Strategy and Tips -- Overview

Words With Friends® is a tile-placing, word-building strategy game, similar to Scrabble®. The object of the game is to outscore your opponent before the 104 available tiles are played.

Broadly speaking, there are two important areas to focus on to become a strong player.

  1. Vocabulary
  2. Position and Premium Squares

Vocabulary

A strong vocabulary in a literary sense, or an everyday sense, is not directly transferable to success at Words With Friends. Many of the most useful words are two and three-letter words of obscure origin which are rarely used in conversation. Two-letter words are infinitely more useful than two-dollar words if one's goal is to win at Words With Friends. Short words should be memorized to the greatest extent possible.

Additionally, there are ways to increase one's chances of getting the letters to make strong words. Knowing about consonant-vowel distributions, and knowing the letters most often found in 7-letter words, can help you maximize your chances of drawing for a bonus.

Of course, there are other areas to focus on. Learning words which utilize high-value letters like J, Q, X, and Z is important. Knowing prefixes and suffixes will help immensely when trying to find a legal play for a high-value word on your rack. All of these areas are covered in the process of building a vocabulary.

Position and Premium Squares

The other broad aspect of play is position and spatial understanding. The premium word and letter squares are spaced in such a manner as to impose themselves on the game. It is possible to rack up huge scores in a turn by combining two double-word (DW) squares into a 4X score, or by putting a 10-point letter like Z on a triple-letter (TL) square, and then playing that word into a triple-word (TW) score.

In a given turn, a player can play a longer word into open space, which will open up the board for future turns. Or that player can play a shorter word, adjacent to existing words, or covering premium-word squares. One might play a mediocre word if it blocks a TW square, just to preempt their opponent from racking up a huge score.

In short, there are offensive and defensive ways to play a turn, and deciding on which one to pursue is dependent upon one's own abilities, their opponent, and the game situation. There are some quirks specific to the opening and endgame. As in many other games of strategy, the player in the lead will often wish to reduce the volatility of a game.

Conclusion

This is only a basic overview of Words With Friends. Continue to our next section, which covers the opening moves of the game.


The words in our dictionary are meant to match, as closely as possible, the words used in Words With Friends®. We have no affiliation with Words With Friends, and offer this site for entertainment purposes only.