4 Misconceptions About Playing Sudoku

Myth: You must be good at math to play Sudoku

Reality: Many people assume that because Sudoku is a “numbers game,” that means it requires players to be good at math. But this is not true. Sudoku is not about adding or subtracting or doing arithmetic – it’s about placing numbers 1-9 on a grid, without repeating any of the same numbers within the same row, column or square. Sudoku is not a “math” game, it’s a logic game.

Many people who are good at math often find that they are also good at Sudoku, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that “only” good mathematicians will be good Sudoku players. Some of the same characteristics and interests that make people good at math – logical thinking, an ability to spot patterns, an ability to focus – also make people good at playing Sudoku. But that doesn’t mean that if you hate math, you will hate Sudoku.

People can play Sudoku no matter what way their minds work. Even if you don’t like to do math, you might find that your mind offers a unique new perspective on the Sudoku grid that enables you to see opportunities and place numbers quickly.

Myth: Sudoku is a game of luck

Sudoku is not a game of luck, it’s a game of logic, reasoning, and focused deductive skills. People learn how to solve Sudoku puzzles not because they’re lucky, but because they develop an organized thought process to scan through the grid, recognize patterns, and spot opportunities lying in wait.

Myth: Sudoku requires guessing

Reality: If you don’t know which number goes in a certain space, you’re better off NOT guessing. Guessing in Sudoku can often lead you down the wrong path – you’ll start making mistakes and putting numbers in the wrong spaces, which will give you bad information for your later decisions, resulting in even more mistakes.

Sudoku is a game of momentum – if you make the right choices early on, you’ll be more likely to make the right choices later in the game. Instead of guessing, spend more time looking at the entire grid. Keep looking to spot opportunities to place numbers. Then build on that success – knowing that the “real” numbers are in the spaces where they belong.

Myth: Most Sudoku puzzles are impossible to solve

Reality: All valid Sudoku puzzles are solvable, although some of the most advanced Sudoku puzzles require analog algorithms to solve them efficiently. And in order to be solved, there must be a minimum number of clues present in the Sudoku grid – according to recent mathematics research, Sudoku puzzles must start with at least 17 clues (17 numbers already in place on the 81 spaces of the Sudoku grid at the beginning of the game) in order to have a valid solution.

Don’t let these myths and misconceptions hold you back from playing Sudoku! Sudoku is for everyone. It’s not just for people who are good at math or who know how to design advanced