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Valued Words

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


To think of words whose point total equals a particular value.

How to play

Letters are given point values according to their relative position in the alphabet. So A = 1 point, B = 2, C = 3 and so on to Z = 26. The gamemaster chooses a number and all the players have a certain amount of time, say, 5 minutes, to write down as many words as they can whose point total is the same as that number. Players earn one point for each word, and two bonus points for having the shortest and/or longest word – provided they do not share that distinction with another player. That is, if two players or more have the shortest or longest word, no player gets the bonus points. The person with the greatest point total wins and becomes the gamemaster for the next round.

Alternatively, the gamemaster can set a particular category, like 'a five-letter word' or 'a word beginning with the letter S.' Players then have to write down the highest-valued or lowest-valued word that fits that category. The winner gets to set the next category.

Another variation of this game is One Hundred.


Andrei first writes the 26 letters of the alphabet down the length of a piece of paper, and next to each letter he writes their point value. He hands a copy of this table to each player and tells them they have 5 minutes to write down as many words as they can that total 28. One point is awarded for each eligible word, with two bonus points for having the longest and shortest words, so long as they are the only player to do so.

At the end of 5 minutes, the players' lists are as follows:

peg, is, we, has, man, tag, elk, hoe, case, need, call, Eden, adds, bank, dear, adds, dare, beige, abase, bladed, blabbed

air, grab, man, beached, hoe, defaced, elk, feel, abet, flee, peg, bank, dear, bleed, is, lamb

Since no player uniquely found the shortest word of two letters, or the longest word of seven letters, bonus points are not awarded in this first round. That leaves Buckley the winner, as he earned 5 more points than Caitee (i.e., he found 21 words while she only found 16).

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