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Tic-Tac-Toe (also called Noughts and crosses or Xs and Os) is a very popular children’s pencil and paper game, which is often enjoyed by many adults, as well. Because of its simplicity, the game may seem trivial at first, however, Tic-Tac-Toe involves its share of analytics and rapidity. The game is a lot of fun for people of all ages and provides one with a great brain workout too!
You may play Tic-tac-toe online with other players or challenge Paper Man, a robot, in order to win points and obtain a higher ranking! Do read our strategies and tactics to help you achieve your goal to become the Number One player! This multiplayer game enables you to play live with hundreds of real players from the entire globe, wherever you may be and whatever language you may speak!
Rules of Tic-tac-toe
Two players challenge each other by using a 3×3 grid in Tic-tac-toe. One player chooses noughts , the opposing player uses crosses and the first one to align 3 of their identical symbols, either noughts or crosses, (horizontally, vertically or diagonally) wins the game.
Strategies and tactics to win at Tic-tac-toe
Tic-tac-toe is a “zero-sum game”, meaning the gain of one player will signify the loss of the other. In the event both players will play perfectly, the game ends in a draw. Here are the most useful strategies and tactics you will need in order to influence the outcome of a Tic-tac-toe game and win.
When you begin Tic-Tac-Toe
Play your first X in a corner
In this example, the player who has the Xs will make the first move.
When you are the first to move, place your X in a corner square. If your opponent does not take the center square, you are most certainly assured to win! Place your second X in the center square to force your opponent to block you. Then place your third X in one of the border squares and next to the square where you made your first move. By doing this, you have a double winning move and your opponent will only be able to block one of them. Giving you the victory!
If your opponent takes the center
When your opponent follows by choosing the center square as their first move, you may still have a chance of winning if your opponent makes an error later in the game. Otherwise, a perfect series of moves by each player will end in a draw.
Respond by placing your second X in the opposite corner square, diagonally from the square where you made your first move. Each player’s position will be X-O-X. If your opponent takes one of the other corner squares, you can be sure to win. Play the last corner available and you will have a double chance for victory!
Win at Tic-tac-toe when your opponent does not follow with the center
If your opponent moves their O somewhere else other than in the center square, your victory is assured. Respond by placing your second X in a corner while keeping an empty square next to your initial X.
When your opponent begins at Tic-Tac-Toe
Your opponent makes the first move of the game by placing their O in a corner square
In this case, and when you’re not the starting player, you still have the opportunity to end in a draw if you don’t make any mistakes.
When your opponent places an O in a corner square and as their first move, systematically put your X in the center square. If your opponent places their second O in one of the remaining corner squares, do not place your X in a corner, but rather in one of the squares on an edge. This will force your opponent to react rather than attack. You can then expect to win if your opponent makes a mistake, otherwise the game will end in a draw.
When your opponent begins the game by making their first move on an edge at Tic-Tac-Toe
- If your opponent is an inexperienced player, chances are that they will start on an edge.
- Place your X in the center square immediately
- If your opponent reacts by placing their second O opposite from their first move (creating an O–X–O), then place your second X in a corner square.
- If your opponent places their third O in a square that blocks your winning move (creating a X–X–O diagonal), then make your next move by placing your X into another corner square, enabling you to block your opponent and to create a double diagonal. This will ensure your victory!
Have a look at “replays” and “live games” from other players and sharpen your senses at Tic-tac-toe!