Web Watch, as we’ve declared previously, loves playing board games with friends.
There’s something about sitting around a table and taking part in a group activity – laughing, drinking – that you just can’t get from the anonymous (and cheat-filled) ways of playing knock-off word games with friends via cellphone.
Is SCRABBLE the best game choice for game night? Sometimes yes, sometimes not. It partly depends on how many people are playing, and whether they enjoy playing word games with you. If you’re the kind of person who TiVos the NATIONAL SPELLING BEE, then chances are you’re not the type of person that others will want to engage in a casual Scrabble game with.
But one question that Web Watch has always wondered is – given the optimal, ideal conditions – WHAT WOULD THE HIGHEST-SCORING WORD IN SCRABBLE BE?
Luckily, the WALL STREET JOURNAL found this out for us. We know – who would have thought that the venerable WSJ would be able to report on something that would more likely be covered in Games Magazine instead.
That word is: oxyphenbutazone. Score value? Just a mere 1,778 points – assuming the moons align perfectly.
What are some more realistic point challenges? All will score you hundreds of points, but also usually require ownership of the Z, Q, and/or at least one blank tile.
Ones that are most likely played by casual Scrabble players would be:
- ZA – but be sure to play the Z on a triple-letter space that’s surrounded by two A’s. That will give you 62 points, easy.
- Quartzy – if you can play it using all seven letters from your rack and have some board spacing luck, this can lead to 164 points
- Gherkins – also playable by using all seven rack letters, can bring in 180 points
Web Watch is reasonable in our Scrabble play. We would never play something like syzygy, muzkiks, or quetzals – we have trouble pronouncing these, let alone spelling them correctly on the board.
Besides, unless you are using the largest English dictionary available instead of The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, chances are no matter what set of letters you play, if your opponents don’t recognize the word they’re just going to challenge you anyway.
Just play it safe and play words that everyone knows, and you’ll have a much more enjoyable time at Game Night.