What are the main advantages of challenging?

Seems to me when playing family style (meaning competitive and the prize is pride) no one wants to challenge because it has the potential to hurt them... is there a solution for this? It can be a problem in a close game... Any suggestions?

My brother came up with one.... the challenger should get the point value of the challenged word. Has anyone tried this?

Having your opponent miss a turn is actually a huge advantage in a Scrabble game. Another more subtle advantage is that you get to see some of the tiles on their rack, and that helps you limit their scoring opportunities in the next move.

If your opponent played a false word using an X, for example, and if there is a high-scoring spot for the X, you can block it to reduce your opponent's next score (provided you don't sacrifice too many points by doing so).

When you say challenging has the potential to 'hurt' the challenger, I assume you are playing 'double challenge'?

That's the rule whereby the challenger misses their turn if the word they challenge is good. If you find this rule tends to prevent people from challenging at all, why not play single challenge (i.e. that's where the challenger gets no penalty for challenging a word that turns out to be acceptable).

In some official tournaments nowadays a compromise between these two extremes is reached in which the challenger loses 5 points if the challenged word is valid, instead of losing their turn (i.e. the penalty for an incorrect challenge is less harsh).

Note that in all of these cases the person being challenged still has to remove their tiles and miss their turn if their word is found to be incorrect.

So there are a few things you might like to consider before starting your next family game. I hope one of them suits you.

All the best,

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