Sudoku is a popular numbers game that is good for the brain. It’s similar to a crossword puzzle, but instead of words, there are certain numbers you have to use: you have to fill in each row, column, and 9-digit box with the numbers 1-9, while using each number only once. So each number is used a total of 9 times. Sudoku can seem impossibly challenging at first to beginners. Here are some tips and tricks for beginners to help them get used to the game:
Don’t begin with the hardest level of Sudoku. Solving Sudoku puzzles is a skill, and like any skill, practice is the key to success. One you’ve mastered simpler puzzles, you’ll be more equipped to try your hand at more difficult challenges. Keep in mind, if you’re using the Sudoku puzzle in the newspaper, that the easiest puzzles of the week are usually on Monday and Tuesday.
Use simple process of elimination
I advocate learning the Possibility Matrix Method first, which guarantees a solution to a Sudoku puzzle of any complexity. Of the unlimited number of approaches, you can learn the 12 top most popular sudoku solving techniques, which should normally be sufficient to solve most of the puzzles that appear in newspapers and magazines. You may discover that some of these Approaches overlap with the steps in the Possibility Matrix Method.
Sudoku can take a long time to solve. Especially with more difficult ones, you won’t be able to solve them easily. But don’t get impatient. The fact that they take time means that they’re challenging and exercising the brain. And that’s one of the benefits of playing Sudoku!
Sudoku rewards the “roving eye” – if you feel stuck, don’t concentrate too hard on one part of the puzzle grid. Instead, let your eye and your mind wander to a different place on the grid where you haven’t placed any numbers yet, and see which new possibilities become apparent to you.
Every time you place a new number on the Sudoku grid, you should ask yourself, “What changed? What do I know now, as a result of having placed that number? For example, if you successfully place a number 5 in a horizontal row, how does that 5 affect what’s going on in the neighboring squares? Every single time you place a number, it gives you an opportunity to potentially place more numbers in nearby rows and squares (depending on which other numbers in those places are already known).
Don’t try trial and error method
One can also check in the aspect of the trial and error method by filling the sudoku in pencil in those areas when one feels that there is a tie between the two numbers as which one would come. Although this technique works but is not that effective and time consuming and thus not good for beginners. Sudoku does not require guesswork. If you aren’t sure if a number belongs in a certain spot, you’re better off not guessing.
Take a break
When you feel that you are stuck in solving one particular sudoku for a long time, just take a break and divert yourself from solving the sudoku and come back after some time in solving the same you would be able to crack the part in which you were stuck for a long time and you would be thinking that was that you who were stuck in this for a long time.
Try this simple method first
- First try to see a digit that is being repeated mostly in the entire sudoku grid, for instance consider number ‘2’ is present in most of the grids and it is mostly present, next try to fill out the ‘2’ in the entire sudoku.
- Once ‘2’ is done, next take an another number which is present most and then try to fill the same.
- At the end you can combine other sudoku solving approaches with the process.
What other Sudoku tips would you offer to other people who may be new to the game? Please comment below.
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