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Poker Word Search

No. of Players: 2
Type of Game: written
What you need: pen and paper


To make words in a grid using letters chosen by other players.

How to play

Players each draw a blank grid of squares five by five in size. One player then calls out a letter of the alphabet and all players write that letter into any square on their grid. The next player calls out a letter and players write that letter in their grid and so on, until the entire grid is filled. As letters are called out, players attempt to place the letters in their grids in such a way that they will be able to make as many words as possible (reading in any direction vertically, horizontally and diagonally) once the grid is completely filled. One point is scored for each letter of a successfully completed word. The player with the highest score wins. Individual letters can be used multiple times for different words. Grid size can be adjusted upwards or downwards as desired.

A variation of this game, which only allows for words to be read left to right and top to bottom, is called Poker Crosswords.

This game is also similar to Word Building.


Alessandra and Brenda each draw a 5×5 empty grid of squares. They then alternate calling out individual letters. After 25 letters, their grids are filled. They agree that duplicate words are permissible. Alessandra's grid looks like this:

5 by 5 poker word search grid #1

Alessandra scores points for these HORIZONTAL words: theme, the, he, hem, them, em, me, em, an, nag, go, rope, and ropes; for these VERTICAL words: star, tar, stark, ark, rat, rats, at, no, not, to, ton, leap, lea, apt, el, and my; and for these DIAGONAL words: ye, yen, am, get, and to. Her point total is 99.

Brenda arranged the same 25 letters differently. Her grid looks like this:

5 by 5 poker word search grid #2

She scores points for these HORIZONTAL words: pea, peat, at, eat, tun, nut, the, he, stalk, talk; for these VERTICAL words: cope, copes, theme, the, he, hem, them, em, me, em, gat, at, tag, tags, try, rot, or, and torn; and for this DIAGONAL word: gee. Her point total is 91, which is not enough to beat her opponent.

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