To Catch A Cheat

Written by Don

The daily challenge now has an honesty rating system under MyTourney. This is a tool that we can now use in disputes analysis. The average honesty rating is one dimension we will be taking into account when deciding whether or not a player has used external assistance. The ratings are viewable only to administrators and the rater.

This is a good time to state that the only appropriate avenues for accusing a fellow player of dishonest play are:

  • Honesty rating system
  • Directly contacting the site administrators

Accusations in chat are not appropriate because everyone is entitled to initial presumption of innocence. Accusations via the public commenting system are also not appropriate because the comments are visible immediately without giving the accused the chance to present their case.

Categories: Site Features

332 Responses to “To Catch A Cheat”

  1. frank says:

    Well I have removed the game from my phone and my facebook account the word drop is rigged. Not for any one person (I hope). But when the game only drops vowels and gives you messages about using the word swap without losing your turn. And if you refuse you will just get more vowels until they have ruined the whole game. If its not real its a waste of time. Soon they will be selling points mark my word. I hope everyone stops playing as I refuse to buy anything from them.

  2. lois bajor says:

    There must be many ways of cheating. I have been playing with someone who has actually taken his turns and mine. He gives me none productive words that set him up for high scoring words. I am very disillusioned by this.Sad people use there gifts this way.

  3. Stanley says:

    I dont like cheaters ether but I have been playing for about 2 years love it. when i started it seemed that everyone i played beat me. the game has improved my vocabulary and now i win more than i lose all without cheating love WWF

  4. Michael V says:

    One other thing… if the word strength meter says I have a 60 point word and I can’t find it, I will often go use an anagram solver (after I’ve made my move). At that point I can either kick myself for not having found a word I knew, or I will have a new word to add to my vocabulary :)

    • Dude says:

      Why don’t both players just agree to use an anagram solver? Then the game becomes a challenge of placement, strategy, blocking, end game skills and the like instead of fretting over whether I really knew the word “iodides” or not.

  5. Michael V says:

    I think I’ve had a game where I’ve used all my tiles 5 times. Most games I use them all once or twice. I try to be smart about using a blank tile and as a general rule hold onto it until I can use it and it makes more than a 25 point difference (similarly with S’s. I don’t play them unless it makes at least a 10 point difference.) I also use the word strength meter. If it says I have a 60 point word I will wrack my brain trying to find it. Sometimes I’ll spend an hour “making up words”. Sometimes I get lucky :) Even if I think I’m playing a cheater, it’s fun!!

    • Jammerd says:

      I’ve never used the meter you are referring to. I believe that is also a form of cheating. What ever happened to just playing the words you know. You can learn more words from playing an experienced player instead of being told you have potential words to boost your score.

    • Catherine says:

      Michael, THANK YOU for spelling “wrack” correctly! I have seen so many people who write that they’ve RACKED their brains–and I’m tired of picturing a brain set on a rack, drying in the sun. You gave me a little joy today!

  6. Zosothezephead says:

    Hm, I play at least 1,if not 2 or sometimes 3 7 letter words per game – that’s my strategy. I’ve played Scrabble all my life. I’m definitely not a cheat.

    Those who accuse others of cheating using the same should maybe look at their own ability first.

  7. Ken Everett says:

    I played a ‘lady’ in the UK who used the word VU.

    When I wanted to check if this was a new valid word the Dictionary had mysteriously disappeared from the Options menu!

    There is no doubt that there are some dirty rotten cheaters out there!

    The only power we have is to block them from playing or communicating with us.

    I agree that some clever programming would greatly enhance both the gameplay and reputation of WWF by analysing a player’s past and present ‘skill levels’ to indicate the probability of performance ‘boosters’.

    Cheaters are’nt allowed to participate in other games (poker, etc) or sports so why should we have to put up with it?

    Seeing as WWF should have the history of all games played I believe there is a plethora of information that could be made available – like how many 200+\300+\400+ etc games one has played, graphical representations of skill levels and much more.

