Sudoku Strategy: Playing Sudoku to win
The origins of Sudoku date back to the 18th century when Leonard Euler discovered a unique way to align numbers from 1-9 in a grid that measured 9×9 and had a total of 81 squares within it. The idea behind this game did not take off within the time of its creator; however, little did he know that the puzzle that he called the Number Palace was soon to be the number one mind game around!
Sudoku is not just any crossword puzzle. It is a numeric mind-twister that makes your brain reel while you try just about everything to find the solution! There are close to 5,472,730,538 solutions to the permutations and combinations of numbers in a Sudoku puzzle, however, one can live a 100 years and never find these if proper Sudoku strategies are not used.
Sudoku Strategy: The 7 Strategies to become a pro at Sudoku
Having a strong command over these seven predominant Sudoku strategies can make any puzzle solvable. Remember, Sudoku puzzles come in varying levels of complexity so you may need to try a combination of two or more techniques at the same time to make sure they yield success. Here is our ‘Sudoku Strategy’ for you:
1. Only Choice
This is the simplest and most basic strategy to apply. When you start a puzzle, look for the only number that has not been used in a grid if it is sufficiently filled with numbers. The only number missing is the right answer, however, be sure to check for repetition in all rows and columns.
Once you have chosen the number you want to deal with, the smartest way forward is to scan all columns and rows to separate those in which the number has appeared from those in which the number can be plugged.
3. Only Square
More often in the later stages of an easy puzzle the Sudoku strategy works best. Check out in a group of squares if seven numbers are allotted and only two are left to be plugged into two squares. However, after scanning and checking out intersecting rows and columns, you will see that only one square will take a particular digit instead of both being candidates of that digit.
Another one of the basic tips, elimination works best when you are still in the early stages of Sudoku. Once you have chosen an empty square, find out all the possible candidates that can fit here. Pair it with scanning to filter out the one number of all candidates that will become the solution to this square.
5. The two out of three rule
This tip builds up from scanning and says that a solver picks up two or three rows at a time to check whether the total count of 2’s, 3’s and 4’s has been exhausted. Whichever number is absent is filled in simultaneously.
6. Rule of 45
To double check whether you have completed each sub grid properly, consider this rule. Each sub grid contains digits from 1-9, therefore, each region has a total of 45 values and the cells not filled equal to 45-X where X is the sum of the cells in a region.
7. Cross Hatching
When more than one square is empty in the grid column wise, try to cross hatch a row with a column to find the restricted cell, which will result in repetition. The remaining square is the one in which your digit will fit.
The tips and tricks highlighted above are proven to make a puzzle solver a pro in this field. However always remember to use these tricks wisely and to not rely solely on them when playing Sudoku. After all, this game is only about logic and developing a trick or two of your own is not hard at all.