Tips from the Champions – Philip Nelkon

Philip Nelkon, four-time National Scrabble Champion, tells us his top tips.

1. Always consider taking a few points less on score in order to avoid leaving a large imbalance of vowels and consonants amongst the letters left on your rack.

2. The blank is the most valuable letter in the set, hang onto it for a go or two if you can’t significantly increase your score by playing it.

3. If you’re trying to find a 7 or 8 letter play, worth 50 extra points, from a set of letters look for prefixes like UN-, RE-, OVER etc. or suffixes – ED, -ER, -ING. Put these letters at the beginning or end of the rack, as appropriate, and then shuffle the other letters. It’s a lot easier to find an anagram when you only have to shuffle 4 or 5 letters rather than 7.

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