1900’s Mcloughlin Game of Word Making and Word Taking
Long before Scrabble was first published in 1948, players battled to create words for the most points in card games, like Logomachy, and in the following 1902 Mcloughlin game of Word Making and Word Taking. This latter game challenged players to form words from its deck of 48 cards. The blue vined backed cards rested securely inside a little red case.
Each card in the Word Making deck has a letter printed on the face of it. And similar to Scrabble, the harder to use letters, and longer formed words, provide a higher point value to the player when crafted.
To begin play, the dealer shuffles the deck and deals 5 cards to each player facedown. The game is recommended for two to six players.
Taking turns, players attempt to fashion words using the cards held in their hands. They may choose to discard any or all of the cards in their hands, and be dealt new cards to fill their hands, during their turn. A player must only ever hold five cards.
If a player can form a word from the cards in his hand, he lays the cards down and scores points according to what word, and letters used, are played.
The winner of the game is the player with the most points collected in the time agreed upon before playing. (Or players can decide the winner is the player who reaches ‘x’ amount points first).
5 points for five letter words
4 points for four letter words
3 points for three letter words
Two letter words score no points, and plural words, like games, score one less than the letter count. For instance, games would only score 4 points.
Hard to use letters score a player more points. The letters, Q,V,W,X,Y, or Z score a player 10 extra points when played to form a word.
For example, Sword would have a value of 15. (Interesting note: the same letters used to make Words would only be 14 points)
There are also points given for three of a kind and four of a kind in a hand. Three letters of the same would yield a player 20 points for the round. Four letters provide a score of 50 points.
After each round, the cards are gathered, shuffled, and dealt again for another Word Making pass.
The game is as simple as that.
Quick to the game table and easy to play, my family and I occasionally bring out the old cards for a few fast turns of word making. We always enjoy playing games of the past for they hold a certain charm to them when playing them.
Enjoy a game, any game, today!