All Scrabble players know that Q and Z are the highest scoring tiles. You can get 10 points for each, in the English language version of the game.
But according to one American researcher, Z really only deserves six points.
And it’s not just Z that’s under fire. After 75 years of Scrabble, some argue that the current tile values are out of date as certain letters have become more common than they used to be.
“The dictionary of legal words in Scrabble has changed,” says Joshua Lewis, researcher and creator of a software programme which allocates new, up-to-date values to Scrabble tiles.
“Among the notable additions are all of these short words which make it easier to play Z, Q and X, so even though Q and Z are the highest value letters in Scrabble, they are now much easier to play.”
Here are some details on the reforms:
According to Lewis’s system, X (worth eight points in the current game) is worth only five points and Z (worth 10 points now) is worth six points.
Other letter values change too, but less radically. For example, U (one point currently) is worth two in the new version, G (two points) becomes three and M (three points) becomes two.