The secret of the key card in Codenames: Duet

We are facing an unusual phenomenon in the Codenames: Duet game.

On the double sided key card grid there are 3 words seen as black from the one side, where one of them is black for your co-op partner as well. The second black word is surprisingly green on your colleague's side of grid and the last one (the third one) is neutral, beige. It works same way on both sides.

The problem starts when you try to check it by turning the grid card from one side to another and all of the sudden you realize that all this doesn't work with your grid card! Moreover, it doesn't work for any of the key cards in your game actually. It's broken. It couldn't be played anymore. "Send me a replacement or give me my money back, sneaky CGE!" is running through your mind.

Stop. Breathe. Don't panic. It's ok, all cards are just fine.

This seems to be quite common issue with new players, so please let us try to explain how the key cards are supposed to work:

  • You and your partner have to sit across the table with the card grid and key card between you (as illustrated in the rulebook) – only this way the card is going to work - you have to look at the grid from opposite sides.
  • The key card must be placed so that it is wider than it is tall. The cards along the top row of your side will correspond to the bottom row of your partner’s side.
  • Check two images below where the whole issue should be well illustrated.

The secret of the key card in Codenames: Duet

As you can see, the top right spot on your side of the card now relates to the same word on the table as the bottom left spot on your partner's side.

Is it better now? Great. Enjoy the game and feel free to share this fun “how to” with your friends.