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Winning Strategies in Scrabble

The key to winning a scrabble game is to finish with the highest score when all the tiles have been laid down on the table - with emphasis on the phrase "to finish with the highest score." Many players, mainly beginners, only try to come up with words regardless of the point-value. As a result, they may have laid all their tiles down but still score low at the end of the game. As with most games, constant practice makes one perfect, or at least, better. In scrabble, however, you have to possess some tricks in order to win. Work with the Q The letter 'Q' is perhaps the most dreaded letter in scrabble, especially if it is not hooked with the letter 'U'. But did you know that there are 21 words that use a Q without a U? They are: FAQIR(S), QAID(S), QANAT(S), QAT(S), QINDAR(S), QINTAR(S), QINDARKA, QOPH(S), QWERTY(S), SHEQEL, SHEQELIM and TRANQ(S). Other words that may come in handy are QIVIUT(S), MAQUI(S), SUQ(S), UMIAQ(S) and BUQSHA(S). Learn the X, J, Q and Z words The letters X, J, Q and Z have the highest point-value. Ironically, beginners hate these letters. But if you will just study words that have any of these letters, not only you will have a higher score, you will also prevent your opponent from scoring a bingo. Don't waste your S's Surely, the easiest way to score is to add an S to an existing word on the board. This is good if you will land on a double or triple word score. But if you are just using S without any reason or simply because it is the first possible move you see on the table, you are just giving your opponent an extra move and at the same time, wasting a valuable letter. Play the letter S if the value yields at least 10 points, lower than that and you are playing to lose. For example, ROLL is just 4 points. If you add S to make it ROLLS, it will just give you 5 points. But if the word is JUMP, adding S on a double word score space will yield to 26 points. Keep your S for a while until you can maximize its value. Go Bingo Hunting Another trick you have to remember is to look for prefixes and suffixes. The word PAIR can become REPAIR or PAIRING or even, REPAIRING. TAIL can be linked with RE- to make it RETAIL or RE- and -ERS to make it RETAILERS. Having the letters S, R, E, I, N and G can be very, very useful. Learn the 2-letter words When the board begins to get crowded and long words begin to lose their place, you start going for 2-letter words. But if your vocabulary is limited, you cannot simply invent words, right? QI, SO, TO, UP, OW, OX, XI, KI and HO are just some examples. There are more. Learn them. Keep your eyes on the board The ability to spot scoring opportunities is one of the key elements in winning the game. Obviously, you can easily play your S, R and E if you want to score in a hurry. But as much as possible, combine high- or mid-value tiles in your rack with colored squares on the board.


Board Games are Great for Kids

Board games are popular to people of all ages. Young and old alike are very much enthused to playing these games. Families and friends often gather and spend time to beat each other in these peaceful games. In fact, these have become very competitive that a lot of variants have already been taken to a higher level as they are always included in game cups and other prestigious competitions. Many board games often have a relationship to real life, and can teach children about the lives that they have ahead of them withoug them even knowing it. Monopoly is a representation of the actual real estate market that involves buying and then selling. Clue involves a murder mystery which needs to be solved. This then prompts the child to act like a cop who is tasked to capture the culprit and eliminate him from the society where he belongs. On the other hand, Risk is a game that features warfare and therefore requires the child to think of useful strategies, be witty and quick minded all the time. Life is a game that motivates making a number of major decisions. This is then a particular game that plays an important role especially in terms of molding the child's system for it to be able to quickly adapt to the changes in his society even at such a tender age. Meanwhile, Chess and Scrabble have certain rules to learn and follow. They train the child to become witty in order for him to arrive at the most practical strategies that can help him win the game. Board games for kids likewise introduce to them concepts of winning and losing. At a tender age they are already trained to rejoice over their victory and accept defeat. At the same time, they are made aware that rules ought to be strictly followed.


The Internet - A Cournucopia of Free Board Games

There are a lot of board games over the Internet which are offered for free. Due to this offer, more than a handful of enthusiasts avail of the deal. The free games can be accessed anytime provided that you know of the particular websites that make them available. It is also great to note that several other aficionados are waiting for other players to join them. As it goes, many websites allow the free downloading of some games. Meaning, you don't have to purchase it or register via your credit card. This offer comes with a restriction though and it is through the trial period. When your trial game has expired, it is your choice if you want to purchase it or you are simply going to find another site that can give you the same free trial option. The free trial version is a part of the website's marketing strategies since people are likely to give something a try prior to spending some cash on it. Whichever game you want to play be it Monopoly, Clue, Chess, Word Factory, Checkmate, Mahjong, and many others, you can always find it by surfing the Internet. The advent of modern technology has made it possible for the players to have fun by means of the online board games!


