Beginner’s Guide to Words With Friends

New to Words With Friends? No problem! You’ve come to the right place. Words With Friends is a lot like Scrabble but way better, because you can play with your friends online, meaning you could even play from the comfort of your toilet seat, how’s that for a selling point, baazing!

But before you can play any game you need to know the rules, so let’s get to it.

Tile Placement

The first word of every game has to have at least one tile placed on the star square. Each new word formed must share at least one tile of a pre-existing word. Words can be formed horizontally (left to right) and vertically (top to bottom).

Scoring

Each letter has a set value, so for example D is worth two points, O is one point and G is three points. If you were to spell the word DOG you would earn a total of six points. There are also blank tiles, although they carry no point value they can become any letter you wish, making them very useful for completing words that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.

There are also premium squares spread across the board — DL=Double Letter, TL=Triple Letter, DW=Double Word and TW=Triple Word.

Premium squares are highly sought after, they have the potential to multiply your score greatly. For example if you were to play the word AX, A is worth one point and X is 8 points, you’d only score a total of 9 points. But if the X was placed on the TL square, that would increase the value of X from 8 to 24 points, bringing you to the new total of 25 points.

If you use all 7 tiles in one turn you earn an extra 35 bonus points, this is called a bingo. Scoring bingos can adversely affect your opponent causing them to yell multiple CW=Cuss Words (not a premium square).

The game ends once a player has used up all their tiles, whatever tiles a player still possesses when the game ends will count against them and be awarded to the opposing player. For example, if your opponent beat you to the punch and played their last tiles before you could play your remaining tiles C, A and T — C being worth four points, A one point and T one point — you would subtract six points from your total score and add six points to your opponent’s score.

The game can also end if three turns have passed with no points scored.

Now that we have the basic rules out of the way, let’s dive into some basic strategies and tactics.

Strategy

There are many ways to play Words With Friends from a strategy stand point. Some players prefer a more aggressive approach, forming long words on each turn, to get rid of tiles as fast as possible. Keep in mind that 90 tiles are shared between both players, so the more tiles you use, the less there are for the opponent. Although it can be risky at times, branching out with long words gives your opponent ample opportunities to place tiles on premium squares.

The second approach I’d like to talk about is a more conservative style of play. It’s more defensive I’d say. With this approach you’ll form both short and long words, which of the two you’ll form on a given turn depends on a few factors, the biggest one being premium square proximity.

If you can form a long word to reach a premium square then go for it, otherwise, focus on forming short words. Make sure any word you form doesn’t extend so far that it allows your opponent to branch off your word to reach a premium square. Keep forming short words (especially parallel words, more on this later) until your opponent is forced to branch out putting you within striking distance of a premium square.

Obviously not all premium squares are of equal value, so you’ll have to use your best judgement on whether you want to avoid branching out to a certain premium square or if you’re willing to take the risk.

Tactics

Use Consonants to Minimize Risk – There are ways to minimize risk when forming long words. You’ll want to avoid placing vowels next to premium squares such as DL and TL. Placing vowels next to premium squares creates an easy setup for the opponent, since power tiles such as X naturally come before or after a vowel in many words. So just remember if possible form words with consonants next to the premium squares to minimize risk.

Avoid placing vowels next to premium squares.

Rack Management – Keeping a good balance of vowels and consonants on your rack is important. Having all vowels or consonants can make it difficult to form long words. If you do find yourself with too many of either kind, try using your opponent’s tiles to your advantage. Say for example you have all consonants, just look around the board for any vowels you can place two or more consonants next to. Or you could use the swap option to get rid of some consonants, this option forfeits your turn, use this option sparingly.

Be a Hooker – Hooking is when you add letters to the beginning or end of a word to form a new word. Hooks can be very potent, a well placed hook can really boost your score. Check out the screenshot below for example. I used the S to hook onto the word SINE to form the new word SINES, so far I’m at 6 points, then the new word I formed horizontally SLOGS is worth 36 points, since the L (2 points) was on the TL square and the S landed on the TW square, bringing me to the total of 42 points. In that example the word I hooked onto didn’t give that many extra points, but if you do see your opponent form a word containing lots of power tiles — such as K, J, Q, Z, and X — that would be the ideal time to become a hooker.

Counting Cards errr… Tiles – Now it may seem a bit extreme to keep track of what tiles have been played, but it’s actually very useful, I’ll give an example to illustrate why. If you were trying to reach the premium square TW by first spelling the word DOG vertically and then spelling the word SEA horizontally, where the S connects with DOG to form DOGS. In order for this tactic to work, you need to be sure that the opponent has no blank or S tiles to connect with the word DOG, making it impossible for them to use the TW tile against you. Letter distribution can be found at the end of the guide.

Bingo Stems – As the author of this guide, you may think I score bingos quite frequently, I assure you I do not. That actually makes me unqualified to write this next tip. But if you’re a big believer in the blind leading the blind, please by all means continue reading.

Bingo Stems are a group of six letters that give you the highest probability of forming a seven letter word. Try memorizing these bingo stems to improve your odds of scoring a bingo — TISANE, SATIRE and RETINA.

Parallel Words – I recommend memorizing as many two and three letter words as possible (word list at end of guide), this will allow you to form multiple words in a single turn. In the screenshot below we see the player form three words by placing them parallel to each other — PEE, PE and EL.

Have Fun

At the end of the day playing Words With Friends should be a fun experience, so don’t take the game too seriously. If you’re new, you’ll lose a lot, but don’t let it get to you, just hit the re-match button, form a word, then type in the chat box BRING IT! That’s usually how most of my games go, especially with my arch-rival Jenn K. Lee of Pocketables.net *Shakes Fist*. I hope you found this guide to be helpful, thank you for reading, and if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment.

