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Sudoku isn’t just a pastime, it’s a logic game that tests your mind. The aim? Fill a 9×9 grid with numbers from 1 to 9, according to precise rules. Sounds simple enough, but think again! The game requires precise reasoning and attention to detail.
But where does this captivating game come from? You might think that Sudoku originated in Japan, given its name. While Japan did indeed popularize Sudoku in the 1980s, the game’s roots go further back in history. They go back to an 18th-century French game known as ” latin square “. Small world, isn’t it?
Why are so many people addicted to this game? As well as being fun, Sudoku is also good for the brain. It stimulates reasoning, memory and concentration – skills that are not only useful for filling in the grids, but are also applicable in everyday life. Some experts even suggest that playing Sudoku could have positive effects on your mental health. Pretty convincing, don’t you think?
You may have seen someone playing Sudoku on the subway or in a waiting room, and wondered how to go about it… Don’t worry, the rules are simpler than they seem!
What are the Sudoku rules?
The first thing you need to know is that the Sudoku grid is organized into 9 zones, each made up of 3×3 squares. These areas are called “blocks”. The aim of the game is to fill these blocks.
Rules to follow
- Lines: Each line of the grid must contain numbers from 1 to 9, without repetition. Each number must appear once and only once.
- Columns: The same rule applies to columns. You must insert numbers from 1 to 9, without duplication.
- Blocks: As you may have guessed, each block of 3×3 squares must also contain the numbers 1 to 9, without repetition.
- Hints: To help you get started, some of the squares are already filled in. These numbers are your clues and are there to guide you.
Only one solution
One of the most satisfying aspects of Sudoku is that there is only one possible solution for each grid. So, no matter how difficult the task, you can be sure that victory will be all the sweeter!
You’ve mastered the basics of Sudoku, but the transition from theory to practice seems a little difficult? Wondering how the pros manage to solve these puzzles in just a few minutes? Here are a few tips to help you shine in this logic game.
Logic and elimination are your friends
The first thing to remember is that Sudoku is first and foremost a game of logic. You must constantly rely on the numbers already in the grid to eliminate other possibilities.
Techniques for finding missing numbers
- The single digit method: Sometimes, a square has only one possible choice. When you find one, don’t hesitate. The single number is your answer.
- Hidden number method: This method requires a little more attention. If a number appears only once in a row, column or block, it’s in the right place and nowhere else.
- Doubles and triples method: Suppose two or three cells in a row, column or block can only contain the same two or three digits. In this case, you can eliminate these numbers from the other cells in that row, column or block. Yes, it’s that simple!
Different levels of difficulty
Just as there are different types of player, there are different levels of difficulty in Sudoku. These levels depend on the number and distribution of numbers already in the grid. And believe me, the higher the level, the more you’ll need to use advanced techniques, even guessing. So, are you up to the challenge?
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