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Advanced Guide to Word Poker


by trailblazer20

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GAMES ROOM - Word Poker : a simple game where the objective is to type as many words as possible in the time allotted and pick whichever category gives you the most points… If you find this definition of Word Poker accurate, then this article is a must read for you! Because that shows a misundertanding of how this game is supposed to be played.

Understanding each category is critical to success in this game particularly if you are aiming for a trophy or simply to get the maximum amount of neopoints everyday, so let’s do an overview.

    The Categories

3 letters : For every 3 letter word you find, you are rewarded 4 points.

This category is a freebie. It should be used when you have a horrible set of letters lined up. There are only a handful of 3 letter words to be found even if you have a terrific set of letters. A satisfying amount of pts for this category would be 50 points but again if you have only 8 points, it doesn’t really matter. Remember, take this category whenever you haven’t achieved the goal of the other categories.

4 letters : For every 4 letter word you find, you are rewarded 6 points

If you have another terrible set of letters and you have already taken 3 letters, then this is your next sacrificial category. At 6 points a piece, it’s slightly more rewarding but not incredibly so. Your goal for this category should be 100 points. Never aim for this category if you can do well in any of the ones following instead.

5+ letters : For every 5+ letter word you find, you are rewarded 8 points

Eight points makes this category a lot better. And it’s great that 6, 7 and 8 letter words will also contribute to the total. This creates the opportunity to rack up big points. If you have very nice letters (more on what constitutes a good set later), ALWAYS aim for this category. Your goal should be 300 points although you wouldn’t be unhappy with 250!

Full House

This is an odd category. You get a set amount of points every time. If you find at least 15 words you are awarded 50 points. If you find 25 word or more, you are awarded 150 points, regardless of word length. In all honesty, 25 words should not be too hard to find. This category should be picked whenever you haven’t reached your goals for all other categories. Be warned, though, if you save this category until the end, you might get stuck with bad letters and have to pick it for 0 points. Only take 150 points, NEVER settle for 50 points.

Hush : You get 10 points for each word formed starting with a common letter.

For example, finding CAR, CARS, CART, CARTS will yield 40 points. The game itself will keep track of which starting letter has been used the most and display the maximum points. For example if you also found BAR, BARS, BAT in that same set of letters. The game would still display 40 because you’ve found more C words. However, upon finding BATS, BRAT, BRATS, the score will promply switch to 60. The letter with the most hits is listed to the left of the score so you can keep track.

You shouldn’t be aiming to do this category unless you have already filled 5+ letters. The majority of the time, you can score more points with 5+ letters instead. But if you are lucky and get another nice set of letters, go for this one. A good score would be over 150 points but 100 points is satisfactory. “Hard” consonants such as B,C,P,T are in my opinion the best Hush candidates.

Wild : Every 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8 letter words found rewards you with 1, 2, 5, 7, 10 and 15 points respectively.

The more words you type the better the rewards. However this category isn’t better that 5+ letters. You get 8 points for 5 and 6 letter words in 5+ letter words compared to 5 and 7 points in this category. Seven and eight letter words are hard to come by so all and all, you will almost always fill 5+ letters before this category if you get a great set a letters. Also, having an S in your set of letters makes it easier to get more points in this category.

Bonus

This isn’t a category and isn’t listed on the scoreboard but it is hidden. You are rewarded 50 points for every 7 and 8 letter words found. This is huge and you must find tons of 7 and 8 letter words if you hope to get on the high scoreboard and get a trophy. There isn’t any strategy involved. Reviewing common prefixes and suffixes should help you find some of the more unusual bonus words. I have already listed the majority of them in the previous Eliv Thade guide I’ve written.

    Game Tips

Picking a category : As soon as you see your set of letters, make a mental note on which category you are aiming to fill. Don’t start typing random words; you may waste precious seconds typing 3 and 4 letter words and then realize, you should have done 5+ ones… I have included game simulations below to help choose which to aim for. However, always remember, first impressions are not always exact. If you feel for example that you will not reach your objective in 5+, then quickly switch and try to fill Full House.

The Golden S rule : If you have an S in your set of letters, then you are in great shape. 5+ letters, Hush or Wild, in that order of priority should be filled. If the other letters are really horrible then at least fill your Full House. Never aim for 3 or 4 letter words with an S. When you’re typing any word, always retype the word and add the S, even if you’re not sure if the word pluralizes.

Past Tense : The majority of verbs in the english language finish with an ED in the past tense. If you have a verb which finishes with an E, always add the D; for example : RATE, RATED, TAME, TAMED. Those who don’t finish with an E will often take ED anyways : CAMP, CAMPED, ARM, ARMED.

The –ING ending : Similarly most, if not all verbs can be conjugated to finish with “ING” : RATING, TAMING, CAMPING. This ending is extremely useful and you will find that it is very easy to find bonuses that finish with ING. If you have this set of letters: RTEDNIAG, it is very easy to find treading, reading, trading, tearing, etc.

Typing Rules : When you’re typing, you should concentrate on all words beginning with a single letter. Keep going until you are out of words of any length for that particular letter. This strategy prevents repetitiveness of certain words and is indirectly helping you fill the Hush category. You should always type this way for ANY category unless you are filling 5+ letter words, for obvious reasons. Since there are no penalties for words that aren’t really words, try every logical combination that might be a word.

