up to the Lexington Scrabble® Club

Beginners Guide to the Lexington, MA Scrabble® Club

First of all, this web site has some general guidelines for beginners which are not specific to a particular club. The following description is specific to the Lexington club.

You should be informed that this club is mainly a competive Scrabble® club, not a recreational club. This means it is not a place to come and learn the game with no experience. It is expected you have at least learned the basic rules of the game. There are a few exceptions in rule details for club and tourney play, but that is not the issue. If you never played Scrabble®, this is not the place to come and be taught the fundamentals of the rules. If you are aware of rules but require some clarifications, that is not a problem.

When you first visit the Lexington Scrabble® Club, it is not necessary to bring anything, but if you have Protiles and a chess clock, these are recommended.

As a club beginner, you are not forced into using a chess clock, but you are encouraged to play with one to get a feel of it. As you are getting familiar with clock use, you would not be penalized for going overtime. Normally, there is a 10 points per minute penalty for exceeding the 25 minutes in which you should be making all your plays. When you begin a game with a clock, you should have a clear agreement about whether overtime penalties will count. When nothing is mentioned, it is assumed you are playing by "normal" rules, and thus penalties would be in effect.

Similarly, it is traditional that newcomers are permitted the courtesy of free challenges for initial visits. This means one is not penalized for challenged an acceptble play, and one is not penalized for making an unacceptable play. As with chess clocks, when you begin a game, you should have a clear agreement whether you are indeed playing with no-penalty challenges.

Protiles are plastic tiles sold by folks around the country, which have nothing to do with Milton Bradley and Hasbro. These tiles are especially good, since there are no discernable patterns which can be felt on the tiles, unlike the wooden Milton Bradley tiles. You may want to bring preprinted score sheets, but the club provides these plus pens. The club does not have preprinted letter tracking sheets, so you would be advised to bring these if you choose to use them. If you are indeed a beginner at club play, you may find it too distracting to track letters on your first few club visits. You could likely also ask one of the veteran players to give you enough of these.

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