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

OBJECTIVE OF CLUE: The object of the game is to 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.


1. Set out the Clue game board on a flat and 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 its 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!) Characters include Miss Scarlet, Professor Plum, Colonel Mustard, Mrs. Peacock, Reverand Green, and Mrs. White (or DR. Orchid for newer versions of the game).

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 case file confidential 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, and 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, then clockwise around the table. 

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 a Suggestion

If you have made it into a room you have to stop and make a suggestion. 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. 


Win the game by being the first person to solve the murder by finding the correct murderer, weapon, and location. 

Making an Accusation

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 murderer got away. Reveal the cards. 

Advanced techniques and Miscellaneous

1. One way to make the game more interesting and to throw people off is to ask about things you already know. 

2. If you see that someone is heading for a particular destination, accusing them in a faraway room can deter them. 

3. There are multiple adjoined rooms and secret passageways to help you get across the board, so keep an eye out.  


Clue is one of the best classic board games of all time! Are you looking to get your hands on this family-friendly game?

You can also find a TON of awesome variations of Clue. While the classic game is one of the absolute best, you should also definitely check out the arsenal of different Clue games out there. Here are some of our favorites.


How do you use a secret passage?

To use the secret passages, you must start your turn in a room containing one, then you may choose to forgo rolling and just use the passage. This will take you to another room which will end your movement and have you make a suggestion.

What is the difference between a suggestion and an accusation?

A suggestion is only a potential answer for who, with what, and where. An accusation is to end the game and is what you as a player believe to be the true answer.

How Do you make an accusation?

To make an accusation you must go to the center of the board and declare who you believe committed the murder, what room they were in, and what they used to kill the victim.

How do you win the game?

Once you’ve made the accusation, you will either win or lose. You will secretly look at the cards and if your accusation was right, you reveal the cards to the other players and win the game. If you are wrong you quietly put the cards back into the envelope and no longer participate in the game. Your clue cards are also revealed for all other players to see.

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