    • The Dino says:

      To those clueless below. If you have opponents from UK using UK ENGLISH settings, then no dictionary will appear in settings when playing them, this means tons of words wouldn’t be allowed. The only way to sort this is by telling them to go into their profile, then languages and change the UK ENGLISH to US ENGLISH,make sure the tick is on US and they can select any other languages as their second. Their profile then updates within 24hrs.

      • Ken Everett says:

        To the ignorant who call people clueless:
        the word VU does not exist in any (English) dictionary.

        • Gilead says:

          to anyone who cares, clueless, ignorant or otherwise:

          1) the word “VU” exists in whatever dictionary zynga uses for games set to (British) English .. tho I haven’t yet managed to determine what dictionary that is

          2) according to zynga’s rules, “VU” certainly exists as part of the common (British) English expression “déjà vu” .. ir is a separate word, no apostrophe, no hyphen, no capital

          3) despite absence of declared English dictionary, I do NOT need to go change my settings to American (“US English”) .. for then I might not be allowed perfectly good English words like “COLOUR”. “DIVED”, “TRAVELLER”, “ORGANISE” and so on ..

          • Catherine says:

            I have had NO LUCK trying to play words like “VU,” which are part of a phrase or expression AND DO NOT EXIST OUTSIDE THIS USE. Constantly, I am told by WWF that these words are not valid. I stopped playing WWF because I felt it was so poorly put together. Any “dictionary” that indicates a word is valid but no definition is available is NOT a dictionary. Any game that allows words to be played that are NOT words will never again have my attention.

    • Debra says:

      I have played in the past and vu was allowed. It seemed I could only use It with one player though. I feel as if I’m playing a cheat now. Long, Unknown words that don’t come from the usual word formats ( eg ing or er at the end ) .
      I have even confronted him but he says he isn’t.

    • Bob says:

      VU is valid in the British dictionary but the dictionary lookup feature doesn’t work. Normal behavior…

  8. Julie says:

    I am playing someone that I think he uses a word generator but I see it as a challenge because every now and then I still beat him and he gets very surprised. My trouble is when I play a two or three letter word that is rejected and then he plays the same thing and it accepts it. I even looked up the one he just did fi and it didn’t appear in what it would accept but it did for him. How can he cheat like that?

    • Susan says:

      I have had the very same thing happen to me. And I KNOW it’s a three or small letter word because it’s in the dictionary both Scrabble and a regular one. Then my opponent plays it and it’s accepted. That has to be another kind of cheat.

    • Hwezda says:

      I don’t rely solely on words in my vocabulary to play. I often throw down tile after tile, constructing word-like morphemes which many times turn out to be acceptable to the weird game dictionary. So I would not presume that an opponent is cheating because of odd word selection.

      • Lisa Knoblauch says:

        I agree wholeheartedly with this comment! I was in the midst of playing an English guy from the UK and he blatantly accused me of cheating.mi too will sometimes lay down random tiles and by chance come up with a high point word. This would totally infuriate home and therefore I wound up telling him off and blocking him!

      • Catherine says:

        When I was playing WWF, word “discovery” was one of the most satisfying activities I enjoyed. “Throw” ing “down tile after tile, constructing word-like morphemes which” in my case SOMEtimes “turn out to be acceptable…” was very exciting. Any word that works for one player, however, must work for all players. The lack of that equity is the crux of the entry above.

      • Catherine says:

        When I was playing WWF, word “discovery” was one of the most satisfying activities I enjoyed. “Throw” ing “down tile after tile, constructing word-like morphemes which” in my case SOMEtimes “turn out to be acceptable…” was very exciting. Any word that works for one player, however, must work for all players. The lack of that equity is the crux of the entry above.

    • Sara says:

      There isn’t a foolproof way to catch a cheat. Some indicators are a person who opens with words only a scientist would know or use. Followed by a word that is foreign which WWF occasionally allows. (WWF allows foreign words from word generators more than regular play.) Chatting with a person can also provide information on their word knowledge. Poor sentence structure, improper use of present and past tense, and boasting. I play with strangers. Since I don’t know these people I have to rely on what words they play and how they chat. I’ve been playing WWF for years and Scrabble on the kitchen table for decades. My adult children play better than I but we’ve never used the word Thulium much less as an opening salvo. Followed by the word Jaba (which is a Bengali name for a variety of Hibiscus) I suspected. After seeing this persons opening word they were informed that I would resign if I suspected the use of a word generator, they played the second word and game over. If statistics are so important that you cheat you are not playing for the right reasons. The challenge, improved word knowledge and fun.

