Category: Wordplay
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At the end of recent Scrabble club evening there was a discussion about how to learn new words. Over the next few postings, we will share some of the tools and techniques anyone can use to learn new words. Everyone learns in different ways so pick the one that works best for you.




But first…there are over 118,000 words up to 8 letters long, which should I learn ?


Here are a few pointers :


i)                    All the 2 letter words. There are 124 of them




ii)                   As many 3 letter words as you can. There are 1341 of these, so there are a lot.




iii)                 Have a good working knowledge of the 5625 4 letter words.




iv)                 Learn how to form high probability bonuses.


For instance the six letter word RETAIN can be made into 70 7 letter words with the addition of 1 letter. Similarly,  SATINE +1 other letter makes 95 words. TORIES +1 other letter makes another 70.




v)                   Learn a reasonable selection of 2/3/4/5 letter words that contain the J, Q, X or Z




vi)                 Learn words with lots of vowels in! 








Decide where your weakness lies and build up your learning in one particular area.


There are many published books that contain useful lists, the most recent is “Scrabble Trainer” by Allan Simmons published by Collins. The ABSP website  has some useful lists too.


There are also various computer software programs – probably the most well-known is zyzzyva.  If you use zyzzyva, make sure you set the dictionary to CSW15.


In our next posting we will start giving you pointers to help you learn lists.