Word List

Words With Friends uses the Enhanced North American Benchmark Lexicon (ENABLE) word list, containing over 173,000 words, Newtoy has made a few additions to the word list such as ZEN and QI, more will be added in the future.

To download a text file containing all the words, click here.

Letter Distribution

There are 104 tiles in Words With Friends, below is the distribution of letters.

A=9D=5G=3J=1M=2P=2S=5V=2Y=2
B=2E=13H=4K=1N=5Q=1T=7W=2Z=1
C=2F=2I=8L=4O=8R=6U=4X=1*=2

Letter Point Values

Regardless of what Thomas Jefferson may have said, not all letters are created equal.

A=1D=2G=3J=10M=4P=4S=1V=5Y=3
B=4E=1H=3K=5N=2Q=10T=1W=4Z=10
C=4F=4I=1L=2O=1R=1U=2X=8*=0

3 Letter Words

I want to give a quick shout out to my Caps Lock and Tab keys, if it wasn’t for them this table wouldn’t be possible. And thanks to Newtoy for compiling the list!

AAHAALAASABAABSABYACEACTADDADOADSADZ
AFFAFTAGAAGEAGOAHAAHIAIDAILAIMAINAIRAIS
AITALAALBALEALLALPALSALTAMAAMIAMPAMUANA
ANDANEANIANTANYAPEAPTARBARCAREARFARKARM
ARSARTASHASKASPASSATEATTAUKAVAAVEAVOAWA
AWEAWLAWNAXEAYEAYSAZO
BAABADBAGBAHBALBAMBANBAPBARBASBATBAYBED
BEEBEGBELBENBETBEYBIBBIDBIGBINBIOBISBIT
BIZBOABOBBODBOGBOOBOPBOSBOTBOWBOXBOYBRA
BROBRRBUBBUDBUGBUMBUNBURBUSBUTBUYBYEBYS
CABCADCAMCANCAPCARCATCAWCAYCEECELCEPCHI
CISCOBCODCOGCOLCONCOOCOPCORCOSCOTCOWCOX
COYCOZCRYCUBCUDCUECUMCUPCURCUTCWM
DABDADDAGDAHDAKDALDAMDAPDAWDAYDEBDEEDEL
DENDEVDEWDEXDEYDIBDIDDIEDIGDIMDINDIPDIS
DITDOCDOEDOGDOLDOMDONDORDOSDOTDOWDRYDUB
DUDDUEDUGDUIDUNDUODUPDYE
EAREATEAUEBBECUEDHEELEFFEFSEFTEGGEGOEKE
ELDELFELKELLELMELSEMEEMFEMSEMUENDENGENS
EONERAEREERGERNERRERSESSETAETHEVEEWEEYE
FADFANFARFASFATFAXFAYFEDFEEFEHFEMFENFER
FETFEUFEWFEYFEZFIBFIDFIEFIGFILFINFIRFIT
FIXFIZFLUFLYFOBFOEFOGFOHFONFOPFORFOUFOX
FOYFROFRYFUBFUDFUGFUNFUR
GABGADGAEGAGGALGAMGANGAPGARGASGATGAYGED
GEEGELGEMGENGETGEYGHIGIBGIDGIEGIGGINGIP
GITGNUGOAGOBGODGOOGORGOTGOXGOYGULGUMGUN
GUTGUVGUYGYMGYP
HADHAEHAGHAHHAJHAMHAOHAPHASHATHAWHAYHEH
HEMHENHEPHERHESHETHEWHEXHEYHICHIDHIEHIM
HINHIPHISHITHMMHOBHODHOEHOGHONHOPHOTHOW
HOYHUBHUEHUGHUHHUMHUNHUPHUTHYP
ICEICHICKICYIDSIFFIFSILKILLIMPINKINNINS
IONIREIRKISMITSIVY
JABJAGJAMJARJAWJAYJEEJETJEUJIBJIGJINJOB
JOEJOGJOTJOWJOYJUGJUNJUSJUT
KABKAEKAFKASKATKAYKEAKEFKEGKENKEPKEXKEY
KHIKIDKIFKINKIPKIRKITKOAKOBKOIKOPKORKOS
KUE
LABLACLADLAGLAMLAPLARLASLATLAVLAWLAXLAY
LEALEDLEELEGLEILEKLETLEULEVLEXLEYLEZLIB
LIDLIELINLIPLISLITLOBLOGLOOLOPLOTLOWLOX
LUGLUMLUVLUXLYE
MACMADMAEMAGMANMAPMARMASMATMAWMAXMAYMED
MELMEMMENMETMEWMHOMIBMIDMIGMILMIMMIRMIS
MIXMOAMOBMOCMODMOGMOLMOMMONMOOMOPMORMOS
MOTMOWMUDMUGMUMMUNMUSMUT
NABNAENAGNAHNAMNANNAPNAWNAYNEBNEENETNEW
NIBNILNIMNIPNITNIXNOBNODNOGNOHNOMNOONOR
NOSNOTNOWNTHNUBNUNNUSNUT
OAFOAKOAROATOBEOBIOCAODDODEODSOESOFFOFT
OHMOHOOHSOILOKAOKEOLDOLEOMSONEONSOOHOOT
OPEOPSOPTORAORBORCOREORSORTOSEOUDOUROUT
OVAOWEOWLOWNOXOOXY
PACPADPAHPALPAMPANPAPPARPASPATPAWPAXPAY
PEAPECPEDPEEPEGPEHPENPEPPERPESPETPEWPHI
PHTPIAPICPIEPIGPINPIPPISPITPIUPIXPLYPOD
POHPOIPOLPOMPOPPOTPOWPOXPROPRYPSIPUBPUD
PUGPULPUNPUPPURPUSPUTPYAPYEPYX
QATQISQUA
RADRAGRAHRAIRAJRAMRANRAPRASRATRAWRAXRAY
REBRECREDREEREGREIREMREPRESRETREVREXRHO
RIARIBRIDRIFRIGRIMRINRIPROBROCRODROEROM
ROTROWRUBRUERUGRUMRUNRUTRYARYE
SABSACSADSAESAGSALSAPSATSAUSAWSAXSAYSEA
SECSEESEGSEISELSENSERSETSEWSEXSHASHESHH
SHYSIBSICSIMSINSIPSIRSISSITSIXSKASKISKY
SLYSOBSODSOLSONSOPSOSSOTSOUSOWSOXSOYSPA
SPYSRISTYSUBSUESUMSUNSUPSUQSYN
TABTADTAETAGTAJTAMTANTAOTAPTARTASTATTAU
TAVTAWTAXTEATEDTEETEGTELTENTETTEWTHETHO
THYTICTIETILTINTIPTISTITTODTOETOGTOMTON
TOOTOPTORTOTTOWTOYTRYTSKTUBTUGTUITUNTUP
TUTTUXTWATWOTYE
UDOUGHUKEULUUMMUMPUNSUPOUPSURBURDURNUSE
UTAUTS
VACVANVARVASVATVAUVAVVAWVEEVEGVETVEXVIA
VIEVIGVIMVISVOEVOWVOXVUG
WABWADWAEWAGWANWAPWARWASWATWAWWAXWAYWEB
WEDWEEWENWETWHAWHOWHYWIGWINWISWITWIZWOE
WOKWONWOOWOSWOTWOWWRYWUDWYEWYN
XIS
YAHYAKYAMYAPYARYAWYAYYEAYEHYENYEPYESYET
YEWYINYIPYOBYODYOKYOMYONYOUYOWYUKYUM
YUP
ZAGZAPZASZAXZEDZEEZEKZIGZINZIPZITZOAZOO

