How to Play Cluedo: Unravel the Mystery and Emerge Victorious

How to play Cluedo: board game’s rules, setup and how to win explained

Cluedo, or Clue for our American friends, is the ultimate murder mystery board game that has captivated players for over 70 years. Whether you’re a seasoned detective or a first-time player, this article will guide you on how to play Cluedo and increase your chances of solving the perplexing crime. Let’s dive into the world of Cluedo and unravel the secrets it holds.

The Intriguing World of Cluedo

In Cluedo, players find themselves immersed in a tense whodunnit scenario, racing against time to discover the identity of the mansion owner’s killer. As an investigator, you must explore suspects, potential murder weapons, and the crime scene itself. Your ultimate goal is to uncover the truth and reveal the solution you believe to be correct.

How to Play Cluedo: The Basics

What do you do in Cluedo?

In Cluedo, each player assumes the role of a guest investigating the murder of either Dr. Samuel Black (in the UK version) or Mr. Boddy (in the US version). As both investigators and suspects, players must determine the murderer, the weapon used, and the location of the crime. To eliminate possibilities, players move around the mansion, enter rooms, and ask strategic questions to deduce the correct solution. Once confident, they can make a final accusation.

How many people can play Cluedo?

Cluedo accommodates up to six players. The exact number of players may vary depending on the edition, with some versions supporting as few as two players and others requiring a minimum of three.

How long does Cluedo take to play?

A typical game of Cluedo lasts approximately one hour. The duration can vary depending on how quickly players unravel the mystery, affected by dice rolls and the initial cards received.

The Setup: Unraveling the Clues

To set up the game, follow these steps:

  1. Place all weapon tokens in the center of the board.
  2. Position the character tokens on their designated starting squares. If your board lacks designated squares, place them at the center.
  3. Regardless of the number of players, use all six weapon and six character tokens.
  4. Each player selects a character to play. The Classic Mystery Game edition features Reverend Green (Mr. Green in the US), Mrs. Peacock, Miss Scarlett, Professor Plum, Colonel Mustard, and Dr. Orchid (replacing Mrs. White in older editions).
  5. Separate the 21 black Clue cards by type: weapons, suspects, and rooms. Shuffle each deck individually and place them face-down on the table beside the board.
  6. Draw the top card from each deck without viewing them and put them inside the envelope. These are the solution cards that players will strive to uncover. Set the envelope aside.
  7. Combine the remaining weapon, suspect, and room cards into a single deck and thoroughly shuffle them.
  8. Deal all cards to the players, ensuring everyone has an equal number. If a few cards remain, place them face-up beside the board for all to see.
  9. Provide each player with a clue sheet and a pen or pencil. If clue sheets are unavailable, you can use a piece of paper. Players should cross off the cards they possess, as well as any face-up clue cards, as these cannot be part of the solution.
  10. If your edition includes Bonus cards, shuffle the red Bonus cards and place them in a face-up deck near the board. These optional cards are drawn and activated when a player lands on a bonus space marked with a red “?” symbol. For the classic Cluedo experience, do not utilize the Bonus cards or the bonus spaces.
  11. Determine the starting player by rolling the dice. The player with the highest number takes the first turn, with subsequent turns moving in a clockwise direction.
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Congratulations! You are now ready to immerse yourself in the world of Cluedo and embark on a thrilling investigation.

