Clabbers and other Scrabble Variants

Surfing my way, somehow, to a collection of Scrabble Variants, I learned about Clabbers which is a game of Scrabble, all right, but the letters can be in any order you want, as long as they are an anagram of a Scrabble-acceptable word. The author notes that “the board usually ends up tightly packed in places, and necessarily quite empty in others. Game scores will often be much higher than in standard Scrabble, due to the relative ease of making high-scoring overlap plays and easier access to premium squares.”

That’s all I needed to know: higher game scores, each word a puzzle in its own right. My kind of Scrabble.

Then there’s, of course, Dense Escalating Clabbers for the serious Clabbers-player. The Wikkipedist explains: “Dense Escalating Clabbers add 1/3 more tiles. In addition, every bingo increases a player’s rack size by one, and the play times are increased from 25 minutes to 33 minutes 33 seconds. There is also a 100 point bonus for playing a fifteen letter word. These modifications also make the game more challenging and interesting, and also increase the likelihood of triple-triple plays.” “Bingo” I deduce, having something to do with using all one’s tiles.

Then, apparently, there’s Volost. A “surreal game” says the Wikipedist, “where the only acceptable words are VOLOST and VOLOSTS.” I wasn’t really clear about what makes this variation worthy of our collective consideration until I read the last sentence in the article. “It is typically played late at night, and alcohol is usually involved.”

Ah. Alcohol. I should’ve known.

See also this great collection of potential Scrabble variants on Half-Baked.

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