Why Scrabble Beats Words with Friends: 3 Simple Reasons After Playing Thousands of Games

Why Scrabble Beats Words with Friends: 3 Simple Reasons After Playing Thousands of Games

There is a plethora of the best mobile scrabble game apps. Words With Friends is a widely loved game. It’s a lot like the classic game Scrabble. I love Scrabble because it’s nationally ranked, and there are three main reasons why it’s so satisfying for me.

1.       Skill Over Luck:

Words With Friends uses a different dictionary than Scrabble. It gets its words from a public domain list called ENABLE. Scrabble is skill-based, rewarding players for their abilities. On the other hand, Words With Friends can be unpredictable because its dictionary is not always consistent. You can use words like ‘’dongle’’, but not their plurals, which can be frustrating and unpredictable.

2.       Bonus Points for Bingo:

In Scrabble, if you use all seven titles you get a 50-point bonus known as bingo. Expert players often get two or three bingos per game, boosting their scores. In contrast, Words With Friends provides a 35-point bonus, 15 points fewer, making Bingos less advantageous. Scrabble’s higher bonus values the extra effort required for longer words.

3.       Board Design Matters:

Scrabble and Words With Friends boards differ in premium layout, causing a significant scoring imbalance. Take a look below:

scrabble words with friends

Words With Friend’s board layout significantly changes gameplay from Scrabble. Premium squares in Scrabble open opportunities for opponents, unlike Words With Friends. you will get it better from this example:


I can start the game strong with 52 points by playing ZEBRA. However, it opens the door for my opponent to score big. The double-word scores near Z and E mean my opponent could score 28+ points with words like BLITZ or ZONED. If they form seven-letter words like ABSENCE or FIREMAN with an E in the middle, they could hit both double-word scores for nearly 50 points. 

Scrabble Board Layout: Strategic Balance:

                             The Scrabble board is fair. The center space, where the first word must touch, is seven spaces from the triple word score. Alfred Butts, the creator of Scrabble, carefully designed this layout for a fair game that balances risk and reward. In Words With Friends, the design lacks the fairness seen in Scrabble. This is clear in the typical first move.

words with friends

Words With Friends Board Design: Limited High Scoring Opportunities

In Words With Friends, you can’t reach a triple-word score right after the first turn. Double-word scores are placed strategically to stop opponents from using both in a single turn. For the second player, scoring high becomes harder. Later in the games, words spread to the board edges, making unique scoring spots that Scrabble doesn’t have. 


Strategic Advantage: Unique Scoring Opportunity:

             In the upper left corner, a smart play can land on both a triple-word and triple-letter score. By utilizing a letter such as R, simple words such as PARK or CARVE can easily score 60+ points. This creates a notable advantage without offering the opponent a comparable opportunity. 


The way premium squares are arranged allows for high-scoring moves, as seen in the example below. While DOOZIE would be worth 72 points on a Scrabble board, it scores an inflated 105 points here.       

words with friends

Changes to the board upset the game’s balance, often making the final score depend on who reaches corner premium squares first.  Players tend to play it safe by using a conversation strategy, opting for short, awkward words that block parts of the board. Playing Words With Friends is less fun than Scrabble. Creating opportunities for opponents to score becomes a significant risk, making the game’s outcome more reliant on luck. If you want a game with a better mix of luck and skill, choosing classic Scrabble is a good option.


In summary, Scrabble is better than Words With Friends because it has fair rules, a good game board, and more points for smart moves. Scrabble is more fun and needs more skill.

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