Best Scrabble Games

Updated May 2019
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we tested

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

16 Models Considered
45 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
142 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Shopping guide for best Scrabble games

Last Updated May 2019

Decades after its invention, Scrabble is still one of the most popular word games and is fun for kids or adults. With its grid of 225 squares and 100 letter tiles, the possibilities are as limitless as the English language.

Different Scrabble games are available for different situations, so you should carefully consider who will be playing and where you will take your game. There are kid-friendly editions, travel editions, and even larger boards for veteran players looking for a new challenge. There is no “best” Scrabble game. Finding the right set means considering your preferred way of playing.

If you’re ready to pick out a Scrabble game, take a look at our top recommendations. To learn more about this classic word game and its available versions, continue reading.

Scrabble tournaments are typically played in two-player games only.

Key considerations

Scrabble, invented by Alfred Butts in 1938, is a game played casually, educationally, and competitively. It can be used in classrooms or at home as a teaching tool for any age and even for learning new languages. Avid Scrabble players compete nationally and internationally in large tournaments. And families and couples play Scrabble at home for a bit of light competition. Which category best fits you will inform your choice of Scrabble game.

Classic, Junior, or Super edition

Each version of Scrabble presents a different way to play and a slightly different board. The classic version of Scrabble works well for adults and older children, but for a younger crowd, a smaller and more kid-friendly version may be your best option.

  • Classic Scrabble is played with 100 letter tiles on a grid that measures 15 by 15 inches and includes several bonus squares (including Double Letter, Triple Letter, Double Word, and Triple Word) that multiply the points scored for a word or letter. This is the most popular version of the game and the version most commonly used in competitive play. If you’re looking for the classic Scrabble experience, look for this version.

  • Scrabble Junior features a double-sided classic-size board. One one side are preprinted words that players must match by playing tiles. This serves as more of a spelling exercise, and you’re limited to the words on the board. The more advanced side of the board is blank, allowing players to make up their own words. Each tile placed scores one point. This version is best for young players. Older children may crave more of a challenge.

  • Super Scrabble was introduced in 2004. It features 200 tiles and a grid that measures 21 by 21 inches (441 squares), with additional bonus squares (including Quadruple Letter and Quadruple Word). The center grid is identical in size to the Classic Scrabble board, so you can also play that version on a Super Scrabble board. If you regularly play with two or three others, this board offers far more space to work in and may feel less cutthroat.
     

Classic, raised grid, or travel version

  • Classic boards are made of flat, foldable cardboard. In most cases, the tiles are made of wood. Because there is nothing holding the tiles in place, they can slide around if the board is disturbed.

  • Raised grid boards, common in deluxe editions of the game, typically use wooden letter tiles and a plastic or metal grid of squares with raised edges to hold the tiles in place. Unlike some travel boards, the tiles will fall out if the board is flipped upside down.

  • Travel boards have plastic letter tiles that either fit in a raised grid or snap in place. Those that snap in place allow you to flip the board over or even fold up a game in progress without the tiles falling out of place. Tile racks usually have a snap-in design as well. This can make cleanup more involved, but it keeps your game safe and makes it more difficult to lose pieces.
EXPERT TIP

Blank tiles were not included in the original Scrabble game but have become an essential part of the experience.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Two-letter words can get you out of a tricky situation. Consider memorizing a few to give you an advantage in Scrabble.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Adding a single letter to a word already on the board can give you a ton of points, especially if you also play a new word off of it.


Staff  | BestReviews

Scrabble game features

Once you know which Scrabble game and what type of board you’re looking for, you can consider additional aspects to improve your Scrabble experience.

Tiles: Wooden tiles and tile racks are your best option for a more “classic” feel. Many travel editions have plastic tiles and tile racks, which are lighter in weight.

Rotating board: Many deluxe versions of Scrabble have a rotating board that can be easily turned to face each player. Not only is this convenient but it’s also fun and flashy. These boards need to be handled with a bit more care, and they’re usually not foldable, so you might need some extra space in your closet.

Foldable board: The classic Scrabble game includes a foldable cardboard playing surface, but many foldable boards are also portable. Even if you don’t intend to bring your Scrabble game on a backpacking trip, a foldable board can be an excellent way to save space.

Non-English versions: The letter distribution in Scrabble is designed for the English language. There are dozens of versions of Scrabble available in other languages, many of which vary in their letter count or use non-Latin alphabets.

Luxurious wooden game

For the player who wants a Scrabble game that is as decorative as it is functional, this rotating wooden board with raised grid is made with high-quality components. The storage drawer beneath the board is handy, too.

Scrabble game prices

Inexpensive

Basic Scrabble games that include wooden tiles and tile racks cost between $15 and $20.

Mid-range

Scrabble games in the $20 to $50 range include Classic Scrabble and Scrabble Junior, as well as some travel and deluxe editions.

Expensive

At $50 to $100 are high-quality deluxe rotating boards, some made of wood, with metal grids. These versions may be difficult to store, but they look great on display on a coffee table.

Fast-paced crossword puzzle

This simple and affordable game captures the same crossword-building feel of Scrabble, but it’s played at a breakneck pace without taking turns. One advantage of this game is the fact that longer or more obscure words aren’t necessarily better. Players with limited vocabularies can keep up with or even crush the competition.

Tips

  • Decide which dictionary you’ll use before you start playing. This will help to prevent arguments.

  • Learn the short, unusual words. Some useful words for when you’re in a pinch are qat, oe, ax, and xi. If you’re lucky, they’ll prompt a challenge from your opponent. (Challenging an opponent’s word is a good strategy when you’re confident, but if you’re incorrect, you’ll forfeit a turn.)

  • Play strategically. Be aware of the opportunities you’re giving your opponent with each word; for example, avoid setting up another player for a Double Word or Triple Word space. And remember that bonus squares multiply, so playing a word that reaches across more than one can add up to a massive score.

Other products we considered

Aside from our top picks, there are a few other Scrabble games and spinoffs available. For an ultra-compact and convenient version of this classic game, the Scrabble to Go edition comes in a compact case that zips shut. The tiles are snap-in, so there’s no risk of losing them while you play, and you can even pause a game in progress by simply folding up the board. And the tile racks include privacy shields, making it easy to play on an airplane or in the car. For a simpler, fast-paced game, Scrabble Slam! has players quickly playing letter cards on top of letters in the middle of the table to make new words. It’s not as strategic as Scrabble, but it’s a fun and fast word game that kids and adults alike can enjoy.

It’s possible to score over 800 points in a game of Scrabble.

FAQ

Q. How long does a game of Scrabble last?

A. Depending on the number of players and their skill level, most games of Scrabble last between one and two hours.

Q. Can you look up words in a dictionary to check spelling?

A. Officially, it isn’t allowed, but you can decide to change this rule with the people you’re playing with. In tournament play, a person who is not in the game must look up challenged words to prevent players from checking the spelling of other words.

Q. If you don’t like your tiles, are you allowed to swap them out?

A. Yes. Instead of playing a word, you can trade in one to seven tiles and draw new tiles to replace them.

The team that worked on this review
  • Alvina
    Alvina
    Photographer
  • Amos
    Amos
    Director of Photography
  • Branson
    Branson
    Videographer
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Production Assistant
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Katie
    Katie
    Editorial Director
  • Michael
    Michael
    Writer
  • Peter
    Peter
    Writer
  • Vukan
    Vukan
    Post Production Editor

BestReviews wants to be better. Please take our 3-minute survey,
and give us feedback about your visit today.

Take Survey