"I can't stop playing Wordle!" This admission is the title of Bill Gates' latest Gates Notes blog post, in which he details his strategy for playing the word game that seems to have taken over America.

If you're not familiar with Wordle, the game gives solvers everywhere six chances to guess the same five-letter word once a day by entering five-letter words into a series of blank spots. Correct letters in their correct spaces turn green; correct letters in the wrong spaces turn yellow, and letters not contained in the word turn gray.

Gates says he's addicted to Wordle. But there are three other Wordle-related games he also likes to play every day, and they do sound pretty fun. Here they are, plus one more suggested by a Gates fan in the comments to his blog.

1. Quordle

In this Wordle variant, you have to guess four different five-letter words at the same time within nine guesses. Each guess is applied to all four words. Quordle sounds hard, but I was able to do it on my first try. It turns out that by the time you've correctly guessed one or two words, you know a lot about the others as well.


If playing four Wordles at once is fun, then perhaps eight at once is twice as fun? Octordle is certainly at least twice as hard, based on my try at it. (I got all eight words, but it took a lot of deep thought and all 13 available tries.) Octordle also offers special challenges, such as words that must be solved in sequence and themed octordles.

3. Nerdle

Nerdle is like Wordle, but for math. You have eight blank spaces that you fill in with an equation, so each slot can either contain a number or a symbol such as * (times) or - (minus). Obviously, one of your symbols must be = or else it wouldn't be an equation, but the game leaves it to you to figure out where that equal sign goes. Similar to Wordle, a number or symbol will turn green if it's in the right spot, pink if it's included in the equation but in the wrong spot, or black if it doesn't appear in the equation at all. As with Wordle, you have only six guesses to get it right. 

Gates says he spends more of his time playing this game than any other, and also, sadly, that few of his friends or family members play it so that he can't compare scores with them. I'm far from a math whiz, but because these are simple equations--you can only add, subtract, multiply, or divide--I was able to solve my first one in four tries. If you try it, let me know how you do.

4. Antiwordle

One of Gates' readers recommended Antiwordle in the comments to his blog post, and I was so intrigued by the concept that I had to try it. The object of the game is to avoid guessing the five-letter word for as long as you can. Similar to Wordle's hard mode, if you guess a letter that's in the word, you must include it in all future guesses, and if you guess a letter in the right place, that letter must be in that spot from then on. There's a further complication: If you guess a letter that isn't in the word, you aren't allowed to use that letter again. 

These rules combine to make it feel like Antiwordle is relentlessly pushing you toward guessing the right word until you literally have no other choice. Even starting with FLUFF, a word I hoped would have few or no correct letters, I was forced to guess the correct word, FAVOR, within four tries. That's the same number of tries I usually need to solve the original Wordle. It's got me wondering whether trying to lose might actually be an effective strategy.

There's a growing audience of Inc.com readers who receive a daily text from me with a self-care or motivational micro-challenge or tip. Often they text me back and we wind up in a conversation. (Want to learn more? Here's some information and a special invitation to an extended free trial.) Many in my text community are entrepreneurs or business leaders, and they tell me how important it is to take a little time every day for relaxation and fun. It's good to know that even Gates, a renowned philanthropist working to save the world from climate change and disease, takes time for those things too.