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Quiddler Card Game: Rules and Instructions for How to Play

Quiddler Card Game: Rules and Instructions for How to Play

Objective of Quiddler

The objective of Quiddler is to score more points than the other players by forming words with letter cards.


The setup for each round of Quiddler differs.

  • You will deal cards to each player in a clockwise direction. For the first round you will deal each player three cards. Each subsequent round you will deal one additional card to each player. This continues until the last round where each player is dealt ten cards.
  • The rest of the cards are set aside to form the draw pile.
  • Turn over the top card from the draw pile in order to form the discard pile.
  • The player to the left of the dealer starts the round. Play continues clockwise.

Playing Quiddler

To begin each turn you will add a card to your hand. You can either take the top face down card from the draw pile, or you can take the top card from the discard pile.

Drawing A Card
This player can choose to either take the t card or the top card from the draw pile.

After you have chosen a card to add to your hand, you will choose one card from your hand to add to the discard pile.

The goal of each round is to figure out words that you can spell with the letter cards in your hand. During your turn you want to add cards that you can use to form new words, and get rid of letters that you can’t use. You are trying to form a hand of cards where you can use all of the letters to form words.

When trying to form words you must follow these rules:

  • The word must be found in the dictionary that you are using for the game. You may consult a dictionary when it is not your turn.
  • You may not use proper nouns, prefixes, suffixes, abbreviations, or hyphenated words.
  • All words must be at least two letters long.

When a player has found a way to use all of the letter cards from their hand, they can go out. This will end the current round. See the Going Out section below.

After a player has completed their turn, play passes to the next player clockwise/left.

Going Out

When a player thinks they can use all of the letter cards from their hand in legal words, they can declare that they are going out. They will lay their cards out in front of themselves to show the other players what words they were able to form.

Should the player not use all of their letters or makes a word that is successfully challenged (see the Challenging A Word section below), the official rules do not specify what happens. Taking into consideration the other rules, I would say that the player ends up not going out and the round continues normally. Whether the player should face a penalty for incorrectly going out depends on what the players agree to.

At this point the rest of the players get one additional turn to add one card to their hand and to discard one card. After they have finished their turn, they will lay their cards out face up in front of themselves.


Each player will then determine how many points they scored from the round.

Add up the numbers on each of the letter cards you used in a valid word. You will score the corresponding number of points.

Scoring A Word in Quiddler
This player formed the three letter word top. They will score eleven points (3 + 2 + 6) from the word.

Then total the numbers on the letter cards that you weren’t able to use. You will subtract the corresponding number of points from your total.

Receiving Negative Points in Quiddler
This player was able to form a word with three of their letters, but couldn’t use the fourth letter. They will score 25 points for quiz, but will lose five points for not being able to use the m card. They will score a total of 20 points.

Point Bonuses

For each round there will be two bonuses given out as well. The player that forms the most words with their cards scores 10 bonus points.

Most Words Bonus Quiddler
In this round the top player created three words while the other two players only created two words. Since the top player created the most words, they will receive the ten point bonus.

The player with the longest word (most letters not necessarily most cards) also receives 10 bonus points.

Longest Word Bonus Quiddler
In this round the top player created a word using five letters, the second player created a four letter word, and the bottom player created a three letter word. The top player created the longest word so they will receive the ten bonus points.

One player can earn both bonuses for a round. If there is a tie for a bonus, no one receives the bonus. If there are only two players, choose only one of the two bonuses to use.

Each player adds the points that they earned from the round to their running total. The scorekeeper should write down each players’ score after each round. You can never score negative points from a round. Should your total for a round be negative, you will score zero points instead.

For the next round the player to the left of the previous dealer, becomes the new dealer. All of the cards will be shuffled together for the next round.

Challenging A Word

If a player thinks that a word formed by one of the other players is not a legal word, they can choose to challenge the word. They must challenge the word before the round ends and all of the cards are gathered up.

The challenged word is looked up in a dictionary.

If the word is in the dictionary and it is a valid word, the challenger subtracts the number of points that the word is worth from their total in the round.

If the word is not in the dictionary or is not a valid word, the player who created the word subtracts the value of the word from their score. The player is not allowed to take the letters and use them to form a different word.

Challenging A Word in Quiddler
One of the players formed the word Steve during a round. A player challenged the word as it is a proper name. Since proper names are not allowed, the word was successfully challenged. The player will not be able to reuse the cards and will lose 21 points for not being able to use the cards.

Winning Quiddler

Quiddler ends after the players play the eighth round. Total each players’ score. The player that scores the most total points wins the game.

Solitaire Quiddler

The solitaire game for Quiddler differs in a few ways.

Create eight stacks of cards with five cards face down in each pile. Add one face up card to each pile.

You will try to form words with the face up letters on the piles. You can use as many of the piles as you want.

Solitaire Game in Quiddler
The player has to try and form a word with the letters on top of the piles.

When you form a word, discard the letter cards you used from the corresponding piles. Then turn over the next card in each pile that no longer has a face up card.

Forming A Word in the Solitaire Game
The player decided to form the word stove. They will take the cards they used in the word from the corresponding piles. Next they will turn over the top card from each pile without a face up card.

When you have used all of the letter cards from one of the piles, take the card from the top of another stack to recreate the pile. Flip over the top card from the pile that you took the card from.

To win the solitaire game of Quiddler, you must use all 48 cards to create valid words.

Letter Frequency

The letter frequency in Quiddler is as follows:

  • A -10
  • B – 2
  • C – 2
  • D – 4
  • E – 12
  • F – 2
  • G – 4
  • H – 2
  • I – 8
  • J – 2
  • K – 2
  • L – 4
  • M – 2
  • N – 6
  • O – 8
  • P – 2
  • Q – 2
  • R – 6
  • S – 4
  • T – 6
  • U – 6
  • V – 2
  • W – 2
  • X – 2
  • Y – 4
  • Z – 2
  • QU – 2
  • IN – 2
  • ER – 2
  • CL – 2
  • TH – 2
Components for Quiddler

Year: 1998 | Publisher: Set Enterprises | Designer: Marsha J. Falco | Artist: NA

Genres: Card, Word

Ages: 8 | Number of Players: 1-8 | Length of Game: 30 minutes

Difficulty: Light | Strategy: Light-Moderate | Luck: Moderate

Components: 118 cards, instructions

Where to Purchase: Amazon, eBay Any purchases made through these links (including other products) help keep Geeky Hobbies running. Thank you for your support.

For more board and card game how to plays/rules and reviews, check out our complete alphabetical list of board game posts.


Friday 20th of October 2023

What if the other person goes out and when it’s my turn to lay down I don’t have any words formed at all? Do I add my hand up into a negative score or a zero score?

Eric Mortensen

Saturday 21st of October 2023

Whenever you end up receiving more negative points than positive points in a round, you end up scoring zero points that round. Therefore in your example, even though you created no words in the round you score zero points instead of the negative points you would normally receive from the cards you weren't able to use. You will add zero to your running total for the game.