One of the world’s most popular board games was born from crosswords. It could have ended up being called “Lexico” or “Criss Cross Words,” but James Brunot ended up calling it Scrabble. It became a huge hit when it came packaged in a box and it remains popular as an online game for word nerds.
Scrabble has also become a generic name for word games with similar gameplay. Even as the dust of copyright infringements settle, there are quite a few varieties of online Scrabble-like games you can turn to. So, let’s take a look at some of the best online Scrabble games available to play.
The Internet Scrabble Club (ISC) won’t catch your eye when you land on the website. It’s all very vanilla, but the games are serious. Behind the plain facade is your best chance to team up with good Scrabble players.
Just register and choose your handle. You can then play in English, French, Romanian, Italian, or Dutch. Similar to chess, you can lurk and observe other players too.
ISC has a comprehensive rating system that gives this online multiplayer game a professional feel. The average rating on ISC is around 900, with expert players ranked at 1,800. Which means you might need to read our guide to winning at Scrabble.
Quadplex is a Scrabble clone with similar gameplay. You must have the Java plugin installed to play this game. The rules are the same—form words from individual lettered tiles on a 15 by 15 game board.
Just click on Auto Start and you will be paired against an opponent without the hassle of a ranking system. The words are formed across and down in crossword fashion and must appear in a standard dictionary.
You can either play as a paid member or as a guest on Quadplex. Membership gives you an uncluttered, ad-free experience and the option to take part in tournaments. You can also enjoy chats, playing against the computer, access to statistics, and player forums. Unlimited gameplay costs $13 for one month or $40 for six months.
Lexulous (earlier known as Scrabulous) gained some notoriety a few years back when it was hit by a lawsuit from Hasbro and Mattel. The controversy has quietened down since then, and it’s still one of the best Facebook Instant games.
Sign up with an email or your Facebook account and then choose a handle. Then pick a room for your first word battle across the board.
Lexulous gives you many options to flex your gray matter. You can choose to play against players from specific countries and attempt “world domination.” You can also challenge robots or try a rapid game called Lexulous Blitz. And if you’re feeling lazy you can even try the email version of the game.
Lexulous also has an ad-free Pro version with more advanced game features. Either way, you can also play on the move thanks to the Lexolous mobile apps.
Download: Lexulous for Android | iOS ($1.99, in-app purchases)
It can be incredibly difficult to find Scrabble games to play on the internet. This humble site solves the problem by giving you an entire game room’s worth of word games. This site is not affiliated in any way with Hasbro Inc. It’s a Scrabble fansite that sources the games from other parts of the web.
Not all of the games follow the classic Scrabble rules. But what you get is a nice mix of multiplayer Scrabble-like games and solo games you can play in your spare time. Ignore the outmoded look of the site and focus on the games instead.
AOL is still here and you will find this multiplayer Scrabble game in one of its little corners. OK, it’s not exactly Scrabble but it is pretty similar. Instead of the classic 15 by 15 board, you have a 13 by 13 spread. And instead of seven letter tiles, you have six tiles to combine into words.
There are three difficulty levels. Build your words in the Assembly Area and drag them to the board. You can also play solo but it can get lonely without using the chatbox in the sidebar.
Words With Friends surely needs no introduction. The Zynga app is available on Facebook, the App Store, Google Play, and the Windows Store. Play with Facebook friends or a random player selected by the app. This is one of the most complete wannabe Scrabble games you will come across online.
Switch on the weekly challenges or go solo. Rewards and badges will spur you on. Thanks to its global fame, you can play Words With Friends in Spanish, French, German, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, and English.
The paid option to remove ads is on the steep side ($29.99) across all platforms. This is likely an offshoot of its popularity across the world. And if you’re tired of hearing about Word With Friends, try the best free word games on Android and iOS instead.
Download: Words With Friends for Android | iOS (Free, in-app purchases)
Your eyes probably inch towards a Merriam-Webster dictionary when you have an urge to cheat at Scrabble. Resist the impulse. The dictionary site has its own Scrabble game to keep you hooked. Here, you will play against the computer but with all the classic rules at your disposal.
Scrabble Sprint is one of those addictive short games you can play when you have a few minutes to spare. It really is a sprint as you have to fill up the 64 spaces on the board with word tiles and you get only a minute for each turn.
Trust me, it’s more difficult than it sounds. And the ticking countdown in the background keeps pace with your heartbeat.
An email turn-based word game seems timeworn in the age of apps. But Pixie Pit has racked up millions of games since it started in 1998.
The usual Scrabble rules apply. You just need to send over your words via email. You must make your move within seven days after your opponent plays their word or the game will expire. This can lead to leisurely games played at your own pace.
There is a small annual subscription of $15/player and it keeps the site ad-free. However, there is a trial version available. That’s a steal when this is one of those games you can play behind your boss’s back.
Play Classic Board Games From Anywhere
Playing Scrabble on a physical board is often hindered by a lack of partners. Which is what makes these multiplayer online Scrabble games such a joy.