War of the Words: Nate and Claudia Play Scrabble

Hello, people! So I did all of this stuff over the weekend/in the airport, but because of craziness with the flight and everything yesterday, I’m just posting it now.

Okay? Okay.

Nate and I have been playing Scrabble approximately once a week since the beginning of the year.* We have been recording our scores since we first started playing (for a total of 26 games), and I have been taking pictures of our completed Scrabble boards for the past 17 games.


Before we look at our performances, I want to preface this by saying that Nate has the incredible talent of pulling all the vowels all the time, which is the only reason his average is lower than mine. I’m sure if he didn’t have the Scrabble Curse of Vowels and was able to pull the Q, J, and X as often as I do, our scores would be much more equal.

Just sayin’.

Here are our point stats.

Score Stats

Holy crap, my standard deviation is huge. Nate’s super consistent; I’m all over the place.

Here are box plots!

Boxplot of Scores by Player

I should do a test of equal means (paired t-test) and a test of equal variance, but I’m pretty sure they’d both come up as significantly different.**

Here are our score trends across the 26 games.

Scrabble Scores by Game

I also made a heat map of the Scrabble board! Here is a heat map of our most frequently used tile spaces based on the 17 pictures of our completed boards. Yellower squares indicate more frequent use; bluer squares indicate less frequent use. Obviously the center square is the yellowest because the first word in every game has to touch it. This center square had the maximum number of uses (17), but all tile spaces were used at least once.

Heat Map of Scrabble Square Usage

There was another heat map I made which highlighted which squares had the highest number of points placed on them across the 17 games (calculated by just summing the point totals of all the tiles placed on each given square over all the games), but that wasn’t as interesting.

Now we have SUPER SCRABBLE, so that’s going to start happening soon. New data!


*Not every week, though, and we played a few games in 2014, but that’s all irrelevant anyway.
**They did.


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