Bananagram-Your Scrabble On Steroids

For many people, Scrabble is a very slow paced game. Many of us don’t have that much of patience to crawl towards the win. If you are also like me and hate the slow pace of Scrabble, then I have a suggestion for you. Bananagrams as it is named is a Scrabble version that is very fast paced and easy to play. Read on to know more about this game and its fun factor.

Playing Style

There is no board in the Bananagram or any score pad. You can start building words in the same structure as scrabble but without a board. Rule is to build words from left to right when going horizontally and top to bottom when passing vertically.

You get 144 letters in a banana-shaped pouch and distribute it among players. Based on the number of players everyone gets equal number of tiles. So if there are 2-4 players then each player gets 21 letters or if there are 5-6 players then each one gets 15 letters and if there are 7 or more, then 11 letters each. If you have played scrabble then you will not find it difficult to play this game, even it will be a lot more fun.

However you might say Bananagram is a home grown version of scrabble but it can be really challenging at times as well. Here we provide some tips on how to ace the game.


Dictionary is the only judge

As there is no score pad you will always need a dictionary to decide if the winner is actually winning. Always there is option to seek majority vote on the validity of a word but still for the sake of ease we advice to keep a dictionary.

Master Words

There are some words that you will definitely want to memorize to be an ace in Bananagram. For instance book on playable Bananagram words by Joe Edley (National Scrabble Championship winner thrice) is published by Workman. You will find it really useful.

Fast Letter Flipping

Filliping all the letter rapidly gives you a clear picture of what you are actually dealing with. There are some players who advise to start building words as you flip the letters but I disagree. However you should choose the option you like.


Rearranging is always good and don’t be shy to tear your arrangement to rearrange it if you are stuck with some bad letters. Rearranging will mean you have space for other letters. You may waste few minutes in the whole process but it will be worth it.  Your opponents on the other side if complete before you have to say PEEL. Then you can check the letters in the next batch to see if they can be of any help without rearranging the crossword.

One Big Word

Muster up the longest word you can at the beginning of the game. This will give you a solid base to build other words thereafter. For instance if you build only a 4 letter word in the beginning then you have only four letters to proceed the game.

Be smart with this tricks and you will see win much earlier than your competitor.


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