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8 Must-Have Board Games

Picking 8 board games among thousands of board games around the world may seem to be a very hard task to accomplish. But if you ask us, here are our choices. You may not agree on some of the games in the list but you have to admit that we share the same interest on most board games. The list includes timeless and relatively new board games, in different game genres (word, abstract, German-style, and more). Chess The basics of chess can be learned in a matter of days but this is the kind of game that takes years to master. But no matter how good or how bad you play this game or whether you even know how to play chess or not, your collection will never be complete without this 8x8 game board with 32 game pieces around. Monopoly When someone thinks of board games, the word "monopoly" always comes first. This is not a surprise since monopoly is considered to be one of the most successful board games of all time. The real testament of its success lies in figures. Monopoly has sold more than 500 million units since it was first released at the time of the great depression. Scrabble This game does not need any words for introduction. The fact that 1 out of every 3 American households has scrabble proves that the game is a masterpiece in all rights. Scrabble, without a doubt, deserves its place in my list. Settlers of Catan The success of Settlers of Catan lies directly on its game design. Played on random board layouts that ensure that every game is different, Settlers of Catan is a multi-faceted game that requires both skill and luck. If building infrastructures and creating civilization are what you like, you have to give this game a try. Chutes and Ladders I'm maybe way too old to play this game but Chutes and Ladders has to be on our list. Why? It is fun and brings a lot of memories from childhood. Tigris and Euphrates If someone speaks of strategic and tactical board games, this has to be on the top of the list. Set between two clashing dynasties at the dawn of civilization, Tigris and Euphrates is a game that builds skills on managing trade, agriculture, government and religion evenly to become the victor. The game has won first prize in the 1998 Deutscher Spiele Preis. But even then, this game is already a winner for us. Puerto Rico Puerto Rico is set during the age of the Caribbean ascendancy. The primary aim of the game is to accumulate points by building infrastructures or shipping products (such as corn, sugar, coffee, etc.) to the Old World. Economic management is the key to this game while assuming various roles (settler, builder, mayor, craftsman, etc.) in every round. Zingo Once in a while, you want to play light board games like Zingo. This is very similar to bingo which can be played even if your opponents have not yet learned reading and writing. There are many excellent board games out there that should be on the list but since there are only 8 slots available, we chose all of our favorites. That said, what's your top 8?


Exploring Strategy Board Games

So-called strategy games require players to possess a quick and sharp mind at all times. The games that qualify under this category require a great amount of thinking for the player to bring home the bacon. It is not all about being careful and analytical in terms of every single move that must be made but it also follows that the player exerts keen observation on all possible attacks that the opponent will bring. The anticipation of future moves should be undertaken as well. This is the very nature of the strategy board games. The Common Game Categories With the numerous games in existence these days, you have several options to choose from. The following are the categories that call for strategic moves and quick thinking. Find out which intrigues you more. War Strategy Games. In this modern age, war games are more likely related to the video games that are on sale in several stores. Some common examples are WarCraft, Counter Strike, and Battlefield, among others. What the general public may not truly know is that long before these video games came into being, the act of strategizing was firstly applied in board games. By simply tracing back time, the ancient game called Go used much of this process. In fact, the Chinese tribal warlords utilized it in their maps as they planned out their attacks. Come to think of it, war and strategy are closely related. Before the soldiers will be driven out into the field, the generals will first brief them of their strategic attack. Examples of war strategy games are Backgammon, Game of the Generals, Stratego, and Battleship. Investor Games. Monopoly is a popular example that falls under this category. It is a game that features the actual world of the real estate such as investing, buying, selling, and banking. Even when there is a dice that maneuvers the fate of the player, the game still requires a good deal of strategizing so as to win over the rival player. Crime and Investigator Games. Clue stands as the best representative of these types of board games. The players will have to spot the murderer among themselves. It may be complex yet it is twice the fun. There are series of lies, confusion, and secrecy which pose more challenge. The players should be able to think really well before they get killed by their opponents. Other Popular Games to Play Strategy games are simply what the name states. They require foresight. Some other games that top the list are the following: Chess Having acquired an international status, many people wish to learn the trades of the game. Every move counts so the player must anticipate the possible attacks of the opponent. He must make sure that the important pawns are not captured. Mahjong It might be surprising but this game has its philosophical and spiritual roots. Cribbage This is a rather unusual strategy board game because it actually uses cards. The board is there to track scores. Sudoku The grid must be filled in with the numbers 1 up to 9 by only using a number once for every section. Go It is like chess in some ways except that it utilizes simpler pieces like the black and white stones. There is a close link between the capacity to foresee a future outcome with the present situation. That is why, if you do intend to play the strategy board games, you must have a strong presence of mind.


