- Concentrate on making words out of the hardest letters first to get them out of the way.
- Try to make one long word at the beginning and build off of it. In general, the longer your words are, the more places there will be to build new words.
- Particularly at the beginning, when you flip over all your letters, try to assess the balance between consonants and vowels. If it is off, you can try to make vowel-heavy or consonant-heavy words [See what to do when you have too many consonants and what to do when you have too many vowels.]. It's far better to do this from the outset, than to have a mostly-finished grid and realize that you need to go back and remodel the whole thing.
- Try to structure your grid in a more open way.
CHILLThe former is far easier to build new words off of:
AWe could even quantify the difference between the two approaches. In the first case, words can be build up or down (or both) from 5 letters (C,H,I,S,T) and just in one direction from 2 more (the L and the O). In the second case, there are 8 letters that one can build off of in only one direction. The number of words you can make with the H in any position (HUE, OCHRE, EACH) versus just making words that start or end with a given letter, is definitely bigger than a factor of 2... I'm going to conservatively estimate it to be 3 times larger. Then the flexibility scores of the two grids above would be 3*5+2=17 and 8*1=8. And the advantage of choosing an open structure only grows as the grid becomes larger. It's often the difference between smoothly adding letters to your grid and having to completely rearrange things.
U I A
- When you are in the peeling phase, keep in mind one or two words that you can steal letters from and positions where you can easily add tiles to make new words. Or words that you can easily anagram (with the newly peeled letter) to make a new word.
Suppose you have the grid below and you peel an A.
TRYFrom FORKS, you can take the S and combine it with the A to from SAY:
SNow that I'm thinking about FORK and SAY, I note that the K from FORK could be substituted for the more-easily-used A in SAY to form SKY. So if the next letter I peeled was R, I could quickly make that switch, freeing up the A to build the word FAR:
SAt this stage, I might wind up extending FOR to FORT or FORD or FOUR or FORE or anagramming it to ROOF, depending on what letter become available. It would be nice to build SKY into RISKY. And FAR looks like an appealing place for making FARM, FAIR, or FARE.
The speed of Bananagrams is such that you will not be able to consider every possible move, but having just a few rules of thumb to keep you from getting boxed in can allow you to still play fast while increasing your chances of winning.