Words With Friends is arguably the most addictive multiplayer mobile application in existence. I say multiplayer since Angry Birds is nearly impossible to catch with its addictiveness. Chances are if you got an iPhone in the recent months someone probably recommended you download Words with Friends and play with them. For those of you without an iPhone or a Droid, Words With Friends is pretty much identical to Scrabble except for maybe one or two minor tweaks. While extremely addictive, the game can be frustrating when you're continually on the losing side of the spectrum. I used to find myself losing regularly and then I figured out how to truly play the game and now I rarely every lose at all. For those of you who can't seem to figure out how to beat your opponent I've listed 10 tips on how to win at Words with Friends. Before I list them, apparently there is an application that you can download that chooses words for you (basically a cheating app) which I will NOT include here because I think it completely takes the fun out of the game.
1. Realize that it's a game of MATH not VOCABULARY: You got an 800 on the English part of your SATs? Great, but doesn't mean shit with Words with Friends. I hear all the time "I have a great vocabulary so I'll win all the time at this". Words with Friends tells you that a "word is not acceptable" if you try to play it and it's not actually a word. If you can try and maximize the amount of points you get every time by putting possible words together until something sticks you'll do okay. I learned that Qi and Za are words this way and both have helped me to win plenty of games.
2. A strong defense can be your best offense: Some of the people I play with have a bad habit of putting down a word right near a triple word tile. I beat these people every single time. Unless you have a really really kickass word, do not put a word down where your opponent can possibly get a triple word score. Triple words make and break games so don't blow it by allowing your opponent to get a triple word so easily.
3. Bridge two words together with an S: Often times you'll see that a horizontal word and a vertical word are separated by one letter. Most words can be added to by simply pluralizing it with an s. Why not obtain points from both of these words by simply putting an s and pluralizing both. This works great especially if the s is on a triple letter tile.
4. If you have the opportunity go first: I don't care what anyone says, going first is an advantage. If you go first you have the chance to both put points on the board first AND close out the game. This isn't an option if you go second. The extra few points you can get by closing out a game (where it minuses points from tiles they have over and add it to you score) can be the difference in a win.
5. If you see an opportunity to use a triple letter twice in one turn for a Q, J, X, or Z DO IT: This could apply to five or four point letters to, but especially for your Q, J, X, and Zs. You know that ax and ox is a word right? If you put an x on a triple letter and form both words you get 8x3x2 plus the 2 points from the a and the o is 50 points right there. And this is basically a minimum since you might play wax and ox, or box and ax, etc. It might not seem significant before you play it since it's two words, but some times this can be more valuable than a triple world.
6. Don't waste your Qs, Js, Xs, or Zs: Similar to the triple letter suggestion on tip 5, do not waste your good letters. If you get a Q at the beginning of the game, don't play Qi for 11 points, play Qi when you can for 31. If you get these later on in the game you might need to dump them to avoid negative points, but don't waste them right off the bat. I generally do not use these letters unless I"m getting 30 points or higher for the round.
7. Don't swap letters unless you have to: Swapping is better than passing if you have shitty letters, but generally you do not want to swap. If you can get rid of 3 letters on the board and only get 7 points out of it, it's still better than swapping for 4 letters and taking a risk (and you might get the letters you're looking for anyway). Take advantage of any opportunity you have to get points on the board.
8. Take advantage of opportunities to play a letter on multiple words: I'm always surprised by how some people don't realize that if you play a letter on more than one word you get points for both words. Essentially the letter is as good as a double letter tile, but better since you're getting points also from both words.
9. If you can get a guaranteed win by ending the game do it: If you see an opportunity to use 6 letters, end the game, win, but only getting 7 points it's a lot better than playing 2 letters for 40 points and risking that your opponent pulls an awesome word out of their ass. End the game if you can guarantee a win.
10. Take your time: A simple, but important rule in winning. Don't get pressured into rushing your turn so your opponent can go. Take time to find the word that will get you the most amount of points each and every time.