Word Dojo Megatouch Touchscreen Game

worddojo.jpgWord Dojo is a video game found on Megatouch touchscreen terminals in most bars. You score by forming words by chaining together neighboring letters that drop into the screen. The first round ends when time expires or you have used 75 letters or more to form words. The second round ends when time expires or you have used 99 letters or more to form words. And the third round is a bonus round with unlimited letters. In the bonus round there is also an ever-changing bonus letter that multiplies scores of words you form that include the letter.


  • Concentrate on making 3-letter words. 3-letter words are the most efficient way to score, the easiest to see, and the fastest to type. Longer words don’t help very much except in a few special cases.
  • At the end of the first two rounds, make sure your second-to-last word gets you to exactly 74 (or 98) letters. For example, in round one, you’ll get to 74 letters by using all 3-letter words except two 4-letter words. Watch the letter meter and get to 74 or 98 as quickly as possible. Then take your time to form the longest word possible (10, 11, or even 12 letters long). This will be your last word and will end your turn, but you can use a lot of left over time to find a huge word. The bonus time is not nearly as valuable as the score for the long word.
  • In the first two rounds, set up prefixes and suffixes that will help make a long final word. For example, leave some INGs at one end of the screen or the other and try to use up difficult letters like F, K, Z, Q, V, W, J, and X so your final letters are easier. It’s also helpful to remove the two golden balls before the final word. This leaves more flexibility and adds to your score.
  • In the bonus round, concentrate on making rapid-fire 3-letter words, as many as possible. Always try to remove as many of the golden blocker balls as possible. Don’t slow down to use the bonus letter, but if you can use it without hesitating, try to use it as much as possible. The bonus letter is best ignored when it is an unusual letter (like Q) because they appear so infrequently on the screen. But when it’s an N, T, R, S, and so on, you can use it to inflate your score quickly.

Advanced Tips

  • In the first two rounds, the method of forming all short words, then one long word to end the round can actually be improved by very advanced players. The key is to form several words longer than 8-letters during the round, the more the better. 8-letters is the hot spot in the scoring algorithm where very long words really pay off. 5-7 letter words are not very helpful.

Scoring Algorithm

Below is the Word Dojo scoring algorithm (which is also common to Wordster). Following are some conclusions that can be drawn from this information.

Letter values (from help screen):
a=3 b=10 c=7 d=9 e=1 f=10 g=9 h=9 i=4 j=12 k=6 l=2 m=9 n=5 o=5 p=9 q=12 r=4 s=6 t=5 u=8 v=11 w=11 x=12 y=10 z=12

There are two variables used to calculate a word’s score.
n = the number of letters in the word (for ‘sunshine’ n=8)
s = the sum of all letter values in the word (for ‘sunshine’ s=6+8+5+6+9+4+5+1=44)

In round three, the bonus letter multiplier affects the individual letter score and therefore the value of s (for ‘sunshine’ if ‘s’ is the bonus letter with a multiplier of 5x, s=(6*5)+8+5+(6*5)+9+4+5+1=92)

The algorithm changes based on how many letters are in the word (or partially formed word):

1-letter, score = s
2-letter, score = (1000*n+20*s)
3-letter, score = 10*s*(n+0)+2*(1000*n+20*s)+1000
4-letter, score = 10*s*(n+0)+2*(1000*n+20*s)
5-letter, score = 10*s*(n+1)+2*(1000*n+20*s)
6-letter, score = 10*s*(n+2)+2*(1000*n+20*s)
7-letter, score = 10*s*(n+2)+2*(1000*n+20*s)+1*(1000+10*s)
8-letter, score = 10*s*(n+2)+2*(1000*n+20*s)+4*(1000+10*s)
9-letter, score = 10*s*(n+2)+2*(1000*n+20*s)+7*(1000+10*s)
10-letter, score = 10*s*(n+2)+2*(1000*n+20*s)+10*(1000+10*s)
11-letter, score = 10*s*(n+2)+2*(1000*n+20*s)+18*(1000+10*s)
12-letter, score = 10*s*(n+2)+2*(1000*n+20*s)+26*(1000+10*s)

After finding the score of a word using the formula above, there is one more adjustment to make. If the word is more than 2 letters long and s equals any of the following values: 5,6,17,30,31,32,57,58,59 subtract one from the score.

