Published: Sep 27, 2022 | Updated at: Sep 27, 2022

While people were locked in their homes during the pandemic, an unlikely hero emerged — simple, online puzzle games.

Ever since the skyrocketing success of Wordle, people have been looking for new variations of the letter puzzle game to fill their time. Well, if you prefer numbers to letters, your favorite game is here.

Nerdle is a new, popular variation on the Wordle game. In this article, we'll tell you all about this online math game and how to play it. 

Keep reading to learn more.

What Is Nerdle?

Nerdle is a numbers-based game where players arrange different numbers to complete the puzzle.

This daily numbers game was created by Richard Mann, a British data scientist from London. He came up with the idea after his 14-year-old daughter casually wished that there was a version of Wordle for "math nerds." 

Ever since its inception in early 2022, the game has gone viral with people posting their results all over social media — just like with Wordle.

Wordle was a game created by Josh Wardle, a British software engineer. After its huge success, it was sold for seven figures to The New York Times. Does Nerdle hold a similar fate? Only time will tell.

How To Play Nerdle Game

In this online number game, the goal is to guess the answer, or "Nerdle," within six tries. To do this, you must guess the "word" (of numbers) that fills the eight tiles. 

Every time you guess, the color of the tiles change. This helps you understand how close (or far) you are from guessing the correct answer. 

A green tile means that the number that you guessed is correct and is in the right place.

A purple tile signifies that the number is somewhere in the answer, but is in the wrong place. 

A black tile means that that number is nowhere in the word.

What Are the Rules of Nerdle?

Once you open up the nerdle game, it shows a few specific rules. Here they are:

  • Every guess you make is a calculation
  • You can use any of the following numbers and signs: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 + - * / or =
  • Every guess you make must include =
  • Your answer can only contain a number on the right side of "=," not another calculation
  • The standard order of operations applies to your answer, so make sure to calculate * and / before + and -
  • If the answer to the question is 10+20=30, then 20+10-30 is fine as well (unless you turn off commutative answers in the settings)

Here are a couple of examples of what an answer might look like.

9 * 2 0 = 1 8 0

2 0 - 1 0 = 1 0

Here are a few more parameters that they provide:

  • If your guess includes two of a single number, but the actual answer only includes one, you will get one tile color and one black tile
  • Tiles will only turn green if the number that you guess is in the right position (or if the full guess is the correct commutative answer)

Now, it's time to get playing!

Different Nerdle Strategies

As fun as these games can be, they can also lead you to moments where you feel like tearing your hair out. Let's take a look at a few different tips and strategies from the creator himself.

1. Get As Much Information From the First Guess As Possible

Since you get no clues from the beginning, your best bet is to get as much information as possible. You can do this by using as many different numbers and symbols as you can in a single guess.

For example: 23+45=68

It's also helpful to figure out which symbols you need to use in the equation, so you can try a guess that has two of them.

For example: 9+8*7=65

This is a great place to start with your first guess.

2. Take Note of the Colors

Once you've made your guess, you should now have a good mixture of colors from your first guess. Remember that green means your number is in the right place, purple means it is somewhere in the solution, and black means it doesn't appear in the answer.

Use this information to plan all of your next guesses.

3. Get Closer to the Solution

Try to find calculations that keep all of your green tiles in the same place. Look at your purple tiles and move them around the solution, and of course, avoid using any black tiles. 

If possible, use numbers that you haven't used yet. 

One overlooked possibility is the tricky repeated number. Make sure you keep that in mind when making your equations.

4. Don't Forget the Order of Operations

Remember the order of operations that your math teacher pounded into your memory? Make sure to always calculate multiplication and division before addition and subtraction. 

For example, 1+2*3=7, not 9!

5. Wear Your Lucky Shoes

Of course, a lot of luck has to go into these games. Guessing the Nerdle correctly is nearly impossible, so if you ever do guess it, maybe go buy a couple of lottery tickets afterward too.

Other Wordle Spin-off Games

Tons of other Wordle spin-off games have been created, including: 

Dordle: This is another word game that challenges players to guess two five-letter worse at the same time, but you can only input one word at a time. Think of it as a harder version of Wordle.

Heardle: Heardle is the musical version of Wordle. It will play the first second of a song from popularly streamed artists. You must then guess the name of the song.

Framed: Love movies? This guessing game lets movie buffs try to guess movies from a single frame of a film. If they guess wrong, they are shown a new still.

That's just the tip of the iceberg. If you want to check out more guessing games, check them out here!

Start Stretching Your Math Muscles

That's everything you need to know about Nerdle today! You don't need to research much more — all you need to do is head over to the Nerdle website and get guessing.

Brain games like these are a great way to start stretching your brain before getting to work.

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