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Scrabble scoring examples

This page aims to explain the scoring system in the Scrabble board game by way of examples.

For convenience, the first player will be called Anne and the second Beth. Anne opens with LOFTY, starting on H8 and running horizontally.

The L is on a double-word square and the Y is on a double-letter square. The double-letter takes effect first as part of computing the value of the word, and then the entire score for the word is doubled. Altogether Anne scores (1 + 1 + 4 + 1 + 4*2)*2 = 30 points.

Beth plays LOAM from I7 horizontally. This incidentally also forms the vertical words LO, OF, AT, and MY, all of which are also scored for Beth.

Beth gets to double the value of the L in both LOAM and LO. However, the Y in MY only counts for 4 points. The premium square helps only the player who first covers it. Beth scores (1*2 + 1 + 1 + 3) for LOAM, (1*2 + 1) for LO, (1 + 4) for OF, (1 + 1) for AT, and (3 + 4) for MY. The total is 24 points.

Anne now uncorks a bingo, i.e. she uses all seven letters in her rack. She extends OF downward to spell OFFICIATE.

The letters themselves only score (1 + 4 + 4 + 1*3 + 3 + 1 + 1 + 1*3 + 1) = 21 points, but the fifty-point bonus for emptying the rack raises Anne's total score to 71 for this play.

Seventy-one points is an impressive score, but Beth shows just how high the scoring can go. She plays QUETZALs from H15 horizontally. For the "S" she had to use a blank. In Scrabble notation, a lower-case letter indicates that a blank has been used instead of a naturally occurring letter. Alternatively, a blank may be represented with a question mark.

The blank does not score any points itself, but because it covers the triple-word square, the value of the word is tripled (again). Beth scores (10 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 10*2 + 1 + 1 + 0)*3*3 + 50 = 365 points! A quetzal, by the way, is a kind of tropical bird.