Additional Conclusions Based on Scoring Algorithm

  1. Three-letter words receive a 1000 point bonus. This makes 3-letter words the most efficient way to score quickly. Also consider that 3-letter words will occur most frequently among any random arrangement of letters and are obviously the fastest to enter. So the strategy of forming only 3-letter words is supported. The only exceptions being (a) to get exactly 74 or 98 respectively with the second to last word in the first two rounds (b) to get the highest possible score for the last word in the first two rounds to capitalize on the ‘overshoot’ and of course (c) if a longer word is all you see, it certainly doesn’t pay to delay to find a 3-letter word.
  2. Longer words don’t benefit the lengthier data entry time until they are at least eight letters long when some added scoring power takes effect. However, 8-letter+ words are less commonly present, are difficult to see, and are more prone to typing errors. So any strategy that favors using long words is dubious – with the exception of the overshoot in the first two rounds.
  3. In the bonus round, bonus letter multipliers contribute to the base score of each occurrence of the letter in the word. Therefore, they do have a substantial effect on the word score when entered quickly while the multiplier is high. The total contribution for a bonus letter is more than the multiplier. For example if a word contains a letter ‘s’ and the ‘s’ is the bonus letter with a multiplier of 10x, the word score actually increases more than 54 points (10*6-6), but more like 50 times that much (for each occurrence of the bonus letter). So using the bonus letters in the third round can make a big difference in your score. But by ‘big’ I do not mean millions, maybe a couple hundred thousand.
  4. In round 3, high-scoring bonus letters like J, Q, X, Z could in theory provide the potential for huge scores. However, while these letters come up relatively often as bonus letter, you almost never see these letters ‘drop. The best prospects for high scores based on bonus letters in round three is simply to get common letters, maybe those with a middle value like (l, n, o, p, m, t, s, u, r), and enter lots of three letter words quickly using the bonus letter. This has been suggested by nearly everyone who gets very high scores. It also explains why you can happen on very high scores without even watching the bonus letter.As for 12-letter words… Based on the scoring algorithm, 12-letter words aren’t rewarded nearly well enough to compensate for the rarity and difficulty of finding them. 12-letter words will VERY rarely even appear on the screen, much less would be the chances of detecting them.
  5. You can manipulate the letters as they drop to ‘build’ long words. For example, you can encourage and preserve common prefixes and suffixes such as “ING” or “TION” and simultaneously exhaust letters that are less likely to contribute to long words. However, you have a limited number of letters to work with and you rarely even get the opportunity to build a 12-letter word. That said, ‘building’ one huge word to end the first two rounds is certainly the best strategy. It’s fairly easy to consistently end with a word of 8 to 10 letters, with an occasional 11 or 12. If you get the maximum score for rounds one and two, it would not add enough to inflate the overall score to the level of these super high scores that are achieved by cheating (lantern trick). I couldn’t find any credible evidence that there’s any valid ‘trick’ involving forming 12-letter words that would help to get huge scores (over 2M).

High Scores

Scores of 1.2 million are very good. My personal high is just over 1.5 million and credible scores of as high as 1.6 to 1.8 million have been reported. Looking at the scoring algorithm in combination with letter frequencies, there doesn’t seem to be an obvious way to score legitimately above 2 million.

Update: The Lantern Trick has been fixed and no longer works in the newer versions. So it seems that all new scores are legitimate. No more three hour sessions on one quarter. No moreĀ  phony claims of ridiculously high scores (over 25 million for example). If you have access to an older game (versions out before 2010 I believe), it might be fun to try to discover for yourself. Anyone claiming to get over 1.6 million or even scoring 12-letter words, I’d love to see video, including proof it’s the new version. It’s still unclear what the top players can score. Post a video on YouTube and I’ll include it on this page.

Btw, comments containing obscenities, rude language, or personal attacks on others will be deleted.

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39 Responses to Word Dojo Megatouch Touchscreen Game

  1. jaz says:

    great tips. way to break it down

  2. caz says:

    I have been playing dojo for 6 years…my highest score is just over 1.8 million…I wasn’t aware that there is a cheat, what fun would that be. but my scores come down to how fast I play and watching for words before you even finish entering the last word. I still haven’t seen anyone close to my score, only about 1.5million. I thought that 2 million was about the max and it looks from the algorithm that it is about right. well keep building!

    • Bob says:

      You are right. 2 million is about the right max but in team play with another good player, we have been to 2.2. Teamplay only helps the 3rd screen. 1.92 is my high. The new speedier megatouch machines make it a bit tougher to get over 1.8 now but the 2005 units score higher as they are a bit slower. If you are in Mpls look for me “pokerbob” or “ymiin” in the northwest metro area for a challenge.

