Zangwill's Zones icon Zangwill's Zones: Quick Intro

The value of each letter in a word placed on the board is determined by the zone in which it lies.

Click your mouse's left button when positioned over a tile to pick it up; the cursor will change to the letter on the tile. Click your mouse's left button when positioned over a blank square to drop a tile; the cursor will change to the default arrow cursor.

You do NOT have to hold the left mouse button down to drag a tile: just click to pick a tile up and click to put a tile down.



game board

The letter pool is composed of 100 tiles -- 98 tiles with letters and 2 blank tiles which are "wild" and can be used as any letter. Tiles are randomly drawn from the pool to fill the trays at the beginning of a game and to refill the trays after each play.

You use the letters in your tray to form horizontal and vertical words crossword-fashion on a 15 x 15 board.

The first word must consist of two or more tiles placed across the center square horizontally or vertically.

There are 4 zones. The center zone is composed of 9 squares and it is surrounded by 3 increasingly larger zones (40, 72 and 104 squares). The letter-points of a tile is multiplied by the zone number. Thus, a tile placed in zone 2 is worth twice as much as a tile in zone 1. A tile placed in zone 3 is worth three times as much and a tile placed in zone 4 is worth 4 times as much.

There are two game modes: High Points in Center and Low Points in Center. Depending upon which game mode you choose, the zones run 1, 2, 3 and 4 from the center or 4, 3, 2 and 1 from the center.

game board


C = 3 letter-points x zone 4 = 12 zone-points
H = 4 letter-points x zone 4 = 16 zone-points
A = 1 letter-point  x zone 3 =  3 zone-points
I = 1 letter-point  x zone 3 =  3 zone-points
R = 1 letter-point  x zone 2 =  2 zone-points
E = 1 letter-point  x zone 2 =  2 zone-points
D = 2 letter-points x zone 1 =  2 zone-points
CHAIRED = 40

game boardLow Points in Center


C = 3 letter-points x zone 1 = 3 zone-points
H = 4 letter-points x zone 1 = 4 zone-points
A = 1 letter-point  x zone 2 = 2 zone-points
I = 1 letter-point  x zone 2 = 2 zone-points
R = 1 letter-point  x zone 3 = 3 zone-points
E = 1 letter-point  x zone 3 = 3 zone-points
D = 2 letter-points x zone 4 = 8 zone-points
CHAIRED = 25

Each tile has a letter-point value and a zone-point value. The letter-point value is the number on a tile. The zone-point value is the letter-points multiplied by the zone the tile lies in.

When a valid word is checked, the score for the word is the sum of (1) the zone-points of the primary word and all new cross-words and (2) any bonus points.

When you use all seven tiles in your tray to form a word (sometimes called a bingo), the total points for the play are doubled.

If you place a word on the board and choose the menu item "Help | Calculate Word's Points" the points for the play will be calculated for you.

At the end of the game penalty points equal to the letter-points of the tiles in each player's tray are subtracted from each player's score (if at least one scoring move has been made).

The player with the highest score at the end of a game is the winner.

More information about Zangwill's Zones


See also

About the Word Lists

Letter Counts and Points Table