      • Marie says:

        I agree 100%
        I’m currently playing with someone who opened with the word Triticum!
        And he’s been relentless.
        This is the second game I’ve played with him. The first was fast play, which I like better (designed for those of us with short attention span). Lol
        I won that game! It probably surprised him because he wasted mo time inviting me to play another (standard) round. But holy cow! When it’s his turn, he comes back VERY QUICKLY with a $100 word. Unlike myself, I have to mull it over and consider my strategy.
        If that’s not a RED FLAG!!!!!

        • korgy says:

          your first comment i also think is a giveaway — when people open with a seven-letter word that is extremely technical and rare, but that would be so easy to arrive at by just tossing all your seven letters into an anagram site. this just happened to me a few days ago. i declined to play the game. i had suspected the person of cheating before, but when that happened , it elevated my suspicions so much more.

      • James says:

        What if your opponent was checking to see if it took “Jaba” by thinking of Jaba the Hutt from Star Wars. Also any undergrad chemistry student would have heard of Thulium.

  9. Lynn says:

    What is the statistical likelihood that someone will have three or four 7-letter words per game. I have been playing with someone that seems to defy the reasonable probability of maybe one or two per game. Last game he had four 7-letter word plays and five moves into our new game he already has two 7-letter words. We’ve played 11 games and of the 8 he has won he has invariably had 2, 3 or 4 seven-letter words.
    Is he cheating?

    • Ginger says:

      It is not cheating to use the tools provided with the game and this isn’t Scrabble – it is what it is.

      • Jammerd says:

        I disagree! Any help you use to enhance your score is cheating. Many of us play the game honestly without apps and dictionaries. Those tools were not available when WWF’s was introduced!

    • Wendy says:

      I would say, YUPPPPP! That’s seven letters, right?

    • Sara says:

      Pretty high. I found a site that worked out the possibility of using all the tiles on the first play. One word was 1 in 10,000 and 2 others were 1 in 20,000. So using that as a guideline I’d say playing multiple words using 7 tiles per word in one game are even higher. I know that I’ve only managed that feat a few times per year. If you are not using word generators luck has more to do with it than word knowledge or skill.

      • Lynn says:

        Just started another game with this person and their first two moves—–both with all seven letters! Sort of like the odds to win the lottery. Even with a cheat app that will tell you what words you can make from your seven, it is still rare to have all seven letters make a word. I’m still playing with this person because I can’t figure out how they do this. Can someone actually change the letters they get? Obviously cheating.

    • Jena says:

      There is NO way someone can draw and use seven tiles several times in one game. I had that happen to and decided to ask this person if she was using a cheat app. She said she does! Give me a break!

      • Kurt says:

        Not true. I have played several games that I have scored multiple bingos. Its a function of luck, skill, and a lack of fear of swapping tiles to make a bingo. This is a different way of playing than I did when I first started playing. I would rather lose a game with 3 bongos than win a game with none. I find it to be a fun challenge. As far as cheating goes, it appears to be a vague concept. I have read posts here where game features that are available in the free version are considered cheats. By this logic, I imagine a player of the free version could accuse a paid version player of cheating. After playing over 1500 games, I have discovered words that I never would have otherwise seen. It’s all part of the good time wasting fun that makes this game great. I love the badges too.

  10. Pattea says:

    I am playing someone who always kills me but I like the challenge. Today he played a word that should have totaled 14 pts. but it totaled 45. He said that wwf does these random mistakes sometimes. I haven’t see this before. Opinions?
    And how can someone cheat with the game? Do you mean by looking for words online while playing someone?

    • Susan says:

      I play with someone like that also. He will play a word and have say 32 points. Then I make my word, and it’s back to him. Next thing I know it’s 132 points, but since I wasn’t keeping track of the words it is hard to say he is cheating. There is NO way he can score that much on a turn because the letters even with triple words are not that much. It is very discouraging. He beats me virtually every time and I know he’s out there playing his max games with other people and cheating them too.

