Clue board game rules – how to play clue the board game

By: Dennis B. B. Taylor


Hey there, detective! Ready to solve a murder mystery? Well, grab your magnifying glass, because it’s time to play Clue! Whether you’re a rookie or a seasoned sleuth, I’ll guide you through the rules and turn you into the next Sherlock Holmes.


Back in 1944, a guy named Anthony E. Pratt came up with a game called Murder! He was a musician from England. He and his wife Eva decided to show the game to Waddingtons, which is a UK game publisher. The people at Waddingtons liked the game so much that they wanted to publish it. They gave the game a new name: Cluedo. The name Cluedo is a combination of the words clue and the Latin word Ludo, which means “I play.” Pratt officially got a patent for the game in 1947, but because of shortages during the war, the game didn’t come out until 1949. At the same time, Parker Brothers got the rights to distribute the game in the US, but they called it Clue.

I’m here to tell you all about the famous game called Clue! Back in the day, the original version of Clue had 10 characters, and one unlucky person was randomly chosen to be the victim right at the beginning of the game. The characters included Mr. Brown, Miss Gray, Mr. Gold, and Mrs. Silver who were unfortunately eliminated. Nurse White and Colonel Yellow were also in the mix, but they were changed to Mrs. White and Colonel Mustard for the game release.

But wait, that’s not all! The original version of Clue had a gun room, a cellar, and a bunch of cool weapons like a bomb, syringe, fireplace poker, and an ax. These weapons didn’t make it into the final game release, though.

Nowadays, the game of Clue is much simpler, but just as much fun.



When you get the Clue board game, it comes with these cool things:

  • A game board for Clue
  • A pair of dice that you roll
  • A detective notepad to keep track of clues
  • A confidential envelope for hiding secrets

Welcome to the world of Clue: The Classic Mystery Game!

I have exciting news for you – this is not your average board game!

Are you ready to put your detective skills to the test and solve a thrilling murder mystery? Keep reading, because I’m about to show you how to set up the game and get started!

What’s in the Box?

Let’s start by taking a look at what you’ll find inside the Clue game box. Get ready, because it’s going to be a lot of fun!

  • 6 character pieces
  • 6 murder weapon pieces
  • 50 cards (29 clue cards*, 6 character cards, 6 weapon cards, 9 room cards)

How to Set Up the Game

Now that you have everything you need, let’s get the game set up!

First, find a flat and even surface to set out the Clue game board. It’s essential to have a stable playing area to solve the mystery!

Next, take all the character pieces and place them in the center of the board. These pieces represent the potential suspects in the murder case. Who could it be? That’s up to you to find out!

The Clue game board consists of 9 rooms spread around the board, with square tiles acting as corridors that connect them. Here are the 9 rooms you’ll encounter:

  • The Study
  • The Hall
  • The Lounge
  • The Dining Room
  • The Kitchen
  • The Ballroom
  • The Conservatory
  • The Billiards Room
  • The Library

Now that you know the layout, you can start your investigation! Gather your friends, select your characters, and let the mystery begin!

I hope you’re as excited as I am about embarking on this thrilling adventure. Happy sleuthing!

So, here’s what you do: first, you gotta choose a character to play as. There’s a bunch of cool characters to pick from, like Miss Scarlet, Mr. Green, and Colonel Mustard. Once you’ve made your choice, put your character on their starting square on the board.

But wait, there’s more! If you don’t pick a character, they still hang out on the board. They could end up being the bad guy! Suspense!

Clue has a bunch of awesome characters. Check ’em out:

Hey there! Let me guide you through the thrilling game of Clue. First off, there are six main characters you can choose from:

  • Miss Scarlet
  • Professor Plum
  • Colonel Mustard
  • Mrs. Peacock
  • Reverend Green
  • Mrs. White (or Dr. Orchid for newer game versions)

Now, it’s time to set the stage. Randomly select a room for each of the six murder weapons. The possible weapons in Clue include the candlestick, dagger, revolver, lead pipe, wrench, and rope.

Prepare the cards by dividing them into three piles: suspects, weapons, and locations. Give each deck a good shuffle, making sure not to peek at the cards. From each deck, take one card and place them all inside the confidential envelope. This envelope holds the secret combination of the location, weapon, and culprit – the ingredients for a perfect crime! Remember, we won’t need this until someone wants to make an accusation.

Clue board game rules - how to play clue the board game

Here’s what you need to do: take the remaining cards and mix them all together. Then, give each player a set of cards. It’s okay if everyone doesn’t have the same number of cards.

Each player will also receive a special sheet called a detective sheet. This sheet is a secret, so keep it to yourself. You can start crossing off the clues you already have in your hand. As the game goes on, you’ll need to keep marking off things as you’re shown and figuring out new clues. If you’re playing with the optional red bonus cards, shuffle them and put them to the side of the board.