2 Letter Words

AAABADAEAGAHAIALAMANARASAT
AWAXAYBABEBIBOBYDADEDIDOED
EFEHELEMENERESETEXFAFEFIGO
GIHAHEHIHMHOIDIFINISITJOKA
KILALILOMAMEMIMMMOMUMYNANE
NONUODOEOFOHOIOMONOPOROSOW
OXOYPAPEPIQIRESHSISOTATITO
UHUMUNUPUSUTWEWOXIXUYAYEYO
ZA

Board Reference

Get The Latest Updates

So you’ve read my 4th grade writing and managed to reach the end without hitting the Back button on the browser, what now?

I know! You should drop by the Words With Friends Facebook page and become a fan, that way you’ll get all the latest updates about your favorite word game. And you’ll meet thousands of other people that are just as excited as you are about Words With Friends.

Don’t have a Facebook account? That’s ok too, Newtoy has you covered, they also have a Twitter page you can follow to get the latest updates on Words With Friends.

Related Articles

2,295 Comments

  1. AE35unit says:

    If you play a word that uses two DW squares is that 4 times the point value or only double?

  2. Elizabeth Hanks says:

    Why isn’t the word “their” acceptable in WWF?

    • RockLoobster says:

      It is acceptable. I suspect your placement of it may have formed another letter combination that was not a valid word. Without a screen shot, it’s hard to say.

  3. Mario enciso says:

    Hello, mario enciso wat up

  4. LINDA says:

    HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN I HAD 54 AND THE OTHER PERSON HAD 17 AND HE WAS DECLARED THE WINNER

    • RockLoobster says:

      With a score that low, there’s no way it was a complete game. My guess is that you accidentally hit RESIGN. Better luck in the future!

  5. Marge says:

    Playing with my gdaughter and we have used up all the letter except for a few remaining on the “board”. We each have different letters, for example mine are z,x,v and hers are s u v p q. If we both havethe same letters in the beginning shou,don’t we have the same at the end of the game?

    • RockLoobster says:

      You don’t start with the same letters. Imagine all the letters mentioned in the distribution list above are on separate pieces of paper, or tiles, and they all are put into a bag and shaken up. Then you each draw 7 of those tiles at random. That is what is represented in your hand. You will extremely rarely, if ever, see two players with the same letters in their hands.

  6. Miick says:

    This is apparently intended for beginners, right? Well, I have a question that might be off-topic. Is there another WWF board, chat or forum somewhere? I tried wordswithfriends.net but it’s seems to be for phone players only.

    • Henry says:

      Make a comment on my blog and append an email address. The comment will not be published unless you say so. wordswithfriendsmytips.blogspot.com

  7. Nancy says:

    Thank you for this. Great contribution to having fun with this game. My biggest problem is tat everyone seems to enjoy making up words to see if they work. I do not find this fun or challenging. They admit that they have no idea what the words they used meant nor care. It would be much more fun for me if my friends did not do this. And thanks again for creating this site.

  8. Bobe says:

    The letter counts don’t seem to be accurate. I’ve looked at several sites to get a sense of how many options my opponent may have. They all say there are 5 Ds, but I’m looking at a board right now with 6 Ds played on board. I mean 6 visible, so 5 is an incorrect number. Does anyone know of an accurate count? Or is my opponent somehow cheating?

    • Miick says:

      Look closely. Was one of those S originally a BLANK? If so, there isn’t a little number in the corner.

      • Bobe says:

        That’s true. I hadn’t thought about it. There are two extras, one D and one U, but I hadn’t thought about looking for blanks. That would explain the discrepancy. Now I feel silly. Thanks.

    • Chefmo says:

      Are you sure one of the Ds is not a blank tile that the player made a D? You’ll be able to tell if it doesn’t have a value on the upper right corner.

    • PJ says:

      don’t forget there are blanks that can be made into any letter that you have to consider

  9. Michelle says:

    New to WWF … Is there an app out there for WWF that allows you to place a word down , it tells you how much it would score but then allows you to recall the letters to try somewhere else on the board ? I know you can just add it up but it would be so much easier.

    • Miick says:

      Hit the “store” button on the game. Looks like what you want is “The Count”.

