Rules for Clue
The rules for playing Clue are very
straight forward. Once you begin to play, you may want to
play several games in a row – such is the nature of Clue.
The directions are as follows: (These are not a direct copy
of the rules due to copyright considerations, but they are
accurate, just in different wording)
- The game is designed for three to six players, but I
have played many times with just two players.
- Start the game by placing the six colored pawns (or
miniature statues of the players in some versions) on
the starting places marked with the appropriate
suspect's name or color. For example, the white pawn
belongs on the Mrs. White square. The red one on Miss
Scarlet’s square etc.
- Place the replica miniature weapons randomly in the
rooms. Only place one weapon per room at the start of
- Put the 21 cards into three piles, one pile of
weapons, one of the rooms and one for the suspects.
- Next, Shuffle each of the three piles separately and
cut one card from each pile, placing the three cards
into the solution cards envelope. Make sure no one sees
these three cards. The envelope is then placed in the
center of the game board. These cards represent the Case
File – the Who? What? and Where? of the case.
- Divide up, or deal, the rest of the cards among all
of the players facedown. Players should not let the
other players see their cards.
- Each player needs a detective notepad to record
their clues and a pencil. The first thing each player
needs to do is check off, or cross off, the cards they
are holding in their hand as these cards are not
involved in the crime.
- Every player chooses a pawn, or miniature player
statue. The player who has Miss Scarlet always goes
first. We always let the youngest member of the game use
Miss Scarlet, but it doesn't really matter.
- Each player when it is their turn rolls the die and
advances their character that number of spaces, forward
or backward. Characters may never move diagonally.
- Players advance around the board exploring the
- Players enter and exit rooms by moving through one
of the doorways or using one of the secret passage ways
found in the corner rooms of the game map. A players
turn ends as far as moving their character is concerned
when they enter a room, no matter what number was rolled
on the die.
- Once a player enters a room, they make a suggestion
by moving the weapon and suspect they are asking about
into the room. For example, if you are in the library,
you can move Col. Mustard and the revolver into the room
with you and say, "I suggest that the crime was
committed in the Library by Col. Mustard with the
- Then is the time to prove whether the suggestion is
true or false. Once a suggestion has been made by a
player, the player to that persons left checks his or
her cards to see if they have any of the three. If he or
she holds any of the three cards (in this case the
library, Col. Mustard or the revolver), he or she shows
only ONE to the person who made the suggestion. It is
important that they only show the card to the person who
made the suggestion though, so the other players may not
see which card is being used to disprove the suggestion.
Once a suggestion has been disproved, the player's turn
ends and moves onto the next player to the left. If the
first player to the left does not hold any of the cards
used in the suggestion, the next player to the left
checks his or her cards and this continues around the
table until either the suggestion is proved wrong or
there are no remaining players. The player's suggestion
only gets disproved once, so even if several players
hold cards disproving the suggestion, only the first one
will show the suggesting player his or her card.
- A player may only make a suggestion when his or her
character or pawn is in a room and the suggestion can
only use that room, not any other rooms.
- Players can make an accusation on any of their
turns, but usually make one when no player can disprove
their suggestion. When a player thinks they have figured
out which three cards are in the envelope, they announce
that they are making an accusation and identify which
cards they believe are associated with the murder. The
player who made the accusation carefully looks at the
cards in the envelope making sure no other players can
see them. The players character or pawn does not need to
be in the room to make an accusation.
- A player wins the game if their accusation is proven
correct. They lay the cards on the table face up if they
were right. If they are wrong, however, they return the
cards to the envelope without revealing them to the
other players. Once a player makes an accusation and
they were not correct, their game is finished except
they still are required to disprove suggestions with the
cards in their hand.
Variations to the Rules of Clue
There are always variations to every game. Although most
people stick with the traditional rules for Clue, variations
For example, one variation revolves around the use/or
non-use of dice. In this instance, play the game without
rolling the dice. In the alternative, each player has nine
"moves" to use on a turn with each move onto another space
counting as one move and an accusation, use of a secret
passage, or guess, costing three moves adding more strategy
into the game.
Other variations to the rules involve locking and unlocking
rooms with a skeleton key that can be found in the center
with the Clue logo.