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Add Letters

No. of Players: 3+
Type of Game: spoken
What you need: pen and paper

Goal

To make words one letter at a time.

How to play

In preparation for this game, players create together a set of 100 cards with a single letter of the alphabet written on one side. To expedite gameplay, the following distribution of letters is suggested:

12   10   8   6   4   3   2   1
E   A, I   O   N, R, T   L, S, U, D   G   B, C, M, P, F, H, V, W, Y   K, J, X, Q, Z

This means that 12 cards will have the letter E, 10 cards the letter A, 10 cards the letter I, and so on.

The gamemaster shuffles the deck of cards facedown and turns up 3 letters. After a moment or two, he turns up a 4th letter and calls out this letter. The other players immediately try to form a 4-letter word with all these letters, or else substitute the 4th letter for one of the other 3 letters to make a 3-letter word. As soon as they form a 3- or 4-letter word, they can shout it out loud. The first to shout a particular word gets the points for that word – one point for each letter. If other words are identified, points are awarded accordingly to the player who first shouts it out. Once no other words are possible, the gamemaster turns up a 5th letter and the players compete to be the first to identify a word. However, only a 5-letter word will be acceptable, because letter substitutions are permitted only on the 4th card. The round continues with a 6th and 7th card to see if 6- and 7-letter words, respectively, can be formed. But after the 7th card players can shout out whatever letter they desire to make subsequently longer words. The round ends when no more words can be found. The player with the most points in the round becomes the next gamemaster, and the player with the most points totaled across all rounds is declared the grand champion.

Example

Andrea turns up the letters R, T, and E. After a moment, she turns up and calls out the letter W. Beverly wastes no time and shouts out WET, scoring 3 points. No other words are spotted, so Andrea turns up and calls out the letter Z. As no 5-letter word is possible, Beverly wins this round to become the next gamemaster.

Once she thoroughly shuffles the deck, Beverly turns up A, T, S and a moment later R. Coco is quick to shout out SAT for 3 points, with Donald close behind with STAR for 4 points. Coco then sees RATS for 4 points, Emma ARTS and TSAR for 8 points, while Frannie earns 4 points for TARS, and another 12 points for ART, RAT, TAR and SAT. The 5th letter is E and Donald immediately shouts out STARE and RATES for 10 points. Emma gets 10 points too with TASER and TEARS. But after the obvious words are claimed, Coco calmly earns 15 points with TARES, RESAT and ASTER. Just before Beverly turns up another letter, EMMA shouts out ATE, but is reminded by the others that letter substitution is only permitted with the 4th card. The 6th letter is N and after a brief pause Emma earns 6 points by shouting out the only obvious word: ASTERN. They all miss the harder STERNA. The 7th letter V ends the round, as no 7-letter word is possible with these 7 letters. That leaves Emma the winner with 24 points and she becomes the gamemaster for the next round.

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