Part III – Intermediate Play (cont) – Words With Friends

Target audience:

  • Semi-competitive player with 10 or fewer simultaneous games
  • Enjoys winning slightly more than making clever words
  • Wants to limit playing time but still win 60% or more of the games
  • Has mastered all the skills listed in Part I – Basic Tactics
  • Has mastered all the skills listed in Part II – Intermediate Play

Tactics

Learn word creation via tile mapping.
      1. Find the most valuable tiles on the board.
        • Access to a DW or TW.
        • DL, TL, DW, TW with a vowel next to it where two words can be made with same tile.
        • Extending an existing word with J, Q, X, or Z.

        Find valuable tiles. (1) Key starting points - 1 Key starting points - 1

      2. Match most valuable letters to those locations.  Add any other letters from your rack which appear to form common syllables or letter combinations.

        High value tile on high value square. (1) High value tile on high value square. (2)

      3. Use this as the starting point for creating words.

        High value tile on high value square with word. (1) High value tile on high value square with word. (2)

Know and use the vowel and consonant only words.
  • These are very valuable when your rack is full of either vowels or consonants.
  • If nothing can be created, see tile swapping section below.
Vowel Only AA AE AI EAU OE OI
Consonant Only (no Y) BRR BRRR CRWTH CRWTHS CWM CWMS
HM HMM MM NTH PFFT PHPHT PHT
PSST PST SH SHH TSK TSKS TSKTSK
TSKTSKS ZZZ
Master the tile swap.
  • Use this tactic sparingly, but consider using in these situations:
    • Rack contains 3-5 of the same letters.
    • Rack contains all vowels or all consonants.  (See all vowel and consonant only section above.)
    • Opponent is really far ahead, and you need a Hail Mary to even have a chance.
  • Keep these letters when swapping:  A, D, E, R, S, T
  • Swapping 4 or fewer letters is preferred to avoid consecutive bad racks.

Other Posts

Introduction
Part I – Basic Tactics
Part II – Intermediate Play 
Part III – Intermediate Play (cont)
Part IV – Advanced Strategy
Part V – Hard Core Tactics
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Part II – Intermediate Play – Words With Friends

Target audience:

  • Semi-competitive player with 10 or fewer simultaneous games
  • Enjoys winning slightly more than making clever words
  • Wants to limit playing time but still win 60% or more of the games
  • Has mastered all the skills listed in Part I – Basic Tactics

Tactics

20 point minimum.  Strive for this minimum score in all cases.
  • Use this as a guideline to get your score above 350.
  • This rule-of-thumb helps balance time management with a decent score. (i.e. Find a 20 point word with decent defensive stance and move to next game.)
 30+ point word.  Play whenever and wherever.
  • With this many points, it’s OK to let down your defensive stance.
  • Often, the worst case is your opponent will respond with a similar score, but it’s worth the gamble and keeps you in control of the board.
2-letter words.  You must know these to be speedy and see the pairings naturally.
  • For Blackjack players, this is no different than memorizing simple strategy.
  • This is big time booster and prevents unnecessary trial-and-error.
  • See the following table for a list of these:
AA AB AD AE AG AH AI AL AM AN
AR AS AT AW AX AY BA BE BI BO
BY DA DE DI DO ED EF EH EL EM
EN ER ES ET EX FA FE FI GI GO
HA HE HI HM HO ID IF IN IS IT
JO KA KI LA LI LO MA ME MI MM
MO MU MY NA NE NO NU OD OE OF
OH OI OM ON OP OR OS OW OX OY
PA PE PI QI RE SH SI SO TA TI
TO UH UM UN UP US UT WE WO XI
XU YA YE YO ZA
Defensive letters:  V, C & K (to some extent)
  • Use these letters to play words to prevent your opponent from connecting to your word.
  • These letters can be used to render a TW or DW unusable for the rest of the game.

Using the V to block Using the C to block Using the V to block - 2

Other Posts

Introduction
Part I – Basic Tactics
Part II – Intermediate Play 
Part III – Intermediate Play (cont)
Part IV – Advanced Strategy
Part V – Hard Core Tactics