Clue: The Card Game

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Estimated reading time: 4 min

How to Play Clue Card Game Guide

3 – 5 players

30 mins+

Age: 8 +

Check out our easy to read Clue: The Card Game Rules – how to play online guide

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What is the goal?

Be the player to solve crime by correctly naming the Suspect, the Destination and the Vehicle. You will be able to catch on quickly to the game play if you are already familiar with the board game version of Cluedo.

Game setup 

Appoint a player to be the dealer, who will then separate the 21 clue cards by type:
– 6 Suspect Cards
– 6 Vehicle Cards
– 9 Destination Cards

Each of these types will be shuffled separately, face down.
Dealer selects one of each type unseen. These cards represent the solution to the crime and will be placed aside, face down, making sure that no player is to see the identity.

The dealer shuffles remaining 18 Clue Cards and deals them as evenly as possible to the players, who hold them in hand.

Each player receives a Detective Note Sheet and pencil. All players are to check off the identity of the Clue Cards that are in their hand. As you learn that additional cards are not part of the solution, you will check them off too.

The dealer shuffles action cards and places them face down on the table. This will be the Draw Pile. Each player will then receive an action card from the Dealer to add to their hand.

Turn the Destination Markers face down and place them randomly around the table. Each player then takes a Destination Marker and places it face up in front of them. The dealer will then turn face-up the remaining Destination Markers and the game is now ready to begin. 

Gameplay

  1. The dealer will go first. Play then passes to the left.

On your turn, you:

  1. Draw an action card from the top of the Draw Pile and add it to your hand.
  2. Play one of your two Action cards (See Playing Action Cards below)
  3. Discard played Action card unless it is a Private Tip. Keep the identity of these cards secret from other players by placing them face-down.
  4. Finish your turn off by checking off the identity of any Clue cards you were shown during your turn. You can keep notes on your note sheet, for example: what you see during other player’s turns.
  5. Your turn now ends unless you are ready to make an accusation (see Making an Accusation below).

Playing Action Cards

There are five different Action Cards.

Making A Suggestion (from any destination)

Decide which Destination will be a part of your suggestion. If the destination is different from the one you are in, swap out your current Destination Marker for the desired destination. If another player has the Destination Marker, swap. If your desired marker is by the tray, swap it out with your marker. Once you have obtained your desired Destination Marker, make your suggestion.

Making A Suggestion (From Current Destination or Move)

You can only make a Suggestion from the destination whose Destination Marker is currently before you. You can also exchange the Destination Marker for another one, but if you do this, your turn ends without making a suggestion.

Snoop

Select a player to lay their entire hand, face down, on the table. Pick one card and look at it, making sure other players do not see it’s identity. Return the card to the opponent, who then picks up their entire hand.

All Snoop

The same idea, instead all players will place their entire hand face down towards the player indicated on the card. Each player then snoops on the hand offered to them.

Super Sleuth

Read aloud the card and show it to all players. Everyone must now show you one Clue card with the specified feature, for instance, “Show me a destination in the south”. If a player doesn’t have a card of that specified, they show nothing.

Private Tip

Pass this card face down to any player who picks it up and reads it to themselves. They will then return the card, along with the one Clue Card of the type requested (or all cards held of this type, if instructed by the Private Tip). If the player has no cards of the type requested, they return only the Private TIp card itself. Return Clue Card(s) to the player after studying them.
After playing a private tip card, place it under the discard pile, face-down.

Making a Suggestion

To make a suggestion, name a suspect, vehicle and destination whose marker is before you.
Example: “I suggest that Professor Plum is traveling in the Hot Air Balloon, to the Grand Canyon”
By making suggestions throughout the game, it will help you determine – by process of elimination – which three cards comprise the solution.

Proving a Suggestion True or False

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

As soon as any opponent shows you one of the cards you named, it is proof that this card cannot be part of the solution. End your turn by checking off this card on your note sheet (you can also find it helpful to mark the initials of the player who showed the card). If no one is able to prove your suggestion false, you may either end your turn or make an accusation.

When making a suggestion, you can pinpoint information or mislead your opponents by naming one or more cards in your hand if you wish.

 

Making an Accusation

When you think you have figured out which three cards make up the solution, you should make an accusation on your turn. You may do so after you play an action card. If you are convinced you know the solution, you can also make an accusation without playing an action card. Name the three elements you believe will be found in the solution:
“I accuse (Suspect) of committing the crime. He/she is travelling to (Destination) in the (Vehicle)”. Then, making sure no one else sees, look at the three cards of the solution.

In a suggestion, the destination you name must be the same as the destination marker in front of you. In an accusation, you may name any destination.  You can only make one accusation in a game.

If your accusation is incorrect:
– Secretly return all three cards of the Solution face-down.
– Be careful not to blurt out any part of the solution.
– You remain in the game but you cannot make any further plays so you cannot win.
– You are to continue to try to prove your opponent’s suggestions false.
– Other players may still exchange Destination markers with you as usual.

How do you win?

If your accusation is correct, show the other players the cards and claim your victory!

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