How to Play Clue with 2 Players: Double Detective Fun

When you think of the classic board game Clue, you might envision a lively gathering with friends or family. But what if you want to enjoy the game with only one other person? You might be wondering if playing this classic deduction game with only two players is possible.

There are ways to adapt Clue for a two-player experience, allowing you and a partner to enjoy Clue’s strategic thinking and problem-solving aspects together. Modified rules and strategies, such as splitting the cards between the two players, are key to maintaining the gaming experience.

With these adjustments, you can confidently engage in a battle of wits with your opponent and see who can solve the mystery first. Now that you know it’s possible to play Clue with just two players, you might be eager to start. Before you do, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the adapted rules and tactics, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable gaming session.

An image of Clue 1972 (Second Edition) - The board with a checklist, tokens, dice, pencil, cards, and checklist is all ready to play the game.

Adapting Clue for 2 Players

If you love the game of Clue but only have one other person to play with, don’t worry, it’s possible to play with only one player. You can either play the standard set of rules (as outlined in the instructions, that we’ll cover in this article), or you can play some with a similar, though unofficial modification that well cover, too.

In this section, you’ll learn about the modifications to the game setup and differences in gameplay to enjoy Clue with just two people, in both the official set of rules and an unofficial game adaptation.

Modifications to Game Setup

To start adapting Clue for 2 players, first, set up the game as you normally would by placing the character pieces and weapons on the board. Separate the murderer, weapon, and room cards into the case file like normal.

Official 2-Player Modification: 4-Card Side Hand

You’ll need to create an additional “side hand” by drawing four random cards from the deck and placing them face down on the side of the board. As you’ll soon discover, this side hand will play a role in the gameplay process.

You and your fellow player will draw your own starting card hands as usual, keeping them hidden from each other. The game’s goal remains to deduce who the murderer is, along with the murder weapon and location.

If you want to make the game last longer, mix the cards around (face down) after each person gets to look at one. That way, you may see the same card more than once.

Make sure you agree to mix the cards around before the game starts, not during.

Unofficial Modification: 6-Card Side Hand

This 2-player 6-card side hand method helps the gameplay last longer than the 4-card version.

Another two-player adaptation involves a larger side hand, though it’s spread across the board. After placing three cards in the case file envelope, put six cards face down on the board, each in random rooms. The remaining 12 cards are then dealt to both players.

Then, if you’re in a room and the other player can’t refute your guess, you look at the side-hand card in that room. To get to the other side-hand cards, you’ll have to get to the other rooms.

This modified setup allows both players to scrutinize and guess the contents of the case file envelope while keeping a certain level of uncertainty.

Differences in Gameplay

There’s a slight change to the usual gameplay when playing Clue with two players. When it’s your turn, you’ll move your character and suggest the murderer, weapon, and location as you would in a regular game.

Here’s where the side hand comes into play: if your opponent has no cards to show you to refute your suggestion, you can look at one card from the side hand instead.

It’s important to keep the side hand in the same order and not use special cards (if your edition of Clue has them). After looking at a card from the side hand, your turn ends, and it’s your opponent’s turn.

As you continue through the game, you and your fellow player will take turns trying to solve the mystery using your own cards, your opponent’s shown cards, and the information from the side hand.

This adaptation keeps the key elements of Clue intact while offering an alternative and enjoyable way to play the game with just two people.

An image of Clue '1972' - The check list of the game with dice and pencil.

Game Components for 2-Player Clue

In this section, we will discuss the main components of the Clue board game when playing with two players. Understanding these components will help enhance your gameplay experience and make it more enjoyable for both players.

Character Selection

Before playing Clue with 2 players, you and your opponent must select your characters. The game features a total of six suspects, so choose wisely. In this version, the suspects include:

  • Reverend Green (UK) / Mr. Green (US)
  • Mrs. Peacock
  • Miss Scarlett
  • Professor Plum
  • Colonel Mustard
  • Dr. Orchid (replaces Mrs. White in newer editions)

You and your opponent can choose a character to represent you in the game, for two characters total. It’s essential to consider each character’s possible starting positions on the game board, as their distribution can impact the game’s progress. So, carefully consider which character you want to pick and their strategic relevance within the game.

Once you select your characters, place their corresponding game pieces on the Clue board. With your characters in place, you can begin solving the mystery together.

Case File Envelope

The Case File Envelope is at the center of the Clue board game. It holds one card for each category – suspect, weapon, and room. These cards are the key elements of the mystery that you and your opponent will work to solve throughout the game.

Keep the envelope hidden from both players as it contains the answers to the questions: who committed the crime, with which weapon, and in which room.


The deck has 3 groups of cards.

  • Suspect Cards: There are six Suspect cards in the deck, representing the six possible suspects involved in the crime: Colonel Mustard, Miss Scarlet, Professor Plum, Mr. Green, Mrs. White, and Mrs. Peacock. There are some differences in the suspects’ names depending on the exact edition of the game.
  • Weapon Cards: The deck also contains six cards representing the possible murder weapons: Rope, Lead Pipe, Knife, Wrench, Candlestick, and Revolver.
  • Room Cards: Additionally, there are nine Room cards representing the rooms in the mansion: Kitchen, Ballroom, Conservatory, Billiard Room, Library, Study, Hall, Lounge, and Dining Room.

After you place the solution cards in the Case File Envelope, shuffle the remaining cards in the deck. In a standard game, you’d shuffle and deal the cards evenly to all players.

