Gimme a Z! Gimme a Q! Gimme a J!
April 2, 2013 2:48 PM   Subscribe

I am a Words With Friends addict. I admit it. I employ common strategies (like hoarding the letters S, E, R, D or I, N, G to add on as pre-fixes or as endings to take advantage of triple and double word scores. But I'm finding out that people are using short words (four letters or less) that I've never known existed (or didn't think of) to score big on letters with a Z, Q or J.

For example - za(s), qi(s), Taj, Haj, Jo, xi(s), qua. etc. What are other three or four-letter words using Z, Q, or J that I should know?
posted by HeyAllie to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

Everyone I know who does that uses something like this. You could study up by putting in rare letters and seeing what it comes back with.
posted by Lyn Never at 2:53 PM on April 2, 2013

All acceptable three letter words (I hear some people know all of these by heart).

Q words

J words.

Z words.

Bonus: Q without U.

On preview... I guess I needn't bother, but I have two extra links!
posted by ClarissaWAM at 2:55 PM on April 2, 2013

Here are all two and three letter scrabble words.

Just a note on strategy, it's not just your Js and Zs that matter. Try to play parallel words built from two letter words whenever possible. Scoring multiple times from the same tiles is the only way to win consistently. It also can make it really hard for your opponent to find places to put words.
posted by empath at 2:56 PM on April 2, 2013

Oh, and you don't need to cheat or memorize the list. You can try as many different words as you want, it doesn't penalize you.
posted by empath at 2:58 PM on April 2, 2013

The reason I know them is that I read the instruction booklet that came with my Scrabble set cover to cover. (What.) There was a hints section in the back with a list of all the two letter words and a bunch of q without u words.

My uncle is excellent at WWF despite the fact that he would probably be awful at real life scrabble. His tactic is to put the good letters on the high scoring squares, then just randomly fill in his remaining letters and hit play until something accepts.
posted by phunniemee at 3:14 PM on April 2, 2013 [2 favorites]

My absolute favorite (er and the only one I usually remember) is "qat" and it's great and super useful!
posted by jetlagaddict at 3:23 PM on April 2, 2013

Reading Stefan Fatsis's Word Freak both showed me what it takes to be a dramatically better Scrabbletm player, and that I really don't want to be. And I'm not a Words With Friends player, but yes: Learn all the two letter words, if you want to play competitively memorize all the three letter words, always think in terms of short words playing in both directions...

And neither is a game about words, they're games about pattern matching. Words are just an easy mnemonic to memorize the patterns. Get over that and you'll no longer be able to play casually with friends, because they'll walk away in disgust, but you'll be way better at the games.
posted by straw at 3:40 PM on April 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Serious Scrabble competitors also use programs like Zyzzyva to expand their vocabulary.
posted by zamboni at 8:32 PM on April 2, 2013

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