Clue is a murder mystery board game that has been around since the 1950s and was originally published by Parker Brothers. In the Clue box you should find a large plastic playing piece with a shoe on top (this represents Miss Scarlett), six plastic weapons (knife, candlestick, lead pipe, revolver, rope, and wrench), four large plastic playing pieces with the faces of Mr. Green, Colonel Mustard, Miss Scarlet and Professor Plum on them respectively; three cards for each character that show where they were at the time of the murder in relation to another player’s card (these are used for alibis) and one envelope with six cards inside (one for each player).
If you’re looking for a fun way to spend an evening with friends or family, Clue is an excellent choice! In this blog post, we will go over how to play Clue and what you’ll need in order to set up the game.
Winning (or Losing) the Game
There are two ways to win, or lose, the game. The first way is for one of the players to solve who committed the murder and where it was done by correctly guessing all three locations. If you can do this within six turns (or roughly an hour), you will be declared the winner!
- Ages: 8 and up
- For 3 to 6 players
The other way to win Clue is to be the last player alive. This means that every other player has been eliminated from the game by being accused of murder and found guilty, or have confessed their guilt before dying. This is a lot harder than solving the murders, so good luck!
One player will be chosen to take the role of investigator for each round. This person is responsible for reading all of the question cards and selecting one at random or choosing their favorite if multiple options are deemed equally good choices by everyone else playing.
The investigator should read through the questions on both sides of their selected card so that they know what to expect during the round. For example, if they choose “who committed the murder” as their question to answer, it would be helpful for them to know what location and weapon were used in case someone else tries to guess that information first.
One last thing – if at any point during play you feel like there’s no possible way for anyone to figure out who committed murder or where it was done, let everyone know so that they don’t waste too much time trying to guess!
What You’ll Need To Play Clue
The board itself will have locations printed on it such as “Shady Park” or “Hall”. Each location will have a number on it up to six. There is also an envelope space for the murder room, which has nothing written on its corresponding spaces (so if you’re playing with five rooms like we are in the picture below then there would be numbers one through five).
This sheet lists all of the characters, the weapons, and where all of them were at certain times during each murder. The sheet also lists six rooms (one for each player) with a number on it up to six.
Six Coloured Playing Pieces
These are what you will use to mark your location on the board as well as your alibi card when necessary.
Six Coloured Cards
These cards correspond to each colored playing piece, so there will be a green card, yellow card, and so forth. The six cards represent the six locations in order from top to bottom on your sheet of paper, but it doesn’t matter what three you put were as long as they all have a different number on them.
Six Alibi Cards
Each card will have a different colored playing piece on one side and either an “X” or “O” on the other side to represent whether you were at that location during each of the three crimes. These cards are only used when they’re flipped over, so it doesn’t matter where you put them as long as they’re next to your sheet of paper.
Only one die is needed for this game, but two or more players can use additional dice if you have them available. There are different ways to play Clue based on how many people you have playing with you and what number the die lands on will influence the number of turns you have to solve a murder.
Clue Sheet Setup
The first thing you will want to do is place your sheet in front of yourself with each location written on it from top to bottom, but not put any numbers or arrows on them yet. The next step is sliding all three Envelopes cards under their corresponding locations on the board. Then, you will write “X” or “O” on each of your Alibi cards and place them next to your sheet of paper with all six colored playing pieces nearby as well.
The Four Game Phases
Once the investigator has chosen a question card, they should read through it and give everyone playing time to prepare for their role. There are four different phases that every round of Clue.
The Question Phase
During this phase, anyone can guess what information is being sought from them by asking questions about the murder mystery. The trick here is to ask questions that will help narrow the scope of the search and lead you closer to determining who committed murder, where it was done, and what weapon was used.
The Answers Phase
Once everyone has asked their questions or decided not to ask anymore (or time runs out), the investigator will reveal which answer cards they have selected from among the ones available in the game kit. The other players will then have a chance to match their questions to the correct answer cards and see how much information they can glean from that!
The Discussion Phase
Now it’s time for everyone playing Clue to discuss what happened, determine who among them is telling the truth about what they know, accuse the right person of committing the murder and collect their corresponding tokens.
The Solution Phase
Once everyone has collected a set number of tokens (depending on which version you’re playing), the round ends! Players who have collected enough evidence to convince themselves that they know all three pieces of information about the killer, location, and weapon can end the game by calling out who they believe committed the murder.
If you were wrong about any of your guesses, then it’s time to tally up all of the tokens that each player has collected during play and see which one(s) wins! If multiple players are tied for first place, whoever managed to correctly accuse them is also given a victory token as well.
Setting Up the Game
Once you’ve decided what version of Clue to play, it’s time for everyone playing the game to gather around a table and set up their game pieces. The board should be placed in the center so that all players have equal access to each room on every floor!
Roll for the First Move
All players roll the dice at once and whoever gets the highest roll goes first. If two or more people tie, they should reroll until one person gets a higher total than everyone else.
