Clue: Game Rules And How to Play

“I think it is Mrs. White, in the courtyard, with a dagger!” – sounds creepy yet thrilling right? Clue is one such classic mystery game that brings out your inner detective. 

It’s not at all difficult to learn the Clue game rules, and for someone who has already played Mysterium and caught the murderer of the ghost trapped in Mysterium Manor, Clue will seem familiar. 

No wonder the game was initially named Murder when it was first introduced in the UK during World War II. 

If you are wondering how the gameplay goes, this is a complete guide to Clue game rules with some tricks to keep up your sleeve. 

So let’s hop right in, shall we?

What is Clue?

Clue Board Game Info Image

Clue is a widely popular iconic board game from the murder mystery genre. As the case file states, Mr. John Boddy has been unfortunately murdered inside his own mansion. 

You enter the Tudor mansion with five other players to investigate this foul play and bring justice to the host. But, don’t you give yourself the benefit of the doubt – every character is a potential suspect. 

Hit the rooms in the mansion looking for a scoop. Gradually, eliminate the suspects and discover whodunit, the murder weapon and the crime spot.

Number of Players: 2 – 6

Ages: 8+

Length: 45 – 60 minutes

Difficulty: Medium

Similar to: Mysterium, Betrayal at House on the Hill, Scotland Yard, Mr. Jack

Main Objective: Look into different rooms in the mansion in search of clues and try to figure out the three objectives:

  • Who did it? 
  • What weapon did they use?
  • Where did the murder happen?

Throw your suggestions to eliminate and narrow down the possible suspects’ list. If your final accusation is correct, you win Clue!

Why We Love It: Who doesn’t love a mystery? And when you play the role of Mr. Holmes, the thrill mounts up even more. Clue is a game, in and out, filled with suspense, murder mystery, and tingling excitement of solving crime. 

Related: 13 board games like Clue | 12 Testing Games like Codenames

Playing Clue – What You’ll Need

Want to give Clue a spin on your next family game night? Why don’t you reach out for this authentic Clue game set by Hasbro Gaming?

Clue Game
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This version features a card-revealing mirror and pawns shaped after real human figures, which is pretty cool. 

The kit contains the following items:

  • Game board
  • 6 miniature weapons
  • 6 character tokens
  • A card revealing mirror
  • Game cards
  • Detective notebook
  • Clue game rules and instruction sheet

If you are a fan of vintage board games with wooden pawns and retro graphics on card decks, this Retro Series Clue 1986 Edition would be a better fit for your taste. 

Our Pick
Retro Series Clue - 1986 Edition Game
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How to Set up Clue

The Clue game board represents the interior of a mansion divided into 9 rooms:

  • Courtyard, Game room, Study, Dining room, Garage, Living room, Kitchen, Bedroom, and Bathroom

Each player will pick a character they want to personify in the mystery and place their respective Suspect tokens on the assigned starting spaces.

Even if you are playing with less than 6 players, include all 6 character tokens in the game. 

  • Ms. Vivienne Scarlet
  • Col. Michael Mustard
  • Mrs. Blanche White
  • Rev. Jonathan Green
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Peacock
  • Prof. Peter Plum

Randomly put one murder weapon in each room.

  • Rope
  • Dagger
  • Wrench
  • Pistol
  • Candlestick
  • Lead Pipe

Sort and shuffle the three decks of cards separately – Suspects, Rooms and Weapons. Draw one card from each group without looking, and keep them in the Confidential envelope. 

Now place the envelope in the center of the board marked as X. 

Combine the rest of the cards into a single pile and shuffle them together. Deal the cards face down around the board clockwise until you run out of cards. 

Everyone takes a clue sheet from the notebook to track the possibilities and cross off the eliminated suspects. 

clue gameplay image

Clue Board Game Rules and Gameplay

Miss Scarlet always opens the game, and the play continues clockwise. 

Players roll the dice to determine the number of spaces they can move their pawn. The aim here is to enter different rooms in the mansion and investigate the murder of Mr. Boddy.

Clue Game Rules for Moving the Pawns 

Around the Squares 

Let’s see how you can move around the squared path, treated as a mansion hallway.

  • Go any direction – horizontally or vertically, forward or backward, but never diagonally. 
  • You may not re-enter a space you have already touched on the same turn.
  • You cannot pass through or sit on a space already occupied by another pawn unless it is in a room.

Into the Rooms 

A player has got to enter a room to make a suspect suggestion. 

  • You can pass the doorway of a room by an exact throw.
  • Or you can take the shortcut through a secret passage from one corner room to hop into another.
  • More than one player can be in the same room.

Out of the Rooms 

You may or may not have a choice about how you want to leave a room.

  • Either you roll the die to take the doorway or exit through a secret passage.
  • If you are suggested as a suspect, your pawn will be directly shifted to that room. 

Making a Suggestion

Once inside a room, the active player can make a suggestion by guessing the murderer, the weapon and where it happened. For instance: “I think the crime was committed by Prof. Plum, in the living room, with a candlestick.”

As per Clue game rules, to make a room suggestion, your pawn has to be present in that room. 

Afterwards, the suspected character pawn and the weapon is transferred to the suggested murder location.

Now every player, starting from your left, will try to prove your theory wrong.

If the player next to you has a card from your suggested list, they will discreetly show it only to you. 

If they can’t, the turn rotates clockwise until someone has the right card to disapprove of your suggestion. 

One of your suggestions being eliminated means that particular card can’t be in the Confidential envelope. 

So you can cross off this possibility in your secret Detective notebook. 

Alternatively, if your theory is proved to be accurate, you may either make an accusation or end your turn. 

Final Accusation and Winning the Game 

As the game proceeds, players tick off the eliminated suspects, and the list gets narrowed down. 

When you realize that you have solved the mystery and are ready to declare the final verdict, you make an accusation. 

For instance: “I accuse Mrs. Peacock of committing the crime, in the garage, with a lead pipe.”

Now you secretly look into the Confidential envelope to see if you have guessed all 3 cards correctly. 

Are you on the right track? Great!

You may flaunt these cards face-up on the table and announce yourself as the winner.

Remember, you get only one shot to make an accusation during the whole game. 

So, if your accusation was wrong, your journey in Clue ends. Secretly slide the three cards back in the envelope and leave the game. 

How to Play Clue Board Game – Video Tutorial 

Frequently Asked Questions About Clue

What is a Secret Passage in the Clue game board?

The corner rooms in Clue game board feature Secret Passages that you can use to directly land on another room in the opposite corner.

How to leave a room in Clue through a blocked door?

Chances are, your opponents may strategically block one or all the doors with their pawns, leaving you trapped in a room. In a situation like this, you have no other option but to wait until the doorways are clear again. 

What is the purpose of a card-revealing mirror in a Clue game set?

The card-revealing mirror is a substitute for the Confidential envelope. When a player makes an accusation, they press the button on this mirror to secretly check the answer cards. 

Alternative Games You Might Like 

Did you or did you not find Clue extremely exciting? If you are looking for more mystery and deduction based games, we suggest you pick a copy of Betrayal at House on the Hill, Ouija, Who am I?, Villainous or Scotland Yard.

For a smaller crowd, Mr. Jack is ideal, typically played between two, where one takes the role of Jack the Ripper and the other an investigator. 

Mysterium has similar gameplay, much like Clue – you have to guess the right combination of the person, location and weapon from the vision cards. You may want to read our guide to Mysterium Board Game Rules.

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