Double Up Word Game 

Robert Harris
Version Date: November 30, 2015


The Double Up word game is a fun way to learn the meaning and spelling of words that contain double letters. Players are required to think of words with double letters in them (hurry, bitter, rabbit), with the double letters being determined by the last letter of the previous word in play. The game can be used in class, as homework, or just for fun.

A starting player can be chosen by a round of "paper, scissors, rock" or by dice, or pick a number. The winning player chooses a word containing double letters, such as cool. Then the other player (or the next in sequence if there are more than two players) must think of a word that includes the double letters of the last letter in the chosen word. Thus, cool ends in l, so the  next word must contain ll, as in pillar. Play then shifts to the next player, who follows the pattern. In this case, the next word must contain a doubling of the letter r, since that letlter ends the word pillar. 

If the new word not only contains the required double letters of the last letter of the previous word, but also beings with the same letter that the previous word begins with, the new word is worth 15 points.

The round continues until none of the players can think of a word to play. (For example, if the previous word was willow, few people  will be able to think of a word containing ww, so the round will end.

1. A standard, collegiate dictionary (or other identified authority, such as an online dictionary) determines what is or is not a word.
2. Once a word has been used, it may not be used again in the same round. If the players agree, a word may not be reused during the entire game.
3. Each player can think of only one word per turn.
4. If a player cannot find a word that doubles the final letter in the previous word, he or she can find a word that doubles the first letter in the previous word.
5. Play continues until a terminal state: (1) a specific time has passed, as in 20 minutes, (2) a target score has been reached by the first player (as in 100 points), (3) a named number of rounds has been completed (as in 10).
6. At the end of play, the player with the highest total score wins.

1. The player who thinks of the first word (the seed word) gets 5 points.
2. Each new word containing a doubling of the last letter in the previous word receives 10 points.
3. Each new word contianing a doubling of the first letter in the pevious word receives 5 points.
4. A word that has more than just the required double letters can receive one extra point for each additional doubling. MIssissippi would get 12 points.
5. A word that meets the doubling requirements but also retains the first letter of the previous word gets 12 points..


Here are some examples of how a round might play out.

Example 1

Example 2
Example 3

Example 4


Teachers using this game to build students' vocabulary and writing skills can include the following.

1. Ask each student to define the word just put into play.
2. Have each student put the named word into a sentence.
3. Create spelling tests, crossword puzzles, or other activities.

Sample seed words

Here are a few words that can be used as seeds or as play.

attitude, affirm, alliance, ammunition, battle, baffle, bigger, barren, collection, cottage, cheese, cool, comment, dollar, dotted, dribble, efface, fodder, gunning, hall, impossible, jarring, kettle, little, mattress, novella, opposite, possible,  querried, riddle, saccharin, tattle, unnerve, vacillate, worrisome, yelling.

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Creative Ways to Learn Vocabulary | Claim a Word Game
Build a Word Word Game  |  WordCarom Word Game
Double Up Word Game

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About the author:
Robert Harris is a writer and educator with more than 25 years of teaching experience at the college and university level. RHarris at