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How to play Clue with 2 players | Read before playing

Want to solve the classic murder mystery but there are only two of you? Then this article will delight you. It will teach you how to play three amazing variations of Clue you can enjoy with 2 players.

Make sure you read on to the third variation as it keeps you guessing. And also provides a little suspense at the final accusation.

Official rules

There are now official rules on how to play Clue with 2 players. The game works exactly the same as normal Clue but with a small variation to the set up and play. This is quite a basic variation and has some drawbacks. I have included this variation to give you a base on which to judge the other two.

How to play Clue with 2 players

Set up

First take the red bonus cards and put them to one side. They are not used in two player Clue.

Place all six weapons in the centre of the board as normal. Then each player should select the character they will play: Plum, White, Scarlet, Green, Mustard, or Peacock.

Sort the black Clue cards into three piles for weapon, suspect, and room decks. Shuffle each deck and then take the top card from each deck, putting them into the murder envelope.

Now this is where the setup changes slightly. Put the remainder of the Clue cards together and give them a really good shuffle. Then take the top 4 cards and place them in a row face down at the side of the board.

Now deal the rest of the Clue cards out to each player.

Play

You can now play Clue as per the normal game. When you ask a question that your opponent can’t answer (they must always answer if they can) then you will get to look at one of the four cards lying at the side. Once viewed, put it back exactly in the same place. The game then continues as normal until it is won.

Pros
  • Simple to play
  • Overcomes problem of each player having 50% of the Clue cards
Cons
  • Players can deliberately ‘wrong guess’ so that the opponent can’t respond. Enabling them to see the 4 cards
How to play Clue with 2 players

Ghost hands

Playing Clue with 2 players has a problem as each player has 50% of the cards. This method is a wonderful solution to that proiblem and will improve your enjoyment of Clue. It works by creating 1, 2, or 4 ghost hands, giving you 2 players plus 3-6 ghost hands.

Set up

The red bonus cards are not used in this 2 player variation and so can be put to one side.

As per the previous Official Rules, set up the game normally until the three cards have been put into the murder envelope.

Now put all the cards together and give them a really good shuffle. Deal the cards out between the players to the number below and then create further hands for the ghost players.

Number of Ghost hands
2
3
6
Player or Ghost hand
Players hands
Ghost hands
Players hands
Ghosts hands
Players hands
Ghosts hands
Number of Clue cards
5
4
6
2
3
2
Die rolls
Even for hand 1
Odd for hand 2
1 or 4 for hand 1
2 or 5 for hand 2
3 or 6 for hand 3
Die roll represents hand e.g. roll 1 for hand 1.

Play

The game now proceeds as normal. When the opponent can’t answer Clue question then the player will roll the dice to determine which ghost hand they can look at according to the above table.

View any of the cards in the ghost hand and replace it without the opponent seeing. Play as normal to the end of the game.

Pros
  • Varying the number of Ghost hands alters the complexity and challenge
Cons
  • Wrong guessing can still be a technique to see ghost hands

Revolving hands

Similar to Ghost Hands this variation is even better. It opens exciting opportunities for choices and strategies.
This is a fun strategy that creates intrigue and suspense. One player may have knowledge that is not shared with their opponent. Using the 3rd pile a player can conceal a key card.

Set up

As per the other variations the red bonus cards are not used here either. Put them to one side.

Set up as normal until you get to the point where the three cards have been put into the murder envelope.

Now combine the three Clue card piles and shuffle well. Dealing 5 cards to each player and then leaving the rest in a draw pile at the side of the board.

Play

Here is the main difference to the game. Play as normal and when a Clue question is asked that cannot be answered by the opponent, the player asking the question picks up a Clue card from the top of the draw pile. 

They must then discard a card (that is not the card they just picked up) to the bottom of the draw pile.

This is where the player discarding the card now knows a clue that is at the bottom of the pile that the opponent cannot know by asking questions. Eventually that card may end up in the opponent’s hand so you can use that Clue card with guesses to narrow down what you do want to reveal. 

This also leads to some really enjoyable mystery and when the final accusation is made means there may still be some level of uncertainty.

This really does open up some strategic choices to be made when discarding a known card or one that is unknown to your opponent. It also gives you some choices when asking questions.

Pros
  • Fun strategy options during the game
  • Encourages players to guess normally as per normal games
Cons
  • None
How to play Clue with 2 players

Conclusion

That is the round up of three of my favourite 2 player variations on how to play Clue with 2 players. Clue will always be best played with 3 or more players but when you only have the two of you these variations will make Clue a really fun choice.

I hope you enjoy the three variations on how to play Clue with 2 players. My choice would be the revolving hands as this has the most options for deception and leaves some tension when making the accusation at the end. However, give all three a try and see which best suits you.

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