Sudoku Tips

What is Sudoku? Here are some Sudoku tips, hints and instructions on how to play Sudoku.

Sudoku is a logic-based number placement puzzle. The puzzle has nine 3x3 regions in a 9x9 grid that the player must fill in with a correct order of numbers (1-9) for that puzzle. Most Sudoku puzzles have some of the boxes filled in already, but the more challenging ones require the player to make up her own puzzle and fill it in correctly.

To fill in the Sudoku puzzle correctly, all nine regions, rows, and columns must have all numbers 1 through 9 in them without repeating.

There are many versions of Sudoku, like Killer Sudoku and Hypersudoku. Killer Sudoku is the version of Sudoku that has no numbers filled in for you. And Hypersudoku also has four other regions inscribed that overlap the other regions inside, and the same rules apply for the filling in of those four regions and the original nine.

If you are having trouble, one of the best strategies to use is the marking of candidates. This only works if you are using paper because you can't make the marks on a cell phone screen or computer screen. When you first start the Sudoku puzzle, mark each candidate number inside of each box.

For example, if you start with a row that already has five numbers filled in, obviously those numbers can go in the others cell in that row. Next, look at the columns and regions and see what numbers are already filled in and mark the candidates where possible. This should make eliminating numbers and finding unique positions much easier.

When playing Sudoku on paper, always use a pencil and eraser. If you use a pen or even a marker, you won't be able to fix any mistakes you make. If you follow the marking tips, these next couple of Sudoku tips should make even advanced Sudoku puzzle solving easier.

This next tip focuses on finding what Sudoku players call naked single candidates. Finding a naked single allows you to eliminate that number from the column, row, and region as a candidate. When marking, you could just fill in the cell automatically with the right number, because it is the only number that can possibly go in the cell. Then, once that number is taken care of, that makes the selection for the other cells in the row, column, or region smaller.

Another tip following marking is to find naked pairs. When marking, you may notice a pair of numbers may show up in two different cells. And sometimes, the number in a pair may show up in other cells. Because the pair is inside the two cells, each of the cells gets one number out of the pair. So, those two numbers can be eliminated for candidates in other cells, which can make the selection process easier.

Following the same pattern, naked triples and quads are some sudoku tips that can also help you in you the elimination process.

There are many websites that offer even further sudoku tips that are more advanced and will help you learn on how to play sudoku. And if you need more Sudoku puzzles, most websites that teach you how to play sudoku offer free printable Sudoku puzzles to help you practice.

Here's one of the many websites where you can play Sudoku online or you may want to subscribe to daily sudoku email.

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