    • Kris says:

      I just had the same thing and took a screen shot so I can try to figure it out. This person used words like qadis, mouldier and vanitory. Then she used the simple word bees and got 63 points with no DW or TW, only a TL. Her s on the end also connected to the end of my word making it plural. But even when I add up the points for both words it only comes to 35. How in the world did she get 63 points for it?

    • Mike says:

      I have this dickhead player that is obsessed with getting 7 letter words,one game he got 4 and I still beat him,he was livid. I know he cheats because getting 4 seven letter words in one game is impossible basically. He also won a game by playing ALINE, WWF offers no definition but I looked it up and it’s a girls name. I thought no names were allowed in WWF? This is also BS because it cost me the game. They need to fix this horse shit or I’m out.

  11. Deb says:

    Ok, so I’m playing a girl now whose stats say she played a 752 point game. I messaged her to ask her she managed that and she provided a lame reply about beginner’s luck and how she played two consecutive words for 135 points each. Her written replies demonstrated no extraordinary verbal ability and it’s evident she cheated. I don’t get it; what’s the point in cheating? It must be a very hollow “victory’ for a very insecure person.

  12. Grace says:

    I think it is appropriate to call out cheaters. I did it today. I was winning and out of nowhere came the most obscure word that fit perfectly into the TW spot. If it was genuine I would have said”good for her” but in your gut you know those words that just are inconsistent with the players typical skill that come at just the right time. The ones that are do obscure they don’t even have a definition in the dictionary. I block those people but I tell them why. I say “sorry, that sounds like a cheat word”. If not, I apologise, you’re too good of an opponent for me.

    • Tom says:

      You can look up letter combos that will fit right there ,so they aren’t cheating– like in solo play aa was a word used by the computer. And ba, and ais. So you can’t accuse people of cheating for strange words.

    • RadarBlip says:

      totally INAPPROPRIATE to accuse anyone of cheating without proof.

  13. CatherineTR says:

    I will never play with a cheat; but what if it’s WWF that’s cheating? I play the WWF Solo feature repeatedly. Occasionally the WWF computer will play a word that I suspect is NOT a word, and I look at the WWF game dictionary to see. It will return the lame message, “X is a valid Words With Friends word. Sorry, no definition is available at this time.” Today I went to and looked up two words that the WWF Solo feature played simultaneously. NEITHER of the words, (pily and imid) is a word on, a resource I believe is MUCH more reliable than WWF. A cheating player is one thing. A supposedly reliable public game that is programmed to cheat is something much worse.

    • Tom says: isn’t a valid dictionary. Try one of the published dictionaries.

    • Cindy says:

      That doesn’t mean someone is cheating. I often try word combinations & check their validity using the games tools that are provided. I don’t think it’s cheating unless you are using outside resources. Often a word will be accepted but there is no definition; again, not cheating. Learn how to use the tools provided within the game to improve…

  14. agatha says:

    the horrific butchering of the English language on this thread tells me that no one needs to cheat when playing against you people. just sayin’

    • J.D. says:

      Oh the irony of this “insult” coming from someone who can’t be bothered to capitalize her words and throws out lines like “just sayin’.” Horrific butchering of the English language indeed!

    • William says:

      Not everyone who has a stellar memory bank full of twenty dollar words (and even their definitions) has a handle on grammar. I’ve encountered highly intelligent engineers and have worked with those on the medical field that reflect this consistently.

      I’ve also encountered many grammar jockeys who sorely lack comprehension and critical thinking skills.

  15. Sha says:

    I don’t mind the cheat apps because it’s not that serious. I play for fun and plus it helps build my vocabulary. But what I noticed is that my opponent played the letter “Q” and I know there is only one “Q”in the game. I also have the letter “Q” Does that mean my opponent is buying letters?

