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How to Play SCRABBLE Like a Champion Paperback


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How to Play SCRABBLE Like a Champion + The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary + The Scrabble Word-Building Book: Updated Edition
Price for all three: $16.30

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Puzzlewright; 8.8.2010 edition (September 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402770774
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402770777
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,030 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

I think it's the best book on Scrabble that's been written, and I've already recommended it to several people. --John O'Laughlin, Quackle co-programmer and expert player

An important update....This book discusses all aspects of Scrabble strategy in great depth, using numerous diagrams and examples. --R. Wayne, Schmittberger, Games Magazine, March 2011

An excellent book on the strategic aspects of the game...higher than Word Freak on my list of "books I'd lend out to someone considering tournament play." --Andy Saunders, tournament Scrabble player

How to Play Scrabble Like a Champion is an indispensable treatise on Scrabble that delves into the deep nooks and crannies of the game, revealing the concrete strategies expert players have developed to master it.  --Derek McKenzie, Word-Buff.com

From the Author

This book started off as a revision of my The Champion's Strategy for Winning at Scrabble Crossword Brand Game, which was published by Stein & Day back in the Dark Ages of Scrabble theory. Scrabble play has evolved considerably over the intervening years, and How to Play Scrabble Like a Champion reflects this evolution.  It differs profoundly from my earlier book. The opening section of the chapter on strategy is of particular value, as it presents a series of rules for rack management versus scoring that you will not find anywhere else.

More About the Author

I live in Montreal, teach at McGill University's Schulich School of Music, and have been playing tournament SCRABBLE since the mid-'70s. I still find the game intriguing, challenging, and beautiful.

Customer Reviews

I recommend this book to anyone who is serious about SCRABBLE.
James Brownlow
It is either way above my level (could be) or it is so poorly presented that I just didn't get it.
Amanda S.
And if that person reads this book seriously, he will in fact get better.
Eclecticism

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Cornelia Guest on October 11, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
How to Play SCRABBLE® Like a Champion
by Joel Wapnick

For many years Joel Wapnick's The Champion's Strategy for Winning at SCRABBLE® Brand Crossword Game, published in 1986, was considered one of the finest guides to SCRABBLE® strategy. Out of print for several years, copies of the book could be found online sometimes; however, the book was somewhat dated and did not include word updates dating as far back as 1991.

Now Wapnick, a great SCRABBLE® player who has been World Champion, National Champion, and National Canadian Champion, has updated and added to that earlier book to present a book that no serious tournament SCRABBLE® player should be without. The book not only covers basics of strategy and tournament play, it explains the detailed analysis experts use in determining their moves and preparing for tournaments.

For an intermediate player hoping to move up, Wapnick shares his methods for learning words and improving play. He provides a terrific explanation of how using Quackle ([...]) can help in selecting the optimal plays. At the back of the book he includes a chapter of 40 "Cool Plays," which illustrate excellent finds that are not always the most obvious, and brilliant plays that are truly breathtaking.

Wapnick, who also is an expert pianist, shows readers the elegance of great SCRABBLE® strategy, using examples that demonstrate the imagination and creativity the game offers.

Part 1, "The Nature of the Game," provides a basic summary of the game, tournament rules, and the important game tools: words. Wapnick touches briefly on the differences between casual and tournament play, as well as between the tournament game in North American and that played in other countries.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Eclecticism on March 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
After finishing Joel Wapnick's How To Play Scrabble Like a Champion, I feel like guys on the PGA tour must have felt 10 years ago when Tiger Woods was destroying fields right and left. "Whatever game he's playing, it's not golf." And Joel Wapnick is playing a much different and better game of Scrabble than I ever will.

But that's okay, because Wapnick shows you how to lift your game, how to reinvent your approach to it. This is a very well written book with plenty to learn on every page. It is NOT Scrabble for Dummies. As others here have said, this is a book for the tournament player or only a player who aspires to improve. And if that person reads this book seriously, he will in fact get better.

A couple of observations: You have to know your words going in. This is not like Joe Edley's Everything Scrabble, which helps you develop your anagramming and word-finding skills. Wapnick assumes you already know the obscure words (and I'm not referring only to zoeae, senarii, aalii, and other run-of-the-mill words that are played hundreds of times a day at online sites). And to get the most out of this book, you really should follow the annotated games on your own board, not just read the comments and visualize the moves in your head. Practice, study, practice, study; there's no substitute.

The point about small print is true, and it put me off from buying this book when I first saw it in a bookstore. But you know what? You can adjust easy; it's not that bad. I wear reading glasses and my eyes are not great, but I was able to cope. Don't let the small font deter you from picking up this excellent book.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Fern on February 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
"How to Play Scrabble Like A Champion" is a fantastic book! It explains scrabble strategy beautifully with plenty of easy to understand game positions. It is simply a must-read for the beginner and expert scrabble player alike, and as far as I'm concerned, is the most eloquent book I've ever read about scrabble. Joel Wapnick is not only an expert scrabble player and a great writer, but his passion and appreciation of the elegance of the game make this book a very entertaining read!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By James Brownlow on October 19, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a casual SCRABBLE player, and thought I'd pick up a few tips to improve my game by reading this book. This book is a comprehensive look at the game and what it takes to be a serious player. For example, one must know lots of words in the OSPD and one does not make a play to maximize the number of points on a particular turn; rather one plays to maximize the expected value of the play, and that expected value is a combination of the points realized from the play and what can be made using letters left in the tray (after the letter replacements are drawn). This is some heady stuff. The implications are wide: the serious player should be familiar with lists of letter combinations that have poor "playability" and hence should not be left in the tray, advice is given on how many points to expect from using an S, a Q or a blank. How were these 'expected values' determined?", you ask.. well there's a SCRABBLE simulator called Quackle you can download and run yourself. Quackle (is that in the OSPD?) is free-ware and is an excellent SCRABBLE program; for me, worth the price of the book alone! I recommend this book to anyone who is serious about SCRABBLE.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on August 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book does exactly as advertised. It helps you prepare to play Scrabble like a champion. The author has won many championships himself, including the World Championship, so he knows what he is talking about. There is plenty of attention given to expert strategies, including many instructive positions and games. I don't think I have ever seen so many valuable instructions for playing top-caliber Scrabble in a single book. The book also captures your attention with subtle humor and several personal stories that illustrate the principles being taught. Definitely worth every penny and then some.
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