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Welcome to Serpentine!

Serpentine is an addictive online word game where you and others see who can form words the fastest. The best part is, you get a new puzzle every couple minutes! If you've played Tangleword or Boggle, then you'll be right at home, if not, you can look at our How To Play page. You may play in any room as a guest without registering, though registering allows you to build up a reputation and rating.

Easy Room
(4 players)

Get your start here and work your way up!

Medium Room
(21 players)

This is one of our most popular rooms and is a good challenge for a beginner to intermediate player.

Hard Room
(15 players)

This room is for players who want more letters to play with!

Visit some of our other rooms!

(11 players)

Board Size: 8, Minimum # of Letters: 6, Round Length: 4m
An even larger room with 8x8 tiles and a 6 letter minimum

(7 players)

Board Size: 5, Minimum # of Letters: 4, Minimum Rating: 0, Maximum Rating: 9999, Round Length: 2m

(1 players)

Board Size: 5, Minimum # of Letters: 6, Round Length: 2m
This room will challenge the best of players with its six letter minimum and 5x5 board,

(0 players)

Board Size: 4, Minimum # of Letters: 3, Round Length: 4m, Unrated
Spend some time improving your skills. No pressure!

Don't like these? We've got more!


New Bot Challenge Room - By: Adam Plumb - about 2 months ago
I've put up a new room (somewhat temporarily) called "The Bot Challenge" that has an array of bots with ratings as low as 600 to as high as 4000! Come by and give it a whirl!

Discuss (0)
Bots are down for some retooling - By: Adam Plumb - about 2 months ago
I spent this weekend playing around with the new bots and got some really interesting data that I'm going to use to improve them. What I mean by that is make it so I can more accurately control how good they are in a give situation, as in, they should have the same rating in any of the rooms. I've taken the bots down for now so I can work on them a bit more, and hopefully put them up again permanently somewhat soon.

Discuss (1)
Introducing bots! - By: Adam Plumb - about 2 months ago
I'm delighted to introduce a new feature I've been wanting to try out for a while: Bots! I've written a few simple AI bots that will practice playing Serpentine all day and all night in the Beginner's Room. This is an experimental feature and the bots are currently only playing in the Beginner's Room so you'll need a rating of less than 1000 to try them out.

I'll be curious to hear what you guys think and see how they do out there! If people are interested I may add them to other rooms too, just to spice things up a bit.

Feedback is welcome!

Discuss (1)
Initial tests for iPad and Android Tablet - By: Adam Plumb - about 2 months ago
Hi all, I'm happy to introduce initial trials for running Serpentine on iPads and Android Tablets! It has been a long road to get to this point, and we're still quite a ways away from it being a first class citizen compared to desktop PCs, but it's a place to start.

If you're interested in testing out Serpentine on your iPad or Android Tablet, simply point your tablet's browser to and play a game as usual. You may want to head into the Practice Room first so you don't lose any points in your trial.

We're at a point where I feel like it should work, but may not be a great experience just yet, so please bear that in mind as you give it a try! Once you do try it, please send me an email or click the "Problems" button and let me know how it went!

Discuss (1)
A new mousing option - By: Adam Plumb - about 2 months ago
Hi all! I've put some work into enabling mobile-style mousing. Instead of the Click-Drag-Click mechanism we've all grudgingly grown to be ok with, now we have a more natural (and mobile-friendly) Mousedown-Drag-Mouseup. This new way of mousing should actually be a bit faster since it requires two less actions (mousedown vs click, which is a mousedown then mouseup).

For the time being, I'm making the new mousing mechanism opt-in only. You'll see a new checkbox option on the lower left hand side of the page called Click & Hold Mousing. If you enable that checkbox, your mousing will change to the new style.

I'd love to hear what you guys think! Either email me or send me a tweet on my new Serpentine twitter feed

Discuss (1)
Everything you wanted to know about our ratings system - By: Adam Plumb - about 2 months ago

I've gotten some requests recently for information about how the rating system works. Here is a quick overview:

A user's rating is meant to represent and distill a user's skill level into a single number. In fact, your current rating tells the game what your "expected" score is in each round you play. And if you don't match up to your expected score, your rating will go down. If you surpass your expected score, your rating will go up. It's as simple as that.