  3. michelle says:

    i want to know where i can get the game and download it to my pc

  4. Dunc says:

    The final bonus round, when the time starts to run out, you can delay the ending of the round if you keep dropping the golden balls, this somehow delays the time running out, of course if you hesitate and you stop dropping the golden balls then the game ends, my personal best is 1.5900 really close to 1.6, i might post a video on youtube soon 08/02/2009

  5. Sharon says:

    I play with my boyfriend all the time (we’re slightly obsessed) and we tried your strategy and got 600k on the second round for the first time (usually around 580k). Unfortunately, it didn’t really change our overall score. Our best is just over 1.4 million but we’re determined to get to 1.5 before we quit. Thanks for the tips!!

  6. Sharon says:

    Finally got up over the 1.5 mark (1.557)! Now we have no idea what to do with our free time. ;)

  7. Dee says:

    Is there an online version or any other way to play Word Dojo other than the machines at the bars?

  8. mike (longbar) tampa says:

    Hi, my name is Mike and I too am addicted to Word Dojo. My high score is 1.468,000. Then I met another game er (?) Together we can reach 1.5 consistantly. Our high game is 1.673. We’er trying for 1.8. I really have to stop I have laundry and dishes to do. :)

    • john salas says:

      i love this game …i used to work in a bar.. and everyday before work go in znd jump start my day trying to keep my boss wondering how the hell i got such a high score…well the owner ofthe machine gave free credits to the frequent players…and friendds liked to wTch the owner get frayed..i topped 2mill regularly…butmy best was over 3.5 all of the tips i hAve seen are great but finding out that despite all of that strategy it all comes down to luck can be very humbling… three letter words are the way to go when played efficiently they always lead to brass dropping And large words but the first two rounds are gimmees for an expert and in my exp an assistant is needed to grab that highest rung.. i never play with a partner .. rather someone who will call out the bonus letter and notify of whereabouts…otherwise shut up and never play touch my screen..( that is how rialry with boss got started) in the end slam those three letter words.. but keep the eyes open the third round is where the champions are polished

      • Bob says:

        I feel this person has overstated his possible high score of 3.5 Million. Most experienced players know that 2 Million is the tops if you play normally with no help from a spotter. Mine was achieved with the help of another very fast player on screen 3 where you get most of your points.2.2 million. That was a team play and 1.92 is my personal high. I am willing to play this person anytime he is the Minneapolis area.

      • ocha says:

        I agree………….john is a big liar and a terrible speller

    • Rhonda says:

      I totally disagree. I regularly get 1.2, with my highest score 1.4 something – and I have a picture and witnesses to prove it.

  9. john salas says:

    oh yeah…..what cheat… lanterns provide light those that cluster to the flame find …their wings soon become lame

  10. Dan says:

    I love Word Dojo, but the scoring is all messed up. The first two rounds are almost meaningless once you are good enough to get the 50,000 bonus every time.

    Woxel, on the iPhone, is a better game. It’s pretty much the same game, but the scoring is totally fixed. If you reach the letter goal before the time is up, your remaining time gets added to your bonus round timer.


    • Bob says:

      The first 2 rounds can be better than you think. I can usually get 330K and 720K after those rounds but have had as high as 380 and 844K with some risk and luck. It takes speed and strategy but a 1.7 final score for me is quite common and 1.5 is a less than avg score. good luck in your play.

      • jason says:

        Have to call you out on the 380k and 844k, these numbers seem a bit exaggerated. 350k and 770k should be about the max score. Gotta ask what 12 letter word you spelled to get there.

      • Bob says:

        Jason, the way you get that high of a score is to enter your 12 letter twice in each of the first 2 rounds. the 2nd one of course is when you are 1 letter from the end of each round. I have a 12 letter word that scores 76K. Time can be an issue if you aren’t very fast. The word starts with a P but it is my secret so work out one of your own. Good luck. I may film and post on utube one day. ymiin is my channel there and the trick bowling video is worth checking out.

  11. laine says:

    you can’t tell me you did that all by yourself!

  12. laine says:

    or i guess get that all by yourself

  13. jonboy says:

    How do you turn of the damn bongos?
    Sooooo fuggin annoying.