Unraveling the Clues: How to Play Cluedo

During the game, players take turns following these guidelines:

  1. Roll the two dice to determine your movement around the mansion. You can move forward, backward, left, or right along the board’s squares, but diagonal movement is not allowed.
  2. Each player can use their entire movement value or choose a lower number if it allows them to reach their desired room. If another player moved your character token between turns, you can forgo movement on your next turn to ask a question.
  3. If you are in a room with a secret passage or a doorway connecting to another room, you can enter the connected room at the start of your turn without rolling the dice. Once you enter the new room, your movement ends, and you can proceed to ask a question about that room.
  4. If you’re using Bonus cards and land on a red “?” space, you can draw a card. Read it aloud, resolve its effects, and discard it. Players who choose not to draw a Bonus card can continue moving without stopping on the space.
  5. If you enter a room during your turn or haven’t moved from the room you were moved to between turns, you can ask a question to eliminate cards from the potential solution. Your question must involve one suspect, one weapon, and the room you are currently in. For example, “Was it Professor Plum with the Lead Pipe in the Bedroom?” The tokens representing the named weapon and suspect, even if controlled by another player, move to your current room.
  6. After asking a question, the other players take turns answering starting from the player on your left and moving clockwise. If a player doesn’t possess any of the cards mentioned in the question, they must state that they can’t answer, and the question proceeds to the next player. All players must tell the truth.
  7. If a player possesses a card matching the suspect, weapon, or room mentioned in the question, they must discreetly reveal it to you. If they have multiple matching cards, they only reveal one. Once a card is revealed, your turn ends and you cross off that card from your clue sheet, confirming it is not part of the solution. If no player can answer your question, and you don’t possess the named cards either, that serves as the solution.
  8. Repeat these steps until a player believes they have solved the mystery.
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Solving the Crime: How to Win Cluedo

To emerge victorious in Cluedo, you must correctly deduce the murder by identifying the precise suspect, weapon, and room involved. Remember the objective: whodunnit, where they did it, and what weapon they used.

The solution cards, placed inside the yellow envelope during setup, represent the correct answer. By skillfully eliminating possibilities through strategic questioning and examining your own hand of cards, you can eventually uncover the truth.

The six Cluedo suspects are Reverend Green (Mr. Green in the US), Mrs. Peacock, Miss Scarlett, Professor Plum, Colonel Mustard, and Dr. Orchid (Mrs. White in older editions).

The six Cluedo weapons are the Rope, Dagger/Knife, Wrench/Spanner, Pistol/Revolver, Candlestick, and Lead Pipe.

The nine Cluedo rooms are the Study, Ballroom, Kitchen, Hall, Billiard Room, Conservatory, Dining Room, Library, and Lounge. Modern editions may include additional rooms such as a bathroom, courtyard, bedroom, garage, living room, kitchen, and game room.

To make your final guess at the solution, move your character token to the space in the middle of the board, typically represented as a cellar or stairs. Announce your accusation out loud, following a format like “I accuse [suspect] with the [weapon] in the [room]!”

Check the cards inside the envelope without revealing them to others. If your guess matches the solution, unveil the corresponding cards, and claim victory.

However, if you make an incorrect accusation, you are eliminated from the game. Return the cards to the envelope without indicating which were incorrect. You can no longer make accusations or ask questions, but you must maintain secrecy regarding your hand of cards and continue answering other players’ inquiries.

Remember, if every player guesses incorrectly, the mystery remains unsolved, and everyone loses.

Strategies for Two Players

Do you want to play Cluedo with only two players or as a team? Follow these simple modifications to adjust the game:

  1. Before dealing the combined deck of Clue cards to the players, place the top four cards facedown beside the board without viewing them.
  2. Exclude the red Bonus cards and ignore the red bonus spaces on the board in editions that include them.
  3. During the game, players can ask questions about their opponents’ cards as usual. If a player cannot answer, the questioner can secretly look at one of the facedown cards beside the board. Remember to place the card back face-down after viewing it, allowing you to look at a different card each time.

The World of Cluedo Awaits

Thanks to the randomly determined solution hidden within the envelope, each game of Cluedo offers a unique puzzle, making it a captivating experience. Embrace the challenge, gather your friends and family, and embark on an enthralling journey through the realm of Cluedo. Will you be the one to unravel the mystery and claim victory?

Discover more captivating board games and delve deeper into the world of Cluedo at Capturing Fantasy.

Images provided for illustrative purposes only. Image credits:, Davies, Hasbro,