Help For Scramble
This document covers the additions added July, 2002. Please use the html version of the document as the master copy when updating documentation.
Scramble Command Summary
Rules for Scramble
INTRODUCTIONScramble is a word game played on a 15x15, 19x19, or 21x21 board. The object is to form words on the board using tiles in your "hand" that give you the most points.
Each tile has a letter, and every letter has a specific point value. There are also two "blank" tiles that you can use to represent whatever letter you wish. However, once you place a blank tile on the board, it must continue to represent the same letter you initially used it for. Blanks have no point value. A blank is shown on the board by the lower case letter that it represents.
There are bonus spaces on the board that give extra points when used. The space represented by % will double the value of a letter placed on it, and the spaces with @ will triple the value of the letter. If a space with * is used, the entire word score is doubled, and if a # is used, the entire word score is tripled. Additionally, on the 19x19 and 21x21 boards, there are quadruple letter (&) spaces and quadruple word ($) spaces available. Letter multiplying spaces are calculated before word multiplying spaces. Once a multiplier space has been used, the multiplier will not count in subsequent turns that re-use the letter placed on it. A multiplier will only be used more than once if the space is used to form multiple words within the same turn.
When you play a full rack (7 tiles in the 15x15 board, or 8 tiles in the 19x19 and 21x21 boards) you will receive a 50 point bonus.
The game also keeps track of the point values of the letters you play, not including any bonus multipliers or multi-word uses. This score is called "letterpoints" and represents the actual point value of all the letters you have played.
Your score is shown as "points/letterpoints" on the game board. At the end of the game, a summary is given showing your points, letterpoints, and ratio. The higher the ratio, the better use you have made of bonus multipliers, multi-word uses, and existing letter use.
STARTINGEach player draws a tile to see who goes first. The player with the tile closest to A will go first; blanks are considered farthest from A. If two or more players share the same letter closest to A, all players will redraw tiles.
The players will replace their tiles, and all tiles will be mixed. Each player will then be given a full rack of tiles (7 with the 15x15 board and 8 with the 19x19 and 21x21 boards).
PLAYEach player will place tiles on the board to form a word. The tiles must be placed so that at least one existing letter on the board is used to form a new word along with the tiles you place down. The only exception is the very first move, where the first player must place their word so that it covers the very center space, H8. The first word may be placed vertically or horizontally, as long as at least one of its letters covers H8.
After a word is placed on the board, tiles are drawn from the remaining tiles to give the player a full rack. When all remaining tiles have been used up, the player will be left with only their remaining tiles.
The network version of Scramble will check all works created against a standard word-game dictionary. If a word does not appear in the dictionary, it is handled according to which game mode is being used: strict, nostrict, or tournament.
ADJUDICATION AND CHALLENGESIn strict mode (the default), no invalid words are allowed, and the game will return a move with invalid words as an error.
In -nostrict mode, words that do not appear in the dictionary will be flagged as such, and another player may choose to request an undo. If the player who just played realizes they made a word in error, they may also request an undo. The game does not enforce that every word created is in the dictionary, but all players are informed of the words that do not appear.
In -tournament mode, the players are not told whether the words are in the dictionary or not. Players may use the "challenge" command to check whether the word(s) just played by his opponent are valid. The "challenge" command may only be used in tournament mode.
When a "challenge" command is issued, all words made on the immediately preceeding turn are check against the dictionary. If all the words are in the dictionary, the challenge fails. The challenger scores zero points for his turn, and his turn is over. If any of the words are not in the dictionary, the challenge succeeds. All tiles played on the preceeding turn are removed from the board and placed back in the opponent's rack, and no points are scored for any of those words. It is then the challenger's turn to play a word. In keeping with tournament rules, you are not told which word(s) are invalid, only that at least one was not in the dictionary.
NOTE: Because a challenge may result in tiles being returned to a rack, in tournament mode new tiles are not drawn until the beginning of your turn. This give your opponent time to issue a challenge on their turn. Although this means you cannot use your opponent's time to plan your move as well, this is not a serious hardship because of the long time limits in email play.
PLAYING BLANKSIf you have a blank tile and wish to play it, simply specifying the word in your move is usually sufficient. First all letters that you have in your hand are used, then blank(s) are used to fill any other letters that you have specified. However, sometimes you may wish to specify the specific location that the blank will be used in your word. For example, if you have two A's and one blank, you might spell the word "banana". First, your two A's would be used, then your blank would be used for the 3rd A. However, if you wish your blank to be used for the first A, specify the word in your move as b-anana. If you wish the 2nd A to be used by the blank, specify ban-ana. Notice that you do not replace the letter in your word with a dash (-), but merely precede it with a dash.
You might also wish to play a blank instead of a letter you have. For example, if you have a Z, and want to make the word ZOO, but want to save your Z for a better scoring position, play -zoo as your word, and your blank will be used as Z while keeping the Z you have for later use.
PASSINGA player may pass if they are unable to make a word. Use the word pass as the move to pass your turn without scoring any points.
RESIGNINGYou may resign the game by sending your move as the word "resign". If more than one player is still playing after you resign, your tiles are put back into the pool for others to draw. If there is only one remaining player, you will give the value of the tiles in your rack to that player, and they will win the game. If their final score is higher than yours, they will win by the difference of their score and your score. If your score is still higher, they will still win (since you resigned), but they will not get credit for winning by any number of points.
