Playing Scrabble is a challenge no matter how much experience you have. Sometimes, no matter how much time you’re using to play, it still doesn’t feel like enough.

That’s why we have overtime!

Overtime is extra time available for you to use after the main game timer has expired. However, there’s a catch. Entering overtime will result in a score penalty of 10 points, with an additional 10 point penalty for each extra minute of overtime you need after the first.

Overtime doesn’t last forever. If you use up all of your overtime, the game is over, and your opponent will win the game!



The default game settings are as follows:

3 Minutes + 1 Minute Overtime

15 Minutes + 5 Minutes Overtime

25 Minutes + 10 Minutes Overtime

45 Minutes + 15 Minutes Overtime


These time durations represent the time allotted for each player to complete the full game, not just a single turn.

In other words, in a 3 minute game with 1 minute of overtime, both players will have three minutes each to complete all of their moves in the game before incurring an overtime penalty.

You can budget your time in any way you choose. For example, in a 45-minute game, if you feel like it, you can take 15 minutes to think about your first move, and you’ll have 30 minutes remaining to make the rest of your moves.

Your clock only runs when it’s your turn. Using your opponent’s turn to think about your next move is a great way to avoid using as much time from your own clock.



Once you use up your game timer, you’ll enter overtime and receive a penalty of 10 points. This means that 10 points will be deducted from your current score.

Your timer will turn red to indicate that you’ve entered overtime, and your total number of penalties will appear near your score in red as well.

Be careful – you’ll receive additional 10 point penalties for each extra minute of overtime you need after the first.

And once your overtime is fully depleted, you’ll immediately lose the game, no matter how many points you’re ahead!



If you use up all of your overtime, you’ll lose the game no matter what.

But sometimes, calculating the margin of victory will still be necessary – for example, if you’re competing in a tournament format, where the margin of victory is used as a tiebreaker.

In addition to forfeiting your game, using up all of your overtime will result in a 100 point penalty to your score. If your score is still higher than your opponent’s after this penalty, the winning player’s score will increase to one point higher than yours. These situations are extremely rare.

The bottom line is – when you see your timer turn red, you’re in overtime, and you should play as fast as you can or risk losing the game!


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