Another Scrabble meetup. As always, these happen every second Sunday, same time, same location. Au Bon Pain is next to the Davis Square Red Line station. Parking is free at metered spots on Sundays and is usually ample. Until March, shuttle buses have replaced Red Line service on weekends between Harvard and Alewife Stations, so plan some extra time if you are taking public transit.
You are welcome to drop in any time between 12:00-2:30 or so, although sometimes folks hang around a little later than that. There is no formal start time; you will be matched up as players become available. Please bring a board if you have one, but if you don't, normally we have enough. I provide a dictionary (the Tournament Word List) and have lists of two and three letter words for you to use open during the game if you are new. Turnout averages 10-15.
I want to welcome any new members or anyone who hasn't made it to a Meetup yet! If this is your first time, you may find that your opponent is much more skilled, that it's an even match or that you have the advantage. We try to make sure that everyone has a chance to play against everyone, which means you will play people of many different skill levels if you keep coming back. You shouldn't be intimidated if you lose your first few matches--just come back again, let your skills develop and you may find that your next random match is more even. We are a friendly group and are happy to help you learn!
When you are used to "living room" play, you might find that in our club we play pretty differently. It may take a few sessions to get used to some of the more advanced strategy, frequent "bingos" (use of all 7 letters for a 50 point bonus), use of two-letter words to build high-scoring parallel plays, and some unusual words that involve the J, Q, X, and Z. However, after a few sessions, you will start to learn these as well, and you may see a significant increase in your Scrabble scores. The good news is, you can learn these pretty quickly and in a fun way. The other thing to remember is we all started at the same level.
I've put up several tips for improving your Scrabble play at this page. The most useful tip is to take a peek at the Cross Tables " cheat sheet"--a list of two letter and other highly playable words. It's very helpful to memorize the two letter words; most people can do this in a few days of casual review. Try scanning the list of three letter words so you are a little more familiar with them, but most of your opponents won't have this list memorized. If you want some advanced tips in an accessible format, I highly recommend Joe Edley's book "Everything Scrabble." It is available in local libraries, and I also have a copy I can loan out.