The example from Scrabble manual have the following picture illustrating the scoring:

Scrabble example

In the following, the words added on five successive turns are shown in bold type. The scores shown are the correct scores if the letter R is placed on the center square. In Turn 1, count HORN: in Turn 2, FARM; in Turn 3, PASTE and FARMS; in Turn 4, MOB, NOT and BE; in Turn 5, BIT, PI and AT.

But on turn 3 besides FARMS and PASTE the word ARMS is also formed, but I don't see it scored. Also, on turn 2 only FARM is scored while ARM is also there. Why?

2 Answers 2


Let's check the Hasbro rules (http://scrabble.hasbro.com). It's not verbose but it can be inferred from the text. Rules are different for the first play and for subsequent plays. Bold is mine.

  1. The first player combines two or more of his or her letters to form a word and [...].

Note that the rules for the first play say to form "a word", not "words". So one word is inferred.

  1. Play passes to the left. The second player, and then each in turn, adds one or more letteres to those already played to form new words. All letters played on a turn must be placed in one row across or down the board, to form at least one complete word. If, at the same time, they touch other letters in adjacent rows, those must also form complete words, crossword fashion, with all such letters. The player gets full credit for all words formed or modified on his or her turn.

Note that letters must be placed in one row to form a "complete word", "crossword fashion". So it's not explicit but to form complete words in crossword fashion seems to imply that subsets of words are not allowed (in crosswords each row across or down is a single word).

  • I am inclined to agree that "Crossword fashion" implies that only edge-to-edge words count. I found the tournament rules in the meantime, which, to my surprise, do not add any clarity.
    – n0rd
    Commented Jan 22, 2019 at 19:14

A word in Scrabble is a full set of letter tiles that are adjacent to each other in a single orthogonal direction with no additional adjacent tiles in the same direction. In other words, you don't count words inside of other words - you don't score the OR in HORN or the NO in NOT either, unless you started by spelling the shorter word then formed the longer one around it.

  • Would you be able to reference the specific rule supporting your claim, please?
    – n0rd
    Commented Jan 22, 2019 at 6:09
  • 1
    @n0rd: The scoring rule #7 in your link references the scoring example that you included in your question above. Therefore, the example IS PART of the rules and proves that words-within-words are not scored.
    – James
    Commented Jan 22, 2019 at 12:19
  • I would argue that the purpose of an example is usually to illustrate a rule rather than to define something new not explicitly defined in a set of rules. Examples also might have some omissions and simplifications to emphasize what an author had an intention to illustrate. So, I don't believe an example can be used as a source of rules.
    – n0rd
    Commented Jan 23, 2019 at 0:35
  • 2
    @n0rd: I agree with your first sentence. However, I would be very disappointed if a rules example contained inaccuracies. After all, the whole point of an example is to clarify the rules. By the way, when responding to a comment you should preface your comment with "@Username" as I have done. This causes a notification to be sent to that user.
    – James
    Commented Jan 23, 2019 at 2:09

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