Hanging With Friends: One More Strategy Guide

So it’s been a while since my last strategy guide. Honestly, I haven’t written anything because the game hasn’t changed much since then. Which is my way of complaining that Zynga has been dragging its feet on rolling out missions and levels for the Android version of Hanging With Friends.

Anyway, here’s what I’ve learned in the last couple thousand words or so.

0. Don’t give up, even when you are down to your last balloon.
MadMarv's come-from-behind win

1. People just love to play any word that starts with J. I’d guess that around 10% of the word’s played against me will start with the letter J. It’s obviously because J is a 10 point letter and the easiest way to use a particular letter is to spell a word that starts with the letter. And building words that start with J is relatively easy, compared to building words that start with Q, Z or X.

2. If you can build a word that uses all four of your vowels, it is very likely to stump your opponent. This may be because it is hard to squeeze four vowels into an eight (or fewer) letter word. Therefore your opponent is unlikely to keep guessing vowels after the second or third one is found. Whatever the reason, no one has ever solved QUEUE.

3. If your word reveals two or more vowels from the start, it is very likely to be solved. I’d say the likelihood of guessing the word is 90%. Think about it. If two letters out of eight are given away for free, that’s a quarter of the word and you’ve sketched a pretty good map to guess the rest of the word.

4. Some people are now trying to use reverse psychology to build simple words in hope that their opponent will guess high value letters and fail. This can work in certain circumstances, but the strategy is not as straightforward as playing CATS and hoping for the best. The way to make it work is to put yourself into your opponent’s shoes and figure out how you would solve the word yourself. Once you’ve got your opponent comfortable, that is when you zig, where you would normally have zagged.

Let’s take this simple four letter word as it would be presented to your opponent, *A**. If you’ve read my first HwF strategy guide you will start by guessing S. And you would be rewarded with *A*S. Now comes the somewhat random game of hoping to hit one of the blanks with a random guess. You start with T, and then N, and then R, and then … wait you got something, *ARS. Remembering tip #1 from this post, you immediately try J. And you are honestly surprised that the word isn’t JARS. Well, how many other words could it be? BARS, CARS, GARS, LARS, MARS, PARS, VARS…

Did you remember to try EARS and OARS? Probably not. That’s because you were going through words in your head that ended with the -ars sound. And, let’s be honest, EARS and OARS are only 4 point words and who would waste their time building a 4 point word? But the real head fake is the vowel at the start of the word. I did notice that the vast majority of words played in HwF start with a consonant and that there may be a strategic advantage to playing a word that starts with a vowel.

Well, that is enough for now. If you would like to start a game with me, my username is MADMARV.

About madmarv

Civil Engineer, CAD Geek, podcast junkie and amateur photographer.
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2 Responses to Hanging With Friends: One More Strategy Guide

  1. Great article. While people love starting words with a J, the Q and Z seems to come up a lot too, a recent article said that the most common words used are: Hoax, Quad, Sexy, Zits, and Quiz. Q is sort of a giveaway though, as it’s 9 times out of 10 followed by a U.

  2. madmarv says:

    While that is true about Q and Z words, I think the player community as a whole is maturing. I haven’t seen anyone play QATS in a couple of months whereas six months ago I saw it nearly every day. Now I have to consider that someone may be expecting me to guess QATS when they are really playing EATS.

    So, it’s good to see that people do improve their skills and it does keep the game interesting.

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