    • Henry says:

      It isn’t too difficult to work out the score and just hit recall if you want to try something else. Doing the “scoring” yourself is good training and you will soon find it comes naturally and also you can start to spot the high scoring places to hit.

  10. Chuck says:

    I am new to WWF, currently playing 2 games. One opponent plays nothing but obscure, consonant laden words that I cannot begin to define…the other has now started doing the same. I feel a bit ignorant. I don’t want to use a list for gameplay, but when opponent has a schizophrenic split and suddenly becomes hyper literate, it makeshift feel somewhat defeated. I don’t mind losing, and learning, but like others have said, sometimes it feels like I’m playing a “droid”. I am continuing to play, watching my “point leads” evaporate and looking forward to a game of inspiration. Comments??

    • Henry says:

      Chuck, being new to this game (and I presume Scrabble is also a new game to you), there are certain basics to learn. Firstly WWF (Words with Friends) is a “word”game not a dictionary game and as such seasoned players will have learned by heart those useful little words that can be easily played. For example these are commonly played words that raise no eyebrows at all: ZA QI QAT SUQ GI ZOA and so the list goes on. Now neither WWF (nor Scrabble) rules say that you have to know the definition of any word played. I do not claim to have a better vocabulary than you but I bet my WWF word list is better than yours!

      By the way if you haven’t yet seen QI or its plural QIS played be aware that QI is the most often played 2-letter word in these two games.

      Give me a challenge any time henryb65

      • Miick says:

        How can QI be the most often played 2-letter word? It can be played only once per game. Seems like something with A would be much more common. Or E. I play ET or EN a couple of times every game

        • Henry says:

          QI is the most played 2-letter word in Scrabble competitions and probably the most played in both games. Why? Because it has a potential score of 64 unlike any of the others. Examples: AT BO UP EN EM 4 to 10 max!
          The other 105 are all played but less frequently. The low scoring ones are mostly played to join or allow another word to be played. The total plays of all the “other” 2-letter words should be “averaged” or divided by 105. Hope you follow that ☺
          Because the Q is a hard letter to play, it is often played quickly and there are 16 I s but only 4 U s
          So QI is easy to play, scores big and with 16 I s the choice is often made for you.

        • Miick says:

          Henry,
          That didn’t seem quit right so I did a little survey of some recent games. I figured that QI was most played when considered proportionally, or something. In my survey of eight games qi was played in six of them, more than once usually. In one game Q was drawn last an the game ended with QI in my tray. I was wrong about how many times it can be used per game, it’s four. The next most used word was NU with five appearances. I did not count NU in NUT (for example) even though I knew it was played first. So, some words would appear more if counted as the game goes along. QI looks like the clear winner anyway.

          Now about that 64…. how are you calculating those word values?

        • Henry says:

          Q on the TW square with an I on the board next to that square and your I used as well – 2 QIs so that actually makes 66! 11x3x2

        • Miick says:

          Henry, Are you sure that play isn’t worth 99 points?

          Allowing QI to be a word has really changed the game, not for the better. I’m a little surprised that Zygna didn’t alter the values to better reflect the difficulty of play. Q should be worth something less than 10. C & V more than 5.

        • Henry says:

          No 66 is correct. QI = 11 x 3 = 33 twice = 66.

          It is only when you span 2 premium TWs or DWs that you get 2 x 3 times or 2 x 2 times the total word value. That’s why I love the 2 DW squares on the line one in from the TWs. hit them both and it’s 4 times (that’s better than 3 times!!)

        • Miick says:

          Henry___What WAS I thinking? (blush)

        • skatti says:

          qi can be played more than once…I just did it, using 2 perpendicular “i” tiles

      • Chuck says:

        Well Henry, having played scrabble for 46 years indeed I have seen Qi and it’s plural Qis. I have played a multitude, perhaps you would prefer plethora, of word games throughout my life and remember challenges requiring a Webster consultation, indeed an archaic concept in light of color tv and the horseless carriage.
        The point I was apparently unclear in making was the sudden divergence in vernacular when besting an opponent. One can only suspect ,when faced with a hyper litterate verbosity, in contrast to words like kitty,three, and wank, a sudden three word string with nisi, feu, and qasi that something has changed. I would not presume to store the entire ENABLE lexicon to memory, but it seems unsportsmanlike to flip through reference sources to make sense of ones alphabet soup, just as it was frowned upon to thumb through websters, by the light of the whale lamp, in search of “obscura” in an attempt to use all of ones consonants.
        No Henry, I would not presume a quantitative superiority regarding my own vocabulary, I leave that with you,

        • Henry says:

          Chuck, sorry that I presumed you were new to Scrabble! I started playing at 17, I’m now 68. How well I remember those days too. You are quite right as well about the plethora of words that neither you nor I knew existed. Indeed something has changed and many of us do not like it.

          Of course most good players will know most if not all of the 2-letter words and many obscure 3-letter words. I happen to hate the C and the V so I know VAW and VAV, CHI and CWM (but have no idea of their definitions).

          My final remark was presuming you were new to both games which of course you are not.

          You have my username….

          I used to “read” in bed the Shorter Oxford Dictionary (2 volumes) and study the Scrabble lists. Still got some original editions.

          I think that serious players are against the use of any word-finders. The problem is how to stop it and I would say one can’t. When an opponent plays an obviously “found” word or two, I smile and say OK let’s see how good a player you are not.

          Technically it is possible to stop the ability to place words until WWF accepts them. Just limit the placement to say 2 or 3 and then the turn is lost. Small software change. But for the use of a word finder – impossible.

    • Miick says:

      Without seeing some of the words it’s kind of hard to say what’s going on. If you’re seeing strange short words, no more than five letters, say, then your opponent might just be trying different combinations to see what works. The more you play the more you’ll remember them.

