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Is there a popular Scrabble variation that:

  • lets you play double/triple word scores twice, once vertically and once horizontally?

  • does NOT let you play double/triple letter scores twice?

This is how I've always played, so it surprised me to learn that official Scrabble rules do NOT permit using double/triple word scores twice.

Perhaps this was true in an older version of Scrabble (I started playing in the 70s).

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3 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I searched Changes to the Box Top Rules, 1949 - 1999 and found the following clarification was made in 1953:

1953: If a word is formed that covers two premium WORD squares, the score is doubled and then re-doubled (4 times letter count), or tripled and then re-tripled (9 times letter count) as the case may be.

Nowhere in the rules was there any mention of being able to use the same premium square twice.

The Diamond Anniversary Edition rules includes some interesting variations, but does not mention your scoring rules.

Personally, I would find your scoring variation confusing and prone to error, since Scrabble tiles are not transparent, and therefore a novice may have trouble realizing that they are reusing a premium word square.

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To my knowledge, I've always played this was, even as a novice. Well researced though –  Pureferret Nov 7 '12 at 7:40
Thanks for the well-researched answer! –  barrycarter Nov 7 '12 at 18:04
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Your question isn't completely clear. Once a word has been played. the bonus can't be used again in a later turn, for whatever reason.

If, however, you play a letter that makes one word across and another word down (usually filling in a block of four), then you score both words; if the letter is on a bonus square, presumably you count the bonus twice.

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I have certainly played Scrabble games with people that though you could re-use bonus squares, though I haven't heard of the distinction you make between word and letter bonus squares. I think this is not so much a common variation as it is a common misconception (like Free Parking in Monopoly).

I have had reasonably-good success weaning people of their attachment to this non-rule by purposely making solid blocks of tiles that have to be carefully lifted and replaced for every word I play :-)

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