Learning lists of words is a big part of Scrabble® play. There
are probably an infinite number of lists that could be compiled, so
where do you start?
- Right Here! - New players are encouraged to learn the
lists on this page within their first few months of play.
- NSA Membership Kit - The NSA membership kit includes
Hook Lists. Start with the 2-to-make-3 list, as they
are initially the most important. It can take two years or
more to know the three-letter words 100%, so narrowing this
goal down to just the 2-to-make-3 list is often useful.
- Make Your Own Lists - Doing this by hand is an
excellent way to remember the words, but of course it is much
more time consuming. For those without the time, consider one
of the computer programs that
are designed to help players learn words.
NOTE: All lists presented here use the TWL98
(North American) word source.
These are the lists you should look at if you are completely new to the
official dictionary. For best results, study them in the order presented.
- Two-Letter Words - Anybody intending to play in a competitive
setting will need to learn their twos. Scoring is severely limited if the
twos are not learned.
- 2-to-make-3 - The first step in learning the three-letter words
is to learn the letters you can hook onto two-letter words.
- Unobvious Q Words - It's important to be able to play off the Q
rather than exchanging or burning a blank. To do this, learn the
Q-without-U words and other surprising Q words.
- Short JQXZ - Maximize your big-scoring tiles by learning words
that use these high-point tiles.
If you decide you'd like to become a stronger Scrabble® player, learn
these lists. Experts know all of these words cold.
- Three-Letter Words - Learning all of the threes may be the
single hardest challenge in Scrabble®. Start early and study as often
- Vowel Dumps - As you start to learn about rack management you
will need to get rid of ugly tiles. Words with lots of vowels will help a
- Longer JQXZ - Turn the big-point tiles into potential
- 3-to-make-4 - It's very hard to learn all of the four-letter
words, but if you learn the hooks you'll have most of the battle won.
- TISANE, SATIRE, RETINA - Most people start learning
high-probability bingos by using 6-to-make-7 stems. These are three of the
- Other 6-to-make-7's - Knowing lots of stems means that you can
take better advantage of rack management strategies, which should lead to
at least one bingo in almost every game.
To play at an expert level you will have to constantly be studying words.
The top experts make up new list categories on the fly and then study them
regularly. Of course, there are still some fundamental lists that need to be
- NASTIER, RETINAL, AIR-TONE, OAR-TIES, ALE-RIOT - Five of the
most common 7-to-make-8 lists. The ability to find eight-letter bingos is
crucial; many intermediates focus too much on 7's and miss a lot of 8's.
The latter three lists are particularly important because there are no 7's
possible with those letters.
- Top 1000 7's - The 1000 most probable seven letter words. Lots
of experts study by probability, because as neat as it is to know words
like DEWCLAW, you'll probably never get to play them.
- Four-Letter Words - It's a tough job, but the top experts learn
all the fours cold.
- Other 7-to-make-8's - To take the most advantage of both the
tiles on your rack and those on the board you'll need to learn many
7-letter stems as well.
- Top 1000 8's - Learning the 8's by probability is also a very
- 7- and 8-to-make-9's - The top experts can easily form 9-letter
and longer words in their heads, and study how to do so. This maximizes
Here are some sites which between them have many of the word lists mentioned
To study most effectively it's often a good idea to make up your own lists,
and software is the easiest way to do that.