Snooze you lose?

by Jackie

My husband and I along with our 11 year old son were playing Scrabble. The game was almost over and I just finished playing my turn and went to take more tiles out of the bag and took the last three.

At that moment my husband realized he didn't take his tiles after his turn just before me. I said, well you snooze, you lose. And he throws up his arms and says he's not playing if he doesn't get the tiles. I said fine, and gave him all my tiles and left, and then he called me a cheater....

Who is right?

Hi there Jackie - Because situations like this are not covered in the official 'box rules' there is no such thing as right and wrong here. But in official Scrabble tournaments, which have far more detailed rules than those written on the box, you would certainly be required to return the three tiles to your opponent.

The procedures for handling out-of-turn-drawing vary from one place to the next, so it's not worth spelling out exact rules here, but the spirit of the rule is always that a player should never be deprived of tiles that are rightfully theirs.

That doesn't mean you lose the argument here though. And you certainly haven't 'cheated' since you weren't playing to official tournament rules. You were playing to the 'box rules', which don't tell you what to do in this situation.

The best way to avoid arguments like these is to agree on rules like this up front, and official Scrabble organizations are pretty unanimous in making sure someone doesn't miss out on their tiles - especially in the endgame where it makes such a big difference.

Don't worry though - I won't tell him ;-)

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