Have you ever noticed that it feels like your brain is getting a great workout when you’re playing Scrabble? That’s because it’s true. There aren’t many games that give you a total brain workout the way Scrabble does.

Are you looking for a game that will keep your brain sharp and slow the effects of aging? Read on to learn why Scrabble is the perfect choice.

Your Brain on Scrabble

Scrabble is a game that demands skills from across the cognitive spectrum.

First and foremost, Scrabble is a word game…but it also functions as a booster to your recall as well as your ability to retain information. Scrabble’s gameplay emphasizes linguistic processing and word recognition to such a degree that you’re guaranteed to encounter words you’ve never seen before. 

And when you do, it’ll be those same short, and long-term memory skills that come into the picture. 

Seasoned Scrabble players may even study word lists to help improve their performance in Scrabble. This expands their memory capabilities even further. There are lots of word games out there that activate these parts of your brain. 

But we’re just scratching the surface of Scrabble’s brain-boosting powers!

Wait…Is Scrabble a Math Game Too?

In addition to Scrabble’s linguistic and memory elements, there are mathematical components to the game that you might not appreciate at first glance. Would you believe that many of the world’s best Scrabble players have backgrounds not as writers or editors – but in mathematics?

That’s because Scrabble is a math game, too.

First of all, in Scrabble, you have to count up your plays using addition and multiplication (at least when you’re playing on a physical board). But there’s more than basic mathematics at play. 

For experienced players, Scrabble is also all about probabilities and playing the odds.

The Tile Bag is a great example of this. You can calculate your odds of drawing a certain letter, your odds of your opponent having certain letters, the imbalances between consonants and vowels, and more.

That’s a lot of math!

Scrabble also tests your understanding of geometry. The formation of words tends to make angles in a variety of configurations. You’ll see that Scrabble will keep your spatial reasoning faculties just as sharp as your language processing abilities.

Critical Thinking

We’ve established that Scrabble tests your language processing, memory, mathematics, and spatial reasoning skills.

But Scrabble is also an incredibly deep strategic game. Just finding the words is only one piece of the puzzle that is Scrabble! Figuring out what to do with those words once you see them is an amazing brain workout as well.

Scrabble strategy ranges from simplistic to mind-bending complexity. On some moves, you’ll be able to score 60 points with QI or ZA. 

That’s not too tricky.

On other moves, you’ll have a variety of options, none of which stand out. To select between them, you’ll need to develop a strategic objective. You’ll think critically about the score of the game, the state of the board and which bonus squares are available, the importance of key letters, and the tendencies of your opponent.

The richness of an actionable Scrabble strategy ensures that there’s always more to learn no matter how experienced a player you are. Trust me on this one – I’m still learning about the game myself!

And that makes for a pretty amazing brain workout.

The Science Agrees

But don’t just take my word for it (pun intended).

A slew of scientific studies confirms that Scrabble is indeed a great brain game. Researchers found that skilled Scrabble players use more parts of their brains.

Meaning that every game requires each player to perform deep-thought computations such as word recognition, memory, and visual perception than normal people.  Scrabble has also been shown to slow the effects of aging and protect against degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease. Playing word games like Scrabble can even compensate for lack of formal education regarding memory and protection against dementia.

One of the best ways to stave off cognitive decline is to make an effort to learn new things, no matter your age.

In Scrabble, learning new words is a core part of the game. Playing other experienced players is a wonderful way to pick up some new words and new strategies and ideas.

Forging Friendships

Lastly, another important way to keep your brain healthy is to socialize and form friendships with other people. Playing Scrabble is a great way to create friendships with Scrabble players across generational and cultural boundaries.

Theoretically, you could experience all of the above benefits of Scrabble while playing by yourself or against a computer. But adding in the social component adds even more benefit for your brain.

Combine those social benefits with all of the rest that Scrabble offers, and it’s hard to think of a better brain game!

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