Scrabble Slam: What Is It and How Do You Play?

the word "change" spelled in letter tiles

Learning how to play Scrabble Slam can bring a fun change into the life of an avid Scrabble player. Following the same original concepts but adding a new pace and style, this card game is popular among players of all ages and convenient enough to play at home or take on the road.

What Is Scrabble Slam?

This game features a deck of cards designed to resemble original Scrabble tiles. The majority of the cards are double sided with a letter on each side. Each deck contains 55 cards, including blanks that can be used as "wild" cards to represent any letter. The goal is to race against your teammates to change the existing word on the table and eliminate all of your cards first.

The game can get extremely fast-paced and intense, especially with competitive folks, and is always sure to garner some good laughs. Scrabble Slam is designed for two to four players and is appropriate for those eight and older. It is also a great game to bring out when you don't have a lot of time, as the four-letter word concept allows for rapid rounds that are much shorter than a typical Scrabble game.

How to Play

To start, a player thinks up a four-letter word, and the appropriate cards are set down to spell it out. The remaining cards are divided equally among the players, which means sometimes a player will have more than the others. This eventually evens out during game play but is considered to be a game flaw to some.

When everyone is ready and situated with his or her cards, a player shouts "Ready, Set, Slam!", and the game play begins. There are no formal turns in Scrabble Slam, but rather everyone works as quickly as he can to beat his opponents to the next word. Before placing any card down, that player must shout out what he is going to change the word to and then slam down the card as quickly as he can to change the word.

Only one card can be played at a time to create a new word, and just like traditional Scrabble, you cannot use proper names, locations or acronyms unless there is common agreement between all players. Also like regular Scrabble, the game can be halted and your word disputed at any time. Hasbro instructions recommend using either a Scrabble dictionary or a regular dictionary to settle disagreements.

Since the cards are double sided, you will find both letters of each card listed in a smaller font on the corners. This helps you not have to constantly flip your cards over to remember what is in your hand. It adds to the speed of the game to not have to do this, and once you get used to looking in the corner as well as on your main card, you'll start slamming cards down like rapid fire and be on your way to a winning hand.

Pros and Cons

Scrabble Slam is a great family game, especially for children in the upper elementary grades. It helps them to learn new words, and it is extremely simple to master. It is also affordable - available everywhere from Amazon to Wal-Mart, sometimes as low as $5.00 for a deck. Since it is a speedy and portable game, you can play it anywhere from waiting rooms to plane rides.

Some, however, have found the structure and concept of the game to be more like Upwords than Scrabble, which can be disappointing if you are a big Scrabble fan. It also can lack excitement if your opponents are unable to keep up the fast pace required due to reading issues or physical limitations.

Overall, with its reasonable price and broad range of appeal, you'll likely agree Scrabble Slam is worth checking out if you enjoy word games and good quality time with friends and family.

Where to Purchase

The game is available to purchase at any chain retailer that sells board games, such as Target, Wal-Mart, or your favorite drugstore. You can also purchase it online via Amazon or the Hasbro website.

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Scrabble Slam: What Is It and How Do You Play?