  14. David says:

    I play at HPC and have gotten 200-300k for 12 letter words in the last round. My personal high is 1.572M

  15. CommieCowboy says:

    I used to play at Sal’s in Cornwall, ON and my best score was 1.93 mil playing alone and not exploiting any glitches. Oddly enough, I’ve never gotten any 1.8 mil scores…I normally scored 1.5 to 1.7 million…I play once in a blue moon now and normally score 1.4+…I’ve not hit 1.6 since living in Ottawa though.

  16. John says:

    I have to express doubt as well about 12-letter words. I’d love to see a snapshot of it. I haven’t crunched the numbers but a 12-letter word seems extraordinarily rare given the layout and letter drop frequencies, even manipulating the board. To ever get the chance to play one assuming you always recognized them (a stretch) strains credulity. 8s, 9s, even 10s are more believable once you set up a prefix like “re” and a suffix like “ing”. Plus you may notice that the dictionary is not complete and longer words are often not recognized that should be. Prove me wrong. Send a vid or camera pic of a 12 and I’ll post it, anyone.

    • jason says:

      actually i spell 12 letter words 50% of the time.
      try gastroscopic and diffusionism

      • John says:

        Great words, plausible letters. Maybe I question it because I’ve never seen it. Though I only look when at the very end of the round to overshoot the max letters. If I always looked and was better at spotting them, maybe I’d catch them more often. Snap a pic with a cell phone and I’ll post it.

      • Cynthia says:

        No such word as diffusionism. The correct word would be diffusiveness but, alas, not 12 letters.

      • John says:

        Diffusionism is in Merriam Webster (cited source for game dictionary):
        Just haven’t seen the opportunity to use it.

    • CommieCowboy says:

      I’ve gotten 12 letter words before.

      Look for Generational and Regeneration.

      The first and second rounds give you more than enough time to optimize your score once you get comfortable with the game and start getting favourable boards.

  17. dennis says:

    OK. I do well on most all the megatouch games at the bar. I set alot of firsts, but the BEST I’ve ever done on word dojo is about 1.4 mill. I don’t even know what the “lantern trick” is. Can someone tell me?? I don’t think I’d ever use it if it’s tantamount to “cheating”, but I’m curious!! Thanks

  18. 26. WOW, outstanding article, I used to be impressed simply because your way of writing is different and as far as I been searching for today, you certainly pass the criteria and my standard for qualification.

  19. Angela says:

    Where do I find this game to download it to my ipad?????

  20. Mona says:

    My friend and I double team the game. In 3 years of playing the highest score we have gotten is 1,524,+++. I try to tell her that playing several 3 letter words is better than one or two 4-5 letter words. She is definitely getting a printed copy of this article. Oh, by the way the longest word either of us has ever scored was 8 letters – and it’s been so long ago I don’t remember what it was.

  21. SUE says:

    I too am a Word Dojo fan. Thank you for posting up all this information. Love it! My highest score is 1.62. I want you all to know that not every machine is the same. Some machines always drop the good letters and you can attain a higher score on that machine by 200k. I have been playing for the past 4 years. Everywhere I go I look for a machine. I play the machines in various casinos in LA. Funny the only time I walk into a bar is because I need my Dojo fix. I have witnessed two little old Vietnamese ladies that can’t even speak proper English tag team a machine and easily hit the 1.8 mark. But the greatest player I have ever come across goes by the ID name of Dr. He is a math teacher and comes into Hollywood Park Casino to bet the horse races and play the machine. I have had the honor to watch and play with him. He is my GOD!! He has posted 2.2 easily and I have been a witness to it. He hits a 200k bonus a few times per game. It is awe inspiring to see all the balls drop and the screen explode. He just drops what he deems useless balls with letters he can’t use like U, B, F, or X. I will video him next time I see him play. As I am typing this my index finger is hurting from my 2 hour round of Dojo last night. I actually have some kind of damage to my finger from this addiction. I have tried using a pencil, the eraser side but it didn’t work. Now have just resorted to using my left hand. Goes a lot slower.

  22. Feetime says:

    I would love to buy the game and play at home. Does anyone know if you can buy it on disk or like with the nintendo DS, or for the ipad?

    Otherwise my date nights will be at McDonalds playing Word Dojo

  23. Chris blasco says:

    This game is awesome, I sat at the bar and spent more money on it than beer. You should make an app for iPhone and other smart phones, If you have to make it a subscription app.

  24. makayla says:

    see me at schoo,l

  25. Kristie says:

    Hey there! This post could not be written any better!
    Reading this post reminds me of my good old room mate!
    He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this post to him.

    Pretty sure he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

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