How to Find the Best Wordle Starter Words

Is there a scientific way to approach Wordle? Of course there is! But at the end of the day, luck is still a big player. Learn how to stack the odds in your favor with the best starter words (and what makes them so great).

Do you love playing Wordle? Is there a scientific way to approach it? Of course there is! In fact, there are several word-finder sites designed to help you use that science. 

Those sites use various algorithms to help you select words that will quickly get you to the daily Wordle solution. As you enter words into Wordle, the feedback you get is used by the word-finders to suggest the next “best” word to play.

Information about your gray letters, yellow letters and green letters are processed by the word-finder site’s algorithm to suggest the words that are:

  1. Most likely to provide meaningful clues about the winning word
  2. Most likely to result in a quick win

What are the best Wordle words to play? 

Right now, the Wordle app draws from 2,309 common, 5-letter words for possible daily solutions (solution-words). Many of the word-finder sites use fairly involved logic to lead you to those solutions. 

While their algorithms go well beyond most people’s ability to do mental math, that’s okay.  With some streamlined logic, intuition and luck, the typical player can compete fairly well with the word-finder sites.

With that in mind, the best words for the typical player to use are the words that accomplish the following three goals: 

  1. They have letters that intersect with letters in a high number of the words that make up the possible solutions (solution-words)
  2. They have letters that intersect with a high number of letters found throughout all the possible solution-words
  3. They tend to have letters in positions where they’re commonly found throughout all the possible solution-words

Keeping those goals in mind when playing Wordle will generally result in quicker wins. 

Need more than just strategy? Use our charts to help you identify words that are consistent with those 3 goals. 

Wordle Letter Frequency Chart

This chart shows the frequency of letters across the 2309 possible solution-words by position.  It also shows the overall letter count regardless of position.

How to Find the Best Wordle Starter Words 1

The letters in the word “saint” have more typical positioning than the letters in the word “ninja.” And the letters in the word “slate” appear more frequently than the letters in the word “jumpy.” 

To add a little more detail, “slate” has letters that occur frequently (overall count) and occur in common positions (count based on position). All the letters in “slate” can be found near, or at, the top of both charts. For the 2309 solution-words used in Wordle, “slate”‘s 1st, 3rd, and 5th letters (S, A, and E) are the most common letters for their respective positions. In contrast, the letters in “jumpy” do not occur as frequently.

If given a choice between using either word in Wordle, the odds are good that “slate” will work better for you than “jumpy” will.

Sometimes a little luck can go a long way.

Does that mean “ninja” and “jumpy” are never good words to play? Of course not! On any given day, either one could be the best choice for an entry into the Wordle app, and possibly the best choice for your first guess. And there’s always a chance that either one could be the Wordle answer for that day. 

Sometimes a little luck can go a long way. That said, in early play (i.e., your first word entry or two) a word like “slate” has the potential to work very well. It intersects with a lot of words and its letters tend to appear in common positions. Over time, on average, “slate” will net you more gold and more green than either “ninja” or “jumpy.” 

Want to win at Wordle? It’s easy!

So if you want to kill it at Wordle, think about selecting words with high letter-frequency based on: 1) letter-position and 2) overall letter count regardless of letter-position. Words using letters more to the top of the chart will tend to meet those two conditions.

Keep following. More tips to come (like the best starting words). Happy Wordling!

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