Sudoku is a logical number puzzle that has become an international phenomenon. Its authorship is attributed to Howard Garns, an American architect and freelance puzzle constructor. The game was inspired by the Latin Squares of Leonhard Euler, a Swiss mathematician of the 18th century. However, it has only became popular since 1984, when it was first published in a Japanese puzzle magazine named Monthly Nikolist under the title “Sudoku”. The name is derived from the Japanese words “su” (number) and “doku” (single), which will give you more sense, once you understand the rules. Today, sudoku can be found in newspapers, magazines, or as a book containing only sudoku puzzles, and on the internet.
Play Sudoku Online
While there are many versions of the game available in physical form, playing sudoku online has become increasingly popular in recent years. Here are some of the reasons why playing sudoku online is so enjoyable.
First and foremost, playing sudoku online is very convenient. We all always carry our smartphones with us, so with a proper internet connection, and you can enjoy your game anywhere – at home or even on the go. You do not have to bother with pens and pencils that are forever getting lost somewhere and you can productively spend time on your commute to school or work, or while waiting at the doctors.
Another benefit is that you can choose from various difficulty levels. There are four available levels: Easy, Medium, Hard and Expert. Easy puzzles are great for beginners who want to learn the rules of the game. If you know the rules and are confident enough, you can choose the Medium option. It requires more advanced logical thinking and skills. To become a pro, you will need to practice and improve your mastery. And there will always be new challenges ready for you in the form of Hard and Expert puzzles.
Are you a competitive person? You can also track your progress and compare your scores with other players. So make sure to invite your friends and family members and test each other to see who is the real sudoku master.
Finally, playing sudoku online can be a great way to relieve stress. Sometimes we need to shift our attention from what we are doing to something else to prevent a burn out. Just take a break from work, school or other responsibilities and you can relax and train your brain as well.
How to Play Sudoku
A traditional sudoku is a grid with 9 rows and 9 columns and is divided into 9 boxes of 3×3 cells. To solve a sudoku puzzle, you must fill in the squares with the appropriate numbers. Some of them are already given and your goal is to fill the rest of the grid so that each row, column and box contains all of the digits from 1 to 9, without repeating. To do this, you must look for patterns and use logic to deduce which number goes in each square. If you are genius, this is all you need to know about the rules. And for the rest of us lets dive in some more tips, tricks and strategies.
I would recommend starting with an Easy level. Even if you feel more experienced, it can be a nice warm up. This level already has a decent number of initial values that will help you to find the rest.
As you get more and more skills you will probably invent your own favorite methodology, but for the beginning, you could start by looking for the squares that have the fewest possible combinations and work your way up from there. Make sure you are always making the right decisions. You should not just guess! Guessing can easily lead to mistakes but I totally understand it is very tempting sometimes and a little risk might be worth it.
Another strategy is to find the most frequent number. Start with a number that has already appeared several times in the sudoku. Every digit should be used 9 times, so try to find all its locations.
Look at the individual groups or segments. What I mean is to find the row, column, or a box with the highest number of filled up cells and see if you can figure out which digits should be placed in the empty ones.
Sometimes, you may feel that your brain is totally full, when figuring out which numbers should go in the remaining squares. In this case, I usually take notes. This involves writing down the numbers you have already used up, as well as all the possible numbers for individual squares. It can help you narrow down your options, and eventually find the right number for the square.
As you move through the grid, you can use logic to eliminate possibilities. For example, if there is only one number that can fit in a certain space, you can be sure, it is the right one. Then cross out the other possibilities.
If you are stuck or start to get frustrated, do not be afraid to take breaks when playing sudoku. Taking a few moments away from the game (maybe return back to your work or school duties 😉) can help clear your head and make it easier to come back and find the right solution later.
Are you totally lost? Do not hesitate to ask somebody more experienced to help you. I am sure that you can find a friend who will be happy to navigate you a give you a helping hand. And if you are shy, you can still use anonymous online forums.