Tuesday, July 24, 2012

5 Winning Strategies for Bananagrams

bananagrams strategy
To follow up on my review of the Bananagrams word game, I thought I would share some of my winning strategies for Bananagrams. Use one or all of these tips and tricks and get ready to show your friends and family who's boss!
  1. Create a backbone. Try to create the longest word possible as early in the round as possible. This long word will form a backbone for your plays and makes it a lot easier to use up tiles as you "peel" them. Even if it takes you more time to think up a really long word, you will be able to play a lot of shorter words in a small amount of time after you assemble your backbone.
  2. Don't be scared to shuffle all your tiles mid-game. To go along with number 1, if you get to the point where you have too many three and four letter words in the middle of a hand, you might run out of easy places to play your next few tiles. Don't hesitate to shuffle all or most of your tiles and make a nice long backbone even in the middle of a hand. You can then play short words off your backbone and stage a dramatic comeback by the end.
  3. Two-letter words are gold. If you're looking to keep your opponents on their toes, dropping a freshly peeled letter tile onto your plays at right angles to an existing word to make a two-letter word lets you peel again right away. Keep it up, and you'll frustrate the other players and have letters available for more advanced plays when the opportunity arises.
  4. No dumping. Any way you look at it, dumping is a bad bargain - you always get three tiles back when you get rid of one. And most savvy players will simply assume your dumped tile is a Q, Z, or X and simply avoid it until you're forced to pick it back up. Even if you do mix it in with the other unused tiles, you might end up with it again anyway. Just become familiar with short words that use these trouble letters or incorporate them into your backbone word, and you'll be better off.
  5. Go rhyme-crazy to switch out letters fast. This isn't as obvious as the other winning strategies, but rhyming can help players of any skill level come up with words using their letters. It's also a great tactic for swapping out the starting letter of a word with a different one to free up that letter. Of course, you could always try playing more two letter words like in number 3.
That's it! Follow these 5 winning strategies for Bananagrams and prepare to take the other players to school. Of course, there's no substitute for a large vocabulary and good spelling skills, and you'll still need your own micro-strategy for getting through the "peels" at your own speed, but these tips and tricks can give you the extra edge needed to win!

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