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Everything Scrabble Paperback – Dec 1994

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Product details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books (Dec. 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671866869
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671866860
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 19 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,760,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First Sentence
If you want to get serious about the SCRABBLE game, sooner or later you are going to need The Official SCRABBLE Players Dictionary (OSPD). Read the first page
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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 Jan. 1999
Format: Paperback
This book isn't written for the latest official word list, but there aren't THAT many changes in what words are acceptable.
But this book is great. It explains basic strategy (which most people would never think about) such as how to decide what letters to leave on your rack, and also gives you lists of key words to remember, such as the 2-letter-words and the SATINE words and the 3-letter words with X, J, or Z. And then there are exercises to help you find those words on your rack. Some of these exercises are really tough.
After reading this book and studying a little bit, I went from being the WORST player in the world to being a player who averages about one bingo per game. (A bingo is a play in which all seven tiles are used.)
Buy this book.
And if you need updated word lists, check out the on-line word generator.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 32 reviews
69 of 69 people found the following review helpful
Don't leave home without it 15 Feb. 2005
By Dennis Littrell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is the updated and revised edition from 2001, a make-over of the book from 1994. This is a much better book than Edley's The Official Scrabble Puzzle Book from 1997. There are puzzles here as well, but there is just so much more INFORMATION that I would put this book in another league. No aspiring tournament player can afford to be innocent of the knowledge in Everything Scrabble.

Of course authors Edley (three-time national Scrabble champion) and Williams (National Scrabble Association executive director) do NOT tell all. I mean something has to be held in reserve, some tricks and traps and secret knowledge just in case they get the itch to play tournament Scrabble again. In a way I am reminded of poker books rather than chess books. Chess book authors can go ahead and tell all (except for their opening preparations!) because in chess it isn't so much what you know as to what depth and how fast you can calculate. The authors here are more like poker players in that they tell you some of the tricks but they hold back the really esoteric stuff because in Scrabble, knowledge really is power, including knowledge of your opponent.

Scrabble is a game that can be seen as intermediate between poker and chess as far as luck and skill go. Unlike chess there is a clear element of chance involved in any given game--although not as much as in a comparable amount of poker playing. And unlike poker there is a considerable element of calculation needed on any given move. Tournament games run 25 minutes for each player, but there are situations that arise where you could spend half an hour on a play and still not exhaust the possibilities.

Where Scrabble differs from the other two games is in the amount of pure, before-game knowledge needed to play a strong tournament game. This book helps in that department. For example you absolutely need to know all the 96 two-letter words by heart (pages 19 and 20 and again on page 324 for good measure). And don't even think about playing without knowing a whole slew of Q-words, with and without the "u." But what really separates the tournament players from the amateurs is knowledge of a large number of esoteric and unusual Bingo words like (Lord help us) "areolae" or the ever-popular (NOT!) "zooecia." (From the lists in Appendix 4).

The first part of the book is "Getting Better Quickly." This is for beginners and near beginners: using the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary (essential, by the way, for settling disputes and normalizing play); shuffling the tiles in your rack to make words appear; using the twos; introduction to rack management, etc.

Part 2 is called "Advanced Play" and gets deeper into rack management, what to leave for the next turn and what to play, when to exchange tiles; how to spot "phoneys"; and whether to open the game or keep it closed.

Part 3 is devoted to puzzles. Part 4 introduces the reader to the world of Scrabble tournaments and clubs (a nice feature) and Part 5 contains the appendices: word lists, history, trivia and some psychology. There's even a glossary. Very interesting is Chapter 22 with 28 "Examples of Outstanding Scrabble Game Play." Included (Example 27) is an eight-tile overlap play (two words side-by-side eight letters long so that each letter is a hook!). Also included are some psychological plays that turned the game around or almost did. Some insight into actual endgame play is featured.

