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High Scoring Board Combinations

Differences in the Words with Friends Board

Words with Friends has many differences when compared to Scrabble. One of the more distinctive differences is the board layout. This has huge implications for how you play the game. The first thing to note is that if you can score 3x the points available in a game, the combined score, between you and your opponent, would be 660. This is pretty good, but not amazing. If you take half the points and only score 3x for a total of 330, you'll probably do okay, but also lose quite a bit. If you can up the multiplier to 3.5x or even 3.8x

So the threshold for high scoring, based on the multiplier approach, is around 3.8x, something a little better than a triple. So you want to find something that provides at least a triple. The triple letter score (TLS) space provides this benefit. So one of the board differences between Scrabble and WWF to highlight is that WWF has 16 triple letter score TLS spaces, while Scrabble only offers 12 TLS. However, this is not the only key difference. Even more important is where those TLS spaces are located. So tripling a letter score is great, but if you can triple the letter score and then triple the word score, that is huge. This requires being able to line up a word with both a TLS and triple word score (TWS) space. This is the holy grail of high scoring.

Scrabble does not allow the TLS and TWS combination

Scrabble games tend to score lower because its board configuration does not allow the combination of the TLS and TWS. Furthermore, it only allows a few combinations of the TLS with double word score (DWS) spaces. The following graphic shows these locations:

Scrabble Board

One can clearly see that Scrabble only offers limited options to hit the TLS with a DWS. Furthermore, the super high scoring TLS and TWS combination is not even possible.

WWF Offers More TLS and DWS Combinations

In contrast to the piddly 8 opportunities that Scrabble provides to combine the TLS with the DWS, WWF offers twice the opportunities with 16 combinations. The following graphic shows these positions in magenta:

WWF Board

WWF Offers TLS and TWS Combinations

Furthermore, WWF offers the potent TLS and TWS combination 16 times as well. The following graphic shows these combinations in green:

WWF Board

This combination will allow the player to score a single tile 9x. So if you can hit it with an M (4 points) that is 36 points, much more than the scores for an average word. Furthermore, depending on how your opponent has played, if there is a tile in the adjacent space, you might be able to score that TLS another time in addition to the TWS to give you a 12x multipler. One can easily see how the points pile really fast under these scenarios. The following board example illustrates concept with yellow tiles showing tiles already played:

WWF Board

One can clearly see the set up. This following board shows a play in green that would result in a very high score.

WWF Board

The word MATCH uses 13 points of tiles to play, but scores three words: MA, AD, and MATCH. MA is worth 13 points. AD is worth a piddly 3 Points. MATCH is worth 63 points for a combined score of 79 points. This provides a multiplier of 79 divided by 13 or 6.1x. A similar, but even higher scoring scenario, can play out if the opponent puts a tile, preferrably vowel, adjacent to the TWS space. One can only hope to be so lucky.

Copyright 2013 BattleLine Games LLC.