Sudoku:solving It for Beginners and the Expirienced




I will be showing the most basic to not so basic methods,trick and tips to finish a sudoku.this instructable is for anyone who plays or wants to play sudoku even if you don't know how to play.

I'll start with the basic thing and progress to the less basic things.

Step 1: How to Play Sudoku

The objective is to fill a 9x9 grid so that each column, each row, and each of the nine 3x3 boxes (also called blocks or regions) contains the digits from 1 to 9.

A cell is the smallest block in the game. A row , column and region consists of 9 cells and the whole game consists of 81 cells. A region has thicker lines surrounding it. This simply makes it easier to play the game.

Step 2: The Basic Basics(scanning)

I most basic strategy to find missing numbers is scanning and it consists of

1) Crosshatching (shown in the first picture). You scan rows and columns to eliminate where a specific number can be in a given region.As you can see there is only one legal place left for the 1(marked green).

2)Counting. In counting you simply count all the different numbers that's in a row,column and region that connects to one cell. if there is just one number missing then thats what should be in the cell. Take a look at the second picture and see if you can figure out the missing number in the green cell.

the correct answer is :4

legend: green = result
red = cause(the cause of the result that is)

Step 3: The Analysis Is a Higher Level Method

Analysis consists of two methods namely candidate elimination and the what if.

I will not be showing the what if to you because i don't like it. It's slow progress and i don't like to erase that much.

the candidate elimination. the method for candidate elimination I'm showing now is the matched pair method.This method happens when a pair of numbers are the only possible answer to two cells.

Take a look at the picture. I have concluded(with the help of cross hatching) that 7 and 8 can only be in two places in the lower left region(i filled both in) . The two cells which 7 and 8 can be in is in the same column, thus it cannot be elsewhere in the column. There is two other blank cells in this column and the missing numbers is 9 and 3. We can see that 3 can not be in the 'middle' open cell. This means 3 is in the top cell(marked green) and 9 is in the 'middle' cell.

Candidate elimination can also be used with three number in three cells.

*note: Candidate elimination is note the fastest nor easiest method for for finding the green cells answer. That is why one must first scan before analyzing . I will try to find a better example.

Step 4: Analysis (almost , I Think)

this one is almost like the candidate elimination i showed you in the previous step(its called deriving certainty from uncertainty).

Take a look at the picture below.In the center region. There is only two possible places for the 7(and 2). There is three places for the seven in the middle right region , but can not be in the middle ones because 7 is reserved by the center region thus there is only one place let for the seven in the middle right region.

Step 5: Xy-wing(This Is an Advanced Technique )

he xy wing is the most difficult technique i have tried because its more difficult to spot it(and to teach :-)

You'll understand better if you check the pics. It works by removing candidates.

the values in the blue squares will be assigned an x,y,z according to the numbers. In this instructable x=8 ; z=2 ; y=9 The green square with the redlining around it is a buddy(in the same row,column or region) of the blue block with 8,9 and the blue block 8,2. and the 9,2 blue block is an buddy of the 8,9 and 8,2 blue blocks. This means that 8(which is also in the two blue buddy blocks). cannot be in the red lined block. If your not sure why check the next picture.

Step 6: Software

i have used a few programs to play sudoku with and only one has made it mark. It's called simple sudoku. The things i like about it is the hints and the show candidates feature. The hint tells you the method to use not the number. And the show candidates feature show all the possible answer for each block and you can remove any candidate from a cell.

*note the method for filling in the possible answers is exactly the same as step 1.It is just repeated for each square and written in.

Step 7: Lastly(just a Small Thanks)

Thanks for reading my instructable, If you have any questions or know bout any technique i haven't included please add a comment. I believe I didn't copy anything directly from a site and i you spot that i have then i will rectify the problem. I used wikipedia,simple sudoku and brainbashers for information.



  • Backyard Contest

    Backyard Contest
  • Fandom Contest

    Fandom Contest
  • Pets Challenge

    Pets Challenge

26 Discussions


8 months ago on Step 7

I play Sudoku on a elliptical machine at my YMCA. At first I thought anyone playing this game would have to be nuts but as I worked though my second game I was hooked. The added distractions of the workout and rock music limit me to no more than 3 games per session. I now love Sudoku.


Question 1 year ago on Introduction

what should you expect to column or row to add up to?


2 years ago

It's simple. A number cannot repeat in any row or column or region.

If you see the number that you want to place is already placed in a row or column or region that is not where it is suppose to be.

1 reply

Reply 1 year ago

You make complete sense but sometimes you can put more then one number in there in that case which one do you chose ?


1 year ago

I am so confused I have to do this for school and I am so confused


2 years ago

I don't understand how to determine what number house in the cell

Kashyam shinde

3 years ago

It is very usefull for those who wants to start playing sudoku.....


4 years ago

The best method is to use google goggles app and it'd solve it for you in like 2-3 seconds XD


6 years ago on Introduction

Great instructable! For beginners with iPhones i recommend the Sudoku app from Pennypop. It makes sudoku so easy to learn, looks gorgeous, and it's totally free.


7 years ago on Introduction

Nice instructable! I was thinking about writing up something like this, but am about as far from a mathematician as one can get, so I never really got around to it. I call my "rules" the "Two of a Kind" (two of the same number, in adjacent columns/rows that narrow down the placement in the third row of that set of horizontal or vertical blocks), two pair (two pairs in a row, column, or a block, eliminate all numbers in that associated row/column and/or block....three triples is the same, but with three numbers, and I find it more difficult to use this rule, and it shows up a whole lot less, I find; besides, the other rules usually trump the 3-Trips), and "Three-Pack" (all three numbers in a row/column within a block are filled in, this allows placement of single numbers of adjacent rows to be placed in the other two blocks in that row/column of blocks). I find that, with a minimum of WAG's (Wild @rsed Guess), I can usually plow through the hardest level of the Sudoku app on my Droid3 in about 15-20 minutes.