How to Play Clue: Set-Up, Gameplay, and Pro Tips

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Last updatedLast updated: November 10, 2022
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When it comes to board game classics, there are a few that are as well-loved, engaging, and fun to play as Clue. This game of who-done-it and mystery has been entertaining folks for generations ever since it was introduced by Parker Brothers back in 1949 Trusted Source Cluedo - Wikipedia Cluedo, known as Clue in North America, is a murder mystery game for three to six players (depending on editions) that was devised in 1943 by Anthony E. Pratt from Birmingham, England. . Of course, just because it is a classic game doesn’t mean that everyone knows how to play Clue. But don’t worry, we’ll soon clear that up for you.

There are several different things that you will need to keep track of if you want to know how to play the Clue board game. While it has the traditional die for movement and simple to maneuver map, there are plenty of other things to consider as well if you want to be the one to solve this murder caper with your friends and family. After reading through this guide, you will have no issue at all cracking the case and taking home the win.

What is the game about?

How to Play Clue: Set-Up, Gameplay, and Pro TipsThis game has a very simple yet very interesting premise. When playing, you assume the mantle of one of the characters, which include, but are not limited to, Miss Scarlet, Mrs. White, Mrs. Peacock, Professor Plum, Mr. Green, and Colonel Mustard. In newer iterations, the game of Clue has different characters, like in this version where Dr. Orchid has joined the game. After selecting your character, you are tasked with solving a murder mystery of who killed Mr. Boddy in his mansion.

Main objective

The main objective of this game is to use the clues that you are presented with throughout the game to try and solve the murder. This is done by looking through the mansion for clues as to where the murder took place, what weapon was used, and who committed the crime. This is done by process of elimination until you are sure of the answer to this murderess riddle. This game is all players for themselves, rather than a cooperative game.

Number of players

This game is designed to be played with three to six players. It should not be used with only two since this will make the mystery too easy to solve.

Recommended age

The recommended age for this game is anyone older than 8 years old. Of course, that depends on the maturity level of the child, as the game is dealing with a murder, after all. If you prefer to keep the game a bit more PG, then you can opt for Clue Jr., which is designed for ages 6 and up.

How to Play Clue: Set-Up, Gameplay, and Pro TipsSession lasts for

Depending on the number of players and how well you can work out the clues to your advantage, you should expect a game of Clue to last for at least 45 minutes. Some games might take less time than this, but the majority will most likely take even longer, especially if you have a maximum of 6 different players going at the same time.

The set-up

The set-up for this game is relatively easy. The very first thing that you need to do is get out the game board and unfold it. Once this is accomplished, all of the players need to select their player. You also need to make sure that you have the one die. Each room on the gameboard also gets a weapon figurine. These figurines can be placed in the rooms at random.

Next, pass out a pencil and detective note sheet to each player. These pages will allow them to take notes during the game so that they can keep better track of the clues to solve the mystery. Finally, you need to shuffle all of the cards into three different piles. These piles include a character, location, and weapon. Select the top three cards from these shuffled piles and place them in the sealed document case. Be sure to do this without anyone seeing the cards, as this is the answer to the murder mystery and can only be revealed at the end of the game.

Finally, shuffle the rest of the cards together and pass them out to all of the players one at a time. Once everyone has their hand of cards, they may look at them and take notes on their notepad. Once this is accomplished, the game can begin.


Once all the players have their cards and token, it is finally time to start playing the game. This is a relatively easy process to follow, though there are some rules that need to be adhered to so that the game can flow correctly.

Miss Scarlet goes first

While many different games usually have players roll to see who goes first or allows the youngest player the primary roll, the game of Clue is quite different. No matter what, the player who is assuming the role of Miss Scarlet gets to go first. From there, the turns go in a clockwise manner until it is back to the original player.

Roll the dice to move your token

To move within the game of Clue, a player needs to roll the die. This will allow them to move from 1-6 spaces in turn. The primary goal of each player is to get into a room so that they can make a suggestion and learn a bit more about the case. While moving your pieces, you can only go from side to side or up and down on the gameboard. Diagonal movements are not allowed.

