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20 Strategic Opening Words to Use in Wordle

Michele Debczak
SOPA Images/GettyImages
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The communal aspect of Wordle has helped make the game an internet sensation over the past few months. If the five-letter word players are tasked with guessing on a particular day is especially tricky, you can expect to see people online sharing their frustrations. Though the daily word game is meant to start with a level playing field, there are tricks you can use to put yourself at an advantage—like using a strategic starting word.

A good opening word in Wordle knocks out several of the most common letters in the alphabet in one go. According to Mashable, packing your first word with as many different vowels as possible is a winning approach. No matter what the word of the day is, it has to include vowels, and knowing which ones to use and where (or where not) to put them is crucial information. For this reason, vowel-heavy, five-letter words like adieu, audio, and ouija are solid choices for your first guess of the game.

Another strategy is to pick an opener that will set you up for success in subsequent guesses. Not many words rhyme with adieu or ouija, so even if these guesses help you figure out the correct letters (which are highlighted in yellow when they're in the wrong place), they're less likely to show you the correct placement (highlighted in green). Word like trace and crate, according to Inverse, feature both common letters and word construction. You can learn more about why these words are effective guesses according to information theory in mathematician's Grant Sanderson's video below.

You don't need any specialized linguistic knowledge to play Wordle, but it helps. Understanding the rules of phonotactics, for example, makes it easy to figure out consonant pairings when you've already guessed a letter correctly. After checking out the list of winning Wordle openers below (presented in no particular order), read more expert tips for winning the game here.

  1. ADIEU
  2. AUDIO
  3. OUIJA
  4. CRATE
  5. TRACE
  6. RATIO
  7. ROATE
  8. ABOUT
  9. CANOE
  10. QUEUE
  11. EQUAL
  12. SLICE
  13. CRANE
  14. LATER
  15. IRATE
  16. RAISE
  17. SAMEY
  18. STARE
  19. AISLE
  20. PIOUS
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