Bingo is a slang term used in Scrabble for a play using all of one's tiles. A player who does this receives 50 points in addition to what the word would normally score. Mattel, the game's manufacturer in the United Kingdom, use the term bonus to describe such a word. In French, it is called a scrab.
Bingos are an important part of achieving high scores in Scrabble. While many beginners rarely play even one during a game, experts frequently score three or more. Much advanced strategy revolves around maximizing one's chance of playing of a bingo: blank tiles are hoarded, unwelcome letters are played even for a low score, and flexible letter groups such as AEINST (a six-letter "stem" that anagrams with 24 letters — all but Q and Y — to form nearly 70 bingos) are aimed for until a bingo is formed. This strategy is often at direct odds with that of placing high-value letters on premium squares.
A common misconception is that the bonus received for using all seven tiles is multiplied if a double-word or triple-word score is used. This is not the case: a 9-point word using seven tiles played across a triple-word score is worth 77 points (3 times 9 plus 50 points for the bonus).
These facts are according to the SOWPODS lexicon as amended in 2006.
- The highest scoring 7-letter bingo is "MUZJIKS". The tiles total 29 points and it scores 128 on the first move.
- The highest scoring 8-letter bingo is "QUIZZIFY" (using a blank for one of the Zs). Placed on two triple-word squares with the Z on a double letter square it scores 419.
- The highest scoring 8-letter bingos without a blank are "BEZIQUES" and "CAZIQUES", which amount to 392 points when played across two triple-word squares.
- The lowest possible score for a bingo is 56. This is achieved by making an 8-letter word with six one-point tiles and two blanks, or by making a 7-letter word with one blank and a two-letter word with both blanks. The word must not be doubled or tripled, and no one-point tile may be doubled or tripled.
- The highest scoring 15-letter bingo is theoretically "OXYPHENBUTAZONE" (an anti-inflammatory drug most often used to treat arthritis). With 8 letters already placed between three triples, the word can score 1785. There are no reports of a triple-triple-triple ever being played in a competitive game, as it requires very unlikely circumstances.
- Based on the tile frequency, the most likely bingos in SOWPODS are "OTARINE" and "NOTAIRE", followed by "ETAERIO".
- A Collection of Word Oddities and Trivia, Page 14, 11 February 2008.
- "Record for the Highest Scoring Scrabble Move". Retrieved 2008-06-02.