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Words with Friends Cheats Part 1

Introduction

Here are some tactics that are a little more questionable, but allowed in Words with Friends. Since these are basically in game rules, one should seek to exploit them to your advantage. They don't rely upon an external anagramming tool or dictionary or something like that. However, they might not be very well known since they are not possible or not allowed or even not commonly used in traditional Scrabble.

End Game Letter Swap

I think this is possibly the sneakiest move in WWF. In traditional Scrabble, if you are unhappy with your letters, you can take a turn and swap any number of letters up to the 7 allowed. The caveat is that there has to be at least 7 letters left in the bag.

WWF does not have this restriction. Hence this type of move becomes pretty useful in the end game. If you are approaching the end and say there are 1 or 2 tiles left and you are stuck with something like a V or the Q when all the Us and Is have been played, you should go ahead and swap the Q and/or V. If your opponent doesn't realize this has happened and they play their turn, they will end up with the Q and the V. This is a huge liability based on my Mastering the End Game article.

Stalemate...but Win

This borrows a concept from chess and can possibly be used to force a win before the end of the game. However, it will only work in a few situations. First, it will only work if you lead your opponent by at least the sum of the points on your rack less 4. Then if your opponent passes their turn, you can pass your turn. If your opponent passes again, then the game ends. The final scores are computed by taking your current score and subtracting the points on your rack and then taking your opponents score and subtracting the points on their rack. Say the current scores are 176 to 170 for you and your opponent respectively and you have 10 points on your rack. The lowest point total your opponent can have is 5 points. This requires them to have both blanks as well as 5 single point tiles. You then need 1 more point to win. So if you have 10 points on your rack and your opponent has 5. You give up 5 more points and so need at least a 6 point lead going into this to still win. The following table shows the scoring adjustment:


Line Item You Your Opponent
Current Score 176 170
Reduce by Rack Points 10 5
Final Score 166 165

Conclusion

These are some nuances of the rules in WWF that can be used to give yourself an edge. However, be careful that you don't fall victim to them.

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