Something else to keep in mind is that if you are attempting to get into or out of a room, the pathway needs to be clear. If another player is blocking the doorway, you cannot get through until they move out of the way. In this way, players can strategically block other players from making a move or from gaining any insight into the case.

Enter a room

As we mentioned above, you want to try to get into as many rooms as you can. That way, you will be able to make a suggestion as to who has committed the crime. When entering a room, you need to make sure that you come in one of the doors. Most rooms usually only have one door, though some, like the ballroom, have more than one. If someone is in the doorway of a room, you will not be able to get in and will need to wait for them to move out of your way before you can enter and make your suggestion.

Make a suggestion

Upon entering a room, you need to make a suggestion of who you think committed the crime there and with which weapon. This process will allow you to use elimination to try and solve the mystery. Once you enter the room, you need to make a suggestion to your fellow players as to who committed the crime, which weapon they used, and, of course, which room it would be. Obviously, you can only suggest the room you are in at the time.

Once you make your suggestion, all of the other players will need to show you the cards you mention if they are in their possession. This needs to be done one at a time so that everyone can see the cards that they have in their hand. This process will allow you to check off any cards that other players have, therefore eliminating them as a possibility for the actual murderer, weapon, and location in the document case.

Move pawns and weapons into the room

How to Play Clue: Set-Up, Gameplay, and Pro TipsSomething else to consider is that whenever you make a suggestion, you need to move the character and weapon that you are suggesting into the room you are in currently. While this might make the board look a bit cluttered, there is no limit to the number of players or weapons that can be stationed in one space at one time. This can also be used as a bit of strategy to keep other players from reaching a certain room since you can technically move them back away from their goal by suggesting them in a different room.

Make an accusation

Once you are certain that you have found all of the proper clues and have all the facts straight in your head and on your notecard, you can make an accusation. This is very similar to a suggestion in that you need to be in the proper room to make your accusation. The main difference is that, with an accusation, you get to look in the secure document case.

If your accusation is correct, then you win the game. If you are wrong, however, lose right off the bat. You cannot make any more suggestions or move. The only thing that you can do is show your cards to other players for their suggestions. As such, it is probably a good idea to wait on an accusation until you are completely sure of yourself and your conclusion in the case.

How to play Clue Junior

How to Play Clue: Set-Up, Gameplay, and Pro TipsAs the name would suggest, this Junior version of Clue is made for younger children. In this game, rather than solving a murder mystery, players are tasked with trying to solve who ate the last piece of cake at a dinner party. The rest of the gameplay is pretty much the same, but you are trying to figure out who ate the cake, what time they ate it, and what drink they used with it. In this way, the game is much for little kid-friendly, making it ideal for a family game night.

Final thoughts

Though Clue might seem like a complicated game, it actually isn’t too terribly hard to play after you get a bit of practice. This game has been delighting families for generations, ever since it was one man’s way to solve boredom Trusted Source The Game Clue Was Borne of Boredom During WWII Air-Raid Blackouts - HISTORY As the war dragged on, creator Anthony Pratt longed for the fun of English country-estate murder-mystery parties, where guests would skulk the hallways, shriek and fall ‘dead’ on the floor. during WWII. Even though it has been called Clue and Cluedo through the years, it is still played in the same fashion as it was when it was first introduced back in the late 1940s.

Now that you have a clearer understanding of how to play Clue, we are sure that you will be the dominant detective in all your friendly games. With enough practice and patience, we are sure that you can easily crack each and every case that comes your way!


Cluedo - Wikipedia
Cluedo, known as Clue in North America, is a murder mystery game for three to six players (depending on editions) that was devised in 1943 by Anthony E. Pratt from Birmingham, England.
The Game Clue Was Borne of Boredom During WWII Air-Raid Blackouts - HISTORY
As the war dragged on, creator Anthony Pratt longed for the fun of English country-estate murder-mystery parties, where guests would skulk the hallways, shriek and fall ‘dead’ on the floor.
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