I have played Bejeweled 2 as a skill game for a long time. The key to winning the skill game version of Bejeweled 2 is simple – get the highest score within the time limit. This article goes through specific strategies on how to get a high score within the game. If you are a novice player seeking basic information on the skill game, click here to read my article How to Play Bejeweled 2.

The key to getting a high score in Bejeweled 2 above all else is creating chain collapses. This is when you switch a jewel to create a first combo of 3 or more and the removal of them results in further combos of 3 or more being made and removed, which makes combos beyond that etc. For instance, the scoring in your game might be 10 points for an original match, 20 points for a chain reaction match, 30 points for a match after that one etc. A match with three chain reaction matches one after the next will be worth a total of 100 points vs just 10 if you get only one match. Your score can go much higher than that if you get several at once. While getting a long chain reaction requires an element of luck as many of the jewels will not be visible on the board until the prior ones are removed, there are certain tips you can follow to maximize this event occurring.

The other key, which is related to the first one, is creating as many hyper cubes as possible and using them strategically. If you do not know what a hyper cube is, refer to my how to play guide. If you can remove the right jewels at the right times you can cause incredible chain reactions. Many people say this but they don't tell you HOW to make them or increase your chances in making them.

Here are my tips and things to avoid that will maximize your chances in both creating chain reactions and creating hyper cubes

Tip 1: During the start of every new round take a quick look to see if there are any potential hyper cube combinations. What hurts the most is when you make your first move on instinct and watch helplessly as a hyper cube combination gets messed up. This is really bad if your opponent catches it and will probably cost you the win. The object of the game is speed, but not so much so that you can't afford a second to look over the board carefully to see the best possible move.

Tip 2: ALWAYS work from the bottom up when matching (after Tip 1). This allows you to stumble upon chain collapses. When looking at the bottom half of the screen, first look for horizontal matches that will apply once you eliminate some jewels. Let's say, for instance, there are two red jewels in the second row from the bottom on the two leftmost rows, with another red jewel on row 3, third from the left. If you have a match on the bottom row that eliminates the jewels on the third, fourth and fifth column from the left, the red in row 3 column 3 will drop one row to match with the other two red jewels. If you always look for combinations like this, you will get "lucky" and stumble upon chain reactions of 3, 4 or more, greatly increasing your point scores.

Tip 3: AVOID detonating isolated power gems unless absolutely necessary. If you detonate a power gem next to one or more other power gems, they will create a large chain reaction and you have the potential to really run up your score. They carry over to the next round so you don't have to use them up before you get to the next level.

The choice between detonating one or not really depends on how close you are to the next level and how many other power gems are on the board. For instance, if there are 2 more other power gems on the board and the one I have potential to detonate lies low on the board away from the others; I would try to look for matches higher up on the board in order to get to the next level. Why? Because as the board resets for the next level, the power gems have a chance of being grouped together and I'd have a massive point gainer right at the start of the next round. If the power gem in question is the only one on the board, I would be much more likely to go ahead and use it since the board would need a bit of a shakeup.

4. AVOID detonating a power gem beside a hyper cube at all costs. You'll lose the hard-earned hyper cube.

5. Save detonation of 2 or more hyper cubes for the same time. You will be able to get rid of two colours of jewels at once using this strategy, which makes it very easy to get chain reactions on that play and the next one following. Of course it's easy to say that but the challenge it to develop them. Click here to read how to develop hyper cubes in Bejeweled.

If you are interested in playing Bejeweled 3 or Bejeweled Twist, Amazon has both games available.