Here’s how you play Clue:

First, decide who goes first. In the original game, Miss Scarlett always goes first, and then the gameplay continues clockwise. You can do it this way, or you can roll a die to determine the order. Everyone rolls the die, and the person with the highest number goes first. Then, the game continues clockwise around the table.

When it’s my turn, I grab the two dice and give them a roll. The number that comes up on the dice tells me how many spaces I can move. The goal is to move into different rooms, where I can find clues and make suggestions. It’s all about gathering information!


I keep a detective sheet handy while playing Clue. On this sheet, I jot down all the clues I come across during the game. It’s like a checklist of all the weapons, players, and locations. By writing things down, I can keep track of which cards I’ve seen and which ones are still in play. If I run out of space on the detective sheet, I can use a regular sheet of paper or order more official ones online.


Hey there! Let’s talk about how you can navigate the game board in an exciting and strategic way. I’ll walk you through the rules step by step, so get ready to level up!

First things first: when it comes to moving around the board, you have two options. You can go up and down, or left and right, but no diagonal moves, sorry! And remember, you can’t land on a space occupied by another player. It’s all about finding the right path to victory!

Now, here’s something important to keep in mind: rooms count as one space. So, when you enter a room, you don’t have to worry about moving exactly, but any extra moves you have left are lost. Say you roll a 10, and the room you want to enter is only 7 spaces away. No problem! You can enter the room and sacrifice the remaining 3 moves. It’s all about making strategic decisions.

If you didn’t roll the right number to reach a room, don’t fret! You might have ended up in the corridor. Just hang tight and wait for your next turn. There’s always a chance to make your move and outsmart your opponents.

Now, let’s talk about those exciting optional red cards. If you’re playing with them, you can aim for any space on the board marked with a question mark. If you reach one of those spaces, grab the top card from the red deck and give it a read. Once you’re done, put it in the discard pile and get ready to use your newfound knowledge to your advantage. These cards can be a game-changer!


When you play the game, your goal is to gather clues by entering different rooms. But there are some important things to keep in mind about the rooms:

  • Rooms can only be entered or exited through doors or secret passages.
  • If another player is already in front of a door, you can’t use that door. You can’t enter a space that’s occupied by another player.
  • There’s no limit to how many players can be in a room at the same time.
  • You can only make a suggestion once you’re inside a room.


So, let’s talk about how to get out of a room in Clue. There are a few ways to do it, and I’ll break them down for you.

First off, if it’s your turn, just roll the dice like you normally would. After you roll, you can leave the room through an open doorway and continue moving. Easy peasy, right? But here’s the catch: once you leave a room on your turn, you can’t go back in during that same turn. Gotta keep the game fair!

Now, here’s another way to make your escape – secret passages. Once you roll the dice, you can use a secret passage to transport yourself to a specific room. It’s like a hidden shortcut! When you use a secret passage, your movement ends in the new room. But don’t worry, you can still make a suggestion once you’re there. So it’s a win-win!

The last way to leave a room is if someone suggests that your character is the culprit. In that case, they’ll move your piece to the room they’re in, and the game will continue from there. It’s a bit unexpected, but hey, that’s part of the fun!

Oh, and one more thing to keep in mind – if you’re already in a room, you have the option to stay there instead of leaving. This can come in handy when you want to make a suggestion. So don’t forget about that strategic move!

Making a Suggestion

Hey there! Let’s talk about making suggestions in Clue. It’s a cool little game where you get to investigate a crime. When you get to a room, you can make a suggestion. Here’s how it works:

When you’re in a room, just say “I suggest…” and then name a person, a weapon, and the room you’re in. But there’s a catch – you have to actually bring that person and weapon into the room. And you can only suggest the room you’re in.

For example, let’s say you’re in the library. You could suggest that “Ms. Scarlett committed the crime with the dagger in the library.” Now, here’s the fun part – you gotta actually bring Ms. Scarlett and the dagger into the library. It’s all about putting the pieces together, ya know?

Clue board game rules - how to play clue the board game

Okay, listen up! Here’s how this game works. The person on your left is gonna try to prove you wrong. They’ll give you one clue that goes against what you said. If they have more clues, tough luck – they can only show you one! And if they can’t prove you wrong, it moves on to the next person. This keeps going until someone shows you a card that proves you wrong. When that happens, the game keeps on rolling!

Clue board game rules - how to play clue the board game

If nobody can provide evidence to contradict what I’m about to say, then congratulations! You should have the correct answers, as long as you weren’t asking about any of the characters, weapons, or locations that have already been noted on your sheet.

After receiving clues or making deductions, you can end your turn by crossing off the corresponding information. Characters and weapons that have been moved will remain in that room until they are moved again.

Making an Accusation

Once you believe you have solved the crime and there is only one person, place, and weapon left unmarked on your sheet, you are ready to make an accusation. On your turn, simply say, “I accuse…” followed by one character, one weapon, and one room, even if you are not currently in that room.