Choose a Winning Board Game for Your Kids

No matter which board game you choose, among hundreds available in the market today, you will surely get a run for your money as they all have certain benefits that are helpful in kids' learning development. However, just like most kids toys, selecting which board game to buy for kids must depend on certain factors. Age Finding a board game that is suitable for the kid's age is the most important thing you must consider. As with most toys, board games for kids indicate age recommendations such as 3+, 6+, 12+, etc. When in doubt, age recommendations are a good guideline to follow. Take note of choking hazards as well. Many board games have small pieces that can be dangerous if swallowed. But you should not limit your choices based on the age that is printed on the board. It is advised to look for games that will enhance the learning experience of your kids. For example, preschoolers should play something that teaches basic math skills or something that deals with shapes and colors. The game doesn't have to be highly intellectual to be educational. Most board games for kids have very simple rules, are very easy to play and yet, can be very helpful in the learning process of kids. For kids in grade school, choose something that is more challenging - a game that involves basic logic and strategy. Word games that improve vocabulary and language skills would be a big help to their development. Games such as Yahtzee, Scrabble Jr., Boggle and Upwords are winners. Choosing board games for teens can be difficult because they are more preoccupied with other activities. However, if they show interest, choose things that are more complex and require strategic skills such as board wargames, monopoly, scrabble and chess. Here are some game boards for kids with age recommendations: Chutes and Ladders (Snakes and Ladders) - ages 3 and up Candyland - ages 3 and up Sorry! - ages 6 and up Hungry Hungry Hippos - ages 3 and up Cranium Cariboo - ages 3 and up Cranium Hallabaloo - ages 4 and up Cranium Balloon lagoon - ages 5 and up Cranium Cadoo - ages 7 and up Qwirkle - ages 6 and up Oodles of Doodles - ages 10 and up Mouse trap - ages 6 and up High Ho! Cherry-O - ages 3 and up I Spy Eagle Eye - ages 5 and up Interest Aside from age, another factor you should consider when choosing board games for kids is the interest that they have. Many board games have themes, often based popular television shows, movies, cartoons and comic books. Kids love it when they receive a toy or a game that is based on their favorite characters. Think of Sponge Bob, Dora, Little Mermaid, Batman, Spiderman, Pokemon and Harry Potter. These characters are often applied on classic games. They cost more but they are a sure hit with kids. Price The old adage, "you get what you pay for" applies to buying board games. Take note that quality and playability comes with a price so if a particular game can be played repeatedly for the years to come, it will be worth a few extra bucks. On the other hand, short-lived games, particularly those that are designed for kids from 3 to 8 years old, will not last very long and are not worth much investing in.


The Perfect Family Game Night

Playing board games together can be one of the most enriching ways to spend quality time with the family. With all the technologies and individual activities each family member can do these days, a family gathering just to play a board game is sometimes really hard to come by. So if the opportunity knocks and you really want to tie your family together, board games are still the best way to do it. Planning for a family board game night is not a very hard thing to do. But if you don't know where to start, read on. 1.) Clear all our schedules and make it an important date. Doing this sends a message to your family about your priorities. It may be hard to gather all the members for a night, especially if you have teenagers. So you have to announce it early and be a role model. Once you have set the time and date, stick to it. The last thing you want to do is to cancel the night because of some unplanned appointment or deadline. 2.)No guests allowed. There may be occasions where you want to invite friends, relatives or neighbors to play with you, but this time, it is a closed-door session. If you keep it to your family, every member will realize their role and identity. Also, this is a great opportunity to improve communication among each other. 3.) Do not entertain interruptions. Turn off your cellphones and computers and let the machine answer your phone calls. Make sure that there are no other things that need to be done like homework and chores. 4.) Use different games. No matter how much you love certain games, if you play them night in and night out, the activity can become boring. Once in a while, buy new games. It doesn't matter what type of game you play for the night as long as everyone can participate. Also make sure that games have a balanced combination of luck and strategy so that everyone can have a fair chance of winning. 5.) Utilize this moment as a venue to teach lessons such as fair play and becoming a good sport. Use family night to encourage positive behaviors and social skills that they can use when they grow old and when they interact with others outside the house. 6.) Prepare some snacks. Children love to play but they also love to eat. Easy to prepare and easy to eat foods can be placed in a bowl where they can just dunk with their hands. Other useful tips: a.) Introduce board games to your kids as early as possible. Many board games are designed for kids as young as 4 years old so you will not have any problem when choosing the games that will fit to your youngest child. b.) This night is for your kids so let them decide the games that they want to play.


