Letter Tiles in Scrabble

scrabble tiles

The Spruce / Margot Cavin

Scrabble is the most popular word game ever published. You score points in Scrabble by creating words with letter tiles on a game board either online or on a physical board. Each tile is assigned a numerical value, and as each new word is formed or each previously played word is modified, a score is recorded. At the end of the game, when all the tiles have been drawn and one player uses all his tiles, the game ends. Whoever has the highest number of points wins the game.

scrabble tile letter distribution
The Spruce

Total Number of Scrabble Tiles

There are exactly 100 tiles in Scrabble, but the distribution of the tiles is not even. There are more tiles for vowels than for most of the consonants. 

Blank/Wild – 2 tiles

A – 9 tiles
B – 2 tiles
C – 2 tiles
D – 4 tiles
E - 12 tiles
F - 2 tiles
G - 3 tiles
H - 2 tiles
I - 9 tiles
J - 1 tile
K - 1 tile
L - 4 tiles
M - 2 tiles
N - 6 tiles
O - 8 tiles
P - 2 tiles
Q - 1 tile
R - 6 tiles
S - 4 tiles
T - 6 tiles
U - 4 tiles
V - 2 tiles
W - 2 tiles
X - 1 tile
Y - 2 tiles
Z - 1 tile

This distribution information comes in handy when you know that only one J, K, Q, X, and Z are in the game. Those particular tiles are assigned high numerical values and provide the best opportunities for high scores. As the game progresses, you may be able to discern which opponent is holding a high-value tile and play to thwart its use.

Scrabble Tile Numerical Values

The total point value of all 100 tiles is 187. Although all tiles have value, some are worth much more than others. In Scrabble, you want to form as many high-scoring words as you can. Don't end up playing low-scoring words when other possibilities exist. "Ark" is worth 7 points, whereas "Are" is worth only 3. The numerical values of the tiles are distributed as follows:

  • A, E, I, O, U, L, N, S, T, and R are worth 1 point each.
  • D and G have a value of 2 points.
  • B, C, M, and P are worth 3 points each.
  • F, H, V, W, and Y are assigned values of 4 points each.
  • K is the only tile with a value of 5 points.
  • J and X both have a value of 8 points.
  • Q and Z are worth 10 points each.

Tips for Beginning Scrabble Players

  • Master the 101 two-letter words you can make in Scrabble.
  • Move on to the three-letter words and learn many of those, particularly the ones with high-scoring letters.
  • Be ready with words that use the Z, Q or K if you draw that tile.
  • Watch for opportunities to add a letter (or letters) to another player's word to expand it and count both his tile points and your own. The S tile is the most popular addition, but there are many more possibilities.
  • Know when to fold 'em. If you draw tiles that leave you with no plays or only low-scoring plays, turn in your tiles and redraw (warning: this costs you a turn).
  • Play defensively by not playing a word that can be easily modified by another player. He'll get your points and his own if he can add even a single letter to your word to form a new word.