How to score an opening bingo in Scrabble.

by Nancy

Please help me resolve this dispute with my neighbor, who I play Scrabble with every Sunday. Now the question is when you first start the game and the first person goes out with the seven letters and gets a bingo, do you double the bingo too?

I know later on in the game you get the score, whether it is doubled or not, and then you get the bingo of 50 points. It doesn't say in the rules whether the first person starting the game gets double of each.

Hi there Nancy.

An opening bingo will score double the value of the word played, plus an additional 50 point bonus. The bonus 50 is not doubled. So suppose your opening move is the word RETAINS (with no blanks). Assuming you put one of the letters on the light blue double-letter square, this will score 16 points (double 8) plus 50 points (bonus), making a total of 66 points.

You can think of the pink central star square on a Scrabble board as an ordinary pink double-word square. The player who goes first gets to use this double word square first, and scores just as they would on any other pink square. Namely, first double the score of your word, and then add 50.

So there is nothing different about the scoring rules of the opening move - it's just that the player who goes first gets first shot at the central double-word square. And that's why you won't find a special rule about an opening bonus play - there isn't one!

Hope I've helped resolve your dispute Nancy ;-)


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