What's the Best Opening Wordle Word? It Depends on the Opponent | A Game Theory 101 Investigation - wordle.plus

What’s the Best Opening Wordle Word? It Depends on the Opponent | A Game Theory 101 Investigation

William Spaniel
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Wordle is a game similar to Lingo, jotto, Mastermind, and cows and bulls. The player tries to guess a five letter word. If that word is wrong, the player learns which letters from the guessed word are in the correct word, and which letters are also in the correct position. After six wrong guesses, the player loses. You can play it here:

What’s the best first word? There are many popular ones, including ADIEU, AUDIO, RAISE, ATONE, and STARE. This video explains that the best word depends on whom you are playing against, and that a strategic opponent is different from an astrategic computer. In fact, the Wheel of Fortune bonus round is an application of the former case.

89 Comments

  1. Since I only ever play the computer I always use the following 3 words as my opening words – Adieu, Short and Money if It is needed.
    Sometimes I have been lucky and guessed a word in 2 or 3 guesses. But most of the time I get it in 4 guesses. I'm pretty happy with that.

  2. Adieu: I play against the computer and want the info on the vowels first. Then I burn another word so I have 10 more common letters covered.

  3. I think it's harder to guess the word if the answer has two of the same letters, such as "elder."

  4. I always start off with the word Alone or Awoke. Then I follow up with the word Unity

  5. MANIC POLED HURTS – These 3 words contain the top 15 most frequently used letters in the English language.

  6. I’ve been using “least” then “round”. Fun game!

  7. If you want to basically guarantee finding the word by the fourth guess (at most), your first three words should be ADIEU, then SNORT, then GLYPH.

  8. I have always started with the word SCORE.

  9. 1: Ourie
    2: Salty

    Guess #1 covers 4 of the 5 vowels while guess #2 covers the 5th vowel, the tricky "sometime a vowel – y" while also incorporating 3 other common consonants. This strategy has worked well for me.

  10. If you would talk normal speed the video would be half the length

  11. Statistically the best first word is ORATE. It has the highest frequencies of letters used in all words. Use words where you don’t repeat the same letters already used and are incorrect. Stare, doing, lucky, junks, Whomp, Calyx, Fritz.

  12. Considering the frequency of all letters, I find 'IRATE' very useful. It contains the first, second, third, fourth and sixth most frequently used letters in the language. Second word will depend on the outcome of the first word.

  13. I use train and louse, covers all the vowels, and the golden, RSTLN.

  14. Recently just started playing wordle it’s fun I usually start with a word containing the letters aei

  15. I've played #1 ALIEN and #2 STORY a lot lately, with good success (4s and 3s more than 5s). Between them, they have the four most used vowels A E I and O and the most common consonants (as used on the Wheel of Fortune bonus rounds – R S T L N and E). The Y comes up in the final words somewhat frequently, so if it's not in the solved word, it's helpful to rule it out early in the game. I used to use MIAOU as #1 and then STYLE as#2 to capture all of the vowels, the Y, and three of the common consonants. Both choices work well. More often than not, with either combination, I get three of the letters in the final word. Once I have three, I use pencil and paper to shuffle the three around, writing down possibilities. Then on turn #3, I choose the most common of the possibilities. Sometimes I get it on 3, but more often it's on 4. I get it on 5 when there are more than three or four good possibilities and I simply chose the wrong word.

  16. Adieu is always good because it knocks out every vowel except for "O"

  17. 3:39 bro i'm watching this on feb 28, and today's wordle is actually CHOKE lol, how'd you do that?

  18. ‘Suite’ and then ‘adorn’ have worked great for me.

  19. I always go with beaus because it fills out three vowels and determines if it's one of 99% of plurals

  20. AUDIORENTSThis opening word combo gets vowels and most used consonants

  21. I'm new to the game Wordle, and I've been starting with BEACH, because that's where I live😘

  22. I start with TONER as those are very common letters in the English language, and ER is a common ending.

  23. So obviously R, S and T are the most used letters other then vowels … So ROAST is probably the best word to start with.

  24. i like to start with Bears ( E,A,R,S are key letters)

  25. I did a similar wordle analysis where I focus on reducing the set of possible solution words as fast as possible. I'd be interested in what you think of this approach: https://youtu.be/OXJDHz7MIpc

  26. I vaguely remember playing either Wordle or something like it when I was a kid, and I doubt I would have thought about it again (at least for a long time) were it not for this video! I was also interested to see a conversation already going strong in the comments. Thanks for building a fun, interesting place for people like me to hang out!

  27. I didnt find this video particularly helpful. Wordle as it stands is a solvable game meaning that there must be a starting word that is objectively best.

  28. I use SHARE, POINT as my first 2 guesses. It contains 4 of the 5 vowels and also some common occurring consonants. If necessary, I use MUCKY as my third guess as it contains the last vowel(U) , Y(which can also be used as a vowel sometimes) and some other common consonants. I usually get the answer in 4th try after this. Although a letter occurring twice in the word confuses me.

  29. As wacky as it sound, penis is often a very good clue word.

  30. I use 4 starter words with 20 different letters. I solve every time. WIGHT JOKER FANCY PLUMS

  31. I progressed from "arose" to "slate" to "sauce", each of which is the best according to a particular strategy

  32. I think its much more interesting to think about what are the best 2 or even 3 guesses for Wordle. I'm no wordsmith, but often guess STEAM-> COUGH->BLIND because it gets all the vowels and a lot of good consonants. I'll only deviate if one of my first two guesses gives me 3 or more letters.

  33. My brother and I used to play battleship. I won the first round by consistently guessing spots that could contain the most ships.

    On the second round, my brother hid his ships towards the edge so that guessing in the center would be wasted guesses. He won.

    My conclusion was that in battleship, you want to hide your ships in such a way so that the other player is indifferent to a particular opening choice, for larger ships it is better to hide the ship just a bit closer to an edge than picking a spot uniformly at random.

  34. I've been using irate since it has 3 vowels and r and t are pretty common but after watching this video, i want to try adieu and audio!

  35. I would say that if you use "adieu" and you find out four of the letters are excluded and only "e" is left you have obtained a lot of information. I wonder how much power the word setter actually has in the face of logic. In regular colour mastermind there is none (its not really a strategic game). You can make your first guess before your opponent sets out the colours, and do just as well as if you wait to make your first guess. I do agree that in hangman/wheel of fortune there is a lot of strategy in choosing the word based on what your opponent will guess.

  36. i choose odium, because it's the name of a character from a book i like a lot

  37. I wonder how often numerical analysis is used do detect when a particular scenario which has typically been dominated by random effects or random behavior has fairly suddenly become dominated by strategic behavior.

  38. most words have a vowel in it, and if adieu is played and only the e is good, then there is likely to be an "o" in the word. of course the d is no good but knowing an o and an e are likely and a lot of words have oke, ore, and oce for endings, one may be inclined to try the word chore out to see what it might hold

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