The first player rolls the dice again and moves that number of spaces clockwise around the board. Landing on a green arrow allows you to move forward two or more spaces while landing on a black arrow only moves you to one space (unless otherwise stated).
Take Card/Draw Token
This is where things start to get different depending on which version of Clue you’re playing. All versions will require the player to pick up a card from either the question or answer pile, but some may let them take one token as well if it is rolled at this time.
Once they’ve taken their turn and moved around the board, the investigator has an opportunity to ask questions to the other players. They can even use what they know about their card and roll results to narrow down who might be responsible for killing Mr. Body!
The next player takes a turn, but before rolling they may spend one or more weapon tokens if it helps them guess where the murder was committed or which person did the killing. Doing so will limit their movements later on in that round, but it could be worth it to get closer to solving the mystery!
Take Another Turn
If you’re not playing with unlimited guesses or limited “suspects” cards, then chances are good that other players may guess who committed murder before your next chance comes up. If they’re correct, everyone wins! Otherwise, play continues until someone either solves the mystery or gets three incorrect guesses and loses.
At the end of every round, you’ll need to discard all cards (including weapons), then draw back up before starting a new one. Tokens should also be reset after each turn unless otherwise stated.
End of Game
When someone solves the mystery, you can either play one more round to determine who would have won if it had gone on until there was a winner or simply declare that person as the winner since their guess (or group effort) is what solved everything. If no one has guessed correctly by the end of three rounds, then everyone loses and the game is over.
The goal of Clue (the board game) is to guess who committed the murder, where it took place, and what weapon was used in order to end up with more tokens than any other player by the end of three rounds. If you’re playing a version that allows unlimited guesses, then you’ll want to try and figure out who did it before other players do!
When playing with unlimited guesses (or “suspects”) cards there’s no reason not to keep everyone in the game until all of the questions have been asked. However, if your group prefers shorter games or simply wants a chance to win, you’ll want to use a scoring system.
Draw From the Pool
At the end of each round, those who have won tokens will take one or two from the pile as normal before discarding any that were used during the last turn. In this way, it’s possible for there to be none left by the final round and therefore no winner.
For each incorrect guess a player makes, they should be eliminated from the game and unable to win unless another player is also wrong with their guesses as well. The first person out of the running automatically wins! So just keep track of how many people remain throughout all three rounds to determine who would have won had it gone on until there was a winner.
If you want to play Clue (the board game) where players can just guess as many times as they need in order to solve the mystery, then simply use one of these two ways of keeping score: highest number of tokens at the end wins or lowest number is declared the winner.
Tips for Playing Clue
While there are certainly many strategies you can use to win at Clue, this game is also meant to be fun. Therefore, the best strategy by far is one that everyone has a good time playing! That means things like accusing someone of being guilty when they really aren’t or blaming yourself if you have no alibi for a certain time period should be encouraged. There is no need to take the game too seriously, as long as you try your best to stay alive and solve each murder!
Think Carefully About Where You Hide Your Clue Cards
When you are given your three cards to use as clues for the murder, it is important that they are placed in a logical order so other players can follow along if need be. For example, if Mr. Green was killed with the rope then his card should be hidden somewhere near the rope. This makes it easy for other players to notice what clues you may have and follow your line of thinking when guessing where the murder was committed.
Pay Attention To Who Is Holding What Weapons
Keeping track of who is holding which weapon at any given time in Clue is very important as if you are caught with a weapon you didn’t have when the murder took place, it is likely that you will be accused of the crime. Try to make mental notes about where everyone was at each point in time so if someone says they had no way of committing the murder, then you can say “Well I saw them holding an ax over there!” and point to the correct location.
Don’t Be Afraid To Make A Guess, Even If You’re Not Sure
One of the hardest parts about playing clue is that you might not know who did it or where they committed the crime! This can be very frustrating and cause players to become silent in order to avoid giving away any information. However, if you are absolutely sure that you know what cards to play and where the murder took place then do not be afraid to speak up! Even offering an incorrect guess is better than taking no action at all as other players may pick up on your train of thought regardless of how wrong it might be.
Stalling And Lying Are Allowed
Clue is a game full of lies and deceit so you should always expect other players to do whatever they can in order to win. This means that if someone says “I did it!” when they didn’t or keeps stalling by saying there’s no way of knowing where the murder took place when you know for a fact that they committed it, then go right ahead and do those things as well! It’s all a part of the game.
Don’t Let The Game Get Personal
While we mentioned how lying and deceiving are part of playing Clue, this doesn’t mean players should take everything personally. If someone accuses you of murdering Mr. Boddy, don’t get angry and accuse them back! Chances are they did it to throw off the other players or make a guess you wouldn’t expect them to make if their accusation was truly random. So try not to take things too personally while playing Clue as it can really ruin everyone’s experience in the end.
Clue is a great game to play if you want something that will keep your mind and body active while also bringing friends and family together for hours of fun! Whether you are playing with people who have never played before or want to challenge yourself by trying out a different version, Clue is sure to be one of your favorite board games for years!