Wordle: Your Best Starter Words, Strategies, Tips and Tricks To Win

Recently, I shared my new easy winning strategy for playing Wordle, the hit online game invented by Josh Wardle that’s now running daily on The New York Times’ site. Essentially, I begin with TRAIN and CLOSE, then look at any correct letters and try a word that uses them in numerous spots. When I need to picture possible winning words, I utilize Xs to spell out the correct letters I know so far.

So far, the strategy is still working. While my streak of 38 wins is nothing to some people, it’s my best ever. And I laughed to discover that right after I published the strategy, the answer to one day’s Wordle was CLING, which nabbed me two letters from TRAIN and then two in the first two positions from CLOSE. It was kind of my Wordle lucky day. 

But as with any strategy, sometimes I get tired of proceeding down the same path or I feel stuck after four guesses and need to shake it up.

So I asked readers and friends to share their Wordle strategies these days. Hope you’ll find some tips to freshen up your game play here.


“I used to use TRAIN as my first guess; now my first two words are always NOISE and TRULY. If the word isn’t apparent, I next use CHAMP. Those three words give me 15 letters that are most common, including all 6 vowels. If I’m still totally lost, I go with DEBUG, giving me three more consonants.”  —Dan Hughes

Use yesterday’s winner

“I always start with the previous day’s winning word. Continuity!”  —Marc Hirsh

The random method

“For a long time I used two starter words that gave a lot of vowels and common letters, which always made me a solid four-line winner and sometimes three. But then I branched out and just tossed in random words. Still made me a solid four line winner, sometimes three and a couple of twos.”  —Susan C. Young

Another vote for random

“I have almost no strategy. My wordle (and quordle) play is a random free for all. I get wordle in 4 guesses almost every time. I use whatever starter word pops into my head. I will use a second, random word to try to get more hits.”  —Debe Ashe Hoover

Importance of A and R

“I also always type out what I have correct with ‘X’ in the unknown spot(s). Often times a visual person like me can then see the correct answer right away. Also, if I have an ‘a’ and an ‘r’ in the wrong place, I almost always move them to the 3rd and 4th spots, so it (could spell) ‘are’ or ‘ard,’ etc. That’s where they belong a large percentage of the time, if I don’t already have it correct.”  —Christine Eberhard Minor

Get those vowels

“My strategy is starting with AUDIO to target four vowels.”  —Vanessa Bloy

Did we mention vowels?

“ALOUD or OCEAN are my usual.”  —Juli Jansen Pelletier

‘Stare’ at the puzzle

“I stopped playing — but my starter word was always STARE.”  —Scott Lerman

Use a ‘straw’

“(My starter word) is STRAW…”. —Stefan Myslicki

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