Clue is a game of intense deduction and strategy. The goal of the game is to figure out which character committed the murder using physical clues, weapons, and rooms in order to get away with it. You can play solo or with up to 6 other people – perfect for parties! Clue was originally released in 1949 by Parker Brothers but has been updated many times since then.
What Is Clue?
Clue is a board game in which you try to solve the murder of Mr. Boddy. In the game, you’re given a couple of suspects and three different rooms to check out. You have to figure out who did it, what room they were in with which weapon, and how many times they committed the crime – all before your opponents!
- Ages: 8 and up
- For 3 to 6 players
There are three different decks of cards in Clue. The first is the Suspect deck, which contains all six suspects with their own distinct skills. Then there’s the Room deck, which has one card for each room on the board along with a weapon and an indication of whether or not it was used to commit murder. Finally, there’s the Clue deck, which has clues that give you information about each room or weapon.
Each player then takes turns drawing cards from the Clue deck and looking at them to see what they can find out. You might draw a card that indicates there’s blood on one of your character cards, or you may learn about who was in which room with which weapon. The goal is to figure out where Mr. Boddy died – if he wasn’t killed by Dr. Orchid’s wristwatch, for example, you can eliminate her as a suspect.
If your character was the last one in the room with Mr. Boddy or if they were alone when it happened, then congratulations – you’re accused of murder! You have to prove that it wasn’t you by showing what weapon and which room Mr. Boddy was killed in.
Best Clue Strategies
There are a few tried-and-true strategies that you can use to help narrow down the possible murder suspects.
Eliminate the Impossible
Look at each clue and see what it tells you about which suspects were or weren’t in a room – if all the clues point to one suspect having been there, but they can’t have committed murder because of previous information (for example, Mrs. Peacock’s alibi), then that person is eliminated as a suspect.
Check the Alibis
Make sure that all your suspects have a credible excuse for why they couldn’t have been in two or more rooms at once – if Mrs. Peacock was alone with Mr. Boddy and she has an airtight alibi, then you can cross her off as a suspect.
Check the Weapons
Make sure everyone has a plausible story for how they could have gotten to Mr. Boddy with one of the murder weapons – if you find out that someone else was in your room at around the time it happened, then you can cross them off as a suspect too!
Check the Rooms and Weapons Together
If you know who was in each room with what weapon, then that narrows down your suspects considerably!
Make Educated Guesses
There might be some situations where there simply aren’t enough clues to make a good guess, but if you’ve eliminated all the impossible suspects and then used strategies one through five above, it’s worth making an educated guess.
How Many Players Should This Game Be Played With?
Clue is best played with three to six people, but it can also be fun as a two-player game. If you have more than that many players then your chances of being accused first are pretty low (though some strategy games do recommend having eight or nine), and this means that there’s less pressure on each player.
If the game only has two players, then one is Mr. Boddy and the other is everyone else! You should take turns being each player so that you both get to enjoy what’s going on in the game.
How to Win Clue Every Time
Look for Clues During Your Turn
Every player gets to take a turn looking at the card(s) they drew from the clue deck. Use this time to look closely at all of your cards – if there are any that indicate someone was in Mr. Boddy’s room, then you know you’re probably not responsible for his death because he wasn’t in your room!
Always Work to Clear Your Character’s Name First
If you’re the first player to be accused, then it might seem like a good idea to clear out other players so that they can’t accuse you. Unfortunately, this will likely only make them more suspicious of you – if someone accuses another player and they can prove that it wasn’t them, then you’re still the most likely suspect! Instead, work to clear your character’s name from suspicion as quickly as possible so that others have less reason to accuse you.
Draw More Than Two Cards If Possible
If at all possible during a round where everyone is innocent, try to draw three cards instead of two. This will give you more information to work with and help narrow down the possible suspects.
Watch What Rooms Other Players Are Going in
If you’re about to make a move that puts another player into one of your rooms (e.g. opening a door to their room), then you should wait before doing so. If your character was the last one in that room when Mr. Boddy died, they’re probably going to be accused of murder – better for everyone if this happens after you’ve already cleared yourself!
