How to play Sudoku and why its a game for any ages

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Please note this guide is meant as a starting point for beginners to the game, it does not cover intermediate or advanced strategies for solving sudoku puzzles

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I used to think that Sudoku was one of those boring things that I could not for the life in me imagine wasting any time on

I was wrong!  Sudoku is a challenging, fun and addictive puzzle game that has the added benefit of stimulating and exercising the brain, which can be just as important as exercising the body!

Sudoku for Children

Sudoku is an excellent way for kids to develop their logic skills while having fun, and children as young as 7 or 8 can begin to enjoy them.  Children of all abilities can enjoy the challenge of a Sudoku puzzle, as long as you choose a level suitable to their age/skills

Sudoku develops your childs concentration and logic skills

The UK government-produced Teachers magazine has recommended that Sudoku puzzles are done in the classroom as brain exercise!

There are many ways you can encourage your child to enjoy and learn from playing Sudoku:
Spend time with your child completing the puzzles - children love to spend quality time with their parents and this is a great way of doing just that
Give your child a prize for completing a puzzle as a reward for their hard work
Give your child lots of praise when they are making progress on a puzzle
Buy a Sudoku computer game - children love to play on computers and you get all the educational benefits of them playing Sudoku while at the same time, your child is gaining valuable PC skills and knowledge

Click here to view my listings for an excellent PC CD ROM Sudoku game with over 10,000 hand crafted games which play far better than computer generated ones, and a brilliant print and go facility so you can complete your puzzle while you are travelling, at work, on holiday etc

The Rules of The Game

A Sudoku puzzle consists of a series of grids.  The grids usually involve one big 9x9 grid that holds 9 3x3 tiny grids.  However, there are some variations of the game which have a different grid pattern

The grid starts with several numbers on it.  The object of the game is to complete all the empty boxes with numbers from 1 to 9

There are three rules for how this should be done:
1.   Each of the numbers from 1 to 9 must appear once in each column
2.   Each number from 1 to 9 must appear once in each row
3.   Each number must appear once in each small 3x3 grid

Numbers cannot appear more than once in any column, row or 3x3 grid

How to get started with your Sudoku puzzle

Every Sudoku puzzle can be solved logically.  The best way to start is by looking for clues.  Start by looking for numbers that occur frequently in the initial puzzle

For example - say you have a lot of 9s in the initial puzzle.  Look for the 3x3 grid where there is no 9.  Can you rule out the places where a 9 could go?

Look for 9's in other rows and columns that can help you eliminate where the 9 might go in that 3x3 grid

Remember, a 9 can't appear more than once in any 3x3 grid, row or column.  If there is a 9 in columns 1 and 2, there can't be a 9 anywhere else in either of those columns

Once you've finished looking at all the 3x3 grids, start looking at the rows and columns that have the most numbers in them

If there are only two numbers missing in a row or a column, you can usually use a process of elimination to figure out where to fill in the last two numbers

Once you have done all this, you should have been able to complete a lot of the blank spaces ... then just start the process again!  Each time you start the process, you will have more completed boxes than before and will be able to logically work out what numbers are missing and where they should go

A Couple of Tips

There is a logical and unique solution to each and every puzzle

Have patience, it takes time to solve a Sudoku puzzle

Knowing where the numbers can't go is just as valuable as knowing where they can go

Whenever you solve a space, immediately check and update all spaces/entries in the same row, column or 3x3 grid

And most of all, enjoy and have fun!

Ready to play?  Click here to view my listings for an excellent PC CD ROM Sudoku game with over 10,000 hand crafted games which play far better than computer generated ones, and a brilliant print and go facility so you can complete your puzzle while you are travelling, at work, on holiday etc

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