Skip to Content

Who goes first in Scrabble?

Sharing is caring!

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more.

The player who starts the game has a 54% chance of winning the game time, putting other things constant. Going first in Scrabble gives the player a chance to control the board. 

The first player determines whether to go horizontal or vertical, close or open the game board, gets the initial double word file, or exposes the next premium square.

Who goes first in scrabble? The player who picks a letter tile closest to “A” starts the game. However, a blank tile is better than the letter “A” or any other alphabet letter on the scrabble board, and the player who picked it begins the game. 

Players start the game by blindly drawing a letter tile from the bag to determine who goes first. Each player has to put their hand inside the tiles pool in a bag to draw one tile. They hope to pick the “A” letter tile or anything close to that at the beginning of the alphabet. 

Sometimes multiple players draw the same tile, which gives a draw. If that happens, both players should return the picked letters to the bag, remix, and then redraw once again. 

The player who draws a blank tile wins to commence the game, but if an alphabet letter appears, the player closest to the letter “A” starts the game. Once the starting player is identified, the tiles are mixed up, and then each player must draw seven tiles for their respective racks.

Who goes first in the second game of Scrabble?

If the game is played between two players, the player who did not begin the first game starts the second round irrespective of whether they won the previous time or not. That means both players take turns to ensure the two have equal chances of starting the game.

In official tournaments, players have to record the number of start games each has. The player with the lowest number of starts begins the game.

It ultimately depends on what players have agreed on at the first game since there is no official rule governing this scenario. There are three possibilities on who can start the second game.

  • The player who won or lost the first game could start if that were the agreement.
  • When two players are involved, they can switch turns in sequence.
  • Players can always choose the tile at the beginning of each game to determine who goes first. The first player to pick the blank tile starts the game.

Should you go first in Scrabble?

Yes, it is better to go first in Scrabble to increase the chances of winning. There is a saying in scrabble game that states, “the player who starts the game has 54% advantage over their opponent player,” assuming all other factors are equal. 

Being the first player to start the game allows that player to control the board by determining whether their move will be horizontal or vertical, expose premium square or not, close or open the board, and double word file.

The first player has the following options over their opponent.

  • Play and set up a bingo if they are in a position to do so.
  • Passing means the player can go second if they want.
  • Exchanging is more of a second player, but they have the advantage of improving their rack before their play this time.
  • Gain advantage of the first double points space.

The first player has an advantage of getting a double word over their opponent because the double word score is found at the center of the board, which automatically grants the opening word double points. Depending on the nature of the first player rack, the player can form any word with 2 to 7 letters, and a player will double their score. 

However, the advantage will backtrack if the second player uses one of the opening letters to modify the existing word into an 8-letter bingo.

Does the person who goes first in scrabble get double points?

Yes, since they have to form a word through the center square on the board, which is worth a double score. As long as the first player does not pass their turn, they will automatically score a double word value. 

The first move is worth a double score because it is the only move in the game that does not allow a player to get a chance to earn an extra point through extending a word or allowing play to make parallel plays. As a result, it would disadvantage the first player if they didn’t get a chance to earn bonus points for the first move.

Who goes first in Scrabble

Going First in Scrabble: Conclusion 

There are multiple ways to determine who starts the game in Scrabble. The most common is to draw tiles to see who gets the letter “A” or any other letter closest to the beginning of the alphabet

Another way to determine who starts is by taking turns drawing tiles until the first player picks a blank tile.

When possible, take advantage of a blank tile to use as many letters in the rack as possible. When you make a word with all the the letters in your rack, you get a 50 point bonus added to the score.

Starting the game first gives a 5% advantage over the second player, otherwise both players have a fairly equal chances of winning. Although that is not unbeatable odds, any slight advantage is worth taking into consideration. 

Sharing is caring!