Discover Clabbers, the Scrabble Game With a Unique Twist
Photo by Beth Wiggins for WordFinder
Making Sense of Clabbers’ Rules
First, it’s important for you to note that “Clabbers” is actually an anagram of “Scrabble.” It’s a clever yet simple way to name this alternate version of Scrabble. But, more importantly, it’s also a signal of what to expect while playing the game. Paying attention to and mastering anagrams is key when playing Clabbers.
The rules for Clabbers are easy to learn, as they are almost identical to Scrabble’s. There’s one major difference: Players are only required to form anagrams of valid words.
What this means is that you don’t need to spell the word in the correct order to play it. For example, if you can spell the word “dictionary” with the available tiles, you can play it on the board in any anagram form. You can set it as “ryditoanic” if you want.
Things start to get complicated quickly, as your opponent can create an anagram off your anagram. Players have much more freedom with how they arrange their words on the board. The competition to create anagrams forces players to keep crowding each others’ words.
This is why the game board can end up getting pretty packed in one section and left empty in another. Using anagrams also results in much higher scores in Clabbers compared to regular Scrabble.
The burden is on you to determine what word an anagram is supposed to represent. That said, you can always question your opponent’s play. Just like in regular Scrabble, you can challenge a word. If you challenge a word, your opponent must then provide an acceptable word that their anagram spells.
Why Play Clabbers?
After learning the rules, some people’s first response might be, “Why would anyone want to put themselves through this?”
It’s a fair question, considering the complex and confusing nature of Clabbers. But, the answer really does come down to the hunger for variety and challenge.
An Added Challenge
Clabbers is a game for people who love Scrabble. This is especially true for those who play the game competitively. These are the people who know the game inside and out. They have a vocabulary that would make any high school English teacher proud. These types of players want to make the most of their knowledge.
A Casual Take on Scrabble
The desire to play Clabbers also comes from the fact that it’s a casual game. Casual when compared to tournament Scrabble, at least. Clabbers is not normally played at tournaments, for obvious reasons. Most Scrabble organizations don’t offer any official support for the game variant. This means that it is up to the players to decide among themselves what all the rules should be and what words are valid.
A Fun Side Event
In the tournament Scrabble scene, Clabbers can be seen as a frustratingly fun “side event.” It’s something that skilled players can challenge each other to when they want to do something else but still love to rack their brains to find the winning words.
Where to Play Clabbers
If the idea of taking on Clabbers’ unique rules and challenges intrigues you, you’ll need to figure out where to find people to play with you.
Do you want to play Clabbers with other people face-to-face? If so, the best way to do that is to follow the same steps you would to find players for regular Scrabble.
Are you already a veteran player who’s part of a club? Then, it’s as simple as asking your fellow club members if they would like to try this version of the game. Everyone loves finding new ways to experience their favorite pastimes. The odds that someone will want to play with you are pretty good.
If you’re new to Scrabble, you’ll first need to find and join a group in your region. To do that, take some time to read up on how to find local Scrabble clubs.
The options for where to play Clabbers online are limited. There are many websites and apps where you can play regular Scrabble, but they typically do not support this variant of the game. If you want to play online Clabbers, your best option is to visit the Internet Scrabble Club.
The Internet Scrabble Club (isc.ro), also known simply as the ISC, allows you to play Scrabble online against friends and strangers from around the world. This site is free to use, and it offers you the chance to find Clabbers players. ISC doesn’t explicitly support the game, but it does provide some tips for how to meet people who would like to play.
Enjoy a Challenging Spin on Scrabble
Clabbers might seem challenging or even frustrating for some players. For others, it could be the change of pace they’ve been looking for. Finding new ways to play your favorite games is richly rewarding, after all. Are you also trying to find new places to play regular Scrabble online? And are you interested in a single-player experience? Do yourself a favor and check out 10 great sites that offer exactly that.
Zac Pricener has been a content creator for the past eight years. He’s a bit of an all-around nerd, and he has a bad habit of working movie and TV show references into conversations whenever possible.