Words With Friends is a crossword game made for mobile devices (iPhone, iPad, Android), and is based on the popular board game Scrabble. A few differences are between Words With Friends and Scrabble which I’d like to point out. It is important since you might be able to use them to recognize these differences.
1. You are not playing face to face with your opponents. You could be playing against somebody!
2. This is a game that might not be completed in a single sitting. It can last days, hours, weeks, or even months.
3. You can use trial and error as many times as you need until you find a word that works
4. The tile count and distribution is different. See the graph Below:
5. The layout is a bit different, as shown in the images below, while both boards are squares:
Because of a number of the dynamics, the friends that I play regularly and I have agreed to a few rule clarifications for ease of the game. We are allowed to maintain a record of all two letter words. It takes a bunch of time to know what the words are since we’re able to use trial and error to discover words. You will most likely end up memorizing it if you use a list long enough. Below is the list that I like to use. There are two pillars; the first column is the words that begin with a particular letter, and the second column is the words which end in a letter that is given. Let me know I will correct it and if you find any omissions or errors.
Second, we have deemed it acceptable to keep track of the tiles that were missing if we like – like cards in Blackjack. We figure that since there can be a relatively large amount of time between turns, why not use the time to keep track of shingles have and haven’t been played yet what. None of us ever really do and not even in the middle of a game, but while the game is nearing the end and it looks like it is going to be close, we’ll do it. We have made it clear that it is ok here, although I’m not positive if there’s a rule that handles this in Scrabble.
It’s a good thing to agree on a couple of ground rules with the friends you play with regularly. In my group of friends, we’ve deemed it acceptable to keep the two-letter word record if we want and keep track of tiles, but NOT generators or another word lists, that are available online. In case you and your friends agree that it’s ok to use word generators, my favorite one iswineverygame.com. I am sure there are tons of ones that are good.
As I said before, in the time that I’ve been playing, I’ve developed some of my own words With Friends Strategy that I will share with you here. It’s not a Words With Friends Tutorial, but just some hints that I’ve developed in my time playing. It will give you an advantage against your opponents also.
Lay *Together* Beats Lay Across
Let’s say your opponent plays AROSE. You have letters on your tray which spell “POWER”.
Your experienced opponent puts A alongside it, and it never fails, you play with a five letter word to initiate the game double for his sentence and single for word also. When I start a game, use that turn to dump my two desirable letters, and I like to start with a two letter word. Let your opponent be the first to open up the board.
You will be netted ZERO points by starting the game with a one letter word. Not even the points for the letter.
Work the Colored Squares
The best way is to play with them on the colored squares. On the board, you can discover Double Letter (DL), Double Word (DW), Triple Letter (TL), and Triple Word (TW). Always look on the board for the accessibility of those squares – before you analyze your tray. Start looking for plays and try to work your letters to match those games. Even better, try and find plays that combine multiple word scores and letter scores together. Let’s say you play the word PARK. You will score 11 points. Now let’s say that you play where the “P” is a TL and the “K” is about a TW. The score for this play will jump up all the way!
You can play with ZEN in a lay-along over PLANE, creating NE, ZEN, EN, and ZA!
When you play all seven tiles in your tray in one turn, it’s called a “Bingo.” If you’re able to mix that, then it is not out of the question to score in the 100s on a play! One of the keys to winning games consistently is learning how to make Bingos. The more you play, the more you’ll develop strategies that will help you create more and more Bingos, although it requires a little practice. I was fortunate to average one Bingo for every ten games when I first started playing. Now I’d say I average about 9 Bingos for every ten games, and I am continuing to improve. Keep reading for some of my strategies for creating Bingos.
Defense Wins Games
Your opponent will be doing the same as you’ll look for plays around the squares. Don’t give the opening to him, even if it means you’ve got to play a word that is lesser elsewhere. I stay away from opening the TW TL places unless I know I’m going to score with my play. A 40 point play might not be worth opening up one of those places, knowing that he could potentially more or score 50 points by taking full advantage of the opening.
S’s are Precious. And are BLANKs
The “S” and the BLANK are two crucial tiles in the game. The reason the “S” is so important is that it can be played at the end of so many words. For those who have a word in your tray that includes an “S”, then it is possible to set the “S” at the end of a word that is already on the board and play the remaining tiles for your word about it. Let’s say your opponent played COFFEE. In your tray you notice the term VEST. You could play VEST of the E at COFFEE. I consider this to be wasting your S. If you look closer, you could put the S with VEST and COFFEES and play with the V, E and T and score 24 points, at the end of COFFEE! Mix in you and a few squares can easily clear 30 points. Many people prefer to employ this strategy with the “Y” as well. I find that there aren’t nearly as many chances to use the “Y” in this way as there are for the “S”, so I treat the “Y” as another letter. The BLANKS can work in an identical way. I would say the BLANK is responsible for about 50\% of all of the Bingos I make. As a rule of thumb, unless they are directly responsible for scoring at least 30 points for me I try not to use an S or a BLANK.
Swapping Tiles: Nothing or All
I swap tiles when there are no plays that I can make that will get me over 15 or so points, and the letters in my tray do not figure to provide any more help. In order to create a word that you’re trying to formulate in your tray never try to swap tiles. That will only lead to heartache, trust me. I like to swap ALL 7 tiles I never swap out the following letters when I need to exchange.
In case you have them never give them up. Giving them up gives your opponent a chance to use them with the colored squares for maximum value. I play one of these shingles on a square merely to get rid of it before I see my opponent take advantage of it on the squares.
These combinations are very versatile in that they can be attached to end or the beginning of 5 letter words, to make a Bingo. I’d say that those two combinations are responsible for helping me with the 50\% of my Bingos.
A tile turnover rate that is high is good for your tray. It increases the odds of getting J, Q, X, and Z, and decreases your opponent’s chance of getting them and using them against you. If all other variables are equal (points, leave, etc.), then play the bigger word over the smaller word when you have a choice.
Saving Letters Is Dangerous
It’s not a good idea as you wait to appear for a word to save letters. I am not going to lie and say that I’ve never done it, but I do attempt to keep it at a minimum. Sometimes it is just too tempting. You have the best chances of a good score when you have all seven letters to select from on each turn. For each letter that you hold back, you are potentially limiting your score for this play. Should you if the letters you need don’t appear within 2 or 3 turns, and decide to save letters, try and keep it at a minimum, cut your losses and quit waiting.
The bottom line is, for word games like Words with Friends, the more you play, the better you will get!