If you like to play Scrabble, but don’t have any friends who also like to play, the best thing to do is start a Scrabble® club and try to attract people from your town. It may take a few weeks or even a few months to acquire a lot of members, but stick with it and eventually you’ll have enough people to play with. Even if you just get a new member to your club, at least that will give you someone to play with.
When starting a Scrabble® club, the first thing you need to do is decide if you want to provide all the Scrabble games used by your club, or if you want your members to bring their own games.
One possible solution is to purchase a number of cheap games on the eBay auction site, or even visit your local Goodwill or other stores that sell used games. The most expensive sets are the deluxe ones that come with a turntable and burgundy tiles instead of the wooden ones. The plastic suitcase-style Scrabble® boards come with black tiles and are very pretty too. Do a search on eBay for a couple of weeks to gauge prices – some people will sell the game cheap but make up for the price of shipping, others will charge $20 to $30 or even more but shipping is free.
When you first start your club, you have no way of knowing how many people will join, unless you have a lot of friends who like to play and are happy to join. Buy three or four sets just so you can have a few for emergencies.
You can also buy inexpensive used Scrabble® dictionaries on eBay. Some Scrabble® players prefer to use “tournament rules” at all times, which means not using dictionaries. Others prefer relaxed rules: they use dictionaries during regular club meetings, but when a club hosts a tournament, dictionaries are not used. You can also download two sheets called Cool Words from the Scrabble® Association website (do a Google search on “Cool Words for Scrabble®” to find the site). This is a very useful resource: it lists 2-letter words, 3-letter words, Words with Q that don’t need a U, short words with X and J, and “vowel dumps.”
Purchase a large supply of notepads and pens to keep score.
Buy some bulk candy and bottled water to have at every club meeting.
Next, decide what day you want to hold your club meetings and at what time. Depending on whether you’re looking for strictly retirees or members of all ages, you can hold your meetings during the day or in the evening. If you’ve retired during the day that’s usually the best time, if you’re targeting a variety of age groups, hold the meeting at night.
If your library has meeting rooms, reserve one of them on the same day and at the same time, for four or five weeks. It’s usually best to meet in a library or restaurant rather than in your own home until you get to know your members.
Next, print out some flyers for your club. Provide your phone number and a list of dates, times, and meeting rooms for the club. Please specify if you are looking for all ages or just seniors. Arrange to post them on your library’s community bulletin board. If you’ve used bookstores or magazine stores in town, stop by and ask if you can post the flyers. (Typically, major chains like Barnes & Noble won’t let you post flyers, but used book stores and coffee shops will.)
Depending on how many Scrabble® boards you purchase, you can take them to your Scrabble® meetings and back in a suitcase.
Take a book with you during the first meeting and wait to see who shows up. If no one does, don’t despair. Do some more networking. Post your Scrabble® club details on your local Craigslist. Talk to the information person at your library and ask them to tell people about the Scrabble club. If there is a Welcome Wagon-type organization in your city or neighborhood, place an ad in your newsletter.
After about five weeks, you will have at least a couple of members. Keep working to increase the membership and after a few months you will have at least ten or fifteen to play with.