Scrabble High Fives

What is a high five?

While we usually start and end every round of disc golf with a high five, the high five I'm talking about here is a word that begins or ends with a high value tile in Scrabble. That is where the definition ends for now. I heard about high fives years ago when studying Scrabble words, but while working on a blog entry about studying words in Hoot I stumbled up when I tried to discuss high fives. What constitutes a high scoring tile in a high five is where the definition varies.

FHKVWY without JQXZ

My first remembrance is that a high five was a word that began or ended with FKKVWY and did not contain a JQXZ. That sounded reasonable since you generally study the JQXZ words separately.

FHKVWY and JQXZ

As a variation of the term high five, I found a PDF file from a scrabble club that refers to Mike Baron's definition that includes words that begin or end with a high scoring letter. That list includes words like ZEBRA, so it also includes JQXZ as high-scoring letters.

FHKVWY

A third definition includes words that begin with FHKVWY. It may contain a JQXZ but not at the beginning or end. That definition comes from Mike Baron himself in the Scrabble Wordbook, although the list shown does include FRITZ. In practice, the list ignores JQXZ completely, as long as they are not considered high point tiles here.

JKQXZ

Lastly, there is the Old Town Scrabble definition that includes words that begin or end with one of the five high-scoring tiles, JKQXZ. The addition of the letter K is reasonable since it is the worth 5 points, more than any other letter besides JQXZ. Since K is often combined with the letter C at the end of a word it can be quite valuable played on bonus squares.

Each of these lists can be useful study guides for high five plays, which is why I've included several options in Hoot. But I do need to make the options more consistent, and more simple, so I've modified the searches in 2.0.4 to include

  • High Fives (FHKVWY, allowing JQXZ elsewhere)
  • JQXZ High Fives

Students can then combine or refine them with criteria in the Query, or use Pattern searches for more granular control.

Hoot also shows high fours used in the same way. Although they are not as common in Scrabble as in Words with Friends, they are useful in the corners of a Scrabble board. In those locations a four letter DL/TW word (ZONE = 69) can garner more points than a five letter TL/DW word (ZONES = 68) nearby. There are also searches for High End Fours, Fives, and Sixes in Hoot. These are words that both begin and end with any high value tile. These are particularly useful in TL/TL scenarios.


Note: Hoot can also be used to study Scrabble in French and for that I've defined high fives in French predefined words as beginning or ending with JKQWXYZ and I don't think I will modify that in the near future. 

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