This is a fun game, although it seems fewer and fewer
people are interested in games that require them to
be able to spell. Fortunately, it's also possible
to play as solitaire. The original version uses a
4x4 grid of letters; various 5x5 versions exist (such
as Boggle Deluxe, a.k.a. Big Boggle or
Boggle Master), but these are all out of print at
this time (2002-04-16).
Look for "S"s and "E"s:
Plurals are the easiest way to make longer words.
Knowing where the "S"s are can help this quite a bit.
"E"s are almost always useful, especially if they
have any "S"s, "D"s, "I"s, or "R"s around them.
Look at what you write down:
Some words make other words when spelled backwards:
sag and gas, tang and gnat. Looking
at them after you write them down might be easier
than trying to find them on the grid. Check for
substrings as well: there, here, her, ere,
Look for rhymes and common endings:
If you find hold, there might also be bold, cold,
told, fold, sold, etc. Don't forget that old
is a word on its own, as well!
Some words start with vowels:
It's very easy to forget this, and never even bother
looking for them.
Find common triples:
Some letters create lots of words, especially when
they are in a triangle (or "L") configuration.
Consider A-R-T (rat, tar, art)
and A-E-T (ate, eat, tea).
Memorize lots of three-letter words:
While they don't score many points, they are by far
the most common -- and, if you don't record them,
someone else might. Some good obscure ones are:
tam, qua, roc, tor, mar, lei.
"Proper" nouns that are also common:
Quite a few proper names have alternate meanings
that allow them to be used: tommy, josh, ken,
tony, sherry, curt.
Alternate scoring method:
This one is even easier to
remember than the basic rules above.
Each word is worth 2 less than its length.
So, a three-letter word is worth 1 point; a
four-letter word is worth 2, etc. Relative to
the basic scoring method, this tends to reward
unique words a little more
When you find a word and its plural, the basic rules
indicated that you have to write them seperately.
I've found that using a notation like "+s" is
sufficient; it's more important (to me) that people
spend their time finding the words, not recording
If a player can provide a meaningful definition of the
word, we tend to let it slide. Marginal words are
often permitted, often with some give and take:
I'll give you kludge if you give me snarf.
This sort of bargaining is most often necessary when
people want to use slang words that are in common use
in their group, but are fairly rare in the overall
When a dictionary is required, I find that
The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary
is very handy.
Their rules for acceptable words are very
similar, and the paperback version is small enough
to take with you almost anywhere.
If a majority (or quorum) of the players think that
the shake of the dice is boring or untenable, then
it's time to shake the grid up again. Usually this is
invoked only in dire straits, most often caused by
having an insufficient number of vowels on the board.
E T M L
A E S B
S C O N
T G S A
I found these words:
cost, cog+s, ate, tea, eat+s, tee+s, see,
sea+s, scat, cat+s, met, son, goes, sans,
boa+s, bog+s, cob+s, con+s, snog, test,
meat+s, sat, sate+s
A H H O
P E N S
K E J O
R S L S
nee, seen, see, peen, pee, peer+s, peek+s,
eek+s, seek, reek+s, ape, pea, heap,
pen+s, hen+s, ken, keep, neap, josh, sheen,
sheep, sneer+s, sheer, jeer+s, lee, son,
shone, she, sole, lone, one+s, slosh, sleep,
The 16 dice have the following 96
letters on their faces:
1. A E A N E G 9. W N G E E H
2. A H S P C O 10. L N H N R Z
3. A S P F F K 11. T S T I Y D
4. O B J O A B 12. O W T O A T
5. I O T M U C 13. E R T T Y L
6. R Y V D E L 14. T O E S S I
7. L R E I X D 15. T E R W H V
8. E I U N E S 16. N U I H M Qu
If you're curious, this gives the following distribution:
A-6 H-5 O-7 V-2
B-2 I-6 P-2 W-3
C-2 J-1 Qu-1 X-1
D-3 K-1 R-5 Y-3
E-11 L-4 S-6 Z-1
F-2 M-2 T-9
G-2 N-6 U-3
I always wondered if the dice were designed according to
any particular criteria, or if they were mostly randomly
assigned. The only obvious observation is that none of
the unique letters (J, K, Qu, X, Z) are on the same die.
A rough measure of how popular each die is can be found
by summing the frequency for each letter on each face.
One quick perl program later, and we have (sorted from
least to most popular):
die sum mean sdev
------------ --- ---- ----
A S P F F K 19 3.17 2.23
N U I H M Qu 23 3.83 2.14
O B J O A B 25 4.17 2.79
L N H N R Z 27 4.50 1.87
A H S P C O 28 4.67 2.16
R Y V D E L 28 4.67 3.27
I O T M U C 29 4.83 2.93
L R E I X D 30 5.00 3.41
T E R W H V 35 5.83 3.49
T S T I Y D 36 6.00 2.68
W N G E E H 38 6.33 3.88
E R T T Y L 41 6.83 3.25
O W T O A T 41 6.83 2.23
A E A N E G 42 7.00 3.46
E I U N E S 43 7.17 3.19
T O E S S I 45 7.50 2.07
Unfortunately, that doesn't show any particular trends. (Although, as yesno points out, it does mean that one cannot spell "FUCK", as the two 'F's and one 'K' are all on the same die.)
For comparison, the 100 tiles in a Scrabble set are
distributed like this:
A-9 H-2 O-8 V-2
B-2 I-9 P-2 W-2
C-2 J-1 Q-1 X-1
D-4 K-1 R-6 Y-2
E-12 L-4 S-4 Z-1
F-2 M-2 T-6 Blank-2
G-3 N-6 U-4