|DC Scrabble Club|
HISTORY | RESOURCES | WORDS | STUDY TOOLS | ERRATA
There is an excellent history of Scrabble® contained in Word Freak by Stefan Fatsis (whom you can occasionally find playing at the DC Scrabble Club), a winning account of his entry into the competitive Scrabble® world. There is also an excellent documentary of contemporaneous events called Word Wars (available from e.g. Netflix). The best entry into this bizarre and wonderful world is to find a local club (like the DC Scrabble Club)and start playing some rated players. The body that administers tournaments (including establishing the official rules) and the official dictionary in the US is as of July 1, 2009 is NASPA. Before that date it was the NSA. The NSA was loosely affiliated with Hasbro (the owner of the registered SCRABBLE® trademark in the United States and Canada—outside of the United States and Canada, the SCRABBLE® trademark is owned by J.W. Spear and Sons, PLC, a subsidiary of Mattel, Inc.) and the pages on this site (including the one you are reading) have nothing to do with either of the two companies who own the rights to the game (properly referred to as the "SCRABBLE® Brand Crossword Game").
North American Scrabble® ratings by location are available on an NSA webpage, based on ratings from the beginning of the month, and self-reported location (e.g. DC, MD, or VA). Various statistics and a map of upcoming tournaments are available at cross-tables.com. John Chew (the NSA webmaster) maintains a page of miscellany and a handy collection of Anamonics. There are some good programming resources here. Steven Alexander's Scrabble page hosts the Scrabble FAQ. Various scrabble-related content is at http://www.scrabbleclub.com. There are some fun word lists here, but not all are good for Scrabble purposes.
Click here to visit a page listing definitions (where available) for the new legal Scrabble® words in OWL2 (in use at all NSA tournaments as of March 1, 2006) that are 8 letters or fewer (this is a relatively small file, about half a megabyte, which should load quickly on a high-speed connection, or take about 10 minutes to load on a slow dialup line). Or look on zyzzyva.net for all OWL2 words legal as of March 1, 2006 with definitions (this is a big file, about 4MB, and will take a while to load, even if you have a high-speed connection). There is an even larger file (7MB) listing the same info in a browser-friendly way here.
Here is a PDF file containing an alphagram and word list of the new words up to 8 letters (about 71KB), suitable for clipping into flashcards or printing on labels you can then stick all over your house, for extra insanity.
The word lists above were compiled from Michael Thelen's Zyzzyva page. He references the NSA list (which explains the method for determining which words to add, but see also this site for details) and Carol Ravichandran's wonderful LeXpert program (first place to find the entire new lexicon as of December 26, 2005).
Both Zyzzyva and LeXpert are excellent tools for studying or looking up words (NOTE: you don't want to use Hasbro's site to look up words, since it will fail to find inflections that are listed in the body of the definition, e.g. RANGY vs. RANGIEST). Though Zyzzyva is in the earlier stages of development, it includes definitions, which is a boon to beginners (serious players tend not to care at all about definitions). Rebecca Slivka of the Seattle Scrabble® Club has made a useful pair of cheat sheets (or one sheet in two parts: part 1 and part 2) for learning the most important new words. There are also two PDF files designed to be double-sided one-page cheat sheets for beginners here: one with just 2- and 3-letter words and Q w/o QU words, and one that adds 4- and 5-letter J, X, Q, and Z words.
Jason Katz-Brown and John O'Laughlin announced on 6 March 2006 "the public release of Quackle (www.quackle.org), a world-class crossword game artificial intelligence and analysis tool. It can be configured to play and analyze SCRABBLE® brand crossword games and use the newest lexicons. Quackle includes a move generator, move evaluator, simulator, and Qt-based user interface and can be used with any board layout, alphabet, lexicon, and tile distribution. It is licensed under the open-source revised BSD license." I.e. it is a free way to simulate best play so you can analyze your game and find out what your weak points are.
The Internet Scrabble Club is a good place to play Scrabble online.
Note these corrections to the first edition of the recently published Official Word List (distinct from the OSPD in that it includes bowdlerized words and excludes definitions), posted by Jim Pate: