Scrabble Tournament Rules

You will find these rules in our 2020 Home-Edition ‘Rules and Guidelines’ booklet.

Pro, Semi-Pro, and Student Physical Game SETUP

Place all letter tiles in the pouch. Draw for first play. The team with the letter closest to “A” plays first. A blank tile will beat any letter. Return the letters to the pool and remix. Each team draws seven new letter each and places them in their racks.



For the 2020 Home-Edition of this tournament, there will be no time limits to turns.

The timer will begin after the team draws its tiles from the bag.

  1. The first team combines two or more of their letters to for a word, and then places the word on the board to read either across or down with one letter on the center *square. (Diagonal words are not allowed)
  1. Complete your team’s turn by counting and announcing the score for that turn. Counting out loud is not the same as announcing your score. Then draw as many new letters as you played, always keeping seven letter on your track, as long as there are enough left in the bag.
  1. The opposing team then adds one or more letters to those already played to form new words. All letters played on a turn must be placed in one row across or down the board to form at least one complete word. If, at the same time, they touch other letters in adjacent rows, those must form complete words, crow word fashion, with all such letters. The team gets full credit for all words formed or modified on their turn.
  1. New words may be formed by:
  1. Adding one or more letters to a word or letters already on the board.
  2. Placing a word at right angles to a word already on the board. The new word must use one of the letters already on the board or must add a letter to it.
  3. Placing a complete word parallel to a word already played so the adjacent letters also must form complete words.
  1. No tile may be shifted or replaced after it has been played and scored.
  1. BLANKS: The two blank tiles may be used as any letters. When playing a blank you must state which letter it represents. It remains that letter for the rest of the game.
  1. You may use a turn a turn to exchange all, some, or none of your letters. To do this, place your discarded letter(s) face down. Draw the same number of letters from the pool, then mix your discarded letter(s) into the pool. This ends your turn.
  1. We use the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, 5th. For the Home-Edition, please use the online Scrabble word-checker for disputed words, or an official Scrabble dictionary. All words labeled as a part of speech (including those listed of foreign origin, and as archaic, obsolete, colloquial, slang, etc.) are permitted with the exception of the following: words always capitalized, abbreviations, prefixes and suffixes standing alone, words requiring a hyphen or an apostrophe. Any play may be challenged before the next team starts a turn. If the play challenged is unacceptable, the challenged team takes back their tiles and loses that turn. If the play challenged is acceptable, the challenging team loses their next turn. All words (not just one) made in one play are challenged simultaneously. If any word is unacceptable, the entire play is unacceptable. Only one turn is lost on any challenge.


  1. The scorekeeper tallies each team’s score, entering it after each turn. The score value of each letter is indicated by a number at the bottom of the tile. The score value of a blank is zero.
  1. The score for each turn is the sum of the letter values in each word(s) formed or modified on that turn, plus the additional points obtained from the placing letters on premium squares.
  1. Premium Letter Squares: A light blue square doubles the score of a letter placed on it; a dark blue square triples the letter score.
  1. Premium Word Squares: The score for an entire word is doubled when one of its letters is placed on a pink square; it is tripled when one of its letters is placed on a red square. Include premiums for double or triple letter value, if any, before doubling or tripling the word score.

If a word covers two premium word squares, the score is doubled and then re-doubled (4 times the letter count), or tripled and then re-tripled (9 times the letter count).

NOTE: The center * square is a pink square, which doubles the score for the first word. 

  1. Letter and word premiums count only on the turn in which they are played. On later turns, letters already played on the premium squares count at face value.
  2. When a blank tile is played on a pink or red, the value of the word is doubled or tripled, even though the blank itself has no score value.
  1. When two or more words are formed in the same play, each is scored. The common letter is counted (with full premium value, if any) for each word.
  2. BINGO! If you play all 7 of your tiles on one turn, it’s a Bingo. You score a premium of 50 points after totaling you score for the turn.
  3. The value of the tiles left on your rack when the game ends is deducted from your total score.


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