UNDOING A MOVEIf you mistakenly place a word on the board, or if another player places a word that you don't agree with, you may request an undo of the move. All others players are then given the chance to accept or reject the undo. If all players accept, the last move is undone. To request an undo, use it as your move text, for example:
scramble move 333 zzz aaa undo
GAME ENDThe game will end after all the tiles to draw from have been used up. At this point, if a player uses all their remaining tiles to form a word, the game ends immediately. Also, any player left with tiles will have their scores deducted from his score, and the player who used all their tiles will get those points.
If a complete round progresses and every player passes, and all the tiles have been dealt out, the game will end.
The player with the highest score wins. The amount of points of the win is determined by the lowest score subtracted from the highest score.
If a tie exists between two or more players high scores, the player with the lowest letterpoint use will prevail is the winner. The player with the lower letterpoint use has made better use of their letters to get their high score, and therefore wins the tie.
EXAMPLES OF PLAY
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O 1 # . . % . . . # . . . % . . # 1 2 . * . . . @ . . . @ . . . * . 2 3 . . * . . . % . % . . . * . . 3 4 % . . * . . . % . . . * . . % 4 5 . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . 5 6 . @ . . . @ . . . @ . . . @ . 6 7 . . % . . . % . % . . . % . . 7 8 # . . % . . . Z O O . % . . # 8 9 . . % . . . % . % . . . % . . 9 10 . @ . . . @ . . . @ . . . @ . 10 11 . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . 11 12 % . . * . . . % . . . * . . % 12 13 . . * . . . % . % . . . * . . 13 14 . * . . . @ . . . @ . . . * . 14 15 # . . % . . . # . . . % . . # 15 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N OIn the above board, the word ZOOM could be made with the move H8,A,ZOOM. Note that even though the letters Z, O, and O are already on the board and you are only adding the M, you must still specify the entire word.
If instead, you made the move K8,D,MORE you would get credit for the new word MORE, plus the word ZOOM because you changed ZOO to ZOOM by adding the M at the end.
If you wanted to make the word ON, using the O already at I8, you would enter the move I8,D,ON. Note that using the move I9,D,N is not valid, you must include the entire word you wish to make in your move.
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O 1 # . . % . . . # . . . % . . # 1 2 . * . . . @ . . . @ . . . * . 2 3 . . * . . . % . % . . . * . . 3 4 % . . * . . . % . . . * . . % 4 5 . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . 5 6 . @ . . . @ . . . @ . . . @ . 6 7 . . % . . . % . % . . . % . . 7 8 # . . % . . . Z O O . % . . # 8 9 . . % . . . % E % . A . % . . 9 10 . @ . . . @ . B O A R . . @ . 10 11 . . . . * . . R . . K . . . . 11 12 % . . * . . . A . . . * . . % 12 13 . . * . . . % . % . . . * . . 13 14 . * . . . @ . . . @ . . . * . 14 15 # . . % . . . # . . . % . . # 15 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N OIn the above example, if you wanted to play the letter at location K8, you would not use the move K8,A,M or K8,D,M. You would specify either H8,A,ZOOM or K8,D,MARK. In either case you would get credit for both words ZOOM and MARK.
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O 1 # . . % . . . # . . . % . . # 1 2 . * . . . @ . . . @ . . . * . 2 3 . . * . . . % . % . . . * . . 3 4 % . . * . . . % . . . * . . % 4 5 . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . 5 6 . @ . . . @ . . . @ . . . @ . 6 7 . . % . . . % . % . . . % . . 7 8 # . . R E . N E C K . % . . # 8 9 . . % E . . % . H . . . % . . 9 10 . @ . A . @ . . E @ . . . @ . 10 11 . . . M E A S U R E * . . . . 11 12 % . . * . . . % R . . * . . % 12 13 . . * . . . % . Y . . . * . . 13 14 . * . . . @ . . . @ . . . * . 14 15 # . . % . . . # . . . % . . # 15 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N OIn the above example, it is only legal to put a letter at F8 if it makes each individual word into one word. Making the move D8,A,REP is not valid, because the word REPNECK is not a real word. Placing a D at F8 to make the word REDNECK would be legal, and the move would be specified as D8,A,REDNECK.
LETTER FREQUENCY AND VALUESYou may use the -v parameter on a command to view the total number of letters and their point values in the current game. The English and French versions have different point values assigned to their letters, and the -large, -grand, and -broad boards use an extended number of tiles.
Below are the number of each letter appearing in the standard sized game. The point values for each letter are the same for all sizes.
English: LETTER NUMBER POINTS LETTER NUMBER POINTS A 9 1 N 6 1 B 2 3 O 8 1 C 2 3 P 2 3 D 4 2 Q 1 10 E 12 1 R 6 1 F 2 4 S 4 1 G 3 2 T 6 1 H 2 4 U 4 1 I 9 1 V 2 4 J 1 8 W 2 4 K 1 5 X 1 8 L 4 1 Y 2 4 M 2 3 Z 1 10 Blank 2 0 French: LETTER NUMBER POINTS LETTER NUMBER POINTS A 9 1 N 6 1 B 2 3 O 6 1 C 2 3 P 2 3 D 3 2 Q 1 8 E 15 1 R 6 1 F 2 4 S 6 1 G 2 2 T 6 1 H 2 4 U 6 1 I 8 1 V 2 4 J 1 8 W 1 10 K 1 10 X 1 10 L 5 1 Y 1 10 M 3 2 Z 1 10 Blank 2 0