Scrabble with 8 tiles?

I’d like to play a game of 8-tile Scrabble with somebody someday.

Obviously the first implication would be that traditional racks won’t do (since they only fit 7 tiles); unless you’re talking about a bigger rack or smaller tiles. Maybe the SamRacks (is that what you call them?) can fit the tiles… if all else fails one could use the primitive method of hiding the tiles behind something else, like a SamTimer case (that was how I played in the absence of racks on the nights preceding the WYSC).

On gameplay, 8 tiles on your rack means you have greater flexibility in play (e.g. a higher possibility for extensions, benjamins, etc), which in turn implies a higher average move score. It also means fewer moves (not all the time though), and therefore about the same average game score (I’m guessing a little higher actually but it will vary from player to player).

Spatially speaking, double-triples become possible with the first move, and non-bingo triple-triples become much easier (easier being a relative term). A greater emphasis is placed on 6 letter words, and 7 letter words become much less useful. Synergy values change as knowledge on 5 tile leaves becomes more important (due to scoring opportunities).

Perhaps one of the most drastic changes will be on bingos. A mere knowledge of 7s and 8s will not be enough – one will need to move on to the 9s (spotting them is pretty difficult without adequate training, especially if one is too used to 7s and 8s). There will probably be less bingos too, given the 15 by 15 limitation of the board. The “perfect” AEINRST rack would probably be switched with the “perfect” AEINORST (or something else) rack.

So, anyone up for a game of 8 tile Scrabble soon?

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