The Power of 2 Letter Words

Dominate friend, family, and definitely foe with this hard-to-beat Scrabble strategy. You're just 2 letters from victory.

This is the final installment in our trilogy (for now) of Scrabble tips, designed to help you dominate family and friends. And there’s still time to study up for your end-of-year, holiday get togethers.

Our last two articles focused on scoring big with bingos

In our first article, we showed you how to manage your scrabble rack to increase the odds of getting them. In our second article we served up the holy grail of bingo lists, to make it easier for you to spot them.

Now we’re going to focus on 2-Letter Words

Want to dominate at Scrabble? Mastering the 2-letter words is an essential step. There are *107 2-letter words, but don’t despair, you already know most of them. Taking the extra time to learn the obscure ones will give you the edge you’re looking for.

*NOTE: We’re basing our lists off the official scrabble dictionary mentioned in our last article. It was designed for Scrabble-play, it’s free, and it works well for the casual to semi-serious player who needs a resource for solving game-time disputes. It’s basically a cleaned-up version of the tournament dictionary; offensive words have been scrubbed. It’s the perfect dictionary to use when hustling friends and family at the Scrabble table.

2-Letter Words Can Amp Up Your Game

  • They can help you place your bingos
    Nothing worse than having a bingo on your rack, but no room for it on the board. Your 2-letter words can help you find the room you need. 
  • They pair well with premium tiles
    Laying down just two tiles and picking up 60+ points for your effort is extremely rewarding. Strategic use of your 2-letter words can make that happen.
  • They can solve your Qbut-no-U problem
    Have a Q, but don’t have a U? No problem! 2-letter words to the rescue.

2-Letter Words in Action

You’re locked in mortal Scrabble combat with your narcissistic, know-it-all brother-In-Law (that’s right, the blowhard attorney). You’re managing your rack for maximum bingos, and because you’ve studied our holy grail list, you realize you can form the word ISATINE and pick up the 50 bonus points by using all 7 tiles. 

You excitedly look over the board hoping to find a place for your word. To the untrained eye, it appears that you’re out of luck. But because you’ve mastered the list of 2-letter words, you realize that you can tuck it right below the word EXUDE. The S-tile will fall on a double-letter-value square, and the N-tile will fall on a double-word-value square as follows:

The Power of 2 Letter Words 1

“Take that, Bro. ISATINE scores 82 points; put that in your pipe and smoke it!” (Spoken internally, of course.)

Later in the game you draw the Z-tile (10 points), and you spot an open triple-letter-value square right above the word “PLAY.” 

The Power of 2 Letter Words 2

By coupling “Z” with “A,” you can form three words (ZA, ZA and AY), and triple your Z’s 10 point value twice in one play. Time to strike!

The Power of 2 Letter Words 3

“That’s right, Bro; I placed 2 letters on the board and scored 67 points. Deal with it!” (Again, all spoken internally.) 

Must Know 2-Letter Words

They’re all must know words! There are only 107 and you’ll find you already know most of them. Because they’re all only 2 letters long, they’re easy to learn. No reason you can’t learn them all over one focused evening of study, or maybe even over one quick cram session just before a holiday game.

That said, don’t miss out on learning these: 

  • XI, XU, AX, OX, and EX. There are often plenty of ways to use X the way we used Z in our ZA example.
  • JO, KI, and KA. Again, look for ways to play them the way we played ZA. 
  • QI. Not as many options with Q as with X, but QI is a winner. Sometimes you can play it the way we played ZA, but even if you can’t, you may still be able to use it to solve your Q-but-no-U problem.

L+S System in a Nutshell

Scrabble can be a fun, rewarding game. Follow the easy system put forth in our trilogy and your Scrabble scores will soar. It’s as simple as: 1) Rack management, 2) bingo awareness and 3) leveraging your 2-letter words. Just a little study, some focused perseverance, and before you know it, you’ll be dominating family and friends at the Scrabble table.

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