You might think that Professor Plum did it because they were in Mr. Boddy’s room with the wrench, but you should stay open-minded. Sometimes things aren’t what they seem to be – for example, if Colonel Mustard was actually in Mrs. Peacock’s room when Mr. Boddy died and he picked up the candlestick from there!
Make an Educated Guess
There will be times when you simply don’t have enough information to make a good guess. Sometimes it’s better not to guess at all (or else everyone might accuse you of guessing wrong on purpose!) and wait for more clues – there are lots in this game, so they’ll come eventually! If you’re running out of time and need to take a guess, go ahead and do so – just be aware that it might not turn out as well as you hope.
Don’t Be Afraid To Accuse Someone
If the cards don’t seem to be going your way midway through the game (or even sooner), don’t be afraid to accuse another player. You might be right or you might not, but this is the only way to find out! Sometimes it’s better for everyone if one player makes a bad guess so that they can clear their name and let other players start making good guesses.
Try Not to Accuse Yourself or One of Your Closest Allies
If you accuse someone and they can prove that they were in a different room during the murder, then you’re still at the top of everyone’s suspect list. If your character was one of their closest allies (e.g. both characters are yellow), then this will be even worse because they’ll know that you’re trying to frame them! Try not to accuse yourself or one of your closest allies unless there are no other suspects.
Don’t Get Too Caught Up in the Theme
It’s easy to start seeing things through character-colored glasses, but it can also lead you astray. For example, if Professor Plum accuses Colonel Mustard and both of them were in the billiards room together during Mr. Boddy’s murder, then there isn’t a lot you can do with that clue! The theme is important but it shouldn’t be what drives your deductions – always go back to evidence first and theme second.
Be Patient Toward the End of a Game
There are only so many rounds left in the game, but this doesn’t mean that you should rush to accuse anyone. If you think there’s even a 50/50 chance that someone is innocent (or guilty!), then wait until more clues come out – otherwise, it might be better to let other players make incorrect guesses instead of leading the finger at them.
This is especially true if you’re the only one who thinks they have a clue about another player – it’s better to let everyone else make an incorrect guess so that your theory doesn’t get shot down.
Don’t Forget About the Alibi Cards
In some versions of Clue, there are alibi cards that can be used as evidence to prove that you were in a different room during the murder. Don’t forget about these! If you have one, then use it at the right time to sway people’s opinions – if they think you’re innocent without an alibi, then show them otherwise so they start suspecting other players instead of accusing you of false pretenses.
Don’t Be Afraid to Change Your Mind
If you think that Professor Plum did it, but then another player gives a good argument about why Mrs. Peacock is the killer instead – go with this new theory!
Be careful though, because if you accuse someone of being the murderer based on a faulty deduction and they are proven innocent later on – people will know that you’ve been lying this whole time! This might make them think even more highly of Professor Plum now…
Don’t Lose Your Head
If you start believing your own lies too much, it might be game over. If you’re the kind of person that can lie about things in real life without getting flustered or nervous, then this isn’t a problem for you – but if not, then try to stay calm when other players are accusing each other. If you get too defensive or flustered, then people might be able to tell that something is up and become even more suspicious of you.
Don’t Forget Your Character’s Clues
If there are any clues about your character (e.g. they found Mr. Boddy in the kitchen with a knife), try not to forget about them! If you have a time of death clue for Mr. Boddy that says he was killed at 11 PM, then it might be worth mentioning this when other players are discussing the time window of his murder – this way, they’ll know that your character didn’t do it because they were in their room during those times.
How Long Does a Game Usually Take?
The length of a game is mostly dependant on how many players there are. With three or four people, it shouldn’t take more than an hour and might even be faster if you’ve played before – with six players, maybe 90 minutes to two hours; I wouldn’t recommend playing clue with any fewer than six unless time isn’t much of an issue.
This means that clues found in the final round are especially important because there might not be time to make another accusation after this one.
Clue is an exciting and suspenseful game that’s fun for the whole family! It only takes about half an hour to play, so it can be played in a party setting without taking up too much time. If you get bored of playing by yourself (or if there are more than six people present), you can even switch to teams and play against one another – it’s a great way to get everyone involved.