One of the basic rules in scrabble says that the tiles that you use have certain values. People are looking for the rare ones, the ones that have a high value in order to use them for words that can bring them a beautiful score. Moreover, they are learning new words continuously so that they can make a great move when they have the opportunity. However, have you ever wondered how these values were set and where did they come from? Are they suitable for nowadays’ lists of words or should they suffer some updates?
Scrabble tiles values: now and then
The values of the scrabble letters were set according to the front page of a US newspaper in the 1930s. Alfred Butts calculated the points for each letter by looking at the frequency of each one on that specific page. This process was done more than 70 years ago and questions have been raised if the system cannot be improved.
The number of words approved in scrabble matches has increased and is continuously changing, since new ones are being added. For this reason, the frequency of the letters changes. You can have much more possibilities to use an X or a Z than you had five years ago.
Proposals for updating the scrabble values system have been made. Some people think that this is change that scrabble players need, while others believe that it is shift that will confuse players and create a great chaos.
Discussions are and will continue to exist until a mutual agreement is reached. It is important to understand the needs of the scrabble players and to make a change from which they can benefit. The game will have to keep up with what is happening in the present, but it will always remain that simple crosswords game that millions of people know.
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