      If OTOH you’re getting bingoed with medical & legal terms (and she’s not a doctor, MD or JD) then it’s pretty certain he’s getting “help”. I once got hit with OTITIDES by a friend who knows nothing much about biology.

      What to do, what to do… Lots of options. Just keep playing. It’s making you a better player. Or, call him on it and risk making him mad. Or, start doing the same. Tell him or not is your choice. It’s a different game then. Like the difference between a bicycle race and a motorcycle race. Or, quit playing.

      Most players a step up casual memorize all the two-letter words. There are 101 in Scrabble. Don’t know the WWF difference. There are lists of all the three-letter ones for the more serious. I tried that at one time but it’s not much fun.

  11. Miick says:

    Let’s say my first draw is Blank, EEJMSP

    Do I swap the J looking for a U, R or the other blank
    so I can bingo with SUPREME? What’s the best
    strategy? Don’t see a good five letter play as I don’t want use both S & Blank just for 14 points. I’d swap an extra E, for sure.

    • Alicemalice says:

      Longer isn’t necessarily better. ;)

      I found that my scores increased once I gave up on trying to formulate the longest possible words, and settled mostly for 3-4 letter words instead. A bingo is the obvious exception, but strategically placing fewer letters has increased my wins dramatically.

      • Miick says:

        Yup. Even a bingo might not be the right play. Getting one doesn’t seem to have much to do with winning. Sure is fun, though.

    • Henry says:

      I’d play JEEPS = 34 points Keep the M and Blank and move on. At the beginning the maximum score is inhibited because there is only ever 1 premium square available (DW). To swap so early when you have a 34 point score available is not good strategy. You loose the 34 points so to make it up you must score big in your next few moves move to recover the “missed” 34.

      • Miick says:

        Thanks! “Jeep” looks like a proper noun to me. Didn’t think to try.

        • Henry says:

          JEEP is now a generic word like HOOVER (a vacuum cleaner manufactured in the 40′s and later by Hoover Ltd in the UK) We all called them things Hoovers, sounded better than vacuum cleaner. Bit like CRAP from the toilet invented by Thomas Crapper. Better to have a CRAP than a ****)

  12. Tom says:

    Can somebody tell me if it’s by rule okay to use the dictionary not a word finder but a dictionary. My son stop playing with me because I use a dictionary. He is a college graduate and I am just high school dropout so I need a little help. I just can’t believe he dropped playing games with me because of that.

    • RockLoobster says:

      The rules do not prohibit use of a dictionary. That is not the same as saying the rules allow it. Some think it’s ok, others do not. Considering the game doesn’t make you lose a turn if you try a word that isn’t on the list, it almost becomes a moot point, in my opinion.

    • Joyce says:

      Given the fact that you are probably 20+ years older than your son,
      you have had that many more years to build your vocabulary. So
      if you look at it that way, you can certainly feel his equal – regardless of your different levels of formal education – where vocabulary is concerned.
      Sure you set up a rule to use a dictionary in your own personal games together – if both of you agree to do so.
      (Maybe your son would agree to use a dictionary for games in January, not use one for games in February, then use a dictionary again in March, and so on…..I do love compromises!) :)

    • Miick says:

      The rule in this case is whatever you agree to. If you want to play with him you’ll have quit using a dictionary. Or, change your will. Did the dictionary make a huge difference in your scores?

      Actually, since one can try different words without penalty, using help to check a word you’re considering doesn’t seem such a bad thing.

    • Henry says:

      As is said here using a word finder or dictionary is NOT excluded specifically in the rules. I believe etiquette is the way to go. Ask your opponent if they mind playing with one or not. Then there is no problem.

      @ Joyce being 20 years older does not mean that your vocabulary is better. Tests show that the vocabulary of a college graduate is 50% bigger than a high school only person. It also depends what has been studied. I know words in the mushroom world that are accepted but I have been accused of cheating for using them. He did not know that I happened to live in the Pyrenees (France) and in a village that had mushroom experts.

  13. Julian says:

    How does the game allow a made up word like “vaw”? You use that word in your example for using consonants to minimize risk, but vaw is not a word. Its not even remotely a word, its at best an acronym for some things. What I find frustrating about this game versus Scrabble is that it allows made up words all the time which would never be allowed in a Scrabble.

    • Rockloobster says:

      What’s most amusing with this post is that VAW is a word in both the American and Canadian SCRABBLE dictionary. I think it’s a letter in the Hebrew alphabet… could be wrong on that.
      Julian, the program judges by a word list, the ENABLE list, to be exact. It has a few words not included in the SCRABBLE dictionary, but very few, and doesn’t have a LOT of words that are in the SCRABBLE dictionary.
      This isn’t SCRABBLE. It uses it’s own allowable word list. VAW is a word, according to WWF and SCRABBLE. Just because you haven’t heard of it, doesn’t mean it’s a “made up word”, it just means you haven’t heard of it.

      • Skoonj says:

        ‘vaw’ is not in my dictionary nor in several others I searched. It is not a Hebrew letter. Other letter combinations that WWF accepts also can not be tracked down. Thay apparently were found by computer somewhere in a large collection of writings, but were never screened for language validity. I believe some players of WWF use a program that takes a set of letters (eg, the letters in their rack) and produces all the combinations that are in the WWF dictionary. This would give an edge even to an idiot. Some people like words because they have interesting meanings, and can make songs and poetry. Those people probably will not enjoy playing this game.

        • RockLoobster says:

          It is in the SCRABBLE dictionary, which is what was in question. According to the online SCRABBLE dictionary, it is a Hebrew letter. Can’t tell you more than that.
          As far as using word finders goes, which is what you’re describing in a program that finds words from your rack, many of us have stated outright that kind of “edge” is paramount to cheating.
          Not sure where you’re going with the poetry angle. I write, but certainly don’t expect to be putting meaningful prose on the game board. If I did try to do that, I don’t think I’d expect to win, regardless of how creative it may be.
          Good luck with that.

