Seven Sharps

Essential Guide to Words With Friends

Honestly, if you’ve never heard of the game Words With Friends, we might have trouble getting along.  I’m not sure about you but I love words and I love friends, therefore this brilliant variation of Scrabble tickles my fancy like no other.  I get really intense about this game and will probably be offended if you don’t know what I mean when I randomly shout out, “I hit the TW!” in the middle of a conversation.  So if you have an iPhone, iPad, or Android phone and you want to be intellectually stimulated on a daily basis, get busy playing Words With Friends or get busy being a square.  I think I’ve reached expert status with this game. I’m winning against six friends right now (no big deal!) so I’ve amassed a list of tips to help you slay at this game and avoid the embarrassment of getting creamed by your younger sister.

1.  Be defensive and offensive. I feel like I’m being Captain Obvious, but you would be surprised how many people blunder on this one.  Don’t be that person who plays defensively with two-letter words for the entire game!  Number one, you aren’t going to accumulate any points and number two, congratulations on boring your opponent to death.  Instead, you should maintain a healthy balance between defensive techniques (such as not leaving the triple word and double word spaces open for business) and offensive moves (such as going for the big points when the opportunity presents itself).

2.  Know your opponent. This is not so much for strategic purposes as it is for social etiquette.  Like, don’t ever play the word “SEX” against your eighty-two year old grandpa.  I don’t care if you’re hitting the triple word and the “X” is on the triple letter.  It makes for a mutually awkward experience and he’ll probably be a little creeped out by your indecency.  I’m sorry but in certain situations, you’re just going to have to treat this game like a cutesy G-rated movie.

3.  Memorize the game-clincher words. You need to know these.  It’s not even an option.  “QI”, “QAT”, “JO”, “XI”, “XU” and “ZA” are the life of this game and you shouldn’t be afraid to whip them out if you need a quick score boost.

4.  Don’t save letters. “Oh, I’m just going to save this ‘Z’ for later.”  Wrong.  As the game progresses and the board gets more cluttered, there are going to be less and less opportunities for you to use high-scoring letters.  Pretty soon there will be nowhere to play that “Z” and you’ll get points deducted from your final score because the letter never left your rack.

5.  Layer words horizontally and vertically. Think cakes!  Just as cakes are yummier when they’re layered, words are too.  Okay, maybe not literally, but what’s more delicious than bagging 78 points on one move?  This tip comes especially in handy when you’re cursed with all vowels or all consonants.

6.  If you’re losing by more than 200 points, just resign. It can only get worse, so spare the humiliation and throw in the cards before your opponent gets too haughty.  Take a deep breath, press “resign” and then press “re-match”.  The less time you waste losing, the more time you gain for winning.  Besides, you probably just got unlucky.

Oh, and one last thing: no matter how many times you try, “BFF” and “LOL” won’t ever count as words.  Ugh, get with the times, Words With Friends!  Even the Oxford English Dictionary says that they’re real!

Featured image found on pbfingers.com.

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