Bingo (Scrabble)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Bonus (Scrabble))

Bingo is a term used in North American Scrabble for a play in which a player puts seven tiles on the board in a single turn. Mattel, the game's manufacturer outside North America, uses the term bonus to describe such a word. In French, it is called a scrabble. A player who does this receives 50-point bonus. The calculation of the bonus varies between the Hasbro and Mattel versions of the game, with the bonus applied before double- and triple-word scores multipliers in the Hasbro rules and after in the Mattel rules.[citation needed]

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 kept, poor letter combinations such as BVW, LLNNN, or IIIUU are broken up, and flexible letter combinations 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.

The highest-scoring bingo ever played in an official Scrabble tournament was by Karl Khoshnaw, who got 392 points for CAZIQUES in a 1982 game in Manchester.[1]

Bingo examples[edit]

These facts are according to the SOWPODS lexicon as amended in 2006.

  • The highest scoring 7-letter bingo is "MUZJIKS". Though the sum total of the seven tiles is 29 points, if the Z is placed on the double letter square (for maximum score value), the resulting score is (39x2) + 50 = 128 points.
  • The highest scoring 8-letter bingo in Collins 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 bingo in TWL and the highest scoring 8-letter bingo without a blank is "QUINZHEE", which amounts to 401 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. A 55-point bingo is theoretically possible in tournament play, by making a two-blank play on an empty board that misses the center star.[2]
  • The highest scoring 15-letter bingo is theoretically "OXYPHENBUTAZONE" (an anti-inflammatory drug once used mostly to treat arthritis). With 8 letters already placed between three triples, the word can score 1785.[3] 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#/NOTAIRE#, followed by ETAERIO# (the # denotes words not in the TWL lexicon). Using the TWL lexicon, the most probable bingos are ANEROID, AILERON/ALIENOR, ATONIES, ELATION/TOENAIL, and ERASION.


  1. ^ Burkeman, Oliver (2008-06-27). "Spell bound". The Guardian. Retrieved 2023-07-09.
  2. ^[bare URL PDF]
  3. ^ "Record for the Highest Scoring Scrabble Move". Retrieved 2008-06-02.

External links[edit]