For those that play Serpentine regularly, or for that matter any online boggle or anagram game, here are some tips that might help you improve your game! Remember that the way to win at Serpentine is to type as many correct words as possible in the allotted round time, so how can you do this, if you're struggling to keep up with the other players?
1. Start guessing
The dictionary file that Serpentine uses, which is called the SOWPODS dictionary, has 173,528 words. It is pretty much impossible for any one person to memorize all of these, so if you see a combination of letters that you think might be a word, try it! You don't get penalized in this game for guessing, though you do need to make sure you're still getting correct guesses every now any then. But you'd be surprised how many words there are.
2. Exhaust all anagrams in the tiles you're looking at
Take a look at this example.
If you look at the three different boards here, the three tiles on the top left of the screen form three different words. You've got, ARM, MAR, and RAM! That right there is 3 very easy points! (More if you got there first) Especially for these shorter words, they often work backwards and forwards.
3. Look for words inside other words
Many people overlook the fact that lots of words contain other smaller words within them. Here is another example:
You can see the word BUNT highlighted. But do you also see that BUN is also a word? Don't let these combinations give you the slip next time! Also, notice that the word NUB is in there, remember tip #2?
4. Look for other forms of a word
Often times there will be a word like TASTE. This is a pretty simple word, but also a very flexible one! Think of all the combinations, and keep those combinations in mind the next time you see it! Off the top of my head I can think of TASTES, TASTED, TASTER, TASTERS, TASTIER, TASTING, TASTINGS, and TASTIEST. Keep in mind that when you have words like this that end in E you can often find Rs and Ds close by which should give you access to these other word forms. I really can't emphasize this one enough! If you only take away one tip today, this should be it.
5. Type faster
If you're someone that hunts-and-pecks or has a hard time typing quickly, this can really hurt your game if you tend to type words in (as opposed to mousing). This game thrives on quick fingers, so you may want to consider improving your typing by using a web app like keybr.com On the other hand, if you're mousing and you're using a touchpad, you may want a dedicated mouse!
If you practice at these tips, you should start seeing some improvement over time. Serpentine/Boggle is not an easy game, and we have some VERY good players on here, so have patience and keep practicing! Also, let me know if you've got some additional tips and I'll post them!
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