Scrabble Board Game

Scrabble is a word based board game where two to four players earn points by forming words from the letter tiles and combining them with previous letters on the game board. The Scrabble gameboard is 15×15 in size, words can be made across and down, similar in fashion to the popular crossword. All words must be real words and found in the dictionary, there is even a Scrabble Players dictionary if you really want to go down that route.

The name of Scrabble is a trademark of Hasbro in the USA and Canada and elsewhere we believe it is trademarked by Mattel. The game has been sold and translated in over 120 Countries and over 29 different language versions available. Over 150 million sets have been sold worldwide which makes it one of the classic board games and found in many households.

 Scrabble Board setup

The board also has premium or bonus tiles where the number of points given to that player to double letter or triple letter points for example. The colours of these has changed over the years and the double word used to be Pink from what I remember but they seem to be orange and different now depending on the version you get.

In an English-language set, the game contains 100 tiles, 98 of which are marked with a letter and a point value ranging from 1 to 10. The number of points of each lettered tile is based on the letter’s frequency in standard English writing; commonly used letters such as E or O are worth one point, while less common letters score higher, with Q and Z each worth 10 points. The game also has two blank tiles that are unmarked and carry no point value. The blank tiles can be used as substitutes for any letter; once laid on the board, however, the choice is fixed.

Tiles are usually made of light wood or plastics and are 19 by 19 millimetres (0.75 in × 0.75 in) square and 4 mm (0.16 in) thick. Only the rosewood tiles of a deluxe edition vary the width up to 2 mm (0.08 in) for different letters. Variants for travelling often have smaller tiles (e.g. 13 mm × 13 mm (0.51 in × 0.51 in)), and are sometimes magnetic to keep them in place. The capital letter is printed in black in the centre of the face of the tile, with the letter’s point value printed in a smaller point size in the bottom right-hand corner.

History of Scrabble

In 1938 an American called Alfred Mosher BUtts who was an architect created the game as a variation to a previous game he invented called Lexiko which was similar in that they both had the same set of letter tiles and point based system.

His new version added the crossword-style game board to make it more interactive with multiple players. Perhaps it was the time and thought of possible war but he began making the sets himself but it was not a success and was not taken up the major game makers of the time.

Then times changed in 1948 an original owner of the criss-crosswords game bought the rights to make the game in exchange for a royalty on sold units. He did make a few tweaks to the rules and premium tiles and then changed the name which is actually a real word for “to scratch frantically” which he hoped would make it easier to play. It is reported that in 1949 the Brunot family were made 2400 sets but still lost money.

Here is when legends and tales come in again, it is said in 1952 the then president of Macy’s played the game on a vacation and was surprised to find he could not source one in his local store. So he placed a large order, however unable to keep up with the demand the maker rights were sold to a games maker who similar to MB and Parker Brothers many years earlier had rejected the game. In its second year of mass manufacturing, around four million sets were sold.

Off the back of this, they bought the trademark on the game in 1972 and the game started to go global, the rights changed hands a little and ended up with the Hasbro giant brand as owners.