What Are The Major Sudoku Strategies

Sudoku has become a ubiquitous game in the world. People play it online, in the newspaper, or when bored on a plane. Whenever someone is having a downtime, they might be playing Sudoku. This math puzzle has taken over the world and people are delighted with its gameplay. The number placement game can take you to a point where you don’t know how to solve the puzzle anymore. 

At the dreaded point in Sudoku, you might have thought about different strategies or maybe you erase and start over. Some major strategies can be used to improve the Sudoku game. Just like other games like mahjong or solitaire, you can use different strategies to increase the chances of solving Sudoku at a better level. All you have to do is to research practice the strategies. 

What Are The Major Sudoku Strategies?

Major Sudoku strategies can help you to improve the game. When you research different strategies, you will know that how each strategy works and which one will be the best for you. 

The X-Wing 

The X-Wing

The X-Wing Method is one of the most basic advanced Sudoku strategies. This strategy can be used at some intermediate levels. The impact of this strategy is very low and its objective is to eliminate the candidates. The players can use this strategy when there is a repeated candidate in four cells which form a square or rectangle. The player fins only two sets of possible positions for that number.

The next step in this strategy is to test the sets on the grid. On the other hand, they have to remove a digit from the cell that causes impossibility in both situations. 

Forcing Chains 

Forcing Chains

One of the easiest advanced Sudoku strategies is forcing chains. Unfortunately, the application of this strategy requires a high concentration level and the results can be uncertain. If it works for a player, then it gives the solution for a cell to the player. To apply a simple forcing chain strategy, there must be cells with only two candidates in the grid. 

As a result, the player chooses one and begins to test the changes in the puzzle. They can do so by using each of the two numbers in the cell. The objective of this strategy is to find the cell that would return the same result. If a player is successful in testing, the solution is there for him to solve the Sudoku puzzle. 

Cell highlighted at the top with candidates 1 and 2 can be used to apply the forced chain technique. By testing the two digits, the player finds that the result for highlighted cell with candidates 5 and 7 is still 5. Therefore, the digit can be the solution for the particular cell. Now by testing the number 1, the player could have been able to make a chain going through different cells. 

Outside the strategies of advanced Sudoku, the method of forcing chains is usually a last resort because the chains can be very complicated and long. Sometimes they don’t give the expected results. 

The Swordfish 

The Swordfish

The strategy also makes it possible to eliminate a candidate from the cells. To apply it, the player must find a candidate digit for two cells in the same row but in three different rows. These cells should be joined by column regardless of what shape they create. By connecting them, you will get a close string that reveals two sets of possible locations for the number. 

The player can put them to the test and remove the number that was impossible in any of the cases. When a grid forms the number 4 as a candidate for two squares in three different rows, the players can use the swordfish technique. Connecting them reveals that a green highlighted number is possible in the cells. 

Nishio 

Nishio

Nishio’s strategy gets its name from the professional puzzle player named Tetsuya Nishio, who invented this strategy. Of all the advanced Sudoku strategies, most players avoid this strategy and consider it as a last resort. It is because it is based on assumptions. The player has to take a cell with two candidates and choose one to try solving the grid. 

If it works, it is the best strategy. Otherwise, the player must return to the starting point and choose the other candidate. The goal of this strategy is that as soon as an incompatibility arises, the initial candidate can be eliminated but making the solution for the rest of the cell. A simple miscalculation due to poor concentration can make the puzzle unsolvable. Also, it might appear incompatibility at the end of the puzzle. This is why most players avoid this strategy. 

Unique Rectangle Type 1 

Unique Rectangle Type 1

Any Sudoku puzzle should only have one possible solution. However, at the most extreme levels, players may encounter two of them. It happens when there is a lethal pattern in the game. When there are 4 cells with the same pair of candidates, the pattern is formed. Also, each set of two cells must be placed in the same group. 

To avoid multiple solutions, the player must apply the single rectangle strategy. During the game, when faced with the prospect of a lethal pattern, the player must check if any of the four cells have other candidates. If so, the player can remove the problematic numbers and leave the remaining candidates. 

In theory, the single square technique should be the least used of the strategy of advanced Sudoku even at the most difficult levels. This pattern occurs not because of the wrong pattern but the poorly designed puzzle. 

Naked Pairs Strategy 

Naked Pairs Strategy

Naked Pairs Strategy involves the decision of which numbers are the only possibility for the specific cell. It is similar to the elimination process that the player would have used to start the puzzle. In a naked pair, 2 possible numbers will work in the pair. On the other hand, the player still has to know the correct number for the cell. 

When there is a naked pair, the player can use this strategy to eliminate the idea of using the 2 numbers in any row, column, square, etc. At this point, the player has to figure out which number makes the most sense based on the column or row. 

If the naked pair is having two or six possible answers, then go for those which are not already used. Also, the player has to make sure that the numbers are not repeated. 

Major Sudoku Strategies – Improve Your Sudoku Game

There are many strategies that Sudoku enthusiasts use. They are best to improve the gameplay and solve the puzzle in lesser time. When it comes to Sudoku, the different best strategies work for a player that makes the most sense to them. If one strategy does not work for a player, then they can switch to the other to find possible solutions. 

Some strategies are commonly used by professional Sudoku players. On the other hand, some strategies are difficult to master. So, each strategy works differently for all types of players ranging from beginners to professional or advanced players. Also, the usage of a specific strategy can get you stuck at some point. There a player can restart the strategy or switch to another.