An Introduction to Boggle

Boggle is a word search game in which players try to find as many words as possible using adjacent letters in a limited time. Designed by Allan Turoff and manufactured by Parker Brothers, a division of the Hasbro Company, this game has been around a while and is probably the forerunner to such games as Word Whomp and Text Twist.

This game can be played by any number of players although the number may be limited by the ability to see the letters in the boggle tray. In most cases, this game can easily be played by 2 to 8 people.

Object of The Game

The object of the game is to see how many points you can accumulate in a three-minute period by finding the most or longest words that are different from the words that everyone else has found.

Skills Needed To Play

While Boggle isn't a difficult game to play, there are some skills that are necessary to be able to play this game successfully. These skills include a reasonable vocabulary, word recognition skills and spelling. For this reason, this game is best suited for ages 10 and up although children as young as 8 have been quite successful at playing this word game. There is also a version of this game called Boggle junior designed specifically for younger children.

Educational Value Of This Game For Children

Playing Boggle with your children has a huge educational value for them. It will improve their reading and word recognition skills as well as their spelling. Since every subject in school is based on the ability to read, this game may help your child to do better at every subject across the board. You can easily base this game on beginning skills to allow children who are just beginning to read to use two and three letter words to help increase their reading and word recognition skills.

Where To Get or Play The Game

You can purchase the board type version of this game, play Boggle or boggle clones online or download the game to play on your computer.

The Boggle Board Game

The boggle board game comes with the letter cubes, the plastic holder and a small timer. All players will also need a pen or pencil and paper to play the game.

How To Play Boggle (The Original)

The boggle game has 16 cubes with each cube having a different letter printed on each side. There is a plastic tray with a lid that allows you to shake the dice inside and then when the dice settles you remove the lid and start the 3-minute timer (egg timer that comes with the game)

1. As soon as the timer is set, all players start making as many words as possible in the three minute time period.

2. All words must be at least 3 letters long and all letters used to make a word must be adjacent to one another either vertically, horizontally or diagonally. A letter can only be used one time in the making of a word.

3. When the timer runs out, play stops and each player takes turns reading his words from the list he has made.

4. If two or more players have the same word, the word is crossed off and cannot be counted in the point count.

5. After all the players have read their words, the scores are counted and the person with the most points wins.

6. Longer words get more points. 3-4 letter words score 1 point, 5 letter words score 2 points, 6 letter words score 3 points, 7 letter words score 5 points and 8 letter words score 11 points.

A new game then can be started or you can decide before playing to play a certain number of rounds and then add up the total of all the rounds to declare a winner at the end of the game.

Basic Strategies For Improving Your game

Let's be honest everyone loves winning or at least be close to the winning score and there are some strategies that can help you score more points when playing this game.

  • Look for plurals, and words with "ed" or "er" and "ing" at the end. This may help you score more points per word.
  • When you make a long word, check to see if you can also split the word into smaller words. For example, the word bearing will also allow you to make the words "bear" and "ring" using the same letters to make three words.
  • Think backwards. Many times people see obvious words such as "star" or "deer" and miss the fact that writing the letters backwards also creates another word in this case "rats" and "reed".
  • Look for less common word among letters. For example most people will easily find the word "rode" but, less will see that these letters also spell "doer".

By following these simple strategies over time, you should be able to increase those Boogle scores by several points.

Boggle Tournaments

While Boggle tournaments are not as popular as Scrabble tournaments they do exist and can be a lot of fun. So if you are really good at this game you might want to consider looking for a tournament in your area or at least starting a Saturday night Boggle party for those who love the game.

Versions And Variations Of Boggle

There are literally dozens of Boggle variations out there. Many are no longer being made but are still around. It would be almost impossible to list all the different variations of copycat games based off this simple and fun game. There is a variety of sites that carry online versions of this game making it easy to play online if you wish and there are down loadable versions.

One version I will mention is Boggle Master as this game is like the original Boggle with the exception that it has a bigger grid and more letter cubes so players can make even more and longer words. If you like word find games and are looking for an original, this game will be right up your alley!

Return to Word Games Index from Boggle Introduction

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