G R A B S C R A B . C O M

Home of the addictive word game that's the new rage in the San Francisco Bay Area

What you need to play GrabScrab

The Rules of GrabScrab

The Basics

There's one catch: words can be stolen

Once you "win" a word it may be stolen by any other player (including yourself). A word may be stolen by adding at least one letter to the word and changing the etymological root.

For example, if player A has the word "RAIN" spelled in front of them and there is a "T" in the middle of the table, anybody can say "TRAIN" to steal this word. Other valid steals are "GRAIN," "RAGING," "RATING," etc. However, "RAINS," "RAINED," or "RAINING" are not valid steals since they share the same etymological root as RAIN. Also, "RAID" is not a valid steal because it does not contain all of the letters from the original word "RAIN."

Anybody can steal any word from anybody at any time. If you notice that one of your words can be stolen, you should "steal" it from yourself as a defensive maneuver before somebody else takes it. As soon as any word is "won," you should start thinking up steals for that word so that you can be the first to take it. Most basic words can be stolen, so you are never safe!

Examples of simple steals: Examples of harder steals: Examples of complex steals
RAIN can become TRAIN
CART can become TRACK
VAIN can become NAIVE
OOZE can become OZONE
TRAIN can become RATING
TRACK can become RACKET
NAIVE can become RAVINE
OZONE can become SNOOZE

The "blank" tile is a wildcard

Similar to regular Scrabble™, the "blank" tile is a wildcard and can stand for any letter. In GrabScrab, a the value assigned to the blank tile can be changed when the word is stolen. Words that include the blank tile in them are often the trickiest to hold onto since they open up the most "steal" opportunities.

For example, one player can take the word "GO_E" (where _ is the blank tile, and in this case the word is "GORE"). This can be stolen with a V to make "G_OVE" (GLOVE), which can be changed into "GOVER_" (GOVERN) which can be changed into "GROVE_S" (GROVELS) which can be changed into "SOVER_IGN" (SOVEREIGN), "GOVERN_RS" (GOVERNORS), etc.


If two players say the same word at the same time, or if they say two different words at the same time, it is considered a tie. The easiest way to resolve a tie is to flip back the last tile that was turned over and try again. An alternate solution is to dismiss the "tie" words and look for other words in the pile. Pick your own rule and use it consistently.

Random Notes

On Repeat Words: it is legal to repeat a word within a game. If one player has the word "TRAIN" it is absolutely legal for another player to also create the same word separately. It is illegal to steal "TRAIN" to make "TRAINS" since they share the same root. But if "TRAIN" is stolen to make "RATING," that may subsequently be stolen to make "TRAINING," returning to its original grammatical root.

On Penalties and Premature Yelling of Words: it is considered bad etiquette to yell words that do not exist, or to prematurely yell words hoping that the next tile will create them. If a player does this too much, feel free to institute a penalty for saying words that do not exist (either because they cannot be spelled with the tiles that are face up, or because they are not valid English words). The standard penalty for doing this is to give up a word—i.e., the player who misspoke should take one of his/her previously won words and throw it face-down among the rest of the tiles on the table. Note: adding penalties to the game makes it last longer. It is better to just stick with good etiquette.