You may not realize it, but there is a whole world of serious Scrabble players that have dedicated their lives to the pursuit of the perfect Scrabble game. Just kidding. They work so hard to win. They want to destroy the competition, win prizes, and because they enjoy the game that much.

If you’re reading this, you must also enjoy the game more than average. Maybe you even have dreams of joining the ranks of the world’s best Scrabble players. Or maybe you just want to crush your buddy’s spirits by dominating them in a ‘friendly’ game of Scrabble on game night this weekend.

Whether your intentions are for the common good or are a little more dastardly, check out these pro tips to get the best of your competition.

Memorize, Memorize, Memorize

Scrabble pros know all the words. Or at least most of them. Don’t worry, you don’t need to memorize the dictionary from a-z. At least not yet. Chances are that wouldn’t help much anyway. But memorization is still the key to Scrabble success.

However, maybe you’re not looking for a lot of hard work. If you want a quick fix to best your pals, you might check out Unscramble to give you the competitive edge. It unscrambles your letter selection to show you all the possible words.

The first thing you should do is memorize all of the internationally accepted 2-letter words. This is really helpful as you can almost always find a word for any difficult letter on your tray or on the board. You might think you already know all the 2-letter words, but you’d be wrong.

There are 127 2-letter words as of the last Scrabble dictionary update. A lot of these words are not intuitive and are never used. Like ‘ee’ or ‘aa’. But they are valid words in the international dictionary nonetheless. Using them will blow away the competition. At least the first time you bust them out.

If you’ve still got it in you, you can move on to the 3-letter words. They are also very helpful in almost any situation. However, there are more than 1,300 of them. So it isn’t an easy task. Essentially all professional players have memorized all the 2 and 3 letter words. Depending on your aspirations, any memorization will improve your game.

Selectively Learn High-Value Words

If rote memorization isn’t something you really want to focus on, you can just select the most functional words. Using these functional words can really mix up the game depending on what strategy you use.

The bluff is a great strategy that opens up to use after just a little work. Let’s say you learn the 10 most ridiculous 2-letter words. AI, EM, GI, HM, EE, ZI, SH, ZA, LI, and OE. Then next time you play, you use a few of the real ones. People will undoubtedly call you out. After validating your answer with the online scrabble checker, your opponents will start to believe you are a scrabble guru.

Now you’ve got them eating out of your hands. Next time you see a high-value play to be made with a hard-to-play piece, throw it down on that square and watch them reel. But they won’t say anything, they’ve already questioned you too many times. Learning funky words gives you bluff power. Don’t try to do this on a legitimate power player though. They’ll have you for breakfast.

Another selective word strategy is to learn some of the short words for the highest value letters. When selecting words to memorize you need to use some consideration. When memorizing ‘j’ words, it helps to make sure the words you chose contain the letter in a variety of positions such as the first letter, middle, or last letter of the word. This allows you to use it in a variety of different situations.

Lexical Power Is The Greatest Power

Players with the most words win. That’s because they have all the words to choose from in any situation. Memorization is not everyone’s game. If you have an analytical side, rely on that to optimize your word lists. If you are a risk-taker, leverage your fearlessness to use counter-intuitive answers to confound and confuse your opponents.

Vocabulary is the foundation of good gameplay. Yet, word use is the tool used to optimize the vocabulary we have. This is done by careful word selection. Word selection creates a concise easy to use set of functional words that allow you to exploit several aspects of gameplay. These include bluffs, high-value word familiarity, and optimal letter positioning within your lexicon.