Some interesting facts: the highest scoring tournament game was the 1,108 points put up by Mark Landsberg (770) and Alan Stern (308) in Los Angeles in 1993. (I just noticed that the numbers don't add up: so Stern's "308" is probably a typo and instead should be "338.") Landsberg's 770 points was also the highest single score in a tournament game. In home games we used to play that you could recycle the blanks if you had the letter in your rack and it was your turn. In those games scoring 700 points happened a time or two. :-) Top single tournament play was BRAZIERS for 311 points by T.A. Sanders in a Tyler, Texas tourney in 1997. (I would like to see how that arose. I presume a corner triple word score was left hanging with a word to hook the "s" to, while running the other way was a single letter at the side of the board allowing the eight-letter play to cover two triple word scores. Obvious tip: never, but never (or only when you absolutely must) should you make a word that leaves a single letter tantalizingly out there along the triple letter score sides of the board. Trust me on this one: that is gambling big time. However, if you're a hundred points down, what the hey. Maybe you can set YOURSELF up!

What this book does NOT contain is any information on how to beat the infamous "Maven" from the computer Scrabble program. If you crank that baby up to "Champion" (a 2100 rating), Maven simply uses her entire vocabulary and "Bingos!" like somebody's Aunt Hilda with twenty cards at the Friday night church fund-raiser.

Okay, is this book worth the plastic? Trust me, it is. Get two, and give one as a present, but only after YOU have read it first!
42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Everything Scrabble's Everything You Need 11 Feb. 2000
By BJWHEELER@PRODIGY.NET - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Everything Scrabble will teach you everything you need to know to become a competitive club or tournament level Scrabble player. It gives you a basic outline on improving your game. While the word lists themselves are slightly outdated, they are accurate for the most part. A word's acceptability depends upon which word source is used. The 2nd edition of The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary contained certain "offensive" terms such as "goy" (a non-Jewish person). These words were eliminated in the family friendly edition (3rd edition of The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary). The Official Word List (OWL)is the word list used in sanctioned tournaments of the National Scrabble Association. It contains words such as "goy". Everything Scrabble is the best "How-To" book on Scrabble that I've run across. I heartily recommend it to all beginning, mid-level, and starting tournament players.
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
For the competitive game player this book is a must!! 25 Sept. 2002
By GMDEMPSEY - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
If you want to beat your friends every time when playing scrabble then this is the book for you. It will help you with the most important move in scrabble - the two letter words. That alone is enough reason to buy the book not to mention the hundreds of other helpful tecniques.
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Best how-to book 29 July 2003
By J. Marren - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Along with the official third edition of the Scrabble dictionary, this is all you'll ever need to become a competent player. It's worth the price just to get the lists of 2-letter, then 3-letter add-on words. Lots of exercises if you're really into it. I play on the computer and have dramatically improved my score with this. As other reviewers have noted, just be sure the words listed are also in the official dictionary--they're not hard to spot and if you make a mistake and get challenged once you'll never forget to avoid them thereafter!
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Very Useful Scrabble Book 10 Aug. 2006
By O. Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
*****

This is a book all about Scrabble; it is ideal for people familiar with the game who want to improve their playing. It is not an introductory book to Scrabble at all. I have been playing Scrabble for over 30 years at about the same level (not tournament play, just a few times a year with friends) and found it very, very helpful for me, giving me concrete ways to go about improving my score. The cover promises new ways to improve your game instantly, and the book delivers on this promise, detailing strategies and ways of deciding things like when to exchange your letters, how to best use "S"s and blanks, and how and why you should study and know two letter words.

There are many helpful suggestions that can improve your score with study, like word lists to memorize over time, and exercises to improve your abiity to see words from the letters in your rack. Other topics covered include how to make bingos, how to maximize your use of high-scoring letters and board hot spots, how to play on an open board and a closed board, how to end the game well, how to use the letter "Q", Scrabble for children, and using or not using "phoney" words. Scrabble history and tournament play are also covered. Amusing Scrabble anecdotes are told in another chapter.

The strategies for score improvement usually have practice exercises with answers so that you can practically see how to implement the strategies.

The cover says that this book is "The Only Book Authorized by the National Scrabble Association" and I believe it. It's a great book. I think that older teens who love Scrabble would enjoy it, but younger children and complete novices to Scrabble should probably get some experience under their belt before they'd really enjoy and/or understand it. Highly recommended.

*****
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