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Average Scrabble Score Per Word and for a Game

Couples game night Scrabble
To unpracticed players, Scrabble can feel like a game of extremes. The bag doles out letters at random. Opportunities appear or disappear. That perfect chance to put an X on a triple word score never happens. It's luck, right? Wrong. If you want to get good at Scrabble and its siblings, you need to start thinking average. Bringing up your average score by letter, word and game is how you achieve steady, serious improvement in play.

What Is an Average Score?

That's easy! The average score in a typical game of Scrabble is 600 to 700 total points.

Really.

Did your stomach just drop? Don't worry, because 600 to 700 total points played is the average amount for a well-contested game of Scrabble. As in, all the players' scores added together. The thing about that range is it's the only true "average" in the game. Skill does not map to total points scored in Scrabble. Winning by one measly point is still winning, and Scrabble involves just enough luck that great players sometimes win by inches and total noobs sometimes manage a 500 point blowout.

But if Scrabble really is a game of luck, what are we doing here? Aren't strategies pointless if the game comes down to drawing a Q at the right time?

Beat the Average

Not hardly. All we said is you can't tell a good player by their score in a single game. Scrabble has no single-game score that denotes beginner, intermediate, or expert.

Instead, real Gs track personal averages. If you're sports-minded, think baseball. You don't judge a pitcher by how many perfect games they've thrown, or a batter by how often they've hit for the cycle. You look at ERA and slugging average. If video games are more your bag, think K/D ratios or CPM. It's all about tracking success over time.

Scrabble in particular has three average metrics. The simple fact that you're keeping track makes you a cut above most casual players. But, if you work to maximize these three averages, you will earn that most prestigious of titles: Good at Scrabble

Points Per Letter

It is a universally acknowledged truth that Scrabble puts a hard limit on how many chances you have to score. Hasbro has no extra innings: when you've laid all 100 tiles on the board, that's the game. Those 100 tiles have a total face value of 187 points, so the average face value is 1.87 points per Scrabble tile. As a general rule, you should try to double that number.

Since your opponent gets a turn too (seems unfair, but apparently it's in the rules), you should be shooting for a minimum of 4 points per letter. That means optimizing every tile. Don't be afraid to play a filler word or two to conserve your biggest letters for bigger plays, especially when they're short enough to limit your opponent's opportunities. Try our 25 best short Scrabble words for ideas.

Points Per Turn

This is the single most reliable stat in Scrabble. Points per turn (PPT) is the best way to track your progress as a player. As a metric, it neatly encapsulates both your board skills (as in, the area control tricks that make bonuses and openings help you and/or impede your opponent) and the richness of your vocabulary.

So, how many points should you get on an average turn? The magic number is 30. An average of 30 points per turn is the point where a good casual player becomes a serious, competitive Scrabble Master. Remember that you can effectively form multiple words on a single turn and take advantage of bonus spaces for more points.

For help achieving that formidable number, check out our 25 high-scoring Scrabble words you'll actually use.

Points Per Game

By contrast, points per game (PPG) is the least instructive stat, at least at the beginning of your Scrabble career. While it's true that a good average score in Scrabble should be around 300 points, it's only a starting point: ace players routinely score less, and beginners routinely score more.

As previously noted, a better way to approach PPG is to remember that the average Scrabble game is 600 to 700 total points, and the objective is to earn 51% or better.

More importantly for new players, luck matters: one early blowout or tough beat can throw your numbers off for a long time. It's still worth tracking, but it only starts yielding meaningful data once you've got 50+ serious games under your belt. To begin your ascent to true Scrabble mastery, take a look at what you need to win a Scrabble game.

Have Fun

Some tabletop gamers, including those serious about their hobby, may find the above a joyless affair. We see where they're coming from. Taking notes on a board game ain't exactly a wild weekend in Vegas.

We respectfully disagree. True Gs know that, when it comes to competitive games, you're not really there to beat your opponent. You're there to beat yourself, specifically, the version of yourself that played last time. Getting good takes time and focus; that's true of every hobby from aquascaping to zymurgy. (Protip: those are both really good Scrabble words.)

But, as hobbyists of every kind know well, there's no feeling quite like the quiet satisfaction of knowing, not just feeling but knowing for certain, that you're getting better at something you love.

For more reasons to put time and energy into the world's most popular word game, check our our 5 reasons to play Scrabble. Good luck and have fun!


Matt Salter has been a professional writer for over 10 years. He is a gaming and technology expert, and world-class word nerd.

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