Sudoku is a trendy game in the current world. Some people play it online and in newspapers, while others play it when they’re bored on an airplane. Anywhere where one has some free time, someone is playing Sudoku. Though it’s a math-based puzzle, most people love to play it, and that’s why it has taken the world by storm.
If you are into playing all games on your mobile device, you will also find fantastic sudoku free apps to challenge your gaming skills and grow your obsession.
If you’ve played this game before, you’ve probably gotten to the dreaded point where you’re stuck in solving the puzzle. And if printed in a magazine, you probably erased it and started over or maybe just gave up. You then wondered if you could find strategies to use to improve your game. Like any other game out there, Sudoku also has strategies that can increase your chances of winning.
Here are some of them:
1. Hidden Pair Strategy
This strategy enables you to eliminate clusters of numbers from any two cells, leaving you with more straightforward options for other cells. It helps to open up the grid and gives you a clue where to place numbers.
To employ this strategy, you need to first look at the numbers filled in. After that, look through your rows, squares, and columns to rule out those numbers. Doing that leaves you with a simple pair of number options that you can build on to win the game eventually.
If you’re well-versed with this strategy, you’ll understand other advanced strategies easily. Apart from helping you rule out numbers, you can also use this strategy in quads or triplets, though that may take some time and practice. Also, ruling out other options may not be easy when there are many numeric choices. That’s why you need to start practicing it with pairs as you work your way up.
2. Naked Pair Strategy
To use this strategy, you need to look at the puzzle and decide the numbers that are the only possibility for a specific cell. In a naked pair, two possible numbers can work though you have to figure out where each one of them fits. This strategy is similar to the elimination process that you use to start the puzzle.
Using the naked pair strategy can help you not use the idea of using two numbers in any other column, raw, or square. It enables you to reduce the number that makes the most sense based on the column or row. If you realize that a naked pair has a six or two as the possible answer, you need to check where those numbers have been used already.
No matter where they fall, you need to know that they’re only two possible numbers that can fit in those cells. Therefore, using the process of elimination can help you find the right one. Naked pairs don’t have to align within the grid but can also be scattered within the square.
Remember not to repeat any of the digits that you’ve already used. Using the pair strategy can also be applied to triplets and quads. This, however, may be a problematic pair because you’ll have more options involving three or four numbers.
3. Pointing Pair Strategy
In a grid, there can be a number that continues to pop up as a possibility for a specific square. If such numbers are inline within the same row or column, they’re known as the pointing pair. A pointing pair shows you the number you can use in that line and helps you rule it out from other cells.
When a number is aligned with a square, it tells you where it can be eliminated along the rest of the column or row. If, for instance, the number 3 is a repeated possibility and aligned within the column or row in the square, you can rule it out from any other cell in those columns or rows. That can help you rule out many possibilities and give you the chance to fill other rows and columns because you’re sure three can’t go in any of them. This strategy is more of a systematic version of search and elimination without a plan.
4. Intersection Removal Strategy
In this strategy, players seek to eliminate possibilities to make the puzzle be solved quickly. Just like other strategies, this strategy is about ruling out what you can’t place in a particular cell instead of focusing on what to play. If a number occurs as a possibility twice or thrice in a square, row, or column, you can remove that number from other intersecting units.
Using this strategy requires you to understand what the units in the game are. Though it may be easy to focus on a single square, you need to remember to also focus on other columns and rows to solve the whole grid.
Just like any other game, playing Sudoku can be interesting if you know the strategies to follow. Mastering these techniques can improve your chances of solving even the most complicated of puzzles.
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