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I would deem cheating in Words with Friends to use a dictionary or site that generates words in a manner of best score.

I have had opponents play 100 + point words that I didn't even know existed.

Is there anyway without being with them / watching them play to see if my opponent is 'cheating' ?

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11  
If your friend is illiterate and plays a word like pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis then they probably cheated. Otherwise, you have to go by the honor system. –  Adanion Mar 8 '12 at 16:33
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Play the board-game variant of Scrabble, face-to-face. That'll show-em! –  fredley Mar 8 '12 at 16:38
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That's actually a word... amazing. –  Unionhawk Mar 8 '12 at 16:39
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@Unionhawk What is more amazing... sad about it? I knew the word, and how to spell it, without looking it up... –  Adanion Mar 8 '12 at 16:42
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@Adanion if my friend played that word on a 13x13 grid using 7 tiles, I'd certainly suspect them of cheating –  Gareth Mar 9 '12 at 1:18
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5 Answers

up vote 12 down vote accepted

It is totally impossible to be able to tell if someone is 'cheating' unless you go to their house and check their phone browser history for any of those word helping websites. Other than that, what's to say they aren't just good with words?

It is also important to note that the complexity of the word or length mean nothing in comparison to playing the game well. Knowing words helps, but dropping those big point letters on the triple letters and dropping those big point words on the triple words is what nets you the big points. I bet you could score 100 point with the word Zoo if you placed it well enough. Words with friends is a lot of strategy not just word knowledge.

A couple tips to beat them at their own game.

  1. Take longshots: What's the worst that can happen if you try to put in a word that's not real? It's not like someone is looking over your shoulder saying "Haha you loser, you don't even know what a word is.". Try to land those high letters on those triples.

  2. Don't set them up: If you're making a word, be very concious of where they will be able to go next round with your word. Did you just open up a path to a double word? A triple word? Make sure you're leaving them with basically nothing awesome.

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#2 is a great suggestion. If played correctly you can block your opponent out of multipliers for most of the game. –  Adanion Mar 8 '12 at 16:38
    
Even checking their phone browser doesn't prove anything. They could be using a desktop or laptop computer, or simply handing their phone to a friend (or having someone look over their shoulder while they're on Facebook). –  Dave DuPlantis Mar 9 '12 at 18:50
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What you can do is play two or three games with them simultaneously. Work out their average time they take to make a move. They could cheat in the first game because they could take any length of time, but after their first go, you should be able to tell if you are both playing at the same time. If they don't play their moves regularly, but always beat you on the first game and not the second, then it might indicate that they cheat. Or if they take unusually longer on their second game, and suddenly get an unusual word, that's also a clue.

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On their phone check the dictionary of words added - it'll be the letters from their rack(s) when they entered them on the site.

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It is indeed hard to figure out if your friend is using an online cheat tools or dictionary when playing Words with Friends, since you cannot see them in person. But there are other signs which could help you to figure out whether they are cheating or not such as your friend tend to use difficult or unknown words consistently and they are getting huge points in every move. If you want to know more How to Catch a Friend Using Words with Friends Cheat you can read this article for additional information.

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If that link ever goes dead, your answer won't be very useful. Please summarize the most important bits of that link in your answer. –  Paul Marshall Jan 19 at 22:09
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If it it someone you know, the best thing to do is ask them if they think it's fair to use the cheater apps or sites. My good friend said she thought that was quite legit and I told her I prefer not to play like that. So now we don't.

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