Monday, January 21, 2013

I Love Scrabble -- Mon., Jan. 21

No ifs, ands or buts about it, I love playing Scrabble. I am a word person. My ongoing subscription to keeps my vocabulary fresh. Crossword puzzles keep my mind sharp. But Scrabble puts all that I learn from those other sources to use and involves quite a bit of strategy. Until I started playing many Scrabble games online, I had no idea how much strategy is involved. I have learned new words against tough opponents. I play Scrabble on Facebook. I admit it, I'm a Scrabble junkie.

Strategy in Scrabble exists on many levels. A word like "ax" can make 50 points or more if you place the "x" on a triple letter score and make another word off the same "x" in another direction.  You immediately have sextupled (that is a word) the value of the "x." 

A triple word (TW) score on the other hand triples the value of the entire word when you put a tile on TW. If you can finish off a word with an "s" on the TW tile and form another word perpendicular to it using the same "s," you have effectively tripled both words. 

There are blocking strategies as well. If there is an opportunity to make a triple word score, but you don't have the letters to do it, you can play a word nearby that blocks the triple word opportunity for your opponent.

Trading in letters can up your score considerably. If you are stuck with a bunch of vowels, or letters worth only one point, you can up your chances of a higher score by trading in the tiles that aren't working for you. A downside to this is that at the end of the game, you most likely will end up with a lot of vowels. Risky, but worth it in the long run.

Learning unique two-letter words like "oi," "aa," "hm," "mm," "xu," "oe," "ai," and "qi" is helpful. Those little words can add up to big points when played side-by-side with another word.

Once in a great while, passing on your turn is a risk worth taking if you have a "bingo" (using all seven letters in one word--worth an extra 50 points). Sometimes you have a bingo but can't find anywhere to use it. To me, this is the most frustrating part of a Scrabble game. When I can't play the seven-letter word, I may pass my turn in hopes that my opponent will play a letter I can use with my bingo. It doesn't always work, but I do take the risk.

Learn lots of words with "q," "x," "j," and "k"--the high-scoring letters. The quirkier the word, like "qwerty," the better. 

It was a quiet day here at the RV park, except there were lots of people checking in. The park looks pretty full again. There are always a lot of people out walking dogs, riding bikes, jogging or just plain old walking.

Tonight Bob and I went to the Mexican restaurant across the street for dinner. Both of us ordered echiladas verde which were very good. We've been in this park off and on since July 2012, but we've only eaten across the street once even though we like it. There are just so many good restaurants to try out in San Antonio.

Thursday, the ladies group at the RV park will tour the San Antonio Lighthouse for the Blind. I'm looking forward to seeing it. There's also a history marker across the street from Lighthouse for the Blind that Bob recommended I read. After the tour, we're going to lunch. I'll let you know how it goes.

Tomorrow, I have to package up our faulty SurgeGuard 50A surge protector and return it to the manufacturer for repair or replacement. We received our Return Authorization Number today. 

Lovin' life on the road. Here's a kitty pic for you.

"See Mom, we DO fit on one chair!"
Travel Bug out.