Looking through the different strategies and tips you can find regarding Hanging with Friends, you'll see a lot of the same things. Most "expert" players recommend using "unbeatable" four-letter words that have different starting letters but the same endings such as UNK and END. These two endings can have multiple starting letters such as FUNK, PUNK, REND, and BEND. They also suggest using short words that start with vowels as it makes your opponents believe there couldn't possibly be another vowel in such a short word. Some examples are EARS and AXIS. And you've also probably used this strategy: building a word that ends in a vowel. These are great strategies all in all. But there are plenty of players who are using the same strategies and their knowledge of them can help counter any moves you make with those strategies in mind. So, how DO you win at Hanging with Friends?
Well, the very best strategy that you'll be hard-pressed to find in most strategy guides for this game is to build your vocabulary. Yes, people have learned a word or two during their games of Hanging with Friends, particularly the unforgettable QATS and ZINE. But there are lots of other great playable words out there that you can learn. We already know that learning certain word lists can help make you a great Scrabble and Words with Friends fiend. So, why not apply the same strategy with Hanging with Friends especially since they use the same dictionary?
Now, the question is what words should you add to your vocabulary? The best words that should help you confuse your opponent are those that are consonant-heavy and vowel-heavy. Consonant-heavy words are obviously hard to guess. For one thing, players often forget that the last vowel of the word should be shown to them so they end up using some of their strikes before they remember that little fact. Even with 8 available strikes, there would already be a considerable number used up before they guess to use the Y or some commonly seen consonants like R, T, and S. Vowel-heavy words are also hard to guess as most players would not think that there are still more vowels to find. Words like ZOEAE (larva of crab) and QUEUE can garner you a lot of points and still stump your opponent. Another great set of words that you should learn are those that contain Q, Z, X, J but doesn't start with them. Most people think of these letters as starting letters (remember QATS and ZINE?) and that may confuse them a bit while you still get a high number of points.
Alongside learning a great deal more words to play, it is important to also gain knowledge about the frequency of letters in words found in the English dictionary. Each letter occurs in a great deal of words and knowing which ones are most likely to be part of a word of a particular word length can help you in increasing your chances of guessing right. While you may see a lot of people saying that ETAOINSH is the order of frequency found in the English text, it was found that ESIARNTO is the actual correct order based on letter frequency. This means that most of the words thrown at you by your opponent will contain these letters. Conversely, knowing that these are the most common can help you limit your word choice since there's a great probability that your opponent will use these as his or her initial guesses.
Of course, your "frenemy" may simply choose to use a Hangman Cheat in order to come up with mind blowing words or to solve your newly learned ones. But you can still console yourself with the fact that they had to use a cheat just to gain advantage over your enhanced performance.