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Jamble
Jamble (JX) is ItsYourTurn.com's word game, with twists that make it a much different experience from other word games. Wild Jamble (JW) is like Jamble, except played with 6 blanks (wild cards) instead of the usual 2. Open Jamble (JO) allows you to select which letters go in your rack (sort of).


  • read: What is Jamble?
  • read: What are the basic rules of Jamble?
  • read: Wild Jamble (JW)
  • read: Open Jamble (JO)
  • read: High Bonus Jamble (JH)
  • read: High Bonus Wild Jamble (JY)
  • read: How do I submit a move in Jamble?
  • read: The submit button is missing in Open Jamble (JO). How do I submit the move?
  • read: SCORING: How much is each letter worth?
  • read: SCORING: How do the bonus squares work?
  • read: SCORING: What happens when the game ends?
  • read: What is a valid word?
  • read: What does it mean when one of my letters is a '?' (question mark)?
  • read: How do I challenge an opponent's use of a word?
  • read: Why is word so-and-so in or not in the word list?
  • read: When I exchange letters, do I have to exchange all my letters?
  • read: If I use all 7 letters in one turn, do I get a bonus?
  • read: How many letters are in the bag, and what is the distribution?
  • read: How do I move my letters around while I'm looking for a word?
  • read: What are the legal 2-letter words in Jamble?
  • read: I see my opponent's letters in Open Jamble! Why is this?
  • read: Why didn't you make your so-and-so feature more like Scrabble? Or, I play a lot of Scrabble, and I don't like the so-and-so feature in Jamble. Will you change this?



What is Jamble? Jamble is a word game similar to other, more well-known word games. However, particular features make Jamble unique to existing word games, and we recommend that you read at least the 'basic rules' thoroughly.
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What are the basic rules of Jamble? This is a basic summary of the rules of Jamble. For more details, please read the answers to more detailed questions.

The object of Jamble is to place letters on the board that results in a higher score than your opponent (see the Scoring section below for more details).

  • Starting the game: Each player will be given 7 letters in his rack. To begin, the first player to move places a word on the board. That word must cover the center square in either a horizontal direction or a vertical direction. Once a letter is placed, it cannot be moved. It stays in that spot for the duration of the game.
  • Direction: Words can only be placed either across to the right, or down. Words cannot go up or to the left, nor can they be placed diagonally.
  • Connecting words: Words must 'connect' to another word on the board, and must form valid words (see 'word list' section below for more details on what is a valid word). If the words cross in more than one place, then all resulting words must be legal.
  • Play options: During your turn, you may do one of the following:
    • put down letters forming one or more words
    • pass your turn
    • exchange any or all of your letters
  • Ending the game: Players alternate placing letters. This continues until there are no more letters in the bag and one player has run out of letters, or both players pass in succession without placing a word.
  • Legal words only: The computer will not allow you to place an illegal word, so you are forced to play legal words.
  • Blanks: There are two blanks in the game. These score 0 points, but they can substitute for any letter, so they are very useful.

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Wild Jamble (JW) Wild Jamble is played the same as Jamble, except that 6 blank tiles (wild cards that can substitute for any letter) are used instead of the usual 2 blank tiles in regular Jamble. These letters replace 4 'E' letters in regular Jamble. This game makes for a much more strategy-intensive game, so even players using automated word search programs will have to think about when and where to place their blank tiles.
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Open Jamble (JO) Open Jamble is similar to regular Jamble, except that instead of choosing letters randomly from the bag, all the letters in the bag will be shown a specific order. The players, when it comes time to refill their racks with letters, will have the option of choosing from either the front of the bag or the end of the bag.

For example, if a player has 3 letters to choose, they could choose them all from the beginning of the list, all from the end, or alternate in any order they like.

You can select a piece from either the beginning or the end of the "bag". The letters outlined in red have already been taken, so you can't click on those. The first letter you CAN click on is the first non-red letter on either end of the bag.

When you click on an eligible letter, it will turn blue to let you know that it has been selected and you can then click on the next available letter, until you have replaced all the letters you put down. Remember, it will only let you select bag letters you are allowed to select. If you click on any other letter in the bag, nothing will happen. As an example, if you use three letters from your rack you will have to choose three letters from the bag. You must always replace all the letters you put down, if there are enough letters in the bag.

If there are letters left in the bag, you must choose letters to replace the letters you just put on the board. The game ends when one person runs out of letters, and there are no more letters left in the bag.

