|Age range||8 +|
|Playing time||20-30 minutes|
|Skill(s) required||Counting, Strategy, Bluffing, Anagramming, Vocabulary, Spelling|
Quiddler is a proprietary card game and word game created by Set Enterprises. Players compete by spelling English words from cards in hands of increasing size, each card worth various points. The game combines aspects of Scrabble and gin rummy. The word "Quiddler" is a trademark.
Before play begins, all the cards are shuffled. A game of Quiddler consists of eight rounds beginning with a three-card hand and ending with a ten-card hand. While there is a single-player variation, the regular game requires at least two players. In the first round, the dealer deals out three cards to each player. The remaining cards form a draw pile. The top card is turned over to start a discard pile. The player to the dealer's left goes first. The player may choose the top card from either the draw pile or the discard pile. The player adds this card to their hand. The player ends their turn by discarding one card from their hand so that the player ends up with the same number of cards as were dealt. A player may not use a dictionary during their turn, but the other players may. Turns are taken in the same manner in a clockwise rotation among the players. The round continues until one player can go out.
A player can go out if he can use all the cards in his hand to spell one or more allowable words. After a player goes out, each player then has one more turn. On the last turn, each remaining player uses as many of his cards as the player can to spell one or more allowable words. The points on the cards used to spell words are counted toward the player’s score. The points on any remaining cards are subtracted. Ten-point bonuses are added to the score of the player with the longest word, and the player with the most words. (If there are only two players, they should decide between them to limit the bonus to either the longest word or the most words.)
The subsequent rounds follow in the same manner, with the hands increasing in size by one card each round. Thus, in the second round each player is dealt four cards, the third round five cards, and so forth. Points are added at the end of each round. The game continues until the end of the eighth round. Depending on the number of players, the discard pile may need to be shuffled to resupply the draw pile. The player with the most points at the end of eight rounds wins.
Players should decide on an English dictionary to be used during the game. An allowable word must appear as an entry in that dictionary or as one of the listed inflected forms of an entry word. Words must also use at least two cards. The makers of Quiddler have established several restrictions on the words used in a game. No proper nouns may be used. Capitalized adjectives, such as Iraqi and Scottish, may be used. Prefixes and suffixes by themselves are not allowable words. Words requiring a hyphen for proper spelling, such as ex-wife and twenty-two are also not allowed. The Quiddler rules disallow abbreviations, but do not differentiate between various forms. Players need to decide for themselves (or follow the example of the game dictionary) if they will allow acronym-derived words such as laser and NATO. The rules contain no restrictions on English words with accented letters, such as née, though the deck contains no such letters. Players must also decide for themselves if they will allow shortened word forms such as ad (for advertisement) and math.
A player may challenge any other player if he feels that the latter has used a word that is not an allowable word. If the word is an allowable word, the challenging player must subtract from his score the number of points in the word. If it is not, the challenged player must subtract from his score the number of points in the word. The challenged player may not re-arrange his cards to form other words.
The card deck consists of 118 cards with individual letters from the English alphabet or common two-letter combinations. These include QU, IN, ER, TH, and CL. Each card has a point value reflecting its use in English words. The colorful and stylistic designs on the cards are based on illuminated letters found in Celtic manuscripts written over 1000 years ago. These source inspirations include the Book of Kells and the Book of Durrow.
Quiddler has won the following Best Game Awards:
In a similar vein to Scrabble, groups can play Quiddler with varying degrees of competition. Players in highly competitive games may consider memorizing lists of two- and three-letter words. It is also a good idea to know whether the game dictionary includes colloquial and contemporary words.