Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Math Scrabble

Math Scrabble is just like Scrabble, but instead of letters, players get numbers and arithmetic operators.  There is a pile of equal signs that players can freely draw from.  Players will always need at least 1 equal sign, therefore they are extremely important and players should never be stuck not having one.  With regular Scrabble, there are vowels, that are required for every word, but with a variety of vowels to choose from, the chances a better you'd be able to use a vowel are higher. Tthis is not true for equal signs, of which there is only one.

For example, if a player has 2, 5, 7, 1, 3, +, and * they could play a variety of things...
  • 2 + 1 = 3
  • 5 + 2 = 7
  • 5 + 7 = 12
  • 5 * 3 + 2 = 17
All numbers from 0 - 9 would be available, as well as Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division.

Due to the lack of parenthesis, players are allowed to do the order of operations in any order they choose.  Placing a "0" before a number is illegal.  
  • 09 + 4 = 13
The above equation is illegal because of the leading "0".

Because the game is limited to integers and has no decimal point, division can be very difficult.  Noninteger division can only really be done with two division tiles.
  • 2 / 5 + 3 = 1 / 4
The listed above is a legal play.  Because players are allowed to do the order of operations however they'd like, the player can choose to do the 5 + 3 first, making the equation 2 / 8 = 1 / 4, which is true.

Therefore, the tile breakdown is listed as follows.

TileNumber AvailablePoint Value
X, Z and Q are uncommon letters.  Because there isn't really this idea in mathematics, all the number tiles have the same point value, except for 1 and 0, which are certainly more commonly and easily used than other numbers.  This will change the average amount of points a player will have at the end of the game, related to a game of normal Scrabble.

Blank tiles can be used to take the place of any number or operator, as normal.

Otherwise, all the rules that apply to Scrabble also apply to Math Scrabble.

This is still very much a work in progress.  I will certainly be editing this post frequently as I work over and equalize the tile distribution and point values and such.  If you have any input, please let me know.

EDIT:  It was just brought to my attention this game basically already exists.  Sad face.  I'll probably pick it up at some point and try to improve on it.  A lot of the reviews I read said something along the lines of "Great idea, poor execution".  I happen to think I'm great at executions.  ... ... Yeah, that's right.


  1. I absolutely LOVE the idea of this game, and will GLADLY playtest it with you! :)

  2. Yup. That was ME who brought that to your attention. :P