Obviously, in this game it's important not only to put down high-scoring words, but also to plan for what your opponent might put down in the future by looking at the letter list. Near the end of the game you will probably know most if not all of the letters in your opponent's rack, and you will have to plan accordingly.
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High Bonus Jamble (JH) This version is identical to Jamble, except that using all 7 letters in your rack gives you a bonus of 40 points, rather than the usual 10 points.
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High Bonus Wild Jamble (JY) This version is identical to Wild Jamble, except that using all 7 letters in your rack gives you a bonus of 40 points, rather than the usual 10 points.
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How do I submit a move in Jamble? After you have decided on the word that you want to place, make sure that the square you have chosen is the square where you want to place your first letter. (If not, you can click on 'start over' to select a different square).

In the text box, type the letters that you want to place, in the order that you want to place them. For example, if you want to place the word 'PLANE', and the letter 'N' is already on the board, then you would type 'PLAE', leaving out the 'N'.

If you're placing a blank, simply type the letter that you want to blank to represent. The blank will only be used if you don't have that letter, otherwise the system will always use a letter you own before using the blank.

Then, select whether you want the word to go across or down from your initial square. Click 'submit'.

The next screen will show you whether your word(s)is(are) legal. If all your words are legal, you can submit them. If you attempt to submit an illegal word, you will receive an error message.

That's it! You have successfully submitted your word.
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The submit button is missing in Open Jamble (JO). How do I submit the move? After you type the word you want to use, you have to click on the letters that you want to take from the rack before the submit button will appear. Remember that in Open Jamble you can click on letters from either the beginning or the end of the bag to refill the letters in your rack.

If you just want to verify that the word(s) you put down are valid, you'll have to choose your letters from the bag first. Then your word will automatically be validated once you click the last replacement letter, and you will see whether or not your word is valid and the score for the words you chose. If everything is OK, then you can submit the move to the database.
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SCORING: How much is each letter worth? Before bonuses, this is the table of how much each letter is worth:

  • 1 point: A, D, E, H, I, L, N, O, R, S, T
  • 2 points: C, F, M, U, W, Y
  • 3 points: B, G, P
  • 5 points: K
  • 7 points: J, V, X
  • 12 points: Q, Z


You don't have to memorize this table. You'll notice on your Jamble game board page that the letters are color-coded, and the key to those colors is near the bottom of the board page. You can easily look up the value of your letter by using this key.

Or, if you want, you can copy the table above so that you can refer to it while you're playing your game.

These scores were determined by averaging several published studies of letter frequencies in the American language. On average, a 12-point letter is 12 times rare than a 1-point letter.
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SCORING: How do the bonus squares work? If you look at the Jamble board you'll notice that some squares are colored differently. These are the 'bonus squares'.

There are two types of bonus squares, letter bonuses and word bonuses. Letter bonuses multiply the score of the letter on that square. Word bonuses multiply the score of the ENTIRE word that includes the bonus square.

A 2x bonus multiplies the score by TWO, and a 3x bonus multiplies the score by THREE. There's a key at the bottom of the game board page which tell you what each square color means.

Some things to keep in mind about bonus squares:
  • First time only: Bonuses are only applied the first time a letter is placed on that square. Even if a new word is created in a different direction using that square, the bonus will not be applied.
  • Only one word bonus per word: For any one word, only one word bonus will be applied. For example, if a word crosses a 3x word bonus and a 2x word bonus, only the 3x word bonus would apply. If a word crossed two 2x word bonuses, the word score would only be multiplied by 2, not 4. This restriction does not apply to LETTER bonuses-- you will collect all letter bonuses that you hit.
  • Bonus used in two words will apply twice: If you form two words on the same turn using a single bonus square, and it's the first time that bonus square is being used, you can count that bonus TWICE, once for each word.

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SCORING: What happens when the game ends? The game ends when both players pass one after the other or when one player runs out of letters and there are no more letters left in the bag.

When the game ends, each player with letters remaining subtracts the value of those letter from his current score. The lowest possible score is 0 -- any negative scores are rounded up to 0.

The player with the highest total wins. If the scores are the same, then the game is a draw.
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What is a valid word? A valid word is whatever is found in our word list. Generally, our word list contains non-capitalized, non-hyphenated English words. Abbreviations are not allowed. We use most of the words contained in the public domain word list maintained at http://everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1736033

Since Jamble will not allow you to enter illegal words, you can simply try different word combinations until you find words that are legal.

We understand that this word list is different from the official Scrabble word list. However, since that word list is copyrighted, we have no choice but to use a public domain word list. Since everyone is using the same word list, using this word list is equally fair (or unfair) to everyone.

NOTE: Scrabble is a trademark of Hasbro, which is in no way affiliated with ItsYourTurn.com
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What does it mean when one of my letters is a '?' (question mark)? This means you have a 'wild card' letter, which means it can stand for any letter that you want. A 'wild card' letter has 0 points by itself, but it can allow you to put down a 7-letter word or place a word in a strategic location, making it very valuable.

