Cardwords is a solo word game using playing cards as a letter pool. The player draws cards and form words based on the available letters represented by individual cards. It is inspired by Sebastien Spirit’s Secret Message and SCRABBLEgrams.

Cardwords is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY 4.0) license.


You will need:

How to Play

Shuffle the deck of cards and set aside 4 cards, face up.

Deal a set of 8 cards in a row facing up.

Each card in the deck represents two letters of the alphabet, starting with the Ace as A or N, 2 as B or O, and up to K as M or Z (see the Letter Table). The aim is to form a word based on each set of cards drawn. For each card, only one of the two possible letters can be used, e.g. if the set has only 1 Ace, pick either A or N, not both. If there are 2 Aces in the row, the available letters can include 2 A, 2 N, or 1 A and N each.

The 4 extra cards set aside at the start are additional letter choices that can be used to replace another card’s letters, which could be useful for making longer words. Multiple cards can be used on a word, but each card can only be used once during the game.

A dictionary can optionally be used to check whether a word played is valid.

Add up the score for the word (see the Scoring Words section). Place the set of cards in a discard pile along with any of the extra cards if they were used, and deal a new set of cards to form the next word.

Dispense 6 sets of cards in total, then add up the word scores for the final score. Try to get a total score of 200 or higher to win.

Letter Table

Card Letters
2B O
3C P
4D Q
5E R
6F S
7G T
8H U
9I V
10J W

Scoring Words

Score words by adding up letter values from their assigned cards:

Bonus multipliers are activated in certain scenarios:

At the end of the game, if no extra cards were used, add 32 points to the total.

Example Gameplay

Extra cards🃎 🃍 🃒 🂤
Available lettersMZ LY BO DQ
Set 1
Cards drawn🂽 🃈 🃃 🂩 🂣 🂺 🃚 🂹
Available lettersLY HU CP IV CP JW JW IV
Score8 + (4 × 5) = 28
Set 2
Cards drawn🂮 🂧 🃇 🂾 🃉 🂸 🂢 🃄
Available lettersMZ GT GT MZ IV HU BO DQ
Score(4 × 2) + (8 × 2) = 24
Set 3
Cards drawn🂲 🂷 🃔 🂻 🂴 🃙 🃅 🃁
Available lettersBO GT DQ KX DQ IV ER AN
Score4 × 7 = 28
Set 4
Cards drawn🂳 🂵 🂦 🃆 🂫 🃋 🃓 🃞
Available lettersCP ER FS FS KX KX CP MZ
Score4 + (8 × 2) = 20
Set 5
Cards drawn🃑 🂱 🂶 🃂 🃘 🃗 🃝 🃕
Available lettersAN AN FS BO HU GT LY ER
Score(4 × 6) + 8 = 32
Set 6
Cards drawn🂨 🂪 🂥 🃛 🃖 🂭 🂡 🃊
Available lettersHU JW ER KX FS LY AN JW
Score((4 × 4) + 8) × 2 [same suit bonus] = 48
Total score28 + 24 + 28 + 20 + 32 + 48 + 32 [unused cards bonus]
= 212 points