Let us say there are three people playing in a room. After a game, but before recalculating their ratings, they have the following ratings and scores:


Based on each of these players' scores and ratings, each player gets an "expected" score. This is the score that they need to get in order to have their ratings stay the same. Expected scores are calculated by dividing the sum of scores (40+90+70=200) by the sum of ratings (1100+1600+1300=4000). The resulting quotient, .05, is multiplied by each person's current rating (i.e. 1100 x .05) to get their expected score. Here's a table...

NameExpected ScoreScore

You can see here that both Alex and Jenny did better than expected, but poor Adam did worse. Therefore, we know that both Alex's and Jenny's ratings will go up, but Adam's will go down. But, how much?

Here is where things get a bit tricky. There is no one perfect way of determining how much their ratings change, because the amount of change is mostly arbitrary. It is simply a matter of making up some rules for what the maximum amount of change per game will be, and how much over or under the expected score the player has to be in order to get that maximum. In our case, I've decided that the maximum change in points one can get per game is 16 (the current number), and in order to get +/- 16 points per game you either have to get a score that is 75% greater than expected or 75% worse than expected. For example, Jenny's expected score is 65 points. But if she get's 75% greater than that (or 1.75 x 65), which is 114, then her rating will improve by 16 points. However, if she get's 75% worse than expected (or .25 x 65), which is 16, then her rating will decrease by 16 points. Anywhere from 25% of the expected score to 175% the expected score will bring a range of -16 to +16 points. If you fall outside of that range, your rating will be limited to the maximum change (+/- 16). Also, there is a mimimum allowable rating of 100 and a maximum of 9999, so players will never exceed those amounts.

Let's look at how the players' ratings changed:

NameExpected ScoreScoreOld RatingNew Rating

One final note: all new players will be "evaluated" by the game for a handful of games and then given a starter rating based on how good the game thinks you are. This is an educated guess at best, so depending on how well you do you may start off with a 400 rating or a 1600 rating, it really depends on how well you do!

I hope this shines some light on the ratings system. If you have any questions, shoot me an email and I'll do my best to answer.

Discuss (1)
Got connection problems? - By: Adam Plumb - about 6 months ago
Hi all, so I'm still working through the connection issues people have been seeing. Things are improving, but not for everyone unfortunately.

I've added a new button to the top of the Serpentine game page that says "Problems?". If you're experiencing connection or game problems, please click on that link and submit a problem notification. That will email me directly and it gives me lots of good information that should help me work through the remaining problems people are having.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Discuss (1)
Problems fixed for Internet Explorer users - By: Adam Plumb - about 6 months ago
Hi all, we were having some Internet Explorer-related problems from the changes I made yesterday, and that was causing the game to be less reliable than usual. These issues should be fixed now, but do let me know if you're still experiencing any problems.

Discuss (17)
Working on a fix - By: Adam Plumb - about 6 months ago
Hi everyone who is having problems today, it looks like there is an issue with Internet Explorer that I'm working on resolving now. The game should be able to run in either Google Chrome or Firefox, so you may want to give those a try. I'll have things running in Internet Explorer shortly.

Discuss (2)
Upcoming improved reliability and iPad/Tablet compatibility - By: Adam Plumb - almost 7 months ago
Hi all, I've been doing some work behind the scenes that I'm hoping will improve Serpentine's reliability and get rid of those pesky connection issues that have been plaguing the site since it's inception. The other upside of these changes will be that we'll finally have ipad and android tablet compatibility, which I know many of you have been asking for. I haven't fully tested out compatibility with those devices yet, so that is still to come, but I will hopefully be rolling out the initial changes tomorrow morning (look for the game to be down for a bit around 9am EST). Once the initial changes have been vetted, I'll get to work on providing a good tablet experience.

Discuss (2)

Top Ten New Players


Top Ten Active Players