Full House, 3 and 4 letter words : If you have a horrible set of letters, you will undoubtedly be filling one of these. I just type my heart out and see what the best outcome is. I am extremely happy if I manage to fill Full House. If the scores are really horrid, then 3 letter words is an automatic pick.

Be realistic and not optimistic : You should always be realistic when picking categories. If you have 3 categories left to fill and they are 5+ letter words, Hush and Wild, then you are simply asking for it. Are you really going to get 3 nice sets of letters? You might have to take less points that your goal in earlier turns but at least that hard category is done. On my last turn, I much rather have 4 letter words left to fill than Wild. Always adjust your goals as the game progresses and take less if you have to.

5+ letters : Ideal letters to maximize points for this category would be S, E, R, A, D in that order. If they are all present, they you will barely run out of words to try. With one of the missing, you’ll find getting 300 points in 5+ letters a lot harder to achieve.

Duplicates and tough letters : These two are what makes a set of letters go from bad to really bad. An S is terrific but 3 in the same set is too redundant and severely limits your word making abilities. Letters which form very few words include Q, Z, J, X and to a lesser degree K. You are then basically forming words with only 7 letters to choose from. For vowels, U is the least useful; in contrast, you want to see an E in every set of letters you get!

    Game Simulation

This may be a whole lot to take in all at once. So I have included some practice sets of letters which all come from two games which I have completed. I won’t be listing word lists but I’ll explain which category I completed and why. Try to make up your own mind of what you would do before scrolling down and see what I took.

First game

1. HEROENCY

2. RPAORUAS

3. TWIRHEVI

4. HSCEUONG

5. MHCSIATT

6. DATREOSO

    1. A Hush using C was tempting but I only found 11 ‘C’ words so I changed goals to a Full House which I completed : 150 points. It’s a bit early to accept such an average score for Hush.

2. Despite a promising S, the other letters are not terrific mainly because there are too many duplicates. There are very few words to be found. Upon deliberation, I took 4 letter words for 48 points over 3 letter words. I had a feeling that I needed to save the 3 letter category if a worst set of letters came up.

3. Not a great set of letters, but I found quite a few words starting with W. So I took Hush for 110 pts. This is the same amount that I refused in turn 1, but times have changed and I cannot take 3 letter and hope for 3 good sets of letters for each of the categories which would be remaining.

4. I breathed a sigh of relief upon seeing this set. I started doing 5+ letters and realized that without a solid consonant such as an R or a T, it would be harder to make words exceeding 4 letters. So I quickly switched to Wild as there are tons of 3 and subsequently 4 letter words, compliments of the S. I was rewarded with 111 points, quite satisfactory.

5. I got the S that I wanted but no E which seriously limits me making 5+ words. There are quite a few 3 letter words though and 56 points is much more that I originally hoped, for that category.

6. A great set of letters! Saving the 5+ category until now was risky but rewarding. After 90 seconds of near continuous typing, I gladly take 380 points for my hard work. I also found two 7 letter words, ROASTED AND ROOSTED increasing my overall points by 100!

Summmary : A decent game with moderate sets of letters. Total Score : 965.

Second game

1. APLLPEGS

2. SOVTERDO

3. RISEEZHC

4. KLDYNADI

5. UUTOTCYR

6. LWEMBOJC

    1. A HUSH attempt using the letter P gets me nowhere. I type as many words as I can to maximize the points for Wild. I am very surprised at the end of the round to find that I had gotten 138 points for 4 letter words, which I immediately take over a Wild of 109.

2. If only one of the O had been an A. Oh well, despite this, making 5+ letters proves to be relatively easy. ROOSTED is there again yielding another full 50 points. I end up with 308 points for 5+ letters.

3. A ‘Z’ comes to ruin what could have been an excellent set of letters. I struggle a bit but manage to reach the 25 words requirement for Full House, earning me 150 points.

4. No S, and no E either means a mediocre set. Still there seems to be a handful of 3 letter words. I find 17 of them yielding me 68 points. My Hush and Wild scores are simply too low to be worth considering.

5. Ouch, exactly what I had feared. After the time is up, I looked at my choices, either Hush for 70 or Wild for 56. Unless the final rack is terrific with tons of 7+ letter words, my Wild will not exceed Hush. So I opt for Wild, also reminding myself that 7 words for Hush is not hard to match even with suboptimal letters.

6. Another terrible set. I end up with 50 points for my Hush. Did I make a mistake in round 5? Not necessarily since getting 56 for Wild with that set of letters looks impossible.

Summary : A below average game. Total Score : 850.

    Final Words

The “objectives” for each category that I have listed will vary depending on your ability to find words. Feel free to vary the amount of points which you consider satisfactory depending on your level of play. You may have noticed that the scores of the simulated games are not quite at trophy level. This is because the people who are on that list must’ve gotten at least one incredible set of letters such as PAINTERS, where there are so many 7 and even 8 letter words. Fifty points is a lot, fifty points multiplied by 20 will probably give you a high score. If you have more questions, feel free to neomail me. Good luck playing Word Poker!

 
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