Scrabble Champion Austin Shin is from Milton Keynes, England. 🇬🇧

However, he now lives in New Orleans, Louisiana. 🇺🇸


Over the past two decades, Scrabble champion Austin has traveled to five continents to compete against the world’s top players, winning over 50 first-place titles, including the UK National Championships and the US National Championships. He has competed in six World Championships and still has hopes to win this elusive title.

scrabble Champion Austin is part of a Scrabble family – he met his wife playing tournament Scrabble. His mother-in-law plays and organizes one of North America’s largest Scrabble tournaments, Crescent City Cup. He has two daughters that he recently adopted, and both play Scrabble Go every day, too, with the hope that they might follow our footsteps into the tournament Scrabble scene!

Q: How did you get started playing Scrabble?

A: My father introduced me to Scrabble when I was five years old. I naturally became intrigued with the game from that moment on, to the point where I was beating my father regularly enough that when I was 7, he decided to take me to a weekly Scrabble Club in Aylesbury, which had many tournament players already in attendance. This was where I was taught my basic strategy, ways to learn new words, and getting me up to speed with the nuances of tournament Scrabble. I played in my first UK rated tournament (against adults) when I was 8.

Q: What do you think makes you good at playing Scrabble?

A: I like problem-solving and analyzing situations in great detail. I’ve always been pretty capable in math. I have a knack for remembering useless information that doesn’t translate to many (or any) other areas in life – a bit like learning Scrabble words!

Q: In three words, how would your friends or family describe you?

A: Kind, level-headed, reserved.

Q: How do you prepare for a tournament?

A: I don’t do anything specifically to prepare for a tournament. I study and review words and play Scrabble Go every day, and it keeps me “match fit” at all times so that I am ready for any tournament on the calendar. Perhaps for a big national or international Scrabble tournament, I might play some other games online or against a computer program in the lead up to the tournament, but that would be it.

Q: If you could go back to your first tournament and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?

A: Stick with it! From now on, there’s plenty of great times and memories to be made – you’ll even meet your future wife this way!

Q: What would be your number one or two tips for the casual Scrabble Go player?

A: If you’re a casual Scrabble Go player, I recommend playing all the game modes on the app – arena games, duels, and regular Scrabble matches. I play all of these modes every day, especially liking the additional challenge of playing duels against strangers, with the added dynamic when the board layout is unconventional, and you cannot find that anywhere else. My second tip would be simply just to have fun and enjoy the games!

Q: What is your number one tip to be a better Scrabble player?

A: To see the most significant improvement in your game, if you haven’t done this already, I would heavily advise you to learn the entire 2 and 3 letter words in the dictionary that you play in. These are the most likely words that will come up in any game. Using these short words, you can more easily slot in parallel moves on the board, making multiple words at a time, which racks up the points.

Q: How did you get started playing Scrabble Go?

A: I was a frequent user of the EA Scrabble app, and this was simply a natural and easy transition.

Q: Everyone has a favorite ridiculous word in the Scrabble dictionary. What’s yours?

A: I don’t particularly have a “favorite ridiculous word”, but perhaps the one “ridiculous word” that comes up for me most often and is perhaps most useful (only allowable for you Collins Scrabble Go players – the dictionary with the British flag), would be the word EUOI. It’s a very useful way of dumping your vowels in one move and is the only 4-letter word in the dictionary that is all vowels.

Q: What is the biggest mistake an average Scrabble player can make?

A: Using blank tiles or the S for a few extra points. The blanks are very useful for playing bingos, and the S makes for great “hooking” tiles, i.e., latching a letter onto the end of existing words (most commonly pluralizing words).

Q: What keeps you playing Scrabble Go?

A: I play Scrabble Go much more than I did with the EA Scrabble app, simply because of the multifaceted modes that previously didn’t exist. Admittedly, I enjoy collecting the tiles on offer, as being a bit of a gamer at heart, I like to complete challenges and enjoy the competition aspect against other Scrabble Go players

Q: Any last words of wisdom that a Scrabble Champion can share with us? 🧐

A: There’s always more to learn and more fun to be had! 👍

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