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Quiddler is a clever blending of rummy and the word building genre. It consists of a deck of cards, each featuring a letter or letter blend along with a point value. The first round, players start with a hand of three cards and, on their turn, draw a single card to their hand. If they are able to make a word, or several words from all of the cards in their hand, save a discard, they can go out. If not, play continues to the next player. Once a player does go out, each of the remaining players get one more draw and discard to make as many words as they can from what they have in their hand. Players then score the current round, getting positive points for any cards on the table minus the point they still have in their hands. Round two then begins with players drawing four cards. This continues for eight rounds, with the players eventually drawing ten cards.
At its heart, Quiddler provides a fun way for students to strengthen their vocabulary as they puzzle through ways to construct words from the letters they have available to them. The game also draws from mechanisms that are very familiar for many players making it easy to introduce to students. Yet, Quiddler also adds bonus scoring for each round that helps it work well in an educational setting. At the end of each round, the player with the longest word and the player with the most words score a bonus ten points. This wrinkle provides players of disparate vocabulary levels the opportunity to be able to play together without feeling mismatched.
Besides being easy to teach, Quiddler is also easy to get working in the classroom or library. The eight player limit helps the game handle larger groups and just two or three copies cover a typical classroom. For individual play, the game can be played solo or a student can play the online implementation which presents a problem to be solved by the student using the Quiddler cards. Other variations include shortening the time by playing fewer rounds or raising the challenge by having the students draw more cards earlier. The simplicity and flexibility of the game make for a great tool for student vocabulary work.