Jonson's Chain icon Jonson's Chain: Quick Intro

You create a single, horizontal chain of linked words; the end of one word shares letters with the beginning of the next word.

Click your mouse's left button when positioned over a tile to pick it up; the cursor will change to the letter on the tile. Click your mouse's left button when positioned over a blank square to drop a tile; the cursor will change to the default arrow cursor.

You do NOT have to hold the left mouse button down to drag a tile: just click to pick a tile up and click to put a tile down.


Depending upon the pool size you have chosen, the letter pool is composed of 100 tiles (98 tiles with letters and 2 blank tiles which are "wild" and can be used as any letter) or 200 tiles (196 tiles with letters and 4 blanks). Tiles are randomly drawn from the pool to fill the trays at the beginning of a game and to refill the trays after each play.

You use the letters in your tray to form a single, horizontal chain of linked words on a 15 x 15 board. There are no vertical words.

The first word must consist of two or more tiles placed horizontally anywhere on the board

The score for a valid word is the sum of the letter-points on each tile of the word.


Each Link word is composed of new letters from your tray and letters already on the board; the end of one word shares letters with the beginning of the next word.

game boardgame board

Highlight the E at the end of ROUTE and add two new letters A and T to form the Link word EAT.


game board

Link words may be added to the front or end of the chain. Words played above: trap, strap, pie, best.

You get double points if the Link word is a Palindrome or Semordnilap.

If you use all seven tiles in your tray to form a Link word (sometimes called a bingo), the letter-points for the word are doubled.


game boardgame board EVER = 9 (1 + 6 + 1 + 1)

You also get points for Clasp words -- when a word is formed by connecting one or more letters from the end of the chain to one or more letters at the beginning of the chain.


After you form a word, you can have the points the play will earn calculated for you by choosing "Help | Calculate Link Word's Points" or "Help | Calculate Clasp Word's Points."

At the end of the game penalty points equal to the letter-points of the tiles in each player's tray are subtracted from each player's score (if at least one scoring move has been made).

The player with the highest score at the end of a game is the winner.

More information about Jonson's Chain


See also

About the Word Lists

Letter Counts and Points Table