Word games are some of the people’s favorites to play with both family and friends. They are a staple of game nights, family events, and house parties. They often don’t require any additional equipment, but a few pieces of paper and pens, or what most people have – a Scrabble set. But if you want to improve your word game and make sure you win those bets and pizza slices – you’re going to need some hacks to help you get to the top. So, here’s how to do it:
Improve your Vocabulary
Let’s start with the basics – you can’t win word games if your vocabulary is limited. You need to know as many words as you can – that are or aren’t used in everyday speech but that are in the dictionary. On a daily basis, you can do this by reading more books or subscribing to a service that teaches you a new word every day. This way, you’ll have a bigger arsenal to choose from and you improve your chances. Whenever you play, you should have a dictionary close by so you can check the validity of your own, as well as other’s words.
Literally – widen the words. Prefixes and suffixes are additions that you put on a word to change its meaning – and make it longer. Make sure you aren’t missing a chance to add an “-er”, “-ed” or “-y” at the end of the word to make it that little bit longer and gain some extra points. Also consider prefixes, like “a-” or “in-” to lengthen them on the other side. This goes for both written and verbal games that you might be playing. Usually, the longer the word – the more points you’ll get, so make sure you’re using up every letter.
If you’re playing just for fun, you can have a lot more fun if you just add some tools that can help you find the words you’re missing. Use an online finder to get the right word you need from the letters or circumstances you have. This is an awesome tool especially if you’re using word games to learn a new language and your vocabulary isn’t that expensive.
Use the Board
If you want to really be great at a word game, you have to go beyond just having a great vocabulary – you have to know the game. If we’re talking Scrabble, you need to know the rules of the board – which fields bring more points, where you should strategically place your pieces and how you can best boost your score while playing. If you know you can get extra points with specific words or phrases – go for them! In addition to that, if you can use your move to block an opponent from gaining an advantage – do it! In word games, it’s every man for himself.
If you have a good word you can use, or a high-value letter – use it as soon as you can. Opportunities keep changing in games like these and you might not get the chance to do it later, so act sooner, rather than later. In Scrabble, if you have a letter like Q, which is worth a lot, you might want to save it for a really big word, or a position that will give you double the points – but if you wait for too long you might finish the game with the letter still on your rack, so just put it out there and get the points.
Like in chess, you need to think about several steps in advance in word games. Being careful with these you place the first few, longer words can determine the outcome of the game by opening or closing off opportunities. So think ahead – put the words where you can easily use every part of it as a beginning, middle, or end in the next round and you’ll give yourself more space to work with. If you’re playing a game where you’re not allowed to repeat words, save some good ones for later on when the “common” ones are used by everyone else.
Word games are some of the best party games around because they are so versatile and they have a good balance of knowledge and chance in their mechanics. You can play them with as few or many people as you have and they are generally unproblematic stress-free fun. Not to mention, they are an amazing tool for learning languages and spelling, especially for kids who don’t really want to study in the traditional way. So get yourself a Scrabble set, or look up some other words games you can play when you’re bored next time and have fun!