But if you want to play the 2-player way, pull the top 4 (or 6) cards and set them aside for the side hand. Then deal the rest of the cards evenly between you and your opponent. These cards will provide valuable hints to help solve the mystery.

Detective Note Sheet

Each player gets a Detective Note Sheet, essential for keeping track of information during the game. Use the sheet to mark off suspects, weapons, and rooms as you gather evidence and eliminate possibilities. Keeping accurate notes is your main strategy to deduce the correct solution to the mystery.

Your Detective Note Sheet has a grid with the suspects, weapons, and rooms listed along the top and left side. Cross off the items in each row and column as you obtain evidence and rule out possibilities. This will help you narrow down the remaining possibilities and move closer to solving the case.


A pencil is provided for marking your Detective Note Sheet during the game. Make sure you have a sharpened pencil ready, as keeping detailed notes will be crucial to cracking the case. If you prefer, you can also use your own pen or any other writing tool that can easily be erased or modified as you gather new information.

Clue Game Preparation with 2 Players

Before diving into a thrilling game of Clue with two players, you must set things up properly. Follow these steps to get everything in place and start your detective adventure.

Shuffling and Dealing Cards

First, make sure all the cards are separated into three categories: suspects, weapons, and rooms.

Shuffle each category separately, and draw one card from each category without looking. These three cards will form the confidential case file, representing the correct suspect, weapon, and room involved in the crime.

Place the case file in the middle of the board, keeping the cards hidden from both players.

Now, combine the remaining cards and shuffle them together. Before dealing the cards, take the top four (or six) cards and place them facedown next to the board (or put one in each room) without looking at them. The rest of the cards will be dealt to both players equally.

Keep your cards hidden from your opponent as you both try to solve the mystery!

Setting up the Board

Place all six suspect and weapon tokens on the board; it doesn’t matter which room the weapon tokens start in.

Both players must select a character to represent them on the board. Choose a character token and place it in the corresponding starting position. If you choose Miss Scarlett, place her token in her designated starting spot.

Each room is connected to at least one other room, making it easy to navigate the board. Some rooms may have a secret passage as well. Keep an eye out for these passages, as they can help you reach other locations quickly and efficiently, speeding up your detective work.

Now that everything is set up, you’re ready to jump into action and figure out the thrilling mystery of who committed the crime, with what weapon, and in which room.

An image of Clue, a murder mystery board game. Known as Cluedo, outside of North America. Parker Brothers 1996 edition. Game pieces, weapons, characters, room cards, dice, board, confidential envelope.

Playing the Game Clue with 2 Players

Playing Clue with two players can be as enjoyable as playing with a larger group. This section will cover some essential aspects of the game, focusing on taking turns and using secret passages.

Adapt and modify the rules to make the game work for you and your playing partner.

Taking Turns

At the beginning of each turn, you’ll roll the die to determine how many spaces you can move your character pawn. Then, choose a room to enter and make a guess about the crime, specifying the suspect, the weapon, and the location.

Your opponent can refute your claim by revealing a card from their hand that matches one of the elements you mentioned. If they can’t, you can look at one card from the “side hand”

  • 4-card game: Look at one of the 4 cards set aside. Pick one, look at it, then put it back.
  • 6-card game: Look at the side-hand card assigned to the room you’re currently guessing from.

As you play, try to deduce what cards your opponent may have in their hand by paying close attention to their guesses and your own hand.

Remember that your opponent may also be using this strategy, so try mixing in a few bluff guesses to keep them on their toes.

Using Secret Passages

Another essential aspect of the Clue game board is the presence of secret passages. These passages connect opposite corners of the board and allow you to move between the rooms they connect, regardless of the number you rolled.

For example, the study and the kitchen are connected by a secret passage. If you are in the study, you can use the secret passage on your turn to instantly move to the kitchen without the need to roll the die.

Secret passages can effectively gain an advantage over your opponent by quickly moving between key locations. Utilize them to gather information, visit unvisited rooms, or escape a sticky situation.

An image of Cluedo Classic murder mystery game for three to six players.

Cluedo versus Clue: What’s the difference?

The game is called “Clue” in the USA; it’s called “Cluedo” almost everywhere else worldwide. They’re the same game.

The US or the international version of Clue (or Cluedo) can be played with 2 players and our 2-player variations from this article.

Key Takeaways

Playing Clue with two players is possible and can still provide a thrilling gaming experience. The game was originally designed for 2-6 players and can be played with 2 players in the standard mode, modifications have been made to create a more enjoyable two-player version.

Remember to maintain an observant and strategic mindset when playing Clue with just two or 6 people. Pay close attention to the cards revealed by your opponent and the cards in your hand.

Planning your moves and deducing possibilities effectively will give you the upper hand, allowing you to solve the mystery of Mr. Boddy’s untimely demise.

Engaging in a two-player Clue game can be a unique way to bond with your opponent and enhance your deductive skills simultaneously. Get your detective hat on, make the necessary adjustments to the game, and revel in the exciting world of mystery-solving that Clue has to offer!


Learning from your own experience is important, but learning from others is also smart. These are the sources used in this article and our research to be more informed as gamers.

  • Clue Game Guide. (n.d.). Retrieved April 27, 2023, from
  • Jarvis, M. (2022, November 8). How to play Cluedo: board game’s rules, setup and how to win explained. Dicebreaker.

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