Club Scrabble – frequently asked questions

What is the structure of a club session?

It varies. Usually they are held in the evening, around 7.00 to 10.00pm. It is standard to play three games in an evening. If that’s a strain at first, you can play less. Experienced players may play more than three. (Some daytime clubs are held too – especially for retirees.)

How much does club Scrabble cost?

Scrabble is one of the cheapest organised leisure activities around. You don’t need your own equipment – though you will inevitably acquire some pieces after you’ve been playing for a while. You just play a small charge on club nights (commonly about $4) for venue hireage etc, plus a small annual club membership fee.

Am I good enough?

Anyone who knows the basic rules of play is good enough. We welcome all abilities. When you first attend a club, you should be matched with someone of a similar level. Later you can try yourself out against more experienced players.

What sort of scores should I get?

It depends on your natural ability. Most ‘kitchen table’ players aim for 250 points. Once you join a club, you should soon exceed 300 regularly. Experienced club players average over 350.

Will I have to do my own scoring?

Yes. It’s only online apps/programs that do it all for you. Your clubmates can show you how. It doesn’t take long to pick up – soon it’ll become second nature.

I seem to play more slowly than everyone else. Won’t I drag them down?

We all started off where you are now. The more you play at club, the quicker you will get.

How important is it to reach the ‘triple word’ squares?

That is only one way of scoring big. There are many others. After you’ve been playing at a club for a while, you’ll start to get a feeling for these.

That’s not a word! What does it mean?

The club should have a copy of the Scrabble dictionary (or the 2- and 3-letter word list). Why don’t you note the word now and look it up after the game.

Can you put that word into a sentence?

Often yes, but it’s not necessary in Scrabble. (That would be like pausing between points in tennis to explain your shot selection.) All that matters is knowing the word exists and how to spell it. You can look up the meaning after the game and put it into a sentence if you wish.

Who decides whether words should be allowed?

We all use the same official word authority: Collins Scrabble Words 2019, commonly known as CSW19. It is meticulously compiled by professional lexicographers with input from the dictionary committee of WESPA, the world players’ body. 

But isn’t Scrabble just a matter of luck?

The luck factor certainly plays a part. But you can make your own luck – as with poker, backgammon, bridge and other games of chance. The best players have the same luck as everyone else; they are just better at managing it.