TODAY   |  January 26, 2014

Dylan gets Scrabble tips from fanatics, champs

During the Great Depression an out-of-work architect invented Scrabble, which is now one of America’s favorites. Its fans are serious, and TODAY’s Dylan Dreyer caught up with a few of them to get some pointers.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> 15, 17, times three --

>> this isn't your run-of-the-mill living room scrabble competition. kevin bauerman and rehman gau from raleigh, north carolina , are champions.

>> what do you do if you have five es.

>> you're stuck. no way out of it.

>> reporter: defending.

>> 74.

>> reporter: national school -- what would you say is the best advice to give to a new scrabble player?

>> make words.

>> reporter: -- scrabble --

>> why are the two of you playing just against me? i think this is a little uneven here.

>> reporter: -- champions.

>> are we good? elixir is with an i.

>> reporter: part of a growing number of fanatics who devote the better part of their day to the classic game.

>> we're obsessed with scrabble because we love language and language is common to everybody.

>> reporter: eric smith , a web developer is a member of this weekly club, one of hundreds around the country where people of all ages and interests gather to put tile to board. would you say you think about scrabble 24 hours a day ?

>> no, i do think about it like eight hours a day.

>> i started out with blue tiles, and then i got some yellow tiles and white tiles and red tiles and black tiles, sage green tiles.

>> reporter: produced in more than 100 languages in one of every three homes, an estimated 2 million copies are sold every year. fans of the game include royals alike, words like brrr can be game changers.

>> for prefixes and suffixes, re in the front or i, n, g on the back. learn the two-letter words. learn short words that will help you dump the q, qat, qaid.

>> of the majority of the words you put on the board, what percentage do you know the definition to?

>> not very many. probably less than 1%.

>> eight, ten, 14, 15, 16 --

>> on mini?

>> yes. it may be small but it doesn't get small scores.

>> reporter: a four-letter word that shows big things come in small