Scrabble letter distributions

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Scrabble letter distribution
(English: Quantities across, point values down)
2 blanks×1×2×3×4×6×8×9×12
1L S UN R TOA IE
2GD
3B C M P
4F H V W Y
5K
8J X
10Q Z
 
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Many editions of the word board game Scrabble vary in the letter distribution of the tiles, because the frequency of each letter of the alphabet is different for every language. As a general rule, the rarer the letter the more points it is worth.

Many languages use sets of 102 tiles, since the original distribution of one hundred tiles was later augmented with two blank tiles.

Table of contents

English[edit source | edit]

Scrabble letter distribution
(English: Quantities across, point values down)
2 blanks×1×2×3×4×6×8×9×12
1L S UN R TOA IE
2GD
3B C M P
4F H V W Y
5K
8J X
10Q Z

English-language editions of Scrabble contain 100 letter tiles, in the following distribution:

This distribution of letters has not changed since Alfred Butts invented the game in 1938.

A full English-language set.

A new Mattel-licensed product, Super Scrabble, was launched in 2004. This set comprises 200 tiles, in this distribution:

The over- and underlines indicate modifications from the original distribution, with overlines indicating more than double the original distribution, and underlines indicating fewer.

Afrikaans[edit source | edit]

Afrikaans editions use these 102 tiles:

Afrikaans uses the letters Z and X, but so infrequently that there are no tiles for them in the standard set. A blank can still be used as a Z or an X. There are also no tiles for C and Q as these letters are not used at all in Afrikaans, except for in a few loanwords.

Arabic[edit source | edit]

Arabic Scrabble letters

Arabic-language editions use the following 100 tiles:

Although Arabic letters have up to four forms, Scrabble tiles only make use of the isolated form. This pattern of composing words is also found in Arabic crosswords and is one of the rare situations when Arabic letters are not connected to each other.

Armenian[edit source | edit]

Armenian-language editions use the following 146 tiles: [1] This version is called ԲԱՈ ԽԱՆ (bao khagh, meaning words game) and is not an official edition by Mattel.

Basque[edit source | edit]

Basque-language Scrabble sets use these 100 tiles.[citation needed] Called Euskarbel, this is not an official edition by Mattel.

The letters C, Ç, Ñ, Q, V, W and Y, which are present in Basque only in words borrowed from other languages, are not included in the tile distribution.

Bulgarian[edit source | edit]

Bulgarian-language Scrabble sets, which use Cyrillic letters, use the following 102 tiles:

Catalan[edit source | edit]

A full Catalan-language set.

Catalan-language editions use these 100 tiles.

The letters K, W, and Y are not included in the tile distribution. Accents and diaereses are ignored; for example, À is played as A. Nevertheless, there are special tiles for the C with cedilla Ç (ce trencada), the sign L·L representing the geminated ell (ela geminada), as well as the digraph NY. Playing an N tile followed by a blank tile to form the digraph NY is not allowed. Official rules treat the Q tile as just one letter, but usually Catalan players use the Q tile like the QU digraph and all Catalan Scrabble Clubs use this de facto rule.[1] (Catalan)

Croatian[edit source | edit]

Croatian-language Scrabble sets use the following 103 tiles:

Q, W, X and Y are not included, as Croatian does not use those letters.

Czech[edit source | edit]

Czech-language sets use the following 100 tiles:

Q and W are absent because they are only used in loanwords.

Danish[edit source | edit]

Danish-language Scrabble sets use these 100 tiles.

This distribution lacks Q and W, which are rare in the Danish language.

Dutch[edit source | edit]

Dutch-language editions consist of the following 102 tiles:

Prior to March 1998, there was a difference between the Dutch and the Flemish version: the Dutch version had 2 IJ tiles with a value of 4 points. Furthermore, it had only 1 F and only 4 S tiles; and the face value of the G was only 2 points. The Flemish version never had IJ tiles, it was as described above. The Dutch version is now in line with the Flemish one. Instead of the IJ letter a combination of the I and J is now used.

