How to Play Sudoku
Sudoku is a logic style game that is made up of a grid of nine boxes, each containing nine individual squares. The object of the game is to fill each column, row and each of the nine boxes with the numbers one to nine, without having any number repeat itself.
Some of the numbers will already be filled into the grids. Easier versions of the game will have more numbers while more difficult versions will have less.
Many puzzles will have only one correct solution, but some have multiple. You can see above, the bottom right box as numbers 1 through 9, and the bottom row allow has numbers 1 through 9.
The History of Sudoku
The name Sudoku was coined by the Japanese and translates to “single number.” While this version of the game only became popular in the western world in 2004, it has been popular in Japan since the late 1980’s.
Prior to this, similar number games were published in newspapers all around the globe but these puzzles relied on mathematical skills and calculations to solve them. Sudoku is a game of logic, where no knowledge of math is required at all, one of the reasons that it has grown so much in popularity over the years.
The world-wide success of Sudoku can be directly attributed to one man; Wayne Gould. Working as a judge in Japan, he came across a Sudoku puzzle and went to work devising a computer program that would quickly and easily create these puzzles. Once he had perfected his software, he was able to sell it to newspapers across Europe and North America. This game was then printed in all of the popular papers beside their crosswords and wordsearches and it was at this point that Sudoku’s popularity skyrocketed.
The Benefits of Playing Sudoku
Studies have been conducted over the years on the benefits of playing logical puzzle games, like Sudoku, and the results have been amazing. Playing a quick game of Sudoku daily has the potential to provide the following benefits:
- Enhances problem solving skills: There is no denying the fact that every game of Sudoku presents a problem that needs to be solved. It is only with careful deduction and thought that you will be able to complete one of these games. Each time that you try, your problem solving skills will improve and you will find that the game becomes easier and faster to solve. This enhanced problem solving ability will also translate to other areas of your life as well.
- Improves memory: When trying to solve a Sudoku puzzle, your memory skills are so important. You must remember which number combinations you have tried before and which specific number patterns you are looking for. At first, you might find yourself jotting down possible number answers in the margins but the more you play, the better your memory will become and you won’t have to rely on notes. There is also proof that logic puzzles like Sudoku help to strengthen the brain and it’s memory function and can help to prevent diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
- Helps to reduce stress and anxiety: Spending time focusing on a Sudoku puzzle means spending less time worrying about your troubles. Not only can Sudoku be a great distraction from the stress of everyday life, it is also a calming activity that most people find enjoyable. Spending just a few minutes a day on a fun Sudoku puzzle can help reduce your stress levels and improve your anxiety.
- Improves concentration: Because Sudoku is a game of logic, it requires full concentration. At first, you may find yourself getting easily distracted when trying to solve a puzzle but it will become quickly apparent that these distractions are keeping you from solving the puzzle and require you to continually go back to the beginning in an attempt to complete it. The more often you attempt a puzzle the more involved and concentrated you will become. Giving it your full attention is the only way to beat Sudoku!
- Promotes happiness and fulfillment: Not only is Sudoku an affordable hobby to have, it is also one that brings about a sense of joy. Puzzles and logic games are fun and they bring about a great sense of fulfillment once one has been completed. What better way to bring about a bit of happiness to your life and a smile to your face than a quick game of Sudoku!
When trying to solve a Sudoku puzzle here are some tips and tricks you can try to make it easier!
- Scan all rows and columns first: Look for any situation where only one specific number will work in that row or column and add it in.
- Look for patterns: Once you become familiar with the game, you will be able to see patterns in the numbers that will identify which ones are missing and where these missing numbers will go. Always keep your eyes open for these patterns.
- Practice!: One of the best ways to become an expert at Sudoku is to practice. Like the old saying goes, “practice makes perfect,” and the more Sudoku puzzles that you complete, the better you will get at quickly recognizing patterns and identifying solutions!