Lazy Susan turntable and locking grid improve game play. Attractive wooden frame gives high-end appearance. Includes storage space in bottom layer.
Quality of board and tiles does not justify higher price point. Some tile lettering is offset, wears off quickly. Gold on brown contrast difficult to read.
Zippered banana pouch is very portable, self-contained. Improves spelling skills for younger players. Solitary or multiplayer game possible.
Some inferior counterfeit sets reported. Game is more solitary than traditional Scrabble. Quality of tiles is variable.
Tiles remain in place while table is turned. Lazy Susan turntable replaced by better wheels. Curved letter racks improve player privacy during game.
Some tiles are offset, missing number values. Smaller in size than expected. Game board design different than classic version.
Maintains the classic look and game play of vintage Scrabble sets. Affordable price point for casual use. Foldable game board is sturdy, stores easily.
No recessed tile holders, so pieces tend to slide on board. Tiles made from cheap material. Some letters may be missing from set.
Two-sided game board offers basic and advanced game play. Employs both visual and basic reading skills. Older children and adults can play the unstructured advanced version.
Game is very basic, matching preexisting words. Older children may lose interest quickly. No letter tray. Cardboard tiles cheaply made.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Decades after its invention, Scrabble is still one of the most popular word games because it is fun for kids and adults alike. 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.
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 side has 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 spell out 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.
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.
Basic Scrabble games that include wooden tiles and tile racks cost between $15 and $20.
Scrabble games in the $20 to $50 range include Classic Scrabble and Scrabble Junior, as well as some travel and deluxe editions.
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.
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.)
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.
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.