There is nothing quite like playing a nice game of sudoku. It is both challenging and relaxing at the same time. It also works wonders for brain exercise, helping to keep you sharp and according to some research, it may even help to ward off some neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease. Of course, each of us is at our own level and we likely enjoy it, just for the fun of playing it. At the same time, we would often like to improve our skills and these tips can help to move the needle in the right direction.
Keep a Pencil Handy – This is perhaps the most important tip because you will use it when playing almost any game of sudoku. It can be difficult to look at all the different candidates that can be used for all of the cells that still remain blank. Rather than simply staring at the blank cells and wondering what could go into them, pencil in the candidates and see what appears before your eyes. You will find it is a very enjoyable way to play and it can lead to solving the mystery with the following tips that are included below.
Hidden Pairs – when you have a pair of numbers that exist in two different cells within a row, column or a region, they are considered to be hidden pairs. In other words, the other numbers that are in the cells make them difficult to spot. Once you are able to see these, you can remove the other numbers from the cells and the puzzle will be much easier to solve. You will find pairs in almost every game.
Hidden Quads – This is more of an advanced tip but it is one that can really help if you are able to train your eye to spot them easily. They can be difficult to find but if you do find them, you are well on your way to solving the puzzle quickly. The hidden quads are a matter of 4 candidates existing in a column, row or region. They are hidden by any additional candidates that are in the row. These typically occur in some of the more difficult puzzles but if you are an advanced player, you can use this to your advantage.
Naked Signals – This is a rather interesting part of every sudoku puzzle. It is a cell within the puzzle that only has one number candidate that could possibly fit into it. If other candidates are not showing, it is referred to as a naked signal. You can use this to your advantage.
When you have a naked signal available, you can basically eliminate the other numbers that are in the row or column. It is a matter of using it logically. If a cell contains a single possibility, the candidate then becomes the solution. Learn how to use this to your advantage and you will become a master very quickly.
These tips can help you to master the game and to get more out of it. They also help to make it more enjoyable because you will be spending more time solving the mystery and less time stressing over the solution.