Boggle Rules Made Easy + Scoring Tips

boggle game rules made easy

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Love finding words under the pressure of a timer? Thrive under the thrill of competition? Get the lowdown on all the Boggle rules you need to know to start playing the popular word game. It’s easy to learn how to play Boggle by following these easy instructions, including how Boggle scoring works. Ready to get started?

How to Play Boggle

Boggle is one of the most beloved classic word games. Ranking right up there with Words With Friends and Pictionary, Boggle is really easy to learn how to play. And the more you play, the better you’ll get at it too. 

Standard Boggle Rules

The classic version of Boggle, originally distributed by Parker Brothers, consists of a 4 x 4 grid with 16 dice. A single letter (except for “Qu,” noted below) is printed on each of the six sides of each die. You need at least two players. 

To play:

  1. Shake the covered tray to mix up the letter dice. Then, place it on the table so the cubes fall into place. 

  2. Start the timer for three minutes.

  3. Connect adjacent letters -- horizontally, vertically, or diagonally -- to unscramble and form valid words. You can zig-zag your way around the grid, but you cannot use the same cube more than once per word. Each word must be at least three letters long.

  4. Plurals and conjugations are separate words. So, “care,” “cares” and “cared” are three separate words. 

  5. Write down all the words you find. Each player has their own sheet of paper.

  6. Stop when the timer runs out. 

  7. Tally up your points by following the Boggle scoring rules below.

  8. The winner is the player with the most points. 

  9. If two players have the same number of points, the winner is the player who found longer words. 

Big Boggle Rules

Also called Boggle Master and Boggle Deluxe, Big Boggle works in mostly the same way as standard or classic Boggle. One main difference is that the grid is 5 x 5 instead of 4 x 4. The other key difference is that words must be at least four letters long. 

Super Big Boggle Rules

The even bigger Super Big Boggle follows slightly different rules too. Like Big Boggle, Super Big Boggle disallows three-letter words. Valid words must be at least four letters long. There is also a special die with solid squares on three of its sides. Solid squares are a word stop. You cannot use them in any word. The time limit in Super Big Boggle is four minutes instead of three. 

Boggle Scoring Rules

Once you understand the basics for how to play Boggle, you then need to remember the basic scoring rules for Boggle. 

Any player can challenge another player’s submitted words, just like challenging a word in Scrabble. You may choose to use whatever dictionary you’d like to decide if a word is valid. The official Scrabble dictionary is a general standard to follow. Remove invalid words from each player’s list.

When tallying up your points, only unique words count toward your score. Put another way, if at least two players write down the same word, the word doesn’t count for anybody. 

Boggle Points

The number of points you earn depends on the length of the word:

Big Boggle follows the same scoring rules, except you cannot play three-letter words. 

The Special Case of “Qu”

The single letter cube with “Qu” on it counts as two letters, even though it is only one cube. So, finding the word “queens” would be worth three points as a six-lettter word. In some variants of Big Boggle, you’ll find other two-letter cubes for combinations like “Th” and “In.” 

Super Big Boggle Scoring Rules

The scoring rules for Super Big Boggle are mostly the same. Aside from disallowing three-letter words, the other main difference is how to score words at least nine letters long.

  • 4-letter words are 1 point each

  • 5-letter words are 2 points each

  • 6-letter words are 3 points each

  • 7-letter words are 5 points each

  • 8-letter words are 11 points each

  • 9-letter words and longer are worth 2 points per letter

Tips for Better Scores

Want to get good at Boggle? Follow these tips to improve your game.

  1. Look for patterns. Just like solving any anagrams game, it helps when you start grouping certain letters together. C and H form CH, for example. Extend these two-letter combinations (digraphs) into as many words as you can find.

  2. Add an S to everything you can. This common Wordscapes tip applies equally to Boggle. If there’s an S on the Boggle grid, try to add it to the end of every word that comes near it.

  3. Follow iterations. Following on the previous tip, look for how you can extend or adjust words you’ve already found to find other words. BAR might lead you to forming BARN, BARS, or BARBER. Prefixes and suffixes, like RE- or -ED, can be real treasure troves too.

  4. Cut it up. Just as you should try to add more letters to words you’ve already found, also look for words within words you’ve already found too. Found TROWEL? Make sure you write down TROW and ROW too. 

  5. Study word lists. A vast vocabulary is a huge advantage in playing Boggle. To help, we’ve got lots of word lists, including words that start with or end in every letter of the alphabet. 

  6. Go backwards. An emordnilap is a word that, when spelled backwards, becomes another word. Take advantage of these when playing Boggle. DECAL backwards is LACED. FLOW backwards is WOLF. It’s like getting a two-for-one deal.

  7. Write down everything. There is no penalty in Boggle for writing down an invalid word. If you’re not sure if it’s a “real” word or not, write it down anyway. You can always check these words when it comes time to score them.

  8. Seek the unique. Even though you should definitely write down every word you find, remember that you only get points for words no one else finds. Common words are great (if no one else finds them), but unique and uncommon words are much better.

Practice Boggle Online

Once you know all the Boggle rules and how to play Boggle, you’ll need to start playing to get good at the game. We’ve rounded up several of the best online Boggle games on the web for your convenience. The great thing about playing online is that words are automatically verified. You can usually choose the size of your game grid too.

Michael Kwan is a professional writer and editor with over 15 years of experience. Fueled by caffeine and WiFi, he's no stranger to word games and dad jokes.


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