How To Play

Words With Friends is a strategy word game a lot like scrabble played on a digital board, pictured to the right. Opponents can be Facebook friends, random players, or in person by passing your phone or tablet back and forth.

To begin a game, the first player must create a word with their given letters over the star in the center of the board. Then each consecutive word must be played off any one or more of the existing tiles. Misspelled or invalid words will not be accepted if submitted and it will remain your turn until a valid word is played.

In total there are 104 available letters, the distribution of letters are:

  • A=9
  • B=2
  • C=2
  • D=5
  • E=13
  • F=2
  • G=3
  • H=4
  • I=8
  • J=1
  • K=1
  • L=4
  • M=2
  • N=5
  • O=8
  • P=2
  • Q=1
  • R=6
  • S=5
  • T=7
  • U=4
  • V=2
  • W=2
  • X=1
  • Y=2
  • Z=1
  • Blank Tile=2

Or put another way there are:

  • 13 E
  • 9 A
  • 8 I O
  • 7 T
  • 6 R
  • 5 D  N  S
  • 4 H  L  U
  • 3 G
  • 2 B  C  F  M  P  V  W Y
  • 1 J K Q X  Z
  • 2 Blanks

At any given time each player has 7 tiles available to make a word. Like Scrabble, each letter has a set value. For example D is worth two points, O is one point, and G is three points. If you were to spell the word DOG you would earn a total of six points.

Premium squares (Marked with red, green, blue, and orange) have the potential to multiply your score, especially paired with high scoring letters. For example an X is 8 points, placed on a triple letter score the total points for X multiplies to 24 points. The point values for each letter is as follows:

  • 10 J Q Z
  • 8 X
  • 5 K V
  • 4 B C F M P W
  • 3 G H Y
  • 2 D N L U
  • 1 A E I O R S T
  • 0 Blank

Look for premium squares marked TW (Triple word) and DW (double word). There are also TL (Triple letter) and DL (Double letter) squares.

  • TW – Triple word
  • DW – Double word
  • TL – Triple letter
  • DL – Double Letter

If you’re unable to make any words with your letters you can pass your turn, opting to keep your letters and wait or exchange for new letters. Play a word that uses all 7 tiles in one turn to earn an extra 35 bonus points.

The game ends once when the first player uses up all their tiles and there are no additional shared tiles available. Letters still held by the opposing player at the end of the game are counted against their score. Highest score wins!

In the event of a tie the player with the highest score at the beginning of the last turn wins. Learn more about the official rules or Words With Friends strategy. Brush up on your two-letter words and three-letter words that are sometimes necessary to use all your tiles or make a strategic play.

16 Responses to “How To Play”

  1. Cedric F Smith July 15, 2012 at 7:05 pm #

    How can more than 2 people can play on the same game

  2. Raymond Shrinkeldorf August 1, 2012 at 4:08 am #


  3. Brandy Higginbotham January 9, 2013 at 5:23 am #

    How long can an opponent not make a play before the game is ended. Im playing against people who haven't played in 9 days

  4. Jeanne Young-Breton January 24, 2013 at 12:47 am #

    Ready to play with halkaden.

  5. Jane F. Boswell February 24, 2013 at 3:07 am #

    I have a blank tile and the list of alphabet letters to choose from is frozen on the screen plus is covering up the word I was trying to make?

  6. Irene Thatcher July 28, 2013 at 7:49 pm #

    My last letter is 'Q'. I can not play it any where. My opponent can't play either. Why is the game going on?

  7. Joan Sherman September 2, 2013 at 5:09 pm #

    How can I end a game with someone who does not move in four days and I cannot resign because it is not my turn? Thank you.

  8. I.Stokes September 27, 2013 at 12:40 am #

    I just upgraded to iOS7. Now the line on the board that usually said (for example)
    “Ingrid played HYENA for 21 points” now says just “Ingrid played”. How do I get the original line with the word and point count back?

  9. Rglaes November 9, 2013 at 11:21 pm #

    I want to know how the game is scored when I know we both have tiles that can be played and she resigns. What’s the advantage?

  10. Jane November 20, 2013 at 8:52 pm #

    How do I get a letter on the game board? I can’t figure out how to do that.

  11. Linda Nelson February 3, 2014 at 6:23 pm #

    Does every word placed, have to be connected to an already existing word, “Are there any exceptions?”

  12. Linda Nelson February 3, 2014 at 6:23 pm #

    Does every word placed, have to be connected to an already existing word, “Are there any exceptions?”

  13. Dr. Mike March 26, 2014 at 1:21 pm #

    What’s wrong with a tie? My wife and I just finished a game: 380 to 380, but she was credited with the win. I feel that to struggle for 380 points and then strike in desperation, to find out that you caught her, but to be told that you lost, diminishes the victory.

  14. Joan September 16, 2014 at 8:03 pm #

    How long is each player allowed to make a word. If a error is made what happens?

  15. Deborah January 4, 2015 at 9:03 pm #

    My girlfriend has hindsight on her words with friends mind is not how do I get that

  16. Gabriele West January 31, 2015 at 11:00 am #

    Something went wrong with my games. Had 26 ish games going with various people and now words with friend s is not working. I’ve recently did some updates hoping this would be my games back….please help me here! Thank you for your concerns to this matter .


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