Tips & Strategies
Tile counting provides many benefits beyond calculating the opponent’s last seven tiles.
According to Joel Sherman, the worst letters in the pool are the Q, J, W, in that order. 'If you have them, they are the first tiles you should be looking to use up, and the last you should consider holding.'
Four consonants to three vowels. The more often you achieve this balance in your rack, the higher probability you have of maing a bingo.
RULE OF THUMB ON USING BLANKS
As a rule of thumb, avoid using a blank unless you can net at least 20 more than any other word not using it. Don't spend an 'S' unless you can net at least 10 more points than any other play wihout using it. Of course, this does not apply to bingo's: bingo's is why you hold onto those S's and blanks!
Always look for ways to break up duplicates -- letters that appear more than once in the same rack. Each time a tile is duplicated in the rack, the number of possible letter orders that might be acceptable words is cut in half.
Don't waste them. The best tiles in the Scrabble set are the blanks and S's. S begins 50% more words than any other letter, in addition to all the
SWAP OR NOT
If your TileCounter Tracking Sheet indicates that UNPLAYED TILES (ie tiles that may be in your opponent's rack but also may still be in the bag and available to draw) is CONSONANT HEAVY, you may decide a swap isn't worth it, since you have a higher probability of having a consonant heavy rack after the swap. If, on the other hand, you can tell from studying the Tracking Sheet that the bag is 'vowel heavy' you may decide the swap is worth it. Hang onto the 'S' no matter what, tho! To understand how to use the rack management strategy of 'good synergy' check out the rack management advice here.
Test Your Skill: Key Letter Alert
Taking account of letters left in the bag is a fundamental part of tile counting strategy, especially as the game nears the end. In this example, you may use the count data to decide not to play away the 'U' in your rack because the Q is still out. This makes it easier for YOU to get rid of the Q in case you draw it, and harder for your opponent to dump it in case he/she draws it. A rule of thumb for Q strategy is: don’t play away the last U, I or A-T combination if the Q is still out there.
Use the Words with Friends/Scrabble game features to play games against yourself or the computer—then use TileCounter to practice your rack and board management skills, end game strategies, counting skills and even 'board psychology!'