        • Skoonj says:

          I guess the fact that someone playing WWF doesn’t care about the meaning of ‘vaw’ , but only that it is in the lexicon for the game, is what bothers me.  To understand my point, consider the following.  One can use probabilistic software to generate 175,000 random letter combinations of various lengths, most of which would be nonsense words.  Use this as the lexicon for a new game, BABBLE, identical to WWF in its playing board and rules.  Whoever best knew the lexicon would have an edge in BABBLE, but who would want to play it?  Why not use a dictionary of words that one might actually encounter one day? WWF uses a number of words that might have been typos in the corpus used to create the lexicon.

        • Miick says:

          First: you need some better dictionaries. I recommend The Oxford English Dictionary, New Edition, to start.

          Second: what are some of the, “Other letter combinations that WWF accepts also can not be tracked down.” I don’t look up every word I don’t recognize but I’ve yet to see one I cannot find.

          Third: I still don’t understand your point about the meaning of the words. However, I do have a solution… Never play any word that you do not understand. Don’t even try something you’re not certain of. (OK, ok… of which you are not certain.) If the game rejects your word you must not try another. You have to pass. Just assume that your opponent does know the words he’s playing.

        • RockLoobster says:

          My main issue with that statement is that what I may consider “words you may encounter on a daily basis” will quite probably conflict with what you consider for that category. I have been a journalist, a mechanical designer, a headhunter, a teacher and involved pretty solidly in the medical field. My range of “normal” words are not going to be the same as yours, though your vocabulary may be equally diverse. Compound that over thousands of players, and you have a real problem defining what a list of “normal” words should entail. Thus, there is a word list, and this list includes words which many are going to think are obscure and archaic. Interestingly, if all players had to make a list of words which would be removed, few of the lists would match. My obscure is another man’s normal. This is why the list is valuable. It standardizes the allowable words, and includes words across a wide range of disciplines. Is it perfect? Likely not. It IS what is used for this game, though.

    • Henry says:

      A few facts about the ENABLE word list:

      It has 125,539 words of 15 characters or less
      It has 96 2-letter words and there are 9 more in the list above.
      There are 972 3-letter words.
      The game makers have added a few and deleted a few. I cannot find a complete list of these changes. Anyone?

      More words are allowed in Scrabble than in Words With Fiends

      These words in ENABLE may be of interest to Julian:

      vaw vaward vawards vawntie vaws

      • Henry says:

        There are 9 extra 2-letter words not in ENABLE and added by WWF (but in the list on this blog) :

        da di fe fi gi ki oi qi za

        Certain words deemed offensive have been removed:

        All forms of Nazi* and Jew among others. Strange bedfellows eh!
        *nazi nazification nazifications nazified nazifies nazify nazifying nazis

        • Miick says:

          With the publication of OSPD4 there are 101 two-letter Scrabble words.

          The new ones are:
          FE, FES
          n a Hebrew letter
          KI, KIS
          n the vital force in Chinese thought
          OI
          interj oy
          QI, QIS
          n the vital force that in Chinese thought is inherent in all things
          ZA, ZAS
          n a pizza

        • Henry says:

          Thanks Miik

          That’s of course the Scrabble word list. FES does not work with WWF and I have not tested KIS and ZAS but I seem to remember trying and failing with ZAS recently.

          Can someone try?

        • Miick says:

          ZAS worked in a game I finished Saturday. Never tried FES or FE. Can’t seem to think of them as real words.

          Oh, NAZI worked last time I tried in the last month or so.

          (Why do some posts not have a “comment” button?)

        • Henry says:

          I will set up a game with myself and play some of these including NAZI. I’m sure you are correct but WWF definitely said they had deleted it from their word list as an offensive word like JEW, which annoys me because I am and it doesn’t bother me at all. YID and GOY however do offend me but they accept them. Considering some words that are allowed I don’t see the point of arbitrary censorship.

          Regarding the REPLY button I think it will only go down so many levels.

  14. Jen says:

    Can anyone tell me how to get a game off my screen? I had a game start with random opp and it has been idle for 6 days now.

    • Rockloobster says:

      You have to wait for it to time out and force the person to resign. I believe it’s 11 days for an invite game, less for a random game.

      • Jen says:

        It is a random game. It has now been 10 days with no move from the opponent. Any suggestions?

        • Henry says:

          Did you know that on the iPad (it may not be the same for the iPhone) you can have at least 25 games going at a time. For some reason WWF say only 20 active games are allowed.

          The limit is probably checked on the games where it is ‘your move’ and not on the ‘their move list’

          As you can not delete games where it is ‘their move’, it is possible that the limit of 25 on ‘their move’ list could be greater. If that is right the games that you want to make disappear will do so eventually without blocking you.

  15. Paddy says:

    If I skip my turn three times, will Words resign me on the third skip, or will it allow three skips and resign me if I attempt a fourth skip?

    • Rockloobster says:

      You skipping your turn three times or four times will do nothing, as long as your opponent still plays. You both have to skip your turn for it to happen. One of you skip twice, the other once. By the way, this doesn’t count for swapping tiles. You both can swap your tiles for as many turns as you want, and the game won’t end. It’s only when you both pass and do nothing with the tiles in your hand.

  16. Larry says:

    This game is freaking awesome. Thanks for the tips everyone

  17. rhodaj says:

    You say that using a wordfinder website is cheating, but it’s no different than using the two and three letter word cheat-sheets above.

  18. Natspoiledbrat says:

    How long does it take for the game to automatically resign a player who will not make a move, yet it is their turn? I have several games that I have been waiting on the other person to do so and at this point it has been 10 days.

