Variants

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This is a non-exhaustive list of variant rules for playing with SCRABBLE equipment, suitable for after-hours fun at NASPA tournaments.

No-Board Variants

Anagrams

Place all tiles facedown, then take turns flipping over single tiles into a pool. If you can combine tiles to make a word of some minimum length (handicap according to skill), call it out to claim it. You can also add a tile to your own word or someone else's, rearrange letters to make a longer word.

You can score as you go using software that counts the number of new di-grams you make, at the end by summing the squares of the lengths of the words that you end up with, or just play for fun.

Boardless

If you have a set of tiles but no board, you can try playing the regular game, but with no bonus squares. Reduce the bingo bonus to 30 points to avoid making the game completely bingo-oriented. Make sure you have a lot of space - the playing area can increase beyond the usual 15x15.

Fry Your Brain

It's best to seek experienced guidance before attempting to play Fry Your Brain.

Invisible Board

If you think you know the board layout but don't actually have a board, see if you can keep score in a regular game played on an empty table. Use cribbage-like muggins scoring for a bigger challenge.

Standard Board Variants

Clabbers

The letters in a word do not have to go in the order they are in in the dictionary.

Duplicate

Very popular in French: the director draws one rack of tiles for all players, players play solitaire games scoring the highest-scoring play that they can find individually, but placing the highest-scoring play announced by the director on their boards.

If Only

If you can make a 40-point play by doing so, you can flip over a tile and use it as a blank. If you subsequently have a tile that matches the declared value of a fake blank, you can swap one before making your play.

Lonify

A cross between Clabbers and If Only, with a 50-point fake blank minimum.

Speed

There are many different rules for Speed play. One annual tournament in Toronto features nonplaying scorekeepers, win/loss scoring, three minutes of free time per player, one minute of overtime at one point penalty per second, and permitting the trailing opponent of a player who has run out of time to keep making challengeable plays.

Tag Team

A popular after-hours activity at the National SCRABBLE Championship, two-player teams play with one rack per player, and each player on one team getting a play before the other team's players get theirs.

Taxes Hold Me

A cross with Texas Hold 'Em. Each player is dealt two tiles, then bids penalty points as five communal tiles are flipped Hold 'Em style. In a showdown, players declare the highest-scoring play that they can make, and the highest one wins, is scored for the winner (minus penalties), and placed on the board.

Altered Board Variants

Toroidal Board

Words can wrap around the board's sides, horizontally or vertically.