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Scrabble Express - Scrabble Quick Play Version

Scrabble Express is a convenient and quick way to play Classic Scrabble in twenty minutes or so. This fast play edition of Scrabble used letter cubes instead of tiles. 

Scrabble Express is a Scrabble variant meant to be played when you don't have a lot of time. SCRABBLE Express is marketed by Hasbro as a 20-minute game of Scrabble. Instead the standard Scrabble letter tiles, the game uses letter cubes.

The letter cubes are rolled like dice. Each side of a letter die has its own letter on it. Whichever letters you roll, you have to build a word with it. Scrabble Express has an optional timer set to one minute, so you can play a version of Scrabble Express where each opponent only has a minute per word.

Scrabble Express Equipment

Scrabble Express comes with a foldout game board and a set of scrabble cubes. It also has a quality cloth bag to hold the Scrabble cubes.

Scrabble Express has its share of secondary equipment, too. You'll find the timer, notepads for keeping score and a lead pencil. Finally, there is a Scrabble Express rule book, which details the complete Scrabble Express rules and its various deviations from Classic Scrabble.

Scrabble Express Rules

Many of the scoring rules of Scrabble Express remain the same as the classic scrabble rules, though there are quite a lot of variant rules for Scrabbble Express.

For instance, when a word is played, then the next word must be played off that exact word. The letters from the word played previously to the mandatory word are taken off the board and place in the letter cube bag. Therefore, you will always be playing off the word that your opponent played.

This very much changes strategy, as you cannot set yourself for a bigger word. Also, a defensive opponent can make your life difficult with solid defensive plays. At the same time, you only have a minute, so your opponent will have to make quick defensive plays.

Note that your are very unlikely to play towards a triple-letter score in Scrabble Express. Because you can only play off of the one word and the other words get taken off the board almost immediately, game play tends to stay towards the center of the Scrabble gameboard.

The Letter Qu

There is no "Q" letter in Scrabble Express. Instead, the "Q" is always combined with a "U" to make a Qu. This makes it easier to play the Q when it comes up, and it's possible that letter will come up more often in Scrabble Express.

I know of house rules that let the Qu alternately signify a simple Q, if a player wants to build the rare word without the Q-U. Otherwise, this is not an option in Scrabble Express.

Scrabble in Twenty Minutes

All in all, this is an interesting twist on Classic Scrabble. I much prefer Classic Scrabble to the quick time version, but Scrabble Express has its value, too. If you are strapped for time, but you want to compete against a friend in a quick word game, Scrabble Express is preferable to any other 20-minute word game you're likely to play.

The Scrabble Express set is small and easily managed. I would describe it's overall look as "neat".

The Scrabble Express Handheld

Do not confuse Scrabble Express with Scrabble Express Handheld. That is a handheld computer version of Scrabble that can also be found. I'll probably get around to featuring the Scrabble Handheld game at some time. Stay tuned for more Scrabble variant news.




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