  19. Patrick Kelly says:

    I have a question regarding the rule…

    “The game ends once a player has used up all their tiles, whatever tiles a player still possesses when the game ends will count against them and be awarded to the opposing player…”

    Well i played a game today, and was the first to tile out leaving me 1 point short 305 – 306. according to my opponent, he still had 3 tiles remaining. Should I not have gotten the points from his remaining tiles and therefore won the game?

    If you guys are looking for suggestions as well, I might consider adding a replay mapping of the game just played, as well as showing the opponents remaining tiles as well as the score addition at the end of the game.

    As, well I also like to sometimes set up my next move, the ability to ghost tiles on the board until your next turn would be an interesting feature as well (perhaps green for good, and red if your opponent blocks the word placement as an example)

    As a game designer, I really enjoy the game itself. Easy to use interface, quite addictive, and you get to interact with your friends. I think with these additions, it might just add to the feel of an already great app.

    cheers
    PKelly

    • Henry says:

      Patrick the rules clearly say: “After the last tile is played, the opposing player will lose points equal to the sum of the value of his remaining tiles. This amount is then awarded to the player who placed the last tile.”

      I suggest that you and anyone else who has not had tis rule applied contact Zynga at http://newtoy.zendesk.com/home and report it as a bug.

  20. Don Ellsworth says:

    Why does it take up to 20 hours for my game partners word to get to my I-pad?

  21. Bill9340 says:

    You don’t explain all the option buttons, where can I find what they all do? Thanks

  22. Jane says:

    I am new to this game. I went out first, leaving my husband with a Q he could not play. When I went out, I was three points behind him. However, instead of beating him, the game said I lost and did not deduct his points nor give me his tile points. What’s with that?

  23. Deborah says:

    Henry
    I’m not sure if I am reading you incorrectly, but touche is used as an acknowledgement that the OTHER person has made a good counter argument to your own.
    Is that what you meant – it sounded like you were using it to congratulate yourself.
    No offence meant!
    Deborah
    :)

    • Henry says:

      ‘Twas in reply to Diragdfoll who said “If the words are in the list means they are OK then if it’s in the rules it also means it’s OK. Touche!” It is an other way of saying “I have just given you a good counter argument so “Touché” “

  24. Shell says:

    Do the rules allow someone to add letters to both the beginning AND the end of a word during the same turn? I didn’t think so but I just started playing with a random player who did this.
    In this scenario they wrote the word TART. I wrote the word RUG using the R. They came back and added an S to the beginning of TART and in the same turn added ED to the end of the word as well. Is that allowed?

    • Henry says:

      Absolutely.

      I play ON they can play W(ON)DERING and get a bonus for using all their 7 letters!

      • Shell says:

        I’ve never heard of such a thing and the rules I have read aren’t specific enough to refute this. But using your logic it sounds like I could theoretically add (ed) to one word and an (s) to another, and so on, all in one turn with the goal of using up as many letters as I can.

        I guess I’ll have to get out of the “scrabble” mode to allow for some flexibility.

        • Henry says:

          EXTRACT FROM OFFICIAL RULES:
          1)Every word following that( first word – hb) must be placed so that at least 1 tile is shared from an existing word on the board.
          2)Tiles can only be placed in the same line vertically or horizontally each turn.

          Adding to the beginning and end conforms to thoses rules.

          And it is allowed and even applauded in Scrabble!

        • Kevin says:

          Ive only met one person in my like named Shell. Did you go on a trip with 2 guys to Kansas City about 6 years ago? We had 3 blowouts on the trailer on the way home. If not, sorry, must be someone else

  25. Laura says:

    Will the game inform you if there are no more available moves with the letter(s) you have left?

  26. Gary Garnier says:

    Henry, how do you come down on trying a word to see if it will be accepted? IOW, do you ever enter a string of letters that seems like it might be a word (but you are not sure, and obviously don’t have a definition) and press Play to see what happens? Clearly not within the bounds of Scrabble play, since there is no challenge mechanism.

    • Henry says:

      Hi Gary, of course we are NOT playing Scrabble here but for clarity I have been playing Scrabble (for too many years to mention) and with friends we have never insisted on the rule “If it’s challenged and it is not acceptable the turn is lost.” Of course competition Scrabble is another game really. For WWF, trying a word is open to all from the first to the last play – a level playing field. It’s OK with me.

  27. Linda Hobbs says:

    I do not know how to move the letters fromthe bottom to the spaces on the board.

    I do not know how to move the letters from the bottom to the spaces on the board.Can you help me?

    • Gary Garnier says:

      Place a finger on the tile you want to play. You will see it enlarge slightly, indicating it’s free to move. Without lifting your finger, slide it into position on the board.

  28. diragdoll says:

    Geeez, you have to have the last say don’t you! Even though you’re wrong!

    • Henry says:

      I couldn’t let “Touché” go, now could I?

      Last questions:

      Do you use word finders / word lists and if so what.
      Do you object to someone playing against you using the lexicalwordfinder (add www and com at the end to see how good it is) without telling you?

      • RockLoobster says:

        Henry, really? I was content to think we had a difference in opinion between what is strategy and what is good sportsmanship, but to infer its the same as letting a program help you determine your moves? No sir, it is whole different class.

        • Henry says:

          Hi RockLoobster. I am not infering that the use of word finders is either good or bad strategy, or good or bad gamesmanship. If Diragdoll answers my question I will explain my reason for asking it and you will understand.

          I did a post that you might have read on my blog about the use of wordfinders and my thoughts have not changed since.

          I like to play and win on my own merit and if I beat someone who happened to be using one without telling me it’s an even sweeter victory. Actually no one has ever said “I am using a word finder” !!

