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Taking a look at the accuracy of Scrabble's point values

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FLICKR thebarrowboy Scrabble
FLICKR thebarrowboy Scrabble

Just about everyone knows that the point values of Scrabble letters coincide with the relative difficulty of using each tile, but those tiny little numbers in the corner of the tiles were decided back in 1938 as the result of studying letter usage in newspapers. After seeing Google's Peter Norvig take a deep-dive into the frequency of letters in the English language, Deadspin's Sam Eifling with worked a friend to see just how wrong — or right — the point values on Scrabble tiles really are. They did so by looking through every word in a Scrabble dictionary, and it turns out that nearly half of all the point values are correct. There are some that are far off, however, like the pesky "Q" and "J," which should be worth 14 points each in an ideal world. The "Z," meanwhile, is worth 4 points too many. Eifling tries to draw some Scrabble tips from all the data (e.g. get rid of the "Q" and "J" as soon as possible), but we think all comes down your skill, vocabulary, and tiles.