Words with Friends

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Words with Friends
Words With Friends Logo.jpg
Platform(s)Android, iOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch), Facebook, Kindle Fire, Nook Tablet
Genre(s)Word game
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Words with Friends
Words With Friends Logo.jpg
Platform(s)Android, iOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch), Facebook, Kindle Fire, Nook Tablet
Genre(s)Word game

Words with Friends is a multi-player word game developed by Zynga With Friends (formerly Newtoy, Inc.). Players can take turns building words crossword puzzle style with an opponent in a manner similar to the classic board game Scrabble (the rules of the two games are similar, but Words with Friends is not officially associated with the Scrabble brand). Up to 20 games can be played simultaneously using push notifications to alert players when it is their turn.[1] Players may look up friends either by username or through Facebook, or be randomly assigned an opponent.

Released July 2009, Words with Friends is available for cross-platform play on devices running the operating systems Android and iOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch)[2]. The game is also available on Facebook,[3] Kindle Fire[4], and Nook Tablet[5]. In addition, there is a chat feature built in the game that allows opponents to exchange messages. Words with Friends is one of the top ranking games in the iOS application store, available as both a free ad-supported version and a paid version with no advertisements.[6]



An iPhone Words with Friends Game in progress. The player has just played FIE, also forming the word QI, for a score of 17 points. (Note: player names have been obscured)

The rules of the game are mostly the same as that of two-player Scrabble with a few differences. Players are given seven randomly chosen letter tiles, which are replenished until all 104 tiles have been used. Players take turns forming words on the board or may also choose to swap tiles or pass their turn. Once all tiles have been used, the player with the highest score wins.

The game ends when a player plays every tile in their rack, and there are no remaining tiles to draw. The game also ends if three scoreless moves (i.e. passes or tile exchanges) are played in succession, unless the score is zero-zero[7]. Players are able to re-arrange the tiles on their rack, and can shuffle them randomly either via a button or (on compatible devices) by shaking the device. Games may be resigned, and there are two extra features, the "tile pile" and "word-o-meter", accessible for a premium.

Letter Frequency Chart[8]
A - 9J - 1S - 5
B - 2K - 1T - 7
C - 2L - 4U - 4
D - 5M - 2V - 2
E - 13N - 5W - 2
F - 2O - 8X - 1
G - 3P - 2Y - 2
H - 4Q - 1Z - 1
I - 8R - 6Blank - 2

Random opponent and chat features

Since the game’s launch, the random opponent and chat features of the game have led to a number of romantic relationships. In 2009, Megan Lawless, of Chicago, began a game with a random opponent, Jasper Jasperse, who lived in Holland. The two got to know one another via the game’s chat function and married in July 2011.[9][10]

Other couples who met via the game’s random opponent feature include Trish and David Palmer of Dacula, Georgia, who married in November 2011, and Stephen Monahan and Britney Hilbun of Texas, who became engaged to marry in December 2011.[11]

In late 2011, it was reported that one of the game’s American players was communicating via the game’s chat function about her Australian opponent’s husband’s medical symptoms. The player relayed the symptoms to her doctor husband, who recommended an immediate hospital visit. The opponent’s husband found he had a 99% blockage close to his heart. On a 2012 episode of the American TV show, The Doctors, the couples were introduced to each other for the first time.[12][13]

Notable players

The game has a number of celebrity players, including Chris Johnson (running back), John Mayer, Rainn Wilson, Terrell Owens, Eliza Dushku,[14] Al Roker,[15] and Boston Red Sox teammates Adrian Gonzalez and Dustin Pedroia.[16] Jon Hamm and Jennifer Westfeldt were quoted as saying they play Words with Friends together every day.[17] Steven Kolb, executive director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America admitted to playing the game “somewhat obsessively”.[18] In December 2011, Alec Baldwin was kicked off an American Airlines flight after refusing to stop playing Words with Friends on his iPad.[19] Several members of the New York Giants Super Bowl XLVI champion team are also Words with Friends players, including Ahmad Bradshaw, Chase Blackburn, David Baas, Hakeem Nicks, Jake Ballard, Jim Cordle, Justin Tuck, Mathias Kiwanuka, Michael Boley, Steve Weatherford, Travis Beckum, and Zak DeOssie.[20]


  1. ^ Jason Kincaid, A Look Behind The ‘Words with Friends’ iPhone Gaming Phenomenon, TechCrunch, 10 June 2010.
  2. ^ "Words with Friends - Official Website". Zynga. http://www.wordswithfriends.com/. 
  3. ^ Don Reisinger, Zynga brings Words with Friends to Facebook, CNET, 5 August 2011.
  4. ^ Andrei Dumitrescu (10 November 2011). "Kindle Fire Will Get Jenga, Plants vs. Zombies, Peggle, Cut the Rope". Softpedia. http://news.softpedia.com/news/Kindle-Fire-Will-Get-Jenga-Plants-vs-Zombies-Peggle-Cut-the-Rope-233630.shtml. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  5. ^ Stan Schroeder (23 December 2011). "Words with Friends Arrives on Nook Tablets, Twitter Coming Soon". Mashable. http://mashable.com/2011/12/23/words-with-friends-nook/. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  6. ^ Leena Rao, Zynga Brings Newtoy’s Crossword Game ‘Words with Friends’ to Android Phones, TechCrunch, 2 February 2011.
  7. ^ "Words with Friends Rulebook". http://newtoyinc.com/gameswithfriends/support/Words_With_Friends_Rulebook.html. Retrieved 23 February 2012. 
  8. ^ "Words With Friends.Net". http://wordswithfriends.net. Retrieved 7 July 2012. 
  9. ^ Phyllis Korkki, Word Games Anytime, No Travel Tiles Required, New York Times, 21 February 2011.
  10. ^ Garvey, Georgia (January 4 2012). "Words With Friends leads to two little words: I do". Chicago Tribune. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-01-04/news/ct-talk-words-couple-0104-20120104_1_online-game-smartphones-downloaded. Retrieved 24 June 2012. 
  11. ^ Shayndi Raice and Geoffrey A. Fowler, In This Online Word Game, the Winning Spell Is Love, The Wall Street Journal, 14 February 2012.
  12. ^ Melissa Knowles, Missouri Couple Uses ‘Words with Friends’ to Save Man’s Life in Australia, Yahoo! News, 13 January 2012.
  13. ^ Words with Friends: Could It Save Your Life?, The Doctors, 1 February 2012.
  14. ^ Mike Snider, 'Words with Friends' befriends Facebook, USA Today, 3 August 2011.
  15. ^ Amy DiLuna, Um, is Al Roker playing 'Words with Friends' at work?, allDAY on Today, 22 February 2012
  16. ^ Abraham, Peter. "Random Red Sox thoughts from Chicago". Boston Globe. http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/extras/extra_bases/2012/04/random_red_sox_1.html. Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  17. ^ Patti Greco, Jon Hamm and Jennifer Westfeldt Play Words with Friends Together Every Day, New York Magazine Vulture, 5 December 2011.
  18. ^ Alex Williams, An App With Friends in High Places, New York Times, 14 December 2011.
  19. ^ Ann Oldenburg, Alec Baldwin kicked off LAX flight after phone argument, USA Today, 6 December 2011.
  20. ^ Aditi Kinkhabwala, Words With Giants, The Wall Street Journal, 2 February 2012.

External links