How to play Cluedo — setup, rules, and tips on beating fellow board game players

Wondering how to play Cluedo? This board game is always a winner with the entire family. Here's how to play fairly, and beat your opponents...

How to play Cluedo: Hasbro Gaming Cluedo the Classic Mystery Board Game
(Image credit: Hasbro)
How to play Cluedo: Quick menu

Wondering how to play Cluedo? This game requires you to master the art of deduction – was it Colonel Mustard in the library with a candlestick or Mrs. Peacock in the dining room with the dagger? The truth always comes out eventually...

Thinking of bringing this classic board game out soon? It'll keep the family entertained for hours — not to mention that it brings out the competitive side of people, too. And it's much shorter than a game of Monopoly, which never hurts.

Own the classic version of Cluedo but can't find the instructions? Don't worry: we're here to walk you through the game step by step. All you have to do is correctly guess the murderer, along with the room it happened in and the weapon that was used to win.

How to play Cluedo

Use the links below to jump to what you'd like to know when it comes to playing Cluedo (available at Walmart).

What's in the box?

In the Cluedo box, you should find:

What are the rules for Cluedo?

The idea of Cluedo is to move from room to room to eliminate people, places, and weapons. The player who correctly accuses Who, What, and Where wins. No players are allowed to look at the three cards inside the Solution Cards envelope until they are out of the game. The game starts with everyone rolling the dice, the highest rolled starts and the game proceeds clockwise. Each player's suggestion must include the room that they are in at the time. If you are making a final accusation, you can accuse a room you are not in. After making a final accusation, the player should look at the cards in the Solution Cards envelope. If all cards are correct, the player can show everyone else as proof. If even one is wrong, the cards go back into the Solution Cards envelope in the middle of the board. The game carries on without the accusing player able to play.

How to prepare Cluedo

  1. Unfold the gameboard.
  2. Place each character token at their place on the board. Choose characters between you – bear in mind that Miss Scarlet always goes first.
  3. Randomly place weapons in each room.
  4. Shuffle the types of cards separately and without looking, place one character card, one room card and one weapon card into the case file envelope. Close the envelope and pop it in the middle of the board – don't look inside until the end of the game.
  5. Place all cards together and divide the rest of them between the group.
  6. Give each person a detective notebook sheet and a pen or pencil.

How to play Cluedo

  1. First thing first: look at your cards and note down the weapon, room, and character on your detective notebook sheet. You now know it is neither of these things inside the envelope.
  2. Whoever is Miss Scarlet goes first in Cluedo. The game then continues to the left of Miss Scarlet.
  3. First of all, roll both dice. Ideally, you want to be able to enter a room every turn as once inside, you can make a suggestion. There are secret passages to make this easier. 
  4. Move your game token to the number of spaces you roll. You can move up, down, or to the side, but not diagonally. You may not share a space with another character.
  5. Once inside a room, you can use the process of elimination to guess the weapon, character, and room inside the case file envelope. You must move the weapon and character into the room you are suggesting. Once a suggestion is made, the person on the left of you must reveal if they have any cards you mentioned in their hand. If so, they must show you (and no one else) one card; you can then cross this off your detective notebook sheet and that's your turn over. If not, the next person can reveal one of their cards. If no cards are revealed, you can then accuse these three cards meaning you may have won the game.
  6. You can only make one accusation per game — be sure to do this only when you are certain you know what's in that envelope. After you've made an accusation, you may look inside the envelope. If your accusation matches the cards in the envelope, you have won! If not, the game will continue but you won't be allowed to play.

Cluedo tips

  • Mrs. Peacock is one of the best characters to pick as she sits closer to any rooms than all other players.
  • Moving from room to room fast increases your chances of winning.
  • Don't forget about secret passages.
  • Include your own cards in some suggestions to throw other players off.
  • Take as many notes as possible — even note who doesn't have what card(s).
Annie Collyer
Head Ecommerce Editor

Hi! I'm Annie, and I'm the Head Ecommerce Editor at Real Homes. I've been part of the Real Homes team since 2018, when I joined as Deals Editor. Along with covering major sales events — from Black Friday to Amazon Prime Day — I review home must-haves so that you can buy with peace of mind. Mostly focusing on home fragrance and sleep, as well as a few vacuum cleaners, I've tested pretty much every item you can think of that you need in your home. I live on the outskirts of the city in a two-bed apartment with my husband and my pug, Doug. So I am always searching for compact alternatives and ways to save floor space. What about when I am not typing away? Well, you'll find me enjoying an iced coffee (no matter the season) and trying out the latest brunch spots the city has to offer, or booking my next holiday. Where else can you find my words? Livingetc, Homes & Gardens, Ideal Home, Gardeningetc, and Woman & Home.