Best Scoring Scrabble Board




Your challenge is simply to write a program in the language of your choosing that when run, determines the highest possible score for a board of Scrabble - For the sake of this challenge, a few rules have been modified.

Notably, bonus squares are counted for every single word on the board, rather than only the "first" time used, The 50 Point Bonus for 7-letter plays is removed, and scoring is calculated at the end of the entire board, for every word on the board. Do not score any words double such as text/texts being 2 separate words.

You may use any dictionary file you like, there are multiple online scrabble dictionaries you may use. The accepted answer must include only scrabble-valid words.


A Scrabble game board is made of up cells in a square grid. The Scrabble board is 15 cells wide by 15 cells high. The Scrabble tiles fit within these cells one to a cell.

Scrabble is played with exactly 100 tiles. 98 of these tiles contain letters on them, while there are 2 blank tiles. These blank tiles add a wildcard aspect to Scrabble. The blanks substitute for any letter in the alphabet. Once played, a blank tile remains for the remainder of the game the letter for which it was substituted when first played.

Various letters have different point values, depending on the rarity of the letter and the difficulty in playing it. Blank tiles have no point value.

English-language editions of Scrabble contain 100 letter tiles, in the following distribution:

2 blank tiles (scoring 0 points)
1 point: E ×12, A ×9, I ×9, O ×8, N ×6, R ×6, T ×6, L ×4, S ×4, U ×4
2 points: D ×4, G ×3
3 points: B ×2, C ×2, M ×2, P ×2
4 points: F ×2, H ×2, V ×2, W ×2, Y ×2
5 points: K ×1
8 points: J ×1, X ×1
10 points: Q ×1, Z ×1

Some squares on the Scrabble board represent multipliers. If a tile is placed on this square, then the tile's value is multiplied by a factor or either 2x or 3x. Certain tiles multiply the point value of an entire word and not simply the tile on that space.

Double Letter Scores - Light blue cells are found isolated on the board. When a tile is placed on this space, that tile's point value is multiplied by two.

Triple Letter Score - This is a dark blue cell on the Scrabble. The tile placed on this square has its points multiplied by three.

Double Word Score - Light red cells are found running diagonally towards the four corners of the board. When a player plays a word on one of these squares, the point value of the entire word is multiplied by two.

Triple Word Score - This is a dark red square on the Scrabble board. These are found on the four sides of the board equidistant from the four corners of the board. When a word is played using this square, then the points for the word are multiplied by three.

For the sake of this challenge, the rule that a colored square be counted only once will be omitted. Count the bonus for every word on the board!

The board to be used is:


The winner will be the highest valid-scoring scrabble board as of December 1st. Please be sure to include your total score, and output. If the top scoring board is mis-scored, or is invalid, the next place will be considered. No input is required, output may be in any format that is properly readable. This is not Code-Golf, highest score wins.


Posted 2012-11-14T17:51:51.337

Reputation: 707

inspired by

– NRGdallas – 2012-11-14T17:52:33.377

9It would probably be a good idea to specify the dictionary you want people to use to reduce the chance of people using invalid words, and also to make sure everyone has the same set of possible words to choose from. – Matt – 2012-11-14T18:01:35.153

@Matt I have nothing against declaring a dictionary, I just personally don't know which would be a good "best" for this case, and don't want to limit anybody – NRGdallas – 2012-11-14T18:11:38.540


letter counts vary by language, as do the scores for each letter: (oh, and the number of tiles: 120 in a portugese set)

– SeanC – 2012-11-14T21:05:03.297

Is it required to have a tile on the centre square? – Peter Taylor – 2012-11-14T21:19:30.137

yes, there must be a tile on the center square (keep in mind the center square counts as a word2x!) – NRGdallas – 2012-11-14T21:32:22.120

@SeanCheshire I added the exact counts to the description for which revision of rules to use (standard english) – NRGdallas – 2012-11-14T21:34:15.423


I would assume we have to pick letters at random, else I could publish this board:

– SeanC – 2012-11-14T22:07:44.970

assume you have all 100 letters available to determine the best possible board with the final score - note that the board published there is not necessarily the correct answer, as that board assumes turn-order, rather than scoring entirely at the end, and also provides the 50 pt bonus, as well as single-use bonus squares. Its possible its the same board, but his board only scores high because the order that the tiles are played allows many words and scores to be repeated alot :) – NRGdallas – 2012-11-14T22:21:05.980

Do unplayed tiles count against the score or do they simply score 0? – Peter Taylor – 2013-04-15T14:36:54.387

2Note: I've reverted the change which inlined an unattributed copy of the image as a copyright violation. – Peter Taylor – 2013-09-23T11:40:11.060

@PeterTaylor Sorry about that. Would having an inlined image with a link to the original be acceptable? – Dukeling – 2013-09-23T12:33:40.150

@Dukeling, it's probably best to use the original image rather than a copy (I don't think there's any Markdown restriction to only use imgur URLs) with a link to the Wikicommons page and the name of the creator.

– Peter Taylor – 2013-09-23T13:31:56.267

@PeterTaylor Although using the original image would still be a problem if that link were to die. – Dukeling – 2013-09-23T13:33:53.900

Voting to close, without a set dictionary it is impossible to unambiguously validate a solution. On top of that it is really more a computation job than a programming puzzle, it awards using arbitrary amounts of CPU power just as much as it awards clever programming, and it is the output of the program rather than the program itself that constitute the answer. – aaaaaaaaaaaa – 2013-09-25T16:29:37.583

1This is currently the oldest unanswered question on CGCC. – Andrew – 2019-06-14T16:47:20.683

I've been looking up what is a valid word in scrabble. Some websites list words with no definition. What is a legal word... see here

– bacchusbeale – 2014-05-01T19:32:46.313

No answers