The Various Types of Board Games

The majority of board games, both classic and contemporary, can be categorized as either luck-based or strategy-based. Most children games such as Candyland and Sorry! rely on the flow of the game out of luck as there is no strategy involved that will determine the winner. Players of chess and the likes, on the other hand, have to rely on strategy and carefully planned moves in order to win. Meanwhile, many games involve a combination of strategy and luck. In these types of games, a player may have a few bad rolls of dice but ultimately, his or her decisions or strategies throughout the game will seal his fate. Aside from luck and strategy, on some games diplomacy can become a big factor. It is most commonly used to beat a much stronger player or players by teaming up with others. Diplomacy is very effective on games such as Risk, Settlers of Catan and the fittingly named game Diplomacy. In recent years, board games are categorized more formally into different groups. Here are some of the most common: Race Games - are basically games wherein two or more players will race against each other to the end of the board. The classic game of Chutes and Ladders is a good example. While Chutes and Ladders and other race games involve a game of chance, others such as Arimaa are purely strategic. Although they do not involve game pieces, Crosses and Circles games like Ludo and Parcheesi are also included in this category. Word Games - are both educational and entertaining. These games involve swiftness of thought, language skill including spelling, comprehension, and well-developed vocabulary. Word games, like scrabble, involve luck as letters are picked randomly to form words. There are 4 subcategories of word games: 1.) Paper and Pencil games/puzzles: Crossword Puzzle, Word Search and Hangman 2.) Linguistic recreations: Word Golf, Kangaroo Words and Anagram 3.) Structured games: Fictionary, Categories and Charades 4.) Letter Arrangement games: Scrabble, Upwords, Ghost and Boggle Roll-and-Move games - are played by rolling a die or dice to determine how many spaces the piece or pieces of the players are moved. Obviously, it is a game of chance but many roll-and-move games are also strategic. Monopoly, Game of the Goose, Easy Money, Mall Madness and Cluedo are some of the games that fall under this category. Trivia games - play on a series of general knowledge questions in which the player must answer correctly in order to move his or her piece around the board. The most popular trivia game is Trivial Pursuit created Scott by Abbott and Chris Haney. Other games of the same genre are Who Wants to be a Millionaire and Wheel of Fortune. Abstract Strategy games - can either be a board game or a card game. It involves no chance and is played by two or more players. Classic games such as chess, checkers, mancala, go and irensei are included in this category. In a strict sense, an abstract strategy game is that which has no hidden information and cannot have random elements. However, since categorizing each game is very subjective, Octiles, Sequence, Backgammon, Can't Stop and Mentalis fall under the category despite having a buffling element or a luck. Board Wargames - can be simple games (commonly known as beer-and-pretzel games) or involve a high level of realism, often a simulation of history.


Review: Ticket To Ride Game

Even with all the electronic gadgets and gizmos designed to keeps kids happy these days, the board game still endures, but the market is more competitive than ever. That means a board game has to really impress if it’s going to stick around and make its producer any money. Does Ticket to Ride manage to live up to such high demands? Let’s take a look. Key Features Of Ticket To Ride * 225 colored train cars, * 2 – 5 players, * Great replay value, * Ages 8 – 12. Is Ticket To Ride Worth Buying? Many families still enjoy playing board games together. To this day, they remain unsurpassed in the way that they can get a family together round a table, laughing, interacting and enjoying each other’s company. If this appeals to you, then Ticket to Ride could be just the ticket for you and your family! The first thing you’ll notice about this board game is the high quality feel of the parts. The board and cards are nicely designed, featuring great graphics, and the pieces are sturdy and colorful. This makes it more appealing for children, helping to hold their attention while you figure out the rules. The rules themselves make this game instantly accessible. There are only 4 pages of simple rules in the booklet, and these take next to no time to get to grips with. You’ll be playing the game within 10 minutes of opening the box and after that you’ll never look back. What makes this game so appealing isn’t the colorful pieces, nice design, or straightforward rules though. It’s the fast pace and pleasing mix of strategy and luck. There are several ways to achieve the simple objective, and games are always a close-call, keeping them exciting until the end. From a parent’s point of view, it’s useful to know that this is a game where you can easily pull your punches. There are plenty of opportunities for players to interfere with each other’s game plans, but it’s entirely down to you whether or not you want to play such moves. This means that you can go easy on the kids, keeping them happier. A typical game lasts from 30 – 60 minutes. This makes it easy to fit in to small time slots which is ideal for a busy family. It also means that kids are likely to play several rounds if left to themselves, which could keep them occupied for a few hours. This game is worthy of high praise, and can be thorough recommended without hesitation. For those who really get into it, there are even several expansion sets that make the game even more interesting and entertaining. If you’re looking for a family board game that’ll keep both kids and adults happy, then look no further. This is it.


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