Wordle is a simple yet addictive word game that has taken the internet by storm. The goal is to guess a five-letter word in six tries or less, using clues from previous guesses. But how do you choose the best opening word to start your Wordle journey? In this blog post, we will explore some of the strategies and tips that can help you find the optimal first word for Wordle.
The best opening word for Wordlebot depends on different criteria, such as the frequency of letters, vowels, and consonants in English, or the average number of guesses needed to solve the puzzle¹²³⁴. Some popular choices are STARE, SALET, CRANE, and ADIEU¹³. However, a pair of MIT researchers claim that SALET is the optimal word, based on an algorithm and a peer-reviewed paper²⁴.
Why are these words good choices for Wordle? One reason is that they contain a mix of common and uncommon letters, which can help you eliminate or confirm many possibilities. For example, STARE contains two of the most common vowels (A and E) and two of the most common consonants (T and R), as well as one of the most common first letters (S). This means that if you guess STARE, you are likely to get at least one green tile (a letter in the right place) or one yellow tile (a letter in the wrong place), which can narrow down your options significantly.
Another reason is that these words have a variety of word patterns, which can help you figure out the correct placement of letters. For example, ADIEU contains three different vowels in a row, which is rare in English. This means that if you guess ADIEU, you can easily rule out any words that do not have this pattern. Similarly, CRANE has a consonant-vowel-consonant-vowel-consonant pattern, which is also uncommon. This can help you identify words that have this pattern or avoid words that do not.
Of course, these words are not foolproof, and sometimes you may get unlucky and guess a word that has no letters in common with the answer. In that case, you can still use some other strategies to improve your chances of winning Wordle. Here are some of them:
- Use letter frequency analysis to choose your next guesses. Letter frequency analysis is the study of how often and where letters occur in words. It can help you decide which letters are more likely to be in the answer or not. For example, E is the most common letter in English, followed by T, A, O, I, N, S, R, H, L, D, and C². This means that if you have not guessed any of these letters yet, you should try them first. On the other hand, Q, Z, X, J, K, V, B, P, Y, G, F, W, U and M are less common², so you should avoid them unless you have some clues from previous guesses.
- Use phonotactics to figure out consonant pairings. Phonotactics is the study of how sounds are combined in words. It can help you determine which consonants are more likely to appear together or not. For example, some consonant pairs are very common in English, such as TH, SH, CH, ST, TR, PR². This means that if you have guessed one of these consonants correctly (in green or yellow). You should try the other one next. On the other hand, some consonant pairs are very rare or impossible in English,
such as QW, ZJ². This means that if you have guessed one of these consonants incorrectly (in gray). You should avoid the other one as well.
- Use word construction to guess similar words. Word construction is the process of forming words from smaller units. It can help you find words that share the same root or suffix with your previous guesses. For example, if you have guessed TRACE, you can try other words that end with -ACE (such as SPACE, LACE, FACE) . Start with TR- (such as TRAIL, TREAT, TRUCK). Similarly,
if you have guessed CRAN. You can try other words that start with CR- (such as CRAVE, CRAWL, CRISP) or end with -ANE (such as PLANE, MANE, LANE).
These are some of the tips and tricks. That can help you choose the best opening word for Wordle and improve your game. Of course, there is no guarantee that you will always win. As Wordle is also a game of luck and intuition. But by using these strategies, you can increase your chances of finding the right word in fewer guesses and have more fun along the way. Happy Wordling!
(1) Wordle: Best first words to use to win every time
(2) The Best Starting Words to Win at Wordle
(3) 20 Strategic Opening Words to Use in Wordle – Mental Floss.
(4) Best Wordle starting words for a great first guess