I’ve been getting the spreadsheet out. Over the weekend Mrs MSE and I played a few games (as we do). In the first two she was rather unlucky that I got both blanks each time, which I think probably turned the game in my favour (just). Thus intrigued, I decided to enter nerdvana and calculate the value of each blank.
Of course, a blank, in simple terms, is the only tile on a Scrabble board worth no points. Yet what I’m talking about is the value of gaining a blank – the fact it can be used as any letter makes it by far the most powerful, flexible and desirable tile there is.
So on to the calculation. Luckily, I’m not doing this blind. I’ve been keeping a spreadsheet of the last 948 of the 965 games of Scrabble Mrs MSE and I have played since we met – plus since game 690, I’ve been recording how many blanks we got in each game too. That means I now have just over 250 games with that data – a decent enough sample – so I decided to see how it pans out.
|Games with 2 blanks||51||52|
|Games with 1 blanks||156||156|
|Games with 0 blanks||52||51|
As you can see, the number of blanks has a clear impact on the score in a game.
This is, of course, for regular Scrabble players, who get a decent number of bingos (7-letter words). I suspect for new players, the difference will be far less as then the gain of being able to use a blank for bingos is offset by the fact it’s a non-scoring letter.
Typically for both of us it’s worth 23 points. Though there is a difference in the distribution. For me the second blank is worth far more – probably because I tend to play harder when I’m on for a very good score. For Mrs MSE the first blank is worth more, probably as she cares less about her ‘ongoing average’ than I do, so she takes her foot off the gas if she’s behind and likely to lose.
Related Past Blogs:
- No I won’t play you at Scrabble online
- Scrabble ignoramuses, pls ssssh
- Finally my Scrabble score averages 400 (in 694 games) – I’ll need to change my Who’s Who!
- The new Scrabble words – a player’s analysis of how useful they are
- Finally cracked a 600 score at Scrabble! Hoorah
- New Scrabble Rules Must Be a Joke – Is it a late April Fool?
- 158 point single go Scrabble joy
- Scrabble – an easy way to win
- Rude words in my new Scrabble dictionary
- I scored 596 at Scrabble, so why does it depress me?
- Super Scrabble! Wow!
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