Esperanto[edit source | edit]

Esperanto-language sets use these 100 tiles:

Q, W, X, and Y are not present, since Esperanto does not use those letters. Esperanto Scrabble exists, but only as an Internet game (Rules for Esperanto scrabble). No commercially available sets have been made so far.

Estonian[edit source | edit]

Estonian-language editions consist of the following 102 tiles:

The distribution lacks C, Q, W, X, and Y, since they are used in foreign words.

Finnish[edit source | edit]

Finnish-language sets use these 100 tiles:

This distribution lacks Q, Š, W, X, Z, Ž, and Å, since they are rare in Finnish.

French[edit source | edit]

A complete French Scrabble set

French-language editions of Scrabble contain these 102 tiles:

Diacritical marks are ignored.

See also[edit source | edit]

German[edit source | edit]

German-language editions of Scrabble contain 102 letter tiles, in the following distribution:

Note that the letter ß (Eszett) is not used. This is due to the fact that it does not exist as a capital letter in German. While a majuscule ß (see Capital ß) has been established in the context of computing (Unicode), ß is replaced by SS when capitalizing, according to German orthography (e. g. Straße (street): STRASSE). However, the umlauts Ä, Ö and Ü must not be replaced by AE, OE or UE when playing (as would usually be done in German crosswords where ß is also replaced by SS). Other diacritics which may occur in some foreign words are ignored (é = E, œ = OE etc.)[2]

Before 1989–1990, German sets had 119 tiles. Players had eight tiles at a time on their racks, as opposed to the standard seven today. The old letter distribution was:

Greek[edit source | edit]

Greek-language editions of Scrabble contain 104 tiles.

Haitian Creole[edit source | edit]

Haitian Creole-language editions of Scrabble contain these 100 tiles: [3]

C, Q, U, and X have no tiles as they are not used in Haitian Creole. This version is made ​​for educational purposes and is not distributed commercially by licensed owners of the brand.

Hebrew[edit source | edit]

Hebrew sets use these 104 tiles:

In the set, the final form letters ך, ם, ן, ף and ץ are not available and the normal form is used.

Hungarian[edit source | edit]

Hungarian-language sets use these 100 tiles:

DZ and DZS, which are fairly rare in Hungarian, have no tiles, nor do Q, W, X and Y, which are only used in loanwords, as part of the extended Hungarian alphabet.

Icelandic[edit source | edit]

Icelandic-language sets use these 104 tiles:

This distribution lacks C, Q, W, and Z, since they are rarely used in Icelandic.

Indonesian[edit source | edit]

Indonesian-language sets use these 100 tiles:

Q and X are absent since these letters they are rarely used in the Indonesian language.

Irish[edit source | edit]

Irish-language sets use these 100 tiles:

J, K, Q, V, W, X, Y and Z are absent since they are rarely used in the Irish language.

Italian[edit source | edit]

Italian-language sets use these 120 tiles:

Diacritic marks are ignored. The letters J, K, W, X, and Y are absent since these letters are only used in loanwords.

Latin[edit source | edit]

There are two kinds of Latin-language Scrabble sets developed by two authorities in the language.

The first distribution, developed by the Centre for Medieval Studies of the University of Toronto, uses these 100 tiles:

The second distribution below was made "in conjunction with scholars from the University of Cambridge and elsewhere, together with the Cambridge Schools Classics Project." Note that this distribution distinguishes U from V, with the semi-vocalic V scoring five times the points. Y is absent in both sets because it is rare in Latin, but is in an extended version of the first distribution, and is worth 10 points in there. J, K and Z are also absent in both sets because they are rare in Latin. W is also absent in both sets because it is used in foreign words.

Latvian[edit source | edit]

Latvian-language sets use these 104 tiles:[4]

The letters Q, W, X and Y are absent, because they are used in foreign words.

Lithuanian[edit source | edit]

Lithuanian-language sets (known as KrisKros Klasik) use these 104 tiles:

The letters Q, W and X are absent, because they are used in foreign words.

Malaysian[edit source | edit]

Malaysian-language sets use these 100 tiles:

Q, V and X are absent because they are only present in loanwords.

