Top Scrabble Variations That Add a Kick to the Classic

Scrabble tiles in various fonts

Adapted from Getty Images

Who doesn’t love playing an old-fashioned game of Scrabble? Whether you only play at family get-togethers or you compete in tournaments, traditional Scrabble delivers a fun time. And while that is certainly true, it’s still nice to mix things up now and then. We can do that by way of playing different versions of Scrabble. There are numerous Scrabble variations to enjoy, and all of them breathe new life into the classic game.
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Clabbers

Clabbers is one of those Scrabble variants, but it’s one you can play using a regular Scrabble board. There are actually many different ways to use an original Scrabble set to play different games. And, as far as we’re concerned, Clabbers is one of the very best.

The rules for playing Clabbers are pretty simple. In fact, there’s really only one major change from the original Scrabble rules: Players can use anagrams of valid words. They can play the actual word if they want, but if the letters match a valid word, they play them in any order. This change to the rules results in some very frantic and intense matches. Try playing it with another Scrabble enthusiast.

Scrabble Flash

Anyone who loves toys and gadgets will want to try Scrabble Flash. This game completely overhauls Scrabble by playing the game on a set of five cubes. These cubes, which feature LCD screens, magnetically cling together. Each cube displays a letter on its screen, and you connect them in any order to create words.

To play, study the letters on the cubes; the game’s program will select the letters automatically. Once you are ready, create as many words as you can from the five letters. These words need to be between three and five letters long. When you reach the point where you can’t find any new words or a word you play isn’t valid, the game resets with a new set of letters. You then either play again to beat your last score or pass the cubes off to another player.

Scrabble GO

Scrabble GO is the officially licensed Scrabble app for mobile devices. You can also play on Facebook. It has the same rules and uses the same dictionary as regular Scrabble. What sets the Scrabble GO app apart from the board game are the extra features that anyone would expect from a mobile game.

The Scrabble GO app allows you to find friends and random people to play against. It also has additional game modes, leaderboard rankings, power-ups and in-app purchases. Those are all optional to use, though. The major shift from the board game is Scrabble GO’s automatic word checker. The app was created to compete with Words With Friends. As such, the game automatically checks each word’s validity.

Scrabble Junior

For a kid-friendly version of Scrabble, you have Scrabble Junior. This game features two modes of play for kids with different levels of reading and spelling comprehension. 

The first mode is for younger kids who are still learning the basics. On one side of the game’s two-sided board, you’ll find a layout with pre-printed words and player spaces. You use character tokens and play words to advance across the board. In many ways, this game mode is similar to Candy Land and other such types of games.

For older kids who know how to spell, you can flip the game board over to find a more traditional Scrabble layout. The only significant change is that there are no bonus squares. Aside from that, you can play this version with basically the same rules as regular Scrabble.

Scrabble Slam

If you’re a fan of word card games and want to mix that love into your Scrabble fun, you’ll want to know about Scrabble Slam. In Scrabble Slam, you need to think and play your cards quickly to come out on top.

Scrabble Slam cards have letters printed on them. Your goal is to spell four-letter words by stacking one or more cards on top of the word already in play. So, if the word “play” is on the table, you can place a C card over the P to create “clay.” 

Everyone keeps playing their cards and creating new words until there are no more words to create. Plus, everyone plays at the same time rather than taking turns. This makes the game pretty frantic and is where the “playing fast” part becomes absolutely critical.

Scrabble Twist

As with Scrabble Flash, Scrabble Twist is a Scrabble variant that can satisfy your need for novelty. This version of Scrabble doesn’t come with a board, letter tiles or cards. You play the entirety of the game on a device that’s roughly the same size as the average TV remote. 

The Scrabble Twist device has five LCD screens and five buttons lined up in the middle of it. At one end of the device is a twisting knob. Use the buttons to enter letters on the screens. Once you’ve created a word (which needs to be at least three letters long), you twist the knob at the end to lock in your answer. Once you do, you pass the device onto the next player. Every player repeats this process until all but one player fails to create a word within a set time limit.

Super Scrabble

Super Scrabble, as the name implies, is the game for people who want the deluxe Scrabble experience. Everything about this game is bigger. The 21 x 21 board dwarfs the original’s 15 x 15 dimensions. Super Scrabble also features double the number of letter tiles, coming in at a staggering 200 pieces. The last boost is the addition of new bonus squares, including the quadruple word score square.

All of these updates add together to create a wildly different experience from a standard game of Scrabble. The scores in Super Scrabble regularly exceed 800 points. (Keep a Scrabble word finder in your back pocket to capitalize on the best opportunities!) Plus, there are more copies of each letter, so the options for words to play increase dramatically. When it comes to overhauling Scrabble while staying true to the formula, there’s nothing quite like Super Scrabble.

Try the Words With Friends Board Game

All these Scrabble variations are entertaining in their own right and deliver a welcomed change of pace to the classic word game. They aren’t the only games that do that, however. Another game that remixes the classic formula is Words With Friends. Namely, the Words With Friends board game. This version of the classic Scrabble competitor brings the fun of the app to the real world, complete with its own set of rules.


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

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