So, you’ve made an accusation, huh? Well, guess what? You’re in for a treat! You get to take a sneaky peek at the cards in the envelope. If you were right about everything, woohoo! You’ve won, my friend! Show off those cards to the other players and let the celebration begin.

But hold your horses, because if you made a little mistake along the way, tough luck. You’re out of the game, my friend. Yep, that’s right. You’re not allowed to move your piece anymore, or make any more suggestions or accusations.

If nobody manages to make a correct accusation, well, that’s game over, my friend. The murderer escapes and gets away with it. It’s time to reveal the cards and put an end to the game.


If you want to win this game, you gotta be the first one to crack the case. You need to find the right murderer, weapon, and location. Figure it out before anyone else, and victory will be yours!


Alright, let’s talk about some cool strategies to spice up your game of Clue!

Use Your Notes

Listen up, detective! Your trusty notepad is your secret weapon in Clue. Write down everything you hear and see. Jot down the suggestions people make and keep track of who shows cards to others. Remember, you only have to show one card to disprove someone. So, if you’re feeling sneaky, show them the same card on a different suggestion and keep them guessing!

Keep ’em Guessing

Want to add some confusion and excitement to the game? Here’s a clever trick: ask about cards you already know! By asking players about the cards in your hand, you’ll throw them off and mess with their theories. They won’t know what hit ’em!


When you hold certain rooms in your possession, it’s important to spend some time in them. Why? Well, by doing so, you give yourself the chance to gather valuable information about weapons and players. Take a moment to observe. If you happen to spot someone making their way towards a specific destination, speaking up and accusing them from your distant room can discourage their plans. And here’s a clever trick – if they decide to make a suggestion during their turn, you can simply show them your own room card.


Keep your eyes peeled for secret passageways and connected rooms on the game board. These hidden pathways can be a real game-changer! Once you find yourself in an adjoined room, it opens up another opportunity for you. You can make yet another suggestion and go back and forth between the rooms, collecting valuable clues until someone shows you one of those elusive room cards. It’s like your own little detective adventure, where every piece of information brings you closer to solving the mystery.

Clue board game rules - how to play clue the board game

Discover the Exciting Variety of Clue Games!

Hey there, have you heard about all the incredible variations of Clue? Trust me, there are so many different versions to choose from! Some are played with only cards, while others rely solely on dice. While the classic game is top-notch, you’ve got to explore the wide array of Clue games available. Let me share with you some of my personal favorites!

  • Clue: Harry Potter Edition (Available on Amazon)
  • Clue: Star Wars Edition (Available on Amazon)
  • Clue: Game of Thrones Edition (Available on Amazon)
  • Clue: Disney Villains Edition (Available on Amazon)
  • Clue: Retro 1986 Edition (Available on Amazon)
  • Clue: Dungeons and Dragons Edition (Available on Amazon)

Got Questions? We’ve Got Answers!

Using Secret Passages in Clue: How Does It Work?

So, here’s the deal: if you find yourself starting your turn in a room that has a secret passage, you’ve hit the jackpot! Instead of rolling the dice, you have the option to use the secret passage. It’s like a shortcut that takes you to another room, and boom, your movement for that turn is done. But wait, there’s more! Once you arrive in the new room, you get to make a suggestion. How cool is that?

Suggestion vs. Accusation: What’s the Difference in Clue?

Alright, let’s break it down. A suggestion is when you put forward a theory about the murderer, the murder weapon, and the crime scene. But don’t worry, it’s just a theory; you’re not trying to end the game with it. An accusation, on the other hand, is a whole nother ball game. When you make an accusation, you’re saying, “Hey, I’m pretty damn sure I’ve cracked the case!” It’s your final answer, your big shot at ending the game.

Making an Accusation in Clue: How Does It Go Down?

Okay, get ready for this. When it’s your turn, and you’ve got the guts, you can make an accusation. That’s when you boldly declare who you think is the killer, which room they committed the crime in, and how they did it. It’s like putting all your detective skills on the line. But be careful, one wrong accusation, and you’re out of the game! No pressure, right?

Victory in Clue: How Do You Secure It?

Now, let’s talk about the sweet taste of success. Winning in Clue means solving the mystery and revealing the truth. To secure your victory, you need to make that all-important correct accusation. If you’ve got your facts straight and your instincts sharp, you just might crack the case and claim the title of the ultimate detective. Good luck!

So, here’s the deal: The moment you accuse someone, it’s like a game of winners and losers. You take a sneaky look at the cards, and if you hit the nail on the head, you reveal the cards to everyone else and bask in your victory. But hey, if you miss the mark, you quietly slip those cards back into the envelope and stay where you are in the game. Just remember to keep showing your cards when asked, though.

Let me introduce myself: I’m a freelance writer who’s been wandering around the world since 2016. In my humble opinion, card and board games have this magical ability to bring people together like nothing else. You doubt it? Just grab a deck of cards and head to a bar – you’ll see.

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