Last modified on 23 November 2013, at 03:49

Scrabble/Dealing With a Bad Rack

A1
I1
I1
I1
E1
E1
E1


Sometimes, due to luck of the draw, you'll get saddled with a rack that you can't make any good words out of. Such a rack will usually consist of only consonants or only vowels.

Exchange or Not?Edit

You may be tempted to exchange most or all your tiles when faced with a bad rack. In some cases, this is indeed the best option. However, there are some things to consider.

Even if you can't play a long word, it's still quite possible to make a good score with a short word provided you land on bonus squares. For instance, if you have a rack with only consonants, but have a Q and a T, and there is an open A on the board, you can play QAT for at least twelve points, and more if you hit bonus squares. (This works better with consonants, as vowel letters do not score as much.) However, take a look at your leave as well. If you have a bad rack now and you play only two letters, the chances of having a bad rack on your next turn are pretty high - after all, you will still have five bad tiles.

Remember that you can't exchange when there are fewer than seven tiles left in the pool. Getting stuck with all consonants or vowels at the end of the game is disastrous because you won't be the first to clear your rack and will be assessed a penalty. If you are pondering exchanging, keep an eye on the pool.

If you do decide to exchange tiles, exchange at least four of them, especially multiples and high-point tiles. Do not exchange in hopes of drawing a particular letter to make a particular word. Instead, exchange to improve your rack. Keep a few low-point tiles, especially those found in the word RENTALS. It's also good to keep the D, and if you save more than two tiles, make sure they are not all vowels or all consonants. It should go without saying, but under no circumstances should you ever exchange a blank tile.

Memorize vowel-heavy wordsEdit

Vowel dumps can be very handy if you are stuck with a rack full of vowels. For example, if your rack is AEEILOU, rather than exchanging, you should look for a G to play EULO(G)IAE. Vowel dumps worth memorizing are the 4-letter words with three vowels, the 5- and 6-letter words with four vowels, and the 7- and 8-letter words with five or six vowels.