Official Rules of the Scrabble Game

Updated February 21, 2017

Scrabble is a game manufactured by Hasbro. The objective is to make words out of letter tiles. Each letter tile is worth a certain number of points. Players try to make the highest word score possible. Understanding the rules can help you better enjoy the game.


Place all of the tiles into a bag. Give each player a letter rack to hold his tiles. Decide on a dictionary to use in the case of a player challenging the legitimacy of another player's word. Official Scrabble dictionaries are available at most gaming and book stores. Players choose one tile apiece out of the bag. The player whose letter is closest to "A" starts (either of the two blank tiles beats any letter). Players choose seven tiles and place them in their racks, which should be hidden from other players.

Game Play

The first player must place a word on the board using the centre tile (proper nouns and foreign words are not allowed). After doing so, he replaces the tiles he used with new ones from the bag so that he once again has seven in his rack. The player to the left takes the next turn. He is required to place a word on the board using at least one of the tiles placed by the first player. For example, if a player has played the word "dog" horizontally, the next player could create the word "golden" vertically starting with the "g" in "dog." Tiles may not be placed horizontally. Play continues in such a manner moving clockwise around the table.

Players score points based on the number total from all letters used in the placement of a word. Each letter has a small number on it that indicates its point value. Blank tiles have no value. Blank tiles can be used to represent any letter. Once it is placed on the board, it must remain that letter.

If a player cannot make a word, he can exchange any number of his tiles for new ones and loses his turn. He also can exchange no tiles and pass. If everyone passes twice in a row, the game is over and the points are tallied. Play also ends if there are no more tiles in the bag and one player has played all of his tiles. At the conclusion of the game, players total the points of the tiles remaining on their rack. That number is deduced from their point totals.

Special Scoring

There are additional ways to score points. For example, the centre square of the board, marked with a star, gives the first player a "double word score." A double word score means the point total for the word is doubled. There are double word score tiles placed throughout the board, as well as triple word scores and double and triple letter scores, which double and triple the score of an individual letter. Each tile can be used only once per game. If a player plays all seven tiles in one turn, he receives a 50-point bonus.

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About the Author

Eric Benac began writing professionally in 2001. After working as an editor at Alpena Community College in Michigan and receiving his Associate of Journalism, he received a Bachelor of Science in English and a Master of Arts in writing from Northern Michigan University in Marquette.