    • marajade says:

      I mind all cheats… use your brain

    • Grace says:

      It is all that serious. Cheating on any level is wrong. When you do it you cheat yourself more than anyone. If you want to improve your vocabulary, study the dictionary but do not deceive people. It’s a crude and vulgar practice and reflects badly on your character. It’s what you do when no one is watching you that really matters in the development of your character.

    • Lynn Proctor says:

      Blanks can be turned into Q’s. Always look to see if it is a blank.

    • Gaunygirl says:

      No, they probably had a “blank” tile and chose to use it as a q

    • Private says:

      They could have used the wild block and made a Q. I have done that before when it fit and it wasn’t cheating, just using the wild tile.

    • Beth says:

      Ive been playing WWF for about 3 yrs now. I have had several, no more than 4, games that I had 2 Q’s. I figured the app just makes mistakes. But I do agree that there’s got to be a way the tiles are being manipulated. One person I play-i lose constantly and she’s beating me by no less than 200 points just about every time. And its only with her that I end up with no vowels or a bunch of u’s and i’s (as an example). I take my time and will try every tile in every order to find a word to fit with TL tiles etc, and have come up with some crazy little words, I’ll be the first to say, but with her its bam bam bam, no hesitations. Sure, she could be smart as heck but not too many people can be so consistent with scrambled letters-and so dang fast!!

  16. Val says:

    I suspect a few of my opponents are cheating. I am playing with on subject who would lose some and win some but for the past few months said subject has been zooming past me in games that would be pretty even but suddenly I ame being left in the dust and losing by more than 100 points in every game. So unreal.
    I am currently playing with another subject who never won a game for months and all of a sudden strategy is such that I cannot come close to winning a game of late.
    I also notice that letters mysteriously appear at the end of games that afford my loss of such games. Foe example: we are at the end of a game where there are only 2 t’s left. How does an o appear, forming a two letter word like HO? The t’are left on the board. I am mystified
    Is there an app where losing opponents can purchase letters that are not present on the board at the end of words with friends games?

    • Htb says:

      I have wondered the same thing!

      • Susan says:

        Tom she says she looked AT THE WWF dictionary. I have had this happen to me but strangely never to the people who cheat.

    • Coral says:

      This is my current situation – when it gets down to 2-3 letters left, it’s pretty easy to remember what they were. So, how does a letter appear in my opponent’s play that was not available to me? I play for fun; once a day with only about 10 people. This is ruining the fun.

  17. Gail says:

    There is a lady on my leaderboard, who constantly beat most components by 13,000to 20,000, I play several times a day, and she still wins by 10 of thousands, how can this happen? This lady, named Carol, use to play with me, but, I use to beat her, but then, she quit playing the game with me? You might not catch her, but, I want her off my leaderboard.

    Please reply

  18. Jason says:

    I am totally done with this game, I used to enjoy it until now I am consistantly matched up with cheaters. I know they are cheating because never when they are winning but only when they are behind do they magically pull 7 letter words out of thin air. I could understand if it was consistant with their gameplay;however, when they playing small, common words through the whole game then magically a word like iodides appeara.

  19. Qoph Dave says:

    I’m really surprised no one has written an App to determine (or at least give % chance) that opponent us cheating. Got to be a way to determine it… Figure what top 10 possible plays are… How often is player hitting best possible play? More than X% of the time and the odds opponent is using an app should rise… Plus if opponent has suddenly increased his average score Dramatically — way more than average — should be a way to tell. None foolproof obviously, but some % indicator should be possible.

    If such an App were $1.98 or whatever, I’d sure be a buyer!

  20. Henessey says:

    Is there any program than can be ran against your opponent to find out if they have used the cheat app? Or maybe I can submit game to administrator. No need to cheat I say , you can not win them all.

  21. peont says:

    I kept beating a friend by hundreds and he stopped playing for about a week or so. Not in an insulting way, but he doesn’t have the best grammer nor is he the best speller. He challenged me after a week or so, and has an incredible vocabulary as well as the ability to strategically place words for his next move, not at all the player he once was. When I asked him, he said he just needed to clear his head. I am trying to look at it as a compliment that he may be needing help to compete, but non the less the thought is making me not want to play him again. So I’m choosing to believe him.

Leave a Reply