Norwegian[edit source | edit]

Norwegian-language editions of Scrabble use these 100 tiles.

The letters Q, X and Z are absent since these letters are rarely used in Norwegian.

Polish[edit source | edit]

Polish-language editions of Scrabble use these 100 tiles.

This set has been used since 2000. Before that year, a slightly different configuration was used: Ź was worth 7 points, F was worth 4 points. There were 2 F's, and 8 A's. The letters Q, V and X are also absent (since they are used in foreign words), and blank tiles cannot be used to represent these.

Portuguese[edit source | edit]

Portuguese-language editions of Scrabble contain 120 tiles.

While Ç is a separate tile, other diacritical marks are ignored. K, W, and Y are absent, since they are only present in loanwords in Portuguese.

Romanian[edit source | edit]

Romanian-language editions of Scrabble use these 100 tiles.

Diacritical marks are ignored, so for example à and  are played as A. This distribution lacks K, Q, W and Y, since they are used in foreign words.

Russian[edit source | edit]

Russian-language Scrabble sets, which use Cyrillic letters, contain 104 tiles using this distribution:

The former Russian distribution, 126 tiles until the fall of Communist rule, was as follows:

Slovak[edit source | edit]

Slovak-language sets use these 100 tiles:

Q and W are absent because they are only used in loanwords.

Slovenian[edit source | edit]

Slovenian-language sets use these 100 tiles:

Q, W, X and Y are absent, because Slovenian does not use those letters.

Spanish[edit source | edit]

Complete tileset in Spanish Scrabble outside North America.
A Spanish Scrabble game completed.

Spanish-language sets sold outside North America use these 100 tiles:

Stress accents are disregarded. The letters K and W are absent since these two letters are rarely used in Spanish words. According to FISE (Federación Internacional de Scrabble en Español) rules, a blank cannot be used to represent K or W.

Using one C and one H tile in place of the CH tile, two L tiles for the LL tile, or two R tiles for the RR tile is also not allowed in Spanish Scrabble (see rules in Spanish provided by the FISE).

Spanish-language sets sold within North America (known as Scrabble – Edición en Español) use - including "K" and "W" but without "CH" - these 103 tiles:

Swedish[edit source | edit]

A full Swedish Scrabble set.

Swedish-language Scrabble sets (for a long time sold in Sweden as Alfapet, but that is now a different game) use these 100 tiles:

Note that the letters Å, Ä, and Ö have separate tiles. Other diacritical marks are ignored, such as for É (Ü being an exception). Also, the letters Q and W, rare in Swedish, are absent, but can be played with a blank. The letters Ü and Æ require a blank and (as of 2010) only occur in one and three playable words respectively, müsli and three forms of the word Laestadianism (in Swedish spelt læstadianism).

Turkish[edit source | edit]

Turkish-language sets use these 100 tiles (note distinct dotted and dotless I tiles):

The letters Q, W, and X are not used in Turkish and therefore do not appear in the set. Blanks may not represent these letters.

(see a completed Turkish Scrabble board).

Tuvan[edit source | edit]

Tuvan-language Scrabble sets, which use Cyrillic letters, use these 125 tiles: [5]

This version is made ​​for educational purposes and is not distributed commercially by licensed owners of the brand.

Ukrainian[edit source | edit]

An optimum Ukrainian-language Scrabble sets, which use Cyrillic letters, contain 102 tiles using this distribution:

Welsh[edit source | edit]

The box for Welsh-language Scrabble sets.

Welsh-language Scrabble sets use these 105 tiles:

Since there are specific tiles for the digraphs that are considered to be separate letters in Welsh orthography (such as DD), it is not permissible to use the individual letters to spell these out. Diacritics on letters are ignored.

The digraph PH, which exists in Welsh, is omitted because it is used almost exclusively in mutated words, which the rules disallow. K, Q, V, X and Z also do not exist in Welsh. Arguably J does not exist in Welsh either, but it is included as it is sometimes used for borrowed words.

References[edit source | edit]