Purple Rose Puzzles webpages banner

Word Making

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


To make words from letters which are shown one at a time.

How to play

In preparation for this game, players create a set of 100 cards with a single letter of the alphabet written on one side. The other side is left blank. 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.

Once the cards are shuffled and dealt face down to the players, the game can begin. The first player turns up a single card in front of them, and places it in the middle of the table. The second player does the same, and so on. At any time, any player can stop this process to take the turned up cards and spell out a word. Once the cards run out, the winner is the player who has made the most words, or whose words contain the most letters.

Other variations of gameplay are possible. For instance, players might be permitted to take away another player's word if a longer word can be made. Or a strict rule can be established which requires all of the middle cards to be used in the formation of a new word. Or a more relaxed rule where a player can leave no more than 2 cards in the middle of the table.


The players agree that words can be of any length, letters may be left on the table, and that word 'stealing' is permitted. At the end of the game, players will receive 5 points for each word they have, and an additional point for every letter in those words. The cards are dealt and the game begins:

Abby turns up a T and places it in the middle of the table.
Boxer turns up a J and places it in the middle of the table.
Chris turns up an A and takes the T to make the word AT.
Abby turns up an R and takes Chris' word to make TAR.
Boxer turns up an H and places it on the table.
Chris turns up an E and places it on the table.
Boxer immediately snatches up the E and Abbey's word to make RATE.
Abby turns up an E and places in on the table.
Boxer turns up an M, and takes the H and E to make HEM.

And so on.

More Word Games