How to Master Unscrambling Words and Win Every Scrabble Game

It's not uncommon for people at some point to play a word scramble game, as they're a fun way to pass the time. If you are ever stuck in a mental blind spot and can't unscramble words for whatever reason or think of all the possible words, what should you do? Keep reading, and you'll be unraveling words like a seasonal vet soon with some thought work and a strategic approach. Here are some tips and tricks you can apply to your next scramble today!

Small Words and Word Fragments 


One of the ways you can get better at solving scrambled words is to learn to recognize word fragments and the smaller letter words that you can make with them. To demonstrate, we’ll focus on the scrambled word COTOKOUR. Let’s try to find some fragments in this word, for example, let’s take fragments such as CO and OU. You can use these fragments as the beginning of a word and in this case we get:






Another thing that can help us would be to notice the common suffixes and prefixes.


Here is a popular list: 




a-, acro-, allo-, an-, ante-, anti-, auto-, bi- , co-, contra-, counter-, de-, di- , dis-, down-, dys-, epi-, extra-, hemi-, hexa-, hyper-,  hypo-, ig-, il-, im-, in-,infra-,inter-,intra-,ir-,macro-,mal-,maxi-,meso-,micro-,mid-,mini-,mono-,multi-,non-,octo-,over-,pan-,para-,penta-,per-,peri-,poly-,post-,pre-,pro-,proto-,pseudo-,quadri-,quasi-,re-,self-,semi-,sub-,super-,supra-,tetra-,trans-,tri-,ultra-,un-,under-,up-,xeno-




s (makes anything plural), en, ed, ing, er, est, ation, sion, cian, ess, ness, al, ary, ment, able, ly, ful, ize, ate, ology, able, ible, hood, ism


Taken by itself, removing characters attached to prefixes or suffixes in a list could reduce the number of possible arrangements the remainder could be sorted into. Because the number of possible sequences grows exponentially as the number of letters increases, a smaller number of permutations is required for fewer letters in a word. Characters can be clustered together to form words’ prefixes and suffixes. In order to find the word you can play around with the letters that you’ve had to work with to reduce, or you can eliminate letters to narrow it down. When you find a word’s suffix or prefix, remove it and see if that will help you to create an original word.


Besides aiding in reading comprehension, recognizing the roots of words and their common prefixes/suffixes can help broaden your vocabulary. Even if you don’t know the meaning of a word, you may be able to make an educated guess from the root of the word. If you are struggling to find relevant words, there are many tools you can use, including ones that will help you unscramble words  or solve anagrams that ensure you are choosing them in the right context. You can also study word lists on these sites to improve your vocabulary and improve your ability to win word games.


Lookout for Vowels and Consonants 


The vowels in a word can also be used to build a framework for other letters, and help you figure out scrambled words. Let’s try to understand this. Every syllable must contain a letter, often in the middle, and the remaining letters often follow a predictable pattern. In addition to the usual suspects (A, E, I, O, U). The majority of English words and syllables are made up of vowels with consonants either on one side or both sides. This means that if there are fewer vowels than consonants, there are few ways to combine words. You can try to move the letters around by putting some consonants in the template and the vowels in the middle. The English language has a large variety of four-letter words that combine consonant-vowel and consonant-vowel. 


If you’re looking for vowels, here’s another tip.


Look for common two-letter consonant pairs like “th”. Example: BTHO can be converted to  B O T H. 


Letter S also plays an important role. Whenever we see an S, we can use it to form a syllable within the word, or add it to the end of the last word to make it plural. In Scrabble, the letter S is usually the most useful.


As an example of how this method works, given the word Scramble VAEWS, it recognizes the “VE” pattern. After rearranging the characters, we get _VE_. When building the rest of the word, the first letter we write is A (before V, the most logical way to keep the consonants of a word): _AVE_. Test the rest by placing them within the remaining two spaces. By swapping the letters around we finally get WAVES a word we are familiar with.


We can also construct words by putting a vowel in the 2nd position of the unscrambled word and testing other consonants around it. In the last example, we can pick the letter A or E and put other letters before and after it. This leads to the possible combinations of SAV, VAS, WAV and VAW.


We hope you found these tips useful and are now ready to crush your next Scramble game. Try your hand at Scrabble or Word with Friends if you would like to test out your newly acquired skills. Have fun and best of luck!

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