just a guy made of dots and lines (crs) wrote,
just a guy made of dots and lines
crs

Bluffing in Scrabble

Everybody accepts that bluffing in poker is an accepted part of the game; without it it would be the intellectual equivalent of tic-tac-toe.  With it, poker rivals chess for complexity.

Scrabble has rules for challenges; you put down a sequence of letters, and if the next person thinks it's not a word, they challenge.  You look it up, and if it's a word, the challenger loses the points for that word; if it isn't a word, you lose your points and something else bad happens (you lose double?  whatever.)

Anyway, on Wednesday someone put down a word in Quiddler (which uses, effectively, Scrabble rules for challenges) that I thought might or might not be a word, but it was suspect.  This person was making a big deal out of it, basically goading me into challenging; it would be a joy for him to see a challenge.  And I thought, well, he's too eager, he's playing it up for the reverse psychology.  Well, it was (kinda) a word; there was another annoying thing about this that I won't go into, but I was convinced that he was not bluffing, and I took the point hit.

But my question is this: is bluffing a part of the game of Scrabble?  Or is the intent of the rule only to deal with unintentional misspelling?  If Bart Simpson plays "kwyjibo" and convinces his family not to challenge, by his demeanor or by some other means, has he cheated at Scrabble, or has he played the rules to the fullest?

Poll #431011 Bluffing in Scrabble

Is bluffing in Scrabble cheating?

Yes
6(25.0%)
No
18(75.0%)
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