How to win at the viral word guessing game of Wordle?

If you’ve not been living under a rock these past couple of weeks, you may have noticed social media users posting what looks like a miniature version of a minesweeper screenshot. Mostly grey tiles with a few yellow ones strewn across and a row of green blocks at the bottom.

If you don’t know what it is, do not fret, we’re here to help you understand it and subsequently win it (most times).

It’s called Wordle.

What is Wordle?

The game is the brainchild of Brooklyn-based engineer Josh Wardle, who created it for his partner Anita back in October 2021.

A month later, he opened it up for the rest of the world.

What started off as a private pass time between a couple turned into a viral phenomenon that currently engages two million players a day.

How to play Wordle?

Wordle How to play
Rules of playing Wordle

The premise of the game is simple. At midnight in your time zone, you go here.

(Beware of copycat apps on the play store since this game is only officially available at the link above.)

You’ll see six rows of five tiles each with the QWERTY keyboard layout below.

Wordle page
Wordle home page

You have six attempts to guess a predetermined five-letter word.

The word is the same for everyone in the world, so you can’t accuse the game of deceiving you in case a guess you were really sure about turns out wrong.

The tile colors reflect whether the letter is:

  • in the word and in the right spot (Green)
  • in the word but in the wrong spot (Yellow)
  • not in the word (Grey)

Do remember that letters can appear twice in a word. For example, GLASS or ROBOT are perfectly okay.

Despite being hosted on a UK based-domain, the Wordle library uses American spellings. So FAVOR, FIBER, COLOR, and LABOR are all acceptable.

Once you complete it, you’re prompted to share it on social media in those nice little tile formats we talked about earlier.

Strategy and Tips to win Wordle

#1. The best first word at Wordle

Now there are several ways you could go about it.

The first guess is of utmost importance in winning Wordle, and it could make or break how the rest of your Wordle journey for the day might go.

#2. The vowel strategy

One school of thought relies on guessing how many or which vowels are in the five-letter word. There are five vowels: A, E, I, O, and U. If you could figure out which of them are in the word, it would be a big step towards guessing it.

In these cases, words with four vowels that could help are:

ADIEU

OUIJA

Starting out with one of these two could help understand which vowels are or aren’t in the word of the day.

#3. Frequency strategy

Another strategy commonly used by players is to use the most common letters in the English dictionary. According to the page on letter frequency on Wikipedia, the most common letters are E, S, I, A, N, O, R and T.

So you could experiment with five-letter words using a mix of the above.

San Francisco-based software engineer Bertrand Fan took it a step further and analyzed the Wordle website’s code itself.

His analysis said  E, A, R, O, T, L, I, and S were the most-used letters in the answers.

He believes the best first word to use is SOARE. It means young hawk and has replaced his previous favorite ADIEU.

Others believe AROSE is a great first word to start since it uses all of the most commonly used letters in five-letter words. Subsequently, you could tweak it to ARISE or ARIES, just to change it up once in a while.

#4. Wordle after the first two guesses

How you choose to play the rest of the game after the first two guesses is entirely up to you.

Once you get a green tile and a yellow tile or two, you could choose to guess the entire word.

This is a high-risk, high-reward game. You could end up getting the correct word on the third row itself, and that would get you some bragging rights. Or you could end up with a series of wrong guesses and loads of frustration.

Another way to go about this is using the process of elimination. If you have a green tile, you could try and eliminate words without the green tile letter in that spot and try and figure out where the yellow tile letter can go next and guess accordingly.

Did we mention that a letter can appear in the word twice?

There’s a ‘Hard Mode’ too where you compulsorily have to use green or yellow tiled words in a guess.

That’s it. It is that simple.

We hope this helps you in your Wordle-winning journey. May your tiles be green! 🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩

If you’ve figured this out, here are some other brain train games you can play.

If you want to create a game of your own using Python language, you can try a number-guessing game or a tic-tac-toe game.