Take your time. Rushing into the game is an enormous mistake because you can quite easily overlook a Bender’s big score. Before deciding which tiles you will place on the Scrabble board take at least a minute to examine what you’ve got on your plate and what you’ve got to work with on the board. Taking your time while playing Scrabble doesn’t just mean scrutinizing what letters you’ve got, it also means taking the time to examine the potential scoring opportunity before you. Before making any final decision try to figure out all the reasons why that move is the absolute best possible move you could make; this means taking into account the potential score, the potential for giving other players a better opportunity to score off your addition, and the potential for giving up letters now for a lesser score that could have paid off big time if you draw a few much-needed tiles for a Bender’s big score in the next round.
The best offense is a good defense. In other words, don’t make things worse on yourself by opening up for play those triple score alleys up and down and the board unless by doing so you can score big yourself. Playing defensively really comes into play when the game is halfway done. By this point you should take every caution to put obstacles in the place of the competitors by playing to ensure not so much that you are scoring big, but that you are taking away the opportunity for your competitors to use up all their tiles. That means, obviously, that you will also be unable to play all your tiles, but it doesn’t matter as much because you are already in the lead. Of course, the opposite is also true; when playing from behind the best defense is a wild and crazy offense. If you are still behind when the game is half over, now is the time to take some risks. Instead of playing a word that you are sure your opponent is aware of, instead choose to play the word he might well challenge. And when behind it behooves you to take the risk for the sake of more points than playing it safe. Go for the seven letter play by using your S or a blank tile for the plural. These tips probably won’t be enough to get you on the fast track to the Scrabble tournament circuit, but they may be enough to finally beat Aunt Fanny.