Remote IRL Scrabble

Scrabble tiles

This is a game played via Zoom, Skype or similar.


This game is played according to the ordinary rules of Scrabble, except where the below supercede those

  1. Each location has their own Scrabble set. A location means one of the connections to the meeting.  There could be more than one player in each location.  So for example, Location A has one player, Location B has two and Location C has one.  Four player, three sets.
  2. Play proceeds as usual, with each person taking a turn.
  3. One person is made responsible for keeping score
  4. Scrabble boards in each location are updated at the end of each turn, so that they are all identical.  This makes the next few rules (the ones that makes this a very different game) as easy as possible.
  5. Although there are several sets, we are playing with only ONE set of letters. If a letter is used, it must be placed on the board in all locations.  For some letters, this can mean that once it is played in one location, the ONLY copy of this letter is no longer available to players in the other locations. The letters must be located and placed on the board, and this happens in the following order:
    • If the letter is still available in the bag (for letters with multiple instances), it should be taken from there.
    • If the letter is only available in players’ hands it should be taken from there – starting at the player whose turn is going to occur last
  6. Replace any letters that have been removed under this rule to get each player back up to seven tiles. This should be done in turn order.

This introduces a greater element of chance to the game. Your plans about what you are going to play next may be totally scuppered when letters get removed from your hand.  This is what makes Remote IRL Scrabble worth playing, because this extra element makes it a totally different game.

Use this letter distribution info to help you with Rule 5


Editor at Ludogogy
Sarah Le-Fevre is a games-based learning professional who specialises in organisational learning around systemic ‘wicked problems’, and helping businesses spot and exploit opportunities for ethical ‘for good’ innovation. She works with tools such as Lego® Serious Play® and the Octalysis gamification framework to create compelling immersive learning experiences. She is currently writing a book outlining a systems practice approach to delivering impactful learning within organisations.

A real board games nerd, she is considering having her floors reinforced to support the ever increasing weight of the boxes. When she is not designing or facilitating learning games she is the editor of Ludogogy Magazine. Sarah lives in Oxfordshire with her husband, younger daughter, and a beautiful (but very loud) Bengal cat.

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