      • diragdoll says:

        No I DO NOT use any of those help programs. I suspect if someone playing against me is using one but you can never be sure. In any case I don’t care if they do use one whether or not they tell me….and like you, no one has ever admitted to me they do. I feel they are only cheating themselves but I wouldn’t beat myself up over it

        • Henry says:

          Thaks Diragdoll. I guessed that would be your answer and that’s why I asked. I feel the same way as you too; users of wordfinders are only cheating themselves. The reason I asked (Rockloobster read on!) is that using these various wordfinders IS ALLOWED in the rules but if, as many of us feel it is cheating, then that translates to bad gamesmanship on their behalf. Which is precisely what I have been saying all along. “Dumping” letters, for you, is OK (I am fine with that as your opinion which differs from mine) and it is in the rules. Using wordfinders for you (and me) is not OK and again the rules allow their use. Rules are never perfect and opinions vary.

          Shall we end it here?

        • RockLoobster says:

          One mistake in your logic, here, is by saying using a word finder is allowed under the rules. Using a word finder is not even mentioned in the rules. It is not expressly prohibited, but that does not mean the same thing as saying the rules allow it.

          Tile swapping, however, IS expressly IN the rules. I think the kind of tile swapping that has been debated here, ad nauseum, is foolish strategy, and again, I wouldn’t employ it, but it IS a legal strategy, ACCORDING TO THE RULES, and people can surely employ it.

          I find it incredibly incongruent for you to say a strategy within the printed rules displays a lack of sportsmanship, while supporting a tactic as fair and sportsmanlike simply because there is no prohibition of that action.

          I HAVE had a player tell me they use a word finder. She is a friend who is a beginner and was extremely frustrated in not being able to be competitive. She apologizes and tells me she’s “cheating”, as she puts it, every time. It still hasn’t given her a win, but it has gotten her closer in score and has shown her some possibilities for plays. I suspect her self confidence will grow and she’ll be able to stop using one, eventually. In the mean time, I’m glad she let me know, so I can make the informed decision to continue to play with her.

          If I were playing a capable player who was using one, I would consider it cheating. Having an outside entity tell my opponent what to play means I am no longer playing that opponent, I am playing a committee.

          Using “MESSING WITH FRIENDS” is not expressly prohibited in the rules either, Henry. It is certainly IMPLIED, because you are supposed to use words on the ENABLE list, but it is not prohibited. For me, not using a word finder is implied, because I signed on to play a game against a person, not a committee. If they tell me or not is on their conscience, I suppose, and I’d have no way to know one way or the other, but it is still cheating, as surely as running a red light is still breaking the law, even if you’re not given a ticket.

        • RockLoobster says:

          I’m sorry, I had misread your statement and felt you had supported the use of a wordfinder, my mistake. Other than that, the rant above still stands. There is not a true comparison being made. One action is in the rules, the other is simply not expressly prohibited, which is a huge difference. This word meter, in my opinion, crosses the line, but even IT is not a word FINDER, it just lets you know something better is out there, and makes you find it yourself.

        • RockLoobster says:

          I guess where I was coming from on the inconsistency standpoint is you’d play a person who is cheating and using a word finder, considering the victory “all the sweeter”, but would “quit, even if you were ahead”, a game if someone swapped hard to place tiles at the end. Both are things you consider unsportsmanlike, but you are actually tougher on the one that is in the rules and not technically cheating. I just find it rather ironic. I don’t usually even get into these debates. I wonder what it is about this one that got me going…

        • Diana Neville says:

          Well said Henry. I will agree to disagree with you over swapping letters being bad gamesmanship. But as for ending it there, yes, let’s!

        • Henry says:

          RockLoobster

          WWF does NOT mention Swapping tiles in their rules. They have a button but it is not in the official rule book. http://www.wordswithfriends.com/rules.html Small difference I know.

          Using wordfinders/wordchheats as you note is not expressly excluded in the rules. They have a(Glad you realised that I do not approve of their use)

        • Henry says:

          Finally MESSWITHWORDS (google that) is an application that allows any word to be played even if it is not in the official wordlist. You could play XYZPPQR and it will be accepted. Those who use it think it is funny and even say “You can win with this app” I think we all agree that their idea of winning is not the same as ours.

          As for a “sweeter victory” (1) or “Quiting when ahead” (2) I should have said 1: if I didn’t realise that they couldn’t win even using one. True I’d not know but… and 2: if it was blindingly obvious as I had once.

          WWF DOES say in the rules what words are allowed or not and defines the dictionary they use.

  29. diragdoll says:

    If the words are in the list means they are OK then if it’s in the rules it also means it’s OK. Touche!

    • Henry says:

      Read your own comment you said:

      • Henry says:

        Sorry lets start again.

        Read what you actually said, which was:

        “(Anyway it’s in the rules) unlike some words that aren’t in the dictionary but are allowed.”

        I simply said that that was an incorrect statement. There are no words that are NOT in the dictionary (Wordlist actually) that are allowed. The APP checks your word against its list and if it is in the list it is OK. If it is not it is “Sorry that is not an acceptable word”. End of.

        “Touché” is used when you get or answer someone back with a good counter argument. You didn’t.

        I asked you to give me an example of a word that is allowed but is not in the WWF wordlist. You haven’t because you cant.

        If you think that a certain word should be in the list you can contact WWF or ZINGA and suggest that word.

        • Henry says:

          Then:
          “If the words are in the list means they are OK then if it’s in the rules it also means it’s OK. Touche!”

          Yes it is OK if it is in the rules but so is smashing the face of an opponent in Ice Hockey. I happen to disagree with that rule and the one that says it’s OK to dump tiles at the end of a game. No one, not even me has said it is not in the rules just that gamesmanship makes for an enjoyable game.

          Read the comment correctly.

    • Alex says:

      Personally, I don’t think I have ever swapped difficult tiles toward the end of a game. However, I also don’t get my panties in a bunch when someone else does. It’s fair play. In fact, since this is just a game, and the rules allow trading until the very end, I say more power to the end-of-game tile swappers!

  30. Sandra says:

    What is the purpose of the words meter and how does it work?

Leave a Comment