional points obtained from placing letters on premium squares on the board.
  • The premium squares are evenly places across the board.
  • They include – Triple and Double Letter bonus squares and Triple and Double Word bonus squares.
  • Double and Triple Letter bonus square
    • 1- a light blue square doubles the score of a letter placed on it
    • 2- a dark blue square triples the score of the letter placed on it.
Double and Triple Word bonus square
  • 1-a pink square, including the center square, doubles the score of an entire word when one of its letters are placed on it.
  • 2- a red square triples the score for an entire word when one of its letters are placed on it
  • Letters and words premiums count only on the turn in which they are played. On later turns, letters already played on the premium squares count at face value.
  • When scoring a turn, all premium points from the Double or Triple Letter values, if any, are totaled before doubling or tripling the word score.
  • If a word is formed that covers 2 pink double word squares, the score is doubled and then redoubled (four times the total letter count)
  • If a word is formed that covers 2 red triple word squares, the score is tripled and then tripled again(nine times the total letter count)
  • If a blank letter is played on a Double or Triple Word square, the value of the word is doubled or tripled, even thought the blank itself has a zero value.
  • When two or more words are formed in the same play, the cumulative score is the sum of each separate word’s score. The common letter(s) are counted (with full premium value, if any) for each word
  • If all 7 tiles are used in one turn, the player earns a 50 point bonus on top of the added score on the board.
Time Alerts
  • The referees will alert a player when:
    • 1 min of her time has lapsed/is remaining
    • 30 seconds are remaining
    • The allocated 2min time is up, at which point the player has to place her tiles on the board, or declare a pass on her turn.
  • Once the time of 2 mins has lapsed, the referee will ask the next player to play her turn.
End of game.
  • The game ends when either one occurs first:
    • The One hour time limit lapses, at which point all points of the remaining tiles that each player has are counted, and deducted from their total score.
    • A player plays all her tiles, and placed the final one on the board, with none remaining to be drawn for the bag.
  • The remaining players have to count their tiles and submit their values to the referee. Their tiles value is deducted from their score, and added to the score for the player to finish first.
  • The layer with the highest score wins the game.
  • In case of a tie, the player with the highest score before adding or deducting unplaced letters wins.