If you are looking for step by step instructions on how to play clue, you have come to the right place. Clue, released in 1949, is one of the most iconic board games in the world and is the thematic backdrop for what people think about when they think about the who done it / murder mystery (that and Agatha Christie). It is so popular that it spawned a feature film in 1985 that it in itself is also still a popular thing. This is our step by step guide to how to play clue, the classic family deduction game.

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Welcome to Tudor Mansion. Your host, Mr. John Boddy, has met an untimely end – he’s the victim of foul play. to win this game, you must determine the answer to these three questions: Who done it? Where? And with what Weapon?

Each player represents one of the iconic guests of a party gone wrong and you need to roll dice to move your pawn around the board and gather clues by entering different rooms. Every time you see a new room is another chance to get closer to the truth using the process of elimination. Will you give a clue-like overdramatic reveal and guess correctly? That is the beautify of this classic and learning how to play Clue is not at all difficult.


Time Needed: approximately 45 minutes.

This is a step by step guide for how to play Clue the classic family deduction game of murder and intrigue. Additional notions and special rules can be found below the list. These will be referenced for your convenience.

1. SETUP | Put Out Game Board
To kick off this how to play Clue tutorial, unfold the big game board showing the mansion and 9 rooms race up in the middle of all the players.

2. SETUP | Choose Player and Take Pawn
Look down at the board, each player represents the character that is shown on the 1 of 6 “start” tiles that is closest to that player. Each one has a character, that is you. Take the color pawn that represents that character and place it on your respective “start” tile.

3. SETUP | Place Weapons Randomly
Take the 6 weapon tokens and put 1 each in 6 of the 9 rooms randomly. Where each goes does not matter, it only matters that there is only 1 per room.

4. SETUP | Determine “Case File” Murder Evidence
Take all the cards and separate them into three piles – weapons, character, rooms. Shuffle each pile separately and blindly take one card from each pile. Put the 3 secret cards in the “Case File” envelope. This is the final result of the who/how/where.

5. SETUP | Distribute Remaining Cards
After the case file has been determined, combine the three piles of cards and shuffle them together. Deal out all the cards face down one at a time to each player, moving clockwise around the table until all cards are gone.

6. SETUP | Determine Player Order
The last step of how to play Clue before getting into gameplay is to determine order. Miss Scarlet always goes first and then order moves clockwise around the table.

7. GAMEPLAY | Active Player Rolls Dice To Move Pawn
Roll the 2x 6-side dice and this will determine the number of square spaces on the board that you can move. After you roll, your movement is from where your pawn currently resides (it may have been moved by another player).

8. GAMEPLAY | Try to Enter Rooms
The goal of moving is to try and enter one of the 9 rooms in the mansion. When you are able to accomplish this, this triggers you being able to make a “suggestions”. If you do not have enough movement to enter a room, your turn ends immediately following that move.

9. GAMEPLAY | Make A Suggestions
If you entered into a room, you can make a “suggestion” about the murder being committed in that room to try and gather clues. Move another character and a weapon into that room (from elsewhere or keep them there). Then say “I think it was [person X] in the [room X] with [weapon X]”.

10. GAMEPLAY | Discredit A Suggestion if Made
Players now have to discredit that suggestion. Moving around the table, if a player has any of the cards you said, they show you one privately to show you it is not in the “case file” envelope. By process of elimination, you start to figure out who did it. This is the most important thing you need to learn to understand how to play Clue.

11. GAMEPLAY | Make An Accusation
Once per game, and only on your turn, you get to make a definitive accusation. You do the same thing as a suggestion except this is more serious and you are putting the game on the line. If you are right you win and if you are wrong you are out. After you say the person, place and weapon, you look in the “case file” envelope to see if you won. If you did not, you sit out and the game continues.

12. GAMEPLAY | Pass Dice and Repeat
Each turn could be very eventful or very dull, the only definite thing you get is a roll and a move. After a turn is done, the dice are passed clockwise and all of this is repeated.

13. WINNING | When Someone Makes a Successful Accusation
When someone chooses to make their one “accusation”, if they are right, they win the game. Learning how to play Clue is easy, you are just left to your wits and hopefully not a ton of low dice rolls.



As soon as you make a suggestion, your opponents, in turn, try to prove it false. The first to try is the player to your immediate left. That player looks at their cards to see if one of the three cards you just named is there. If the player does have one of the cards named, they must show it to you and no one else. If the player has more than one of the cards named, they select just one to show you. If that opponent has none of the cards that you named, then the chance to prove your suggestions false passes, in turn, to the next player on the left.

As soon as one opponent shows you one of the cards that you named, it is proof that this card cannot be in the envelope. End your turn by checking of this card in your included notebook, or do whatever you do for keeping notes. If no one proves you wrong, you can either end your turn or make an accusation right then and there.


  • You may move horizontally or vertically, forward or backward, but not diagonally.
  • You may change directions as many times as your roll will allow. You may not, however, enter the same square twice on the same turn.
  • You may not enter or land on a square that is already occupied by another player.


  • A door is the opening on the wall, not the space in front of the doorway. When you pass through a door, do not count the doorway itself as a space.
  • You may not pass through a door that’s blocked by an opponent’s character pawn.
  • As soon as you enter a Room, stop moving. It doesn’t matter if you roll a number that’s higher than you need to enter.
  • You may not re-enter the same room on a single turn.
  • It is possible that your opponents might block any and all doors to trap you inside a room. If this happens, you just have to wait until someone moves.


The Rooms in the opposite corners of the mansion are connected by Secret Passages. If you’re in one of these Rooms at the start of your turn, you may, if you wish, use the secret passage instead of rolling. To do this, just announce this is what you are going to do before rolling.


  • 1x Clue Gameboard
  • 6x Character Pawns
  • 6x Minature Weapons
  • 21x Cards (Suspects, Weapons, Rooms)
  • 1x Pad of detective “notebooks” to help
  • 1x Confidential “Case File” Envelope
  • 2x 6-sided dice


We hope you can now say you know how to play Clue. This family-friendly half 3 quarters century-old game is still captivating audiences of all ages. Even though it has been out for many generations, it is still on the forefront of pop culture and one of those games that gets an assumed spot in a board game collection. It is still relevant today because it is well designed and has stood the test of time. If you are looking for a fun family activity, or light game for anyone really, then Clue many be a board game you should check out.

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