To use a wild card, simply type the letter that you want to use it for. The system will automatically know you're trying to use your wild card, and will place it accordingly.
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How do I challenge an opponent's use of a word? The concept of a 'challenge' does not exist, since Jamble will not allow you to enter illegal words. By design, any word used by your opponent is legal as far as the game is concerned.

Please see the 'valid word' answer for an explanation of what's considered a valid word.
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Why is word so-and-so in or not in the word list? Unfortunately, since we do not maintain the word list, we cannot comment with any authority why certain words are included or not included in the word list. Please see the valid word section for more details about where we got the word list. Or, look in a dictionary (either in book form or online) to find definitions. If a word is not found in a dictionary, it's possible that it's an alternate spelling of a word.

As far as Jamble is concerned, if the word exists in the word list, then it is legal.
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When I exchange letters, do I have to exchange all my letters? No, you do not have to exchange all your letters at once.

To exchange your letters, click exchange letters on the first game board screen. Then, type in the letters you'd like to exchange. Those letters will be replaced by new letters on your next turn.

Remember that when you exchange letters, you will not be able to put down letters in that turn, and your score for that turn will be zero.
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If I use all 7 letters in one turn, do I get a bonus? Yes, you get a bonus of 10 points when you use all 7 letters on your rack at once.

Keep in mind that the 7-letter bonus cannot be multiplied, so even if you have a 2x or 3x word bonus, the 7-letter bonus is still 10 points, not 20 or 30 points.

For High Bonus versions of the games, the bonus for using all 7 letters is 40 points.
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How many letters are in the bag, and what is the distribution? The bag contains 100 letters, with the following distribtion:

A=7, B=2, C=3, D=4, E=11, F=3, G=2, H=6, I=7, J=1, K=1, L=4, M=2, N=6, O=6, P=2, Q=1, R=6, S=6, T=8, U=3, V=1, W=2, X=1, Y=2, Z=1, (blank)=2

This distribution is roughly proportional to the frequency of letter distribution in the American English language, according to an average of several studies of letter frequency.
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How do I move my letters around while I'm looking for a word? To move letters around while you look for a word, simply click on the letter you want to move. That letter will be moved to the 'end' (the far right side) of your rack. To form words, click the letters in order. To start over, click 'alphabetize', and the letters will reset on your rack in alphabetical order.

To select a new square to start your word, click on the 'start over' link, and you will be able to select a new square to place the first letter of your word.
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What are the legal 2-letter words in Jamble? The following 2-letter words are legal in Jamble:

AA, AB, AD, AE, AG, AH, AI, AL, AM, AN, AR, AS, AT, AW, AX, AY, BA, BE, BI, BO, BY, DE, DO, ED, EF, EH, EL, EM, EN, ER, ES, ET, EX, FA, GO, HA, HE, HI, HM, HO, ID, IF, IN, IS, IT, JO, KA, LA, LI, LO, MA, ME, MI, MM, MO, MU, MY, NA, NE, NO, NU, OD, OE, OF, OH, OM, ON, OP, OR, OS, OW, OX, OY, PA, PE, PI, RE, SH, SI, SO, TA, TI, TO, UH, UM, UN, UP, US, UT, WE, WO, XI, XU, YA, YE, YO
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I see my opponent's letters in Open Jamble! Why is this? In Open Jamble, because all the letters in the bag are displayed, you will always know what your opponent's letters are, by keeping track of which letters they pick up and which letters they put down. Rather than forcing everyone to keep track of this in their 'NOTES' section, we decided to show everyone's letters, since it's not a secret anyway.

In this way, Open Jamble is very different from regular Jamble. Not only do you know what your opponent holds, you know the order of the letters in the bag. So you have to look ahead and plan your moves rather than using the element of surprise. Except for the initial letters that you receive, there is very little luck involved in Open Jamble.
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Why didn't you make your so-and-so feature more like Scrabble? Or, I play a lot of Scrabble, and I don't like the so-and-so feature in Jamble. Will you change this? First of all, please understand that Jamble is a completely different game than Scrabble. If you were hoping that Jamble would be similar to Scrabble, you may be disappointed.

Having said that, we feel that Jamble is in many ways better than Scrabble. It's based on more rigorous letter-frequency research, and some of the scoring and rules have been changed for turn-based play. For example, since anyone can use an online anagram service to help them find words, the 7-letter bonus has been reduced from 50 points to 10 points (or for High Bonus games, 40 points) to de-emphasize the difficulty of this task.

Also, because of our turn-based format, challenges are no longer applicable. Only legal words are allowed, and players are allowed to try as many different words as they want before submitting their final move. For hard-core Scrabble players, this is sacrilege, since the game is now more about word placement than it is about word knowledge or memorization.

Please try Jamble with an open mind, and you may get to like the game. We hope you enjoy playing it.

NOTE: Scrabble is a trademark of Hasbro, which is in no way affiliated with ItsYourTurn.com
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