Boggle Statistics

Boggle Statistics

  • Boggle’s creator, Allan Turnoff, first showcased the word game to Parker Brothers in 1970 under the title “Find-A-Word” but the concept was rejected.
  • The game was eventually published by Parker Brothers in 1972 as part of a pack of three games.
  • Despite poor sales numbers, Boggle gained a loyal following and the decision was made to sell the game individually.
  • The game was re-released with new packaging in 1976 and the following year its sales numbers in the word games market began to take-off, thanks in part to a clever advertising campaign. 
  • The most common Boggle letters are the letters “E” (11 instances), “T” (9 instances) and “O” (7 instances).
  • However, the least common letters in the game are “J”, “K”, “Qu”, “X” and “Z” (1 instance each).
  • Using the standard 4×4 Boggle setup, the longest possible playable words are ‘inconsequentially’, ‘sesquicentennials’ and ‘quadricentennials’.
  • Despite their 17-letter lengths, each of these words would only score the player 11 points.
  • In the current edition, the letters “F” and “K” only appear on the same cube, which prevents them from being used together to spell a well known swear word.
  • Compared to other word games such as Scrabble and Words With Friends, Boggle players are all dealt the same letters and must combine vocabulary, pattern recognition and tactics to beat their opposition, without relying on luck.

Boggle points

Different versions of the game have slightly varied points scores depending on the length of each word found. A standard Boggle board features a 4×4 grid with 16 dice, the Big Boggle variation has a 5×5 grid with 25 dice and the Super Big Boggle grid is 6×6 with 36 dice.

Word lengthBoggle pointsBig Boggle pointsSuper Big Boggle points
31
4111
5222
6333
7555
8 or more*111111
9 or more2 points per letter
(*8 only for Super Big Boggle)

Boggle standard dice distribution

There have been two key standard dice distributions in Boggle, one was before 1987 and the other is still used to date. For standard Boggle, each letter used counts as one letter, with the exception of “Qu” which counts as two letters. 

#Pre-1987Current
1A-A-C-I-O-TA-A-E-E-G-N
2A-B-I-L-T-YA-B-B-J-O-O
3A-B-J-M-O-QuA-C-H-O-P-S
4A-C-D-E-M-PA-F-F-K-P-S
5A-C-E-L-R-SA-O-O-T-T-W
6A-D-E-N-V-ZC-I-M-O-T-U
7A-H-M-O-R-SD-E-I-L-R-X
8B-I-F-O-R-XD-E-L-R-V-Y
9D-E-N-O-S-WD-I-S-T-T-Y
10D-K-N-O-T-UE-E-G-H-N-W
11E-E-F-H-I-YE-E-I-N-S-U
12E-G-K-L-U-YE-H-R-T-V-W
13E-G-I-N-T-VE-I-O-S-S-T
14E-H-I-N-P-SE-L-R-T-T-Y
15E-L-P-S-T-UH-I-M-N-U-Qu
16G-I-L-R-U-WH-L-N-N-R-Z

Boggle standard letter count

  • “E” is the most common letter in Boggle.
  • It appears at a frequency of 10.42% in pre-1987 editions and a frequency of 11.46% in current editions.
  • “J”, “Qu”, “X” and “Z” are the least common letters, appearing just once in each of the two editions.
  • “K” appears twice in pre-1987 editions, but just once in current editions (-50.00%) which is the biggest percentage decrease of any letter between the two versions.
  • The letter “T” is 80.00% more common in the current version of the game, giving the biggest percentage increase of any letter.
LetterPre-1987ChanceCurrentChancePercent change
A88.33%66.25%– 25.00%
B33.13%22.08%– 33.33%
C33.13%22.08%– 33.33%
D44.17%33.13%– 25.00%
E1010.42%1111.46%+ 10.00%
F22.08%22.08%
G33.13%22.08%– 33.33%
H33.13%55.21%+ 66.67%
I77.29%66.25%– 14.29%
J11.04%11.04%
K22.08%11.04%– 50.00%
L55.21%44.17%– 20.00%
M33.13%22.08%– 33.33%
N55.21%66.25%+ 20.00%
O66.25%77.29%+ 16.67%
P33.13%22.08%– 33.33%
Qu11.04%11.04%
R44.17%55.21%+ 25.00%
S55.21%66.25%+ 20.00%
T55.21%99.38%+ 80.00%
U44.17%33.13%– 25.00%
V22.08%22.08%
W22.08%33.13%+ 50.00%
X11.04%11.04%
Y33.13%33.13%
Z11.04%11.04%

How to play Boggle

Boggle is played on a 4×4 grid which has a slot for each of the 16 dice. Each die has a single letter printed on each of its six sides, with the exception of the letter combination “Qu”. To play a game of Boggle, 2 or more players are needed.

  1. Before the game begins, players should decide on the total point score needed to become the overall winner. This could be the first to score 50 points, 100 points or another value that is agreed upon by all participants.
  2. Once this has been decided, mix up the lettered dice by covering the tray and shaking it. When mixed, place the tray on the table, allowing the cubes to settle into place.
  3. When all players are ready, begin the three minute timer to signal the start of the turn.
  4. Using the letters on the grid, find words of at least 3-letters in length. Each letter can be combined horizontally, vertically and diagonally but cannot be used more than once in a word. Plurals and conjugations of words are treated as separate words.
  5. Each time you find a word, write it down on your sheet of paper. The goal is to find as many words as possible to maximise your points. Longer words will score higher points.
  6. When the timer runs out, you are no longer permitted to write down additional words and the turn is over.
  7. Each player should add up their words according to Boggle’s scoring system. Only a player’s unique words should count towards their score. Whichever player has the highest points total wins the round. If both players have the same number of points, the player with the longest word/words will win. 

To get better at the game, why not try using WordsRated’s Word Finder? Perfect for a solo practice round of Boggle, simply enter a selection of letters available to you on the grid and hit search to find some potential solutions. Remember, it should still be possible to connect a word’s letters horizontally, vertically or diagonally in the game, without using the same die twice.

Boggle timer

  • The Boggle timer is a mini hourglass that lasts for 3 minutes in total.
  • To start the timer, ensure all of the sand has filtered through to the bottom. Once every player is ready, flip the timer to begin. The time will run out when all of the sand has filtered through to the bottom again.
  • Players must stop writing their answers once the timer has run out.

Boggle tips

Some key tips and tricks can be utilised by players to get better at the Boggle word game and impress family and friends:

  • Identifying words contained within other words you find can be a great way to quickly and easily increase your word tally. For example, the word “SPAWN” can be split into the words “SPA”, “PAW” and “PAWN”.
  • However, for rounds with fewer players, players may wish to spend more time identifying 3 and 4-letter words as they are easier to find. As there are less players to compete with, the likelihood of a word being repeated is reduced and as such, there should be a higher chance of it scoring points.
  • In rounds with many players, players could choose to spend their time looking for longer words. Avoiding common short words can prevent the same word being identified by many players, which wastes valuable time and results in 0 points for the word.
  • Being aware of the clock is particularly important to make sure you are identifying words at a steady pace. Whereas finding shorter words should take less time, longer words may eat up valuable seconds. Players generally find at least 20 words per turn on average. Using the standard 3 minute timer:
    • 20 words is a speed of one word every 9.0 seconds.
    • 30 words is a speed of one word every 6.0 seconds.
    • 40 words is a speed of one word every 4.5 seconds.
    • 50 words is a speed of  one word every 3.6 seconds.