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What are some tricks for mastering Scrabble?

Scrabble experts build up a knowledge of unusual words (such as addax, heaume, jaboty, xoanon, zemstvo) which help them get rid of unwanted letters. It is useful to know words with a lot of vowels (e.g., aioli) or words with a lot of consonants (crwth, cwm, nth, tsktsk) when one wants to get rid of letters. Many Scrabble players learn hundreds of acceptable two-letter and three-letter words, using special Scrabble dictionaries and guides. Knowing abstruse and obsolete words can really help, as well as words starting with high-scoring q, but which do not require it to be combined with u. Some examples of helpful books are: The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary (Waterville, ME: Thorndike Press, 2002), Chambers Official Scrabble Lists (London, UK: Chambers Harrap, series), Official Scrabble Word-Finder (Schachner, Robert, New York: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, 1998), Scrabble Word-Building Book (Ahmed, Saleem, New York: Pocket Books, 1991), Word Freak (Fatsis, Stefan, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2001) and Everything Scrabble (Edley, Joe, New York: Pocket Books, 2001). Besides an extensive vocabulary, Scrabble experts require skill in game strategy such as: placing high-scoring letters on premium squares but not giving the opponent a chance to do the same; making more than one word with one move; and making words to which one can later add extra letters. Scrabble players should try to keep a good balance of vowels and consonants within the seven letters in the rack, ideally four consonants and three vowels. There is a National Scrabble Association for enthusiasts.

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