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Game play

  • Build words using letter cards to earn money and stock.
  • Use money to buy letter patents. Patents earn royalties when their letter is used. Some patents grant additional abilities.
  • The final round is triggered when one player's patents sum to a given value.
  • At the end of that round, the player with the highest combined value of patents, money, and stock wins!
    • If there is a tie, the player with the highest value of patents wins!


Letter "Factory" Cards

  • One of 102 cards each with a letter.
  • Some letters are more common than others. (See the letter frequency game card)

Player Hand

  • Each player has a hand of 7 letter cards.
  • Players always draw back to 7 at the end of their turn to replace any cards they have played or discarded.

Community Pool

  • A shared, face-up set of 3 letter cards available for use by any player.
  • These are also replaced at the end of each turn.

Money (or Coins)

  • Earned by playing words, or through patent royalties.
  • Used to buy patents.
  • Winning or losing challenges can also earn or cost money.


  • Earned by playing longer words. Grants points at the end of the game, but cannot be spent.

Letter Patents

  • Each letter has one patent.
  • Patents may be purchased with money; costs range from $2 to $10.


  • The owner of a letter patent earns $1 for each matching letter played by another player.
  • Players don't earn royalties on their own words, or for special letters generated by patent abilities.

Player Turn

  • On your turn, you may build a word using letter cards from your hand or from the community pool.
  • Each word must contain at least one card from your hand and be at least 3 letters long.
  • If your word is not challenged successfully, you earn money and stock depending on its length.
  • Some patent or letter abilities may increase earnings.
  • Other players earn royalties for the patents they own.
  • Then, you may buy a patent.
  • You many only buy one patent per turn, and its letter must match a letter in the word(s) you just played.
  • You must also have enough money to purchase the patent.
  • Each patent can only be owned by one player
  • Once a patent has been purchased, it cannot be purchased by another player.
  • The community pool is refilled, and then you may choose to discard any number of the cards in your hand.
  • Finally, your hand is refilled to 7 cards.

Special Abilities


Patent abilities may be used at most once per turn.

Special patent abilities visual reference

Some patents grant special abilities:

B Patent Ability

  • Earn double if your word begins and ends in vowels.
  • Both money and stock are doubled.

J Patent Ability

  • Earn double if vowels are at least half of your word.
  • Both money and stock are doubled.

K Patent Ability

  • Earn double if your word has only one vowel.
  • Both money and stock are doubled.

Q Patent Ability

  • You may replace a card to start your turn.
  • You may discard and draw before playing words.

V Patent Ability

  • You may build two words. Each word earns money and stock individually.
  • Other patent abilities may be applied to one word or the other, not both.
  • Each word must contain at least one card from your hand and be at least 3 letters long.

X Patent Ability

  • You may use one letter card twice.
    That is, you may duplicate a letter.
  • You must use at least 3 real (not duplicated or generated) letter cards total.
    • If playing two words with the ‘V’ patent ability, a letter from the first word may be duplicated in the second.
    • Other players do not earn additional royalties on the second copy of this duplicated letter.

Z Patent Ability

  • You may add an ‘S’ to the end of your word.
  • This must form an acceptable word.
  • You may not purchase the ‘S’ patent without using a real ‘S’ letter card.
  • Other players do not earn royalties on this generated ‘S’.


Some letters also have special abilities:

Q Letter Ability

  • Words with ‘Q’ earn double (both money and stock).
  • This ability is independent of the ‘Q’ patent ability.

Y Letter Ability

  • Player decides whether each ‘Y’ is treated as a consonant or a vowel for patent abilities.


Player Challenges

  • In the default rules, players may challenge other player's words.
  • If the challenged word(s) are not in the dictionary, the challenge succeeds and the active player takes back their cards, loses the rest of their turn, and must discard a card as a penalty.
  • If the word(s) are in the dictionary, the challenge fails and the challenger must pay the active player $1.
    • If the challenger has no money, the active player takes $1 from the bank.

Automatic Challenges

This version implements a challenge variant to smooth online play.

  • In the automatic challenge variant, players may not challenge.
  • Instead, every play is automatically challenged by the system.
  • If the word(s) are in the dictionary, play proceeds.
  • If the word(s) are not in the dictionary, the player may be allowed to retry
    • Depending on the variant configuration; default is 3.
    • If they run out of retries, they take back their cards, lose the rest of their turn, and must discard a card as penalty.

Word Scoring

Word Length Money Stock
3 letters $1 0
4 letters $2 0
5 letters $3 0
6 letters $4 1
7 letters $6 1
8 letters $6 2
9 letters $6 3
10 letters $6 4
11 letters $6 5
12 letters $6 6


Players Patents Value Minimum Number of Patents
2 $45 6
3 $34 5
4 $26 3
5 $21 3


  • Note that this game is designed to be played with English (American or British) words.
  • Playing words in other languages isn't supported by the game design.

Two dictionaries may be used:

NWL 2018

CWL 2019