clue board game rules, clue game rules, how to play clue

OBJECTIVE OF CLUE: Solve the mystery of the murder by answering these three questions. What did they use to commit the murder? Where was it done? And who could have done such a thing? 

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: For 3 to 6 players 

MATERIALS: A game board composed of the locations, 6 different player markers, 6 weapon’s figures, a deck of cards containing: 6 suspects, 6 weapons, and 9 locations, a booklet of categorized paper to record suspicions, small envelope to hold the final answer, 2 dice, Optional red bonus card deck* 

(*Not included in all versions of Clue) 

TYPE OF GAME: Murder mystery strategy game 

AUDIENCE: For children and Adults 8+ 


The original game, dubbed Murder!, was created by Anthony E. Pratt, an English Musician, around 1944. Pratt and his wife Eva presented the game to Waddingtons, a board game publisher in the United Kingdom, who immediately wanted to publish the game under the name Cluedo (a conjunction of clue and the Latin word Ludo meaning “I play.”) Despite the patent being granted in 1947, due to wartime shortages, the game wasn’t released until 1949. It was simultaneously licensed to Parker Brothers for US distribution under the name Clue.

The original game included 10 characters, one designated as the victim by random draw at the start of the game. These characters included the eliminated Mr. Brown, Miss Gray, Mr. Gold, and Mrs. Silver. Nurse White and Colonel Yellow were changed to Mrs. White and Colonel Mustard for the game release. The original game also included a gun room and a cellar as well as a plethora of weapons such as a bomb, syringe, fireplace poker, and an ax which were eliminated for the actual game release.

The game people know today as Clue is much more simple but still loads of fun. For visual rules check out the video above.

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1. Set out the board on a flat an even surface. Then place all the character marks and weapons into the center of the board.  

2. Pick a character that you would like to play and note it’s character marker this will signify you for the rest of the game. Any characters not being played will also remain in the center of the board (they might also be the killer!) 

3. Separate the deck into three piles: suspects, weapons, and locations. Then shuffle each deck and without looking at the cards, place the top card of each deck into the small envelope. Set the envelope to the side, this holds your place, weapon, and killer and will not be needed until someone wishes to make an accusation. 

4. Take the remaining cards and shuffle them together, deal out the remaining cards so that everyone has the same number of clues. Any remaining clues get placed face up to the side of the board so that everyone knows them. 

5. Every player then receives a clue sheet and should be instructed to keep it secret. You may begin crossing off the clues you already have such as the clues in your hand and any that remain to the side of the board. As the game progresses you will need to continue marking off things as you are shown and deduce new clues. 

6. If you are playing with the optional red bonus cards, shuffle those now and set them to the side of the board. 


First, determine the order of play. Have everyone roll a die and the highest roll goes first followed by the person to their left. 

On a player’s turn they will take the 2 dice and roll them. This is how many spaces you are allowed to move. You can choose to use your movement to get to different locations or remain where you are. Players are allowed to move vertically and horizontally across the board but never diagonally. Exact movement is not needed to enter a room but any leftover movement is forfeited.  

If your roll was not enough to get you to a room you may end up in the corridor. If you are playing with the optional red cards you may aim for any space marked with a question mark and pull the top card of the red deck. Read it and put it in the discard pile. 

Making an Accusation

If you have made it into a room you have to stop and ask a clue question. These consist of a person, a weapon, and the location you are currently in. You must bring the person you are inquiring about and the weapon into the room.  

Starting with the player to your left, they will try to prove you wrong by showing you one clue that contradicts your proposal. If they have multiple clues to disprove you, they still only show one, and if they cannot it goes to the next person in line until you receive one clue.  

If no one can show you a clue then congratulations! As long as you weren’t asking about any of the characters, weapons or locations already marked on your sheet, you should have the correct answers. 

End your turn by then marking off clues you received or deductions you have made. Characters and weapons that were moved remain in that room until moved again. 


Be the first person to solve the murder by finding the correct murderer, weapon, and location. 

Once you have only one person, place and weapon left unmarked on your sheet you are ready to accuse. Then head to the center of the board on your turn and make your accusation! 

When you’ve made an accusation you get to look secretly at the cards in the envelope. If you were correct with everything, awesome, then you have won! Show the cards to the rest of the players. If somehow you made a mistake on the way, too bad, you are then out of the game. You will continue answering questions but you no longer ask questions or get to accuse.  

If nobody was able to make a correct accusation, then the game is over and the murder got away. Reveal the cards. 

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