Sunday, January 2, 2011

triple word score: wowza

Day One:

I am completely astonished by what I learned last night playing a game I've played for years. I've been playing Scrabble all wrong. You may have been doing so, too.

Here's the kicker. This little known (to me) rule worked in my favor this time but could definitely not some other time.  And it doesn't really seem fair. And that makes it worse. And that would make me very unhappy.

See, I like to win. I know what you are thinking, "who doesn't?" But seriously, I really like to win. My husband can attest to it. Hence the need for an oath last night before our game of Scrabble. I swore that I be sportsman-like. As did he.

Generally, our games progress like this. I start out strong and keeping going that way and he gets mad. And I get mad that he is mad. Then I win. He's madder and I gloat. The end. (His version might be different.)

And last night was different. The high score went back and forth between us until I ended the game by using all my tiles. He couldn't use his. As per the rules we had been playing by for years, we subtracted the points of his unused letter from his score. We were tied.

"How could we tie?" I said. "Let me look at the rules." 

I look at the rules. Here's what it says: "Unplayed letters: When the game ends, each player's score is reduced by the sum of his or her unplayed letters. In addition if a player used all of his or her letters [I did], the sum of the other players' unplayed letters is added to that player's score."

Our score sheet looked like this:

Me (the wife)
223 + 8 (my hubby's unused tile points) = 231

Him (the husband)
231 - 8 (his unused points) = 223

Oh, my gosh. "What?" he said. "Let me see that." I read them aloud again.

We both were flabbergasted. But I did keep to my word and did not gloat. Out loud.

Has anyone else been playing Scrabble all wrong? If you keep old score sheets like we do, would the outcomes turn out very different? Are you flabbergasted, too? Or, do you have a more exciting life than I? :)

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