Tips from the Champions – Philip Nelkon

Philip Nelkon, four-time National Scrabble Champion, tells us his top tips.

1. Always consider taking a few points less on score in order to avoid leaving a large imbalance of vowels and consonants amongst the letters left on your rack.

2. The blank is the most valuable letter in the set, hang onto it for a go or two if you can’t significantly increase your score by playing it.

3. If you’re trying to find a 7 or 8 letter play, worth 50 extra points, from a set of letters look for prefixes like UN-, RE-, OVER etc. or suffixes – ED, -ER, -ING. Put these letters at the beginning or end of the rack, as appropriate, and then shuffle the other letters. It’s a lot easier to find an anagram when you only have to shuffle 4 or 5 letters rather than 7.

All opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of Collins, or its parent company, HarperCollins.

Other Articles

Letter C

C can be a very useful letter to have. It combines well with the high-scoring letters H and K to give you the chance of a high score for just a four- or five-letter word. If you can play something like CHUNK or… Read More

Bonus Bs

The most likely way of using B in a bonus word is probably something beginning with BE- or BI-. The -ABLE suffix is also worth remembering (NOTABLE, OPENABLE) and quite a few with an optional E in the middle:… Read More

Not the B all and end all

The B is not one of the most useful letters. It’s most often used in shorter words, preferably on a premium square to increase its value, and preferably to help you get rid of your other less useful letters. Good B-words for this are: BEZ an… Read More