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Can You Use the Same Word Twice in Scrabble?

While rare, occasionally, you will have the opportunity to use the same word twice in Scrabble. But what if someone disputes it and says you can’t? To settle this issue, I checked into the rules, and this is what I learned.

You can use the same word twice in Scrabble. While official Scrabble rules have guidelines on how you can make a word, they do not prevent players from making the same word twice.

This article will help you understand the rules around replaying a word in Scrabble in more detail. It will cover what rules the professionals follow, and if there are any other variations, you can consider playing.

Scrabble letters that spell out confused

There Are No Rules Against Repeating a Word

Officially, there are no rules against repeating a word in Scrabble. So, if your opponent has made a word, and you notice you can make the same word somewhere else on the board, you are allowed to do so.

According to the official Scrabble rules, opponents can play the same word as one another, and players can repeat a word themselves. In either case, the rules do not prevent players from playing the same word twice during the course of a single game. 

This rule is also true in professional games. 

Consider the case of the 2009 World Scrabble Championships. The final board of the last game between the top two players, Thai player Pakorn Nemitrmansuk and New Zealander Nigel Richards, the final board featured the word AUA twice. Thus, if you’re planning on playing according to professional rules, repeating words is okay.

You Can Make House Rules

House rules are unofficial rules generally followed by people from the same family or those who live in the same house – thus the name. These rules are not part of the official rules, but since all players agree to them, they are followed like the official rules. 

Scrabble letters that spell out simple is the best

There are usually no limits on what type of house rules you can make. For example, one popular house rule in the game UNO allows Draw 2 and Draw 4 cards to be stacked. In fact, this rule is so popular that most people considered it an official rule, and the official UNO Twitter had to state that stacking is not part of the official rules.

You can make your own house rules for a Scrabble game. Some popular house rules include allowing players to choose their own tiles, playing Scrabble with only one player, and playing to have the lowest score possible rather than the highest.

If you aren’t keen on repeating words during a Scrabble game, you can play with like-minded players under house rules that do not allow the same word to be played twice or more.

Making Words in Scrabble

In Scrabble, words can be made in several ways:

  • Starting at the center tile. This is only for the first move of the game.
  • Adding letters to a word already on the board. For example, you could turn the word ARM to CHARM by adding ‘c’ and ‘h.’
  • Creating a word at a right angle to a word that has already been played. The new word should share one or more letters in common with the existing word.
  • Playing words at parallels to an existing word. In such a case, adjacent letters should also form new, legally playable words. All words formed during the turn count for scoring. So, if you form the words “CHARM,” “ART,” and “ARE,” all three words should be scored.

Final Thoughts

You can play the same word twice (or more) in Scrabble. Duplicate words are more common the shorter the words are, as it is easier to make those words legally. However, as long as you make legal moves, you can make duplicates of any word you choose.

For more, check out Can You Skip Yourself in Uno? | What the Rules Say.

tim dackombe

Saturday 6th of May 2023

Hi Jim. I don’t think you have answered the conundrum fully. I think the dispute is whether it’s possible to play the same word twice in the same turn. i.e. Adding W to two adjacent E’s to make the word WE twice. I am fairly certain this was an official rule of Scrabble in the past but I cannot recall where I first read it. I have been looking online but keep looping back to explanations like yours which don’t actually address the issue. What do you think?

Jim James

Sunday 7th of May 2023

Hi Tim, thanks for bringing this up! Yes, it is my understanding that the same word can be made twice in the same turn. You give a great example, adding the W and making the word "We" twice is certainly allowable. My wife's parents have been playing Scrabble since the 50's and they say this has always been allowed in their games and no one has ever disputed it.