# Words With Friends and Cheating

For those unfamiliar with Words With Friends, it’s basically a one-on-one version of Scrabble played via mobile phone. The big difference is that the two players play remotely, so there are many ways to cheat. Players can experiment with letter arrangements and the game will let you know if the combinations is a word or not. Thus, you end up with players using esoteric words that no one knew were actual words. The generally accepted ethical way to play is that a player is free to experiment with different letter combinations, as there is no time limit on your move, but not to use outside assistance (such as Scrabble Word Finder).

I have a strong suspicion that some of my friends are using outside help, mostly because I can never seem to come up with some of the crazy words that they use.

Of course there’s no way to prove this. But I thought that there may be a way to at least determine that there is a high probability that they are cheating, based on the words and letters used. I remember reading about a study on how it was determined that some Chicago teachers were allowing students to cheat on their SAT’s to improve their own ratings. In some cases, it was proven that they were even changing answers for the students after the exam was over.

Does anyone have any ideas on how to determine that there is a high probability that someone is cheating at Words With Friends?

Under your generally accepted ethical way to play, players can experiment as much as they want, so they could just be trying more possible words than you, or be more thorough at trying out letter combinations that might be words. If you’re only trying out combinations you think might be words, and they’re trying out every combination that has the right ordering of consonants and vowels, they’re going to be looking at a larger set of possible words, and will find those esoteric ones.

Since they could potentially try all combinations manually, you’d need to know how long they were working with their tiles for a move, to have an idea how many trials they could make manually.

are you talking about words longer than 4 letters? because if you play scrabble long enough, it’s natural to have a vocabulary of words you’ll never use outside the game or even know it’s meaning, especially the 2 and 3 letter words.

I’m talking about words that are longer than 4 letters. Based on the letters already on the board and those that are played next, it seems that there ought to be a way to determine how optimal a player’s of a scenario is. Usually there are many words available based on the setup, and if a player is consistently choosing the “perfect” word, and he has no idea what it means, then some sort of statistical analysis should be able to give some insight into the probability that he’s cheating. Or maybe I’m just being a sore loser.

I play WWF and I don’t use outside sources. I have some people who beat me like a big drum and I have some people that I beat like a big drum. It evens out. On some days, I’ll get a really nice group of letters and sock it to them. On other days, I wind up with all vowels or consonants and have to waste a turn drawing new tiles.

I suspect a couple of my friends are using some outside help as well. Mostly I think this because I know them in real life and I know their vocabulary and education. It doesn’t really bother me, though. I figure it probably makes their day to beat me at a word game.

I play with friends, family and random. I did suspect my sister in law of using outside help or an outright cheat cheats with friends app but when I used her phone it was clean

About 1 outta 10 in random play I will resign and usually say something in the chat like this
“I can not compete with someone as smart as you, I mean come on words like ******** and ******** means I would have to be a dirty low life with no problems cheating on a free to play game to even come close to your abilities so I resign”

I usually put up with a few words like that because sometimes I can still manage to play well since they are all about big words. And sometimes a well places zit tl can do well.

Get used to it, or ask your friends and come to a verbal understanding about it, if you trust them. It drives me nuts too, but using word finder cheats is endemic and ubiquitous in any online form of Scrabble or Boggle. There’s basically no way to catch a cheater.

When I first started playing my dad, we were pretty even. Now I beat him consistently. My brother used to kick my ass, but finally I can give him a game. When I passed my dad, he got upset when I got lucky with a word. When I first started playing my bro, I thought he might be cheating. It’s just learning how to play more than anything.

Yeah, but even that can lead to cheating. When I was first playing with a friend of mine, he was coming out with some really insane words. Made me suspicious. I asked him if he was using a word finder, and he said, “Yeah. I figured you were doing it too, from some of the crazy words I see you play.”

It’s fine. We then both agreed we would never use them (I never would anyway. What would be the point?), and we always keep at least two concurrent games going.

You can ask without making it accusatory. “Whoa, how’d you come up with that word?”.

I’ve come across new words while playing, and have certainly done the ‘Hrm, is THIS a word? it sounds like a word’ thing and gotten lucky. My vocabulary is all over the place, as I’ve been reading fiction for over 40 years now, of all types, starting quite young, so I use words that probably haven’t been in general use for 50-100 years sometimes.

However…there are definitely games where there is just no way in hell the person isn’t using a cheat. Just no way. One of two things happens in that scenario: either I laugh as I beat them anyway with better tile placement, or I give up and play nothing but two-letter words so that they beat me so badly that it’s a waste of their time.

ETA: response deleted.

I wish you could make it so the game would accept any combination of letters, but the other player could choose to challenge it or not. It would do away with the “throw letters together and see what sticks” strategy, and would reintroduce the more subtle art of Scrabble bullshitting.

Plus it would make spelling count-- when I play with my partner in real life, we’re just about evenly matched because she’s a much better all around player, but I’m a better speller so I usually get her on one or two words per game, which can be decisive. When we play an online version, she always clobbers me since it won’t accept her misspellings.

Yeah, a zyqxuwy is totally a kind of fish!

Yer whooshing me, ain’t cha.

I know I have one friend who will just randomly put together letters until he gets a good word that gives him the biggest points he can get. It gets old after awhile to get killed 450-200.

My brother also told me that he uses a Scrabble dictionary. He said we were allowed to and that explains how he got some really strange words.

There have been a few times when I’ve used an online word finder if I can’t figure anything out. Even then I’ve had times where I can hardly make a word.

If anyone wants to play so they can boost their ego let me know.

[runnerpat]reported[/runnerpat]

If I was an entomologist and got to name new species it would be fun to name bugs based on how high a score you could get with it.

Yeah there are apps out there that will give you the words. I have one friend who is decently educated by can’t write a facebook post without misspelling ten words. She crushes me in very suspicious ways.

I have another friend who played me once but never again. I hit with one word for 135 points. I was just lucky. Never came close to scoring that much again but I think she didn’t trust me after that.