How To Play Sudoku

Maddy Marcus / April 9, 2020

Everyone’s heard of Sudoku, but not everyone’s played it. Here at Coolmath Games, we love a good Sudoku puzzle. The logic-based game involves some deep thinking, tricky numbers, and a lot of squares. While some people are able to just pick up and play, others might need a few tries to get it right. So, just how do you play Sudoku?

The Rules

The rules of Sudoku may seem challenging at first, but once you get them down, solving the puzzle is a breeze. First, what is a Sudoku puzzle? It’s a square divided up into a 9x9 grid that holds  9 smaller 3x3 areas within. Each of these smaller boxes, or cells, need to be filled with the numbers 1-9.

Sudoku puzzles come with some of the squares pre-filled, to give you clues as to which numbers you need to fill in. Once the first few boxes are solved and out the way, you really can start making headway with the other rows and columns. Your goal is to make sure each column, row and grid contain the numbers 1-9 without repetition.

Starter Tips

Sudoku isn’t complicated. It’s a game of reason and logic. The puzzle will give you all the clues you need right at the start, but we’ve got a few tricks up our sleeve to help you solve the puzzle as fast as possible!

Scan the board. Begin by analyzing the pre-filled squares and seeing what numbers are already included. Start by locating all the 1’s then go down the line. This will help you see which rows are lacking certain numbers. Once you start placing numbers, you can use the process of elimination to help decide what number comes next.

Stay alert. Scan the board constantly throughout your game to keep track of the numbers already played. If you already have a row or column full, you can use that information to help solve the rest of the puzzle. Take it slow and try and decipher one grid, row or column at a time. 

Make a plan. If you get stuck along the way, start planning possibilities in your empty boxes. On scratch paper, mimic your grid and pencil in the possibilities. That will help you work out which numbers occupy the empty spaces and will further help with the process of elimination. 

Sudoku Benefits

Sudoku puzzles can help exercise the brain. These puzzles help improve concentration and logic. As the puzzle fills out and your choices become more narrow, you’ll need to dig deep within your brain to solve the rest of the game. Playing Sudoku requires concentration and mental dexterity throughout the entire game. 

This feeds into improving your memory. Sudoku puzzles need you to consider what numbers you have previously put into squares and rows on your puzzle. Sudoku is a test of memory and logic, pushing you to consider each step ahead and each step you’ve just made. 

A game of Sudoku can help calm the mind and keep stress at bay, by giving your mind something else to focus on. It puts you back in control when you may feel like control isn’t there.

Ready to get started? Jump on training your brain with a game of Sudoku on Coolmath Games.