As I began to think about the various topics related to our favorite game, Scrabble, my mind went in many directions, why do we play Scrabble?

Scrabble is such a large part of my life at this point. I met my husband playing Scrabble, my mother directs our local club and we’ve started a school Scrabble club for our kids too. But how did Scrabble even come to be my game of choice? And why have I stuck with it for so long?

Let’s dig into some basic questions.

Why do we play Scrabble?

And, why is the tournament Scrabble community one to be a part of?

Scrabble is a unique game! Every single game is going to be different due to the random grabbing of 100 tiles from the bag. I’ve played plenty of games of tic-tac-toe, connect four and other board games where playing multiple times may yield the same results. You may end up with repeat racks in Scrabble, but the board will surely be different each time. The possibilities are endless!

There are cool words! Over time, I’ve learned words with no vowels, words with all vowels, words that are sounds, and much, much more. I like to think that I’m a well-educated, brainy member of society, but the fact that I am still discovering new words every day reminds me that there is always more to learn. Bonus: There’s no need to know the definitions of said words. It may be helpful to know if a word is a verb or a noun, but there’s no need for me to be able to define any of them. It’s way more fun for me to see cool combinations of letters.

Math…love it or hate it? If you love math, you’ll love Scrabble. Many would argue that Scrabble is actually a math game instead of a word game. The goal of the game is to score the most points. Unfortunately, there are no bonus points for cool words. Focus on making high scores and you have a great chance of winning, even with a limited vocabulary. If you hate math, you will survive. Learn some simple addition and your 3 times tables and you’re good to go! My grade school daughters have the math skills to play this game.

Speaking of my daughters, I find Scrabble to be a wonderful learning tool for them. They’re practicing their math skills and focusing on learning short words to enhance their school learning. It can only help them hone their math and word knowledge. Bonus: it can help all of our brains as we age. What a smart game for players of all ages!

Strategy…take it or leave it! The game of Scrabble allows you to incorporate as little or as much strategy as you like. Is your strategy to simply score the most points? Great! Do you want to play defense so your opponent has nowhere to play? That’s good too! Do you want to track the tiles very carefully to stick your opponent with the Q in the end? You are free to choose your own style of play that you’re comfortable with to make the game most enjoyable for you!

To borrow a few words from Dr. Seuss, you can play Scrabble in a house. You can play Scrabble with a mouse. You can play Scrabble here or there. You can play Scrabble anywhere! (Sorry, I’m a mother of 3, I digress.) Most people think about playing Scrabble with Grandma at the kitchen table. The kitchen table is a great place to play, but I’ve played on a train and even in the middle of a Mardi Gras parade. [PICTURE] Once, the people on the float were so offended that we were playing Scrabble, that they continuously threw beads and cups at us in order to mess up our game! Sorry, not sorry, Mardi Gras! And now with the modern technology of Scrabble Go, we are able to play anywhere and everywhere on our phones.

The strategic spacing on the board always keeps things interesting. The more I look at the Scrabble board, the more I think about the brilliant spacing of the hot spots. The double letters that are put near the triple words and the double words that take exactly seven letters to connect them are just two examples of smart placement of these hotspots. It has forced us all to learn longer words in order to use multiple hot spots at once. On top of this, Scrabble Go has proven that by moving these hotspots, you are forced to flex your brain and think of the board slightly differently, just different enough to keep you on your toes!

There are no gender biases within the game. Scrabble doesn’t care how you identify or if you are young or old. No handicaps are given and even my 8-year-old daughter can draw a junk rack of DIRUUUV. Fun (or misery) for everyone!

Based on the reasons listed above, I think we can all conclude that we play this game for many reasons.

Once we’ve learned the game, who can we play with?

If you’re like me, growing up, I played with my mom and a few aunties during family gatherings. Eventually, I just wanted more people to play with. I wish Scrabble Go was a thing when I was younger, but through some online forums and some word of mouth, I found the competitive Scrabble scene. I can hardly believe I’m saying this, but I’ve been part of this community for almost 20 years now. It has been an incredible community to be a part of. I have made lifelong friends, met my husband, and know that we will be welcomed across a board in dozens of countries around the world. These are the reasons that I enjoy this community, but here is an organized list of why you should also give the tournament Scrabble scene a try.

Most importantly, you will find other people who enjoy the game of Scrabble as much, if not, more than you do! I thought I loved Scrabble until I met a few hundred people who knew the game and appreciated the game much more than I did. I used to think I was on my own Scrabble kitchen island. Now I know there are people near and far who all have this beautiful game in common.

I might have shared this story before, but it’s worth retelling. My uncles often reminisce about their childhood and tell of a time when they asked my mom, “Why do we play games?” Without hesitation, she replied, “to win.” Her competitive nature has been passed on to me and it is amazing to be a part of such a healthy, organized competition. It’s a great way to test my own abilities against others of the same level and those much better than me as well.

On the other side of that same coin, Scrabble has also taught me humility and to remain grounded. With each game you play, there’s a winner and a loser and I am often the latter. To be precise, according to, I am the loser 46% of the time. As a mother, I’m trying to teach my children how to lose graciously. They have a little giggle when I tell them how often I actually lose. Sometimes your opponents get both blanks separately and sometimes you just can’t make the letters into the words you want. But there are other games where you will be on the winning end and you can just hope to get a streak going for a tournament win.

You can win money! I think it’s fair to say that it’s nearly impossible to turn tournament Scrabble into your full-time job. Your tournament winnings won’t be paying for your child’s education anytime soon. You pay a nominal fee to enter a tournament. Your entry fee goes towards paying for the room space and possibly some snacks and the majority of it is returned to the top performers in the tournament. I’ve won a few of these in my time and first place has ranged from $100 to $1,500 and this was in the lower levels too! So yes, I can say that I win money playing Scrabble. I won’t mention how much I have “invested” in travel and lodging in order to get to some of these tournaments 🙂

This is a worldwide community. Are you traveling to Thailand? Did you want a reason to go to Niagara Falls? Are you interested in venturing off to Nigeria? These are just a few countries where you can find a welcoming Scrabble community. Are you averse to traveling abroad? There are tournaments all over the United States and Canada, one is probably closer than you realize. The tournaments are also plentiful and of varying lengths. If you can’t commit too much time, there are one-day tournaments available. If you have time to spend a week in Malaysia, that’s fun too. If you want to sign up for three days in New Orleans, again, all are welcome! Scrabble tournaments are anywhere and everywhere waiting for you to sign up.

Each of these tournaments also provides different levels of play. If you’re new or you like to play Scrabble without much studying, there’s a group of people to play with. If you want to study 3-4 hours a day and learn every word in the dictionary, there are some of those serious players as well. There’s a place for everyone at the Scrabble tournament table.

Finally, I address this issue only because I met my husband this way. Where there is Scrabble, there is the possibility of love. There have been many Scrabble couples of all sorts. When you love the game of Scrabble more than the average person, I have found it personally difficult to find a mate who fully appreciates my interest in the game until I met my husband. I like to think he feels the same way 🙂

Obviously, you’re reading this blog because maybe you agree with at least some of the first part of this post. What other things make Scrabble a fascinating and addictive game? In a post-Covid world, will you give tournament Scrabble a chance? What is preventing you from playing in person?

Come give tournament Scrabble a try for any or all of these reasons. We can’t wait to see you across the board once it’s safe to do so. We are happy you’re playing Scrabble. It’s a fascinating and smart game. We would love to meet you and hope to welcome you at a future event, whether you’re interested in intense competition or making new friends.

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