I Love Words With Friends, But What Rules Should be Followed?

4 Jan

I have a passion for words and puzzles. Combining these two makes it clear why I love word games. Like many word enthusiasts, my passion for word games started with Scrabble. This was the only game available when I was a child.

The difficulty was finding an opponent. When an adversary was available, I would play. But it had to be at a home with a board, which made it difficult. At home you have a limited audience.

Then Boggle appeared! I switched because it was much easier to carry the little cube around and I could play anywhere.

I had one friend, in graduate school, who loved Boggle as much as I did. We played whenever we were together and not studying. Sherry and I played hundreds of games of Boggle over the years. When we both lived in the same city, after graduate school, we played whenever we got together. We kept score and were extremely competitive. When she moved out of town and across country, we played whenever they came to visit. But we do not play Boggle anymore, although I still have my cube at home.

Playing word puzzles helped me when I traveled by plane or needed a quiet moment. I had books filled with word games throughout my house. I used these books all the time, working on word and logic puzzles.   I still keep one around for travel. But I no longer have one beside my bed and my chair in the family room. The Internet has overcome the book.

With friends all over the country and the world, I have turned to the Internet for my word games. For me, it seems that “Words with Friends” has won over my heart and my word play time.

I play “Words” with friends and relatives in New Jersey, Indiana, Illinois, Pennslyvania, New York, Texas, Kansas and Missouri. Three of my combatants I know from my childhood in North Bergen. We all went to high school together. Three are college friends. Several are cousins. It is a great way to keep in touch with people I do not see very often. Some I have not seen since we graduated! But with “Words with Friends,” we reconnect.

I also play with friends who live in my community. We do not see each other as much as we play the game. The best part of playing with these friends is we can keep playing even when I am on vacation. This is great as they can update me on what is happening at home.

That chat feature is good for many reasons! Sometimes I use it to complain about my horrible letters. Other times I use it to compliment my opponent on a great move. Whenever someone uses all seven letters, they get a texted congratulatory message! But it is also used to keep up on the news and sometimes just to say hi.

I usually have the maximum number of games going at once. To be honest, when I am not at work, I check my phone several times a day to see if there are any games to play.

But I have some issues. Some concerns I just cannot work out. And I do not want to offend anyone, but I have issues:

For example, when a game ends, who goes first?   Since I play multiple games with many people, I have found that sometimes we both hit rematch. So we start two more games instead of one. Also, I have decided that if I win a game, I will pass the first move on the rematch. But if I lose, I should get to go first. Of course there are two times that does not work. First if I look at my letters and realize I can use all seven to make a word. Then I go no matter what. How can I give up such a good move? Second if I have a hand that contains only vowels. Then I cannot take my turn and I pass.

There is one application of “Words” that really bothers me. I dislike the nudge ability. I love to play. If I am not playing with you there is a reason. I am busy with other things. Nudging me will not make me play faster. I never use that feature with my friends because I figure they are not playing for the same reason. Those who like to play, play when they can. They do not need any pressure.

Then there is the issue of how difficult should I be? How strategic? Should I try to win always? Or should I let someone who does not play as well as I do win sometimes? Just so you know, I always play to win. If the other person wins he or she knows that it was a true win!

“Words” is much more than just being lucky with the letters you get. But, I will tell you that some people are luckier than others. I have a cousin who gets the best letters. When I first started playing with her, I did not get an 8 or 10-point letter for weeks. When I finally won a game, I felt wonderful.   She still wins most of the time, but I am slowly getting more wins.

There is also the strategy. Where you place a word is important. Those triple letter/double letter and triple word/double word scores cannot only help you win, the placement can help your opponent. I try to not set my opponent up for a great score. But sometimes, it is the only place to put a word.

There are also the people who use special applications (aps) that help them figure out the best word in the best place. I do not use any special ‘aps’ when I play, I just used my brain. Part of my reason to play “Words with Friends” is to keep my brain active, using an ‘ap ‘would defeat this goal.  However, stringing some letters together that look like a word sometimes works.  And I have noticed a large number of Yiddish words are accepted on “Words” !

Another issue: when should you resign.   There are times when I know I cannot win. Just recently a friend got two seven-letter words almost back to back. I knew I was doomed, but I kept playing. It was a loss for me, but a really good win for her. I would rather play to the bitter end than resign. I always have hope that perhaps I can pull it off, even if I cannot.

Yes, I love competing via “Words,” but I just want everyone to be following the same rules.

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2 Responses to “I Love Words With Friends, But What Rules Should be Followed?”

  1. celticknotsbydsc March 7, 2015 at 6:04 am #

    I would like to suggest you my new word game “KNWRD”. Please visit my site “https://celticknotsbydsc.wordpress.com/” and have a look at it.

    • zicharon March 26, 2015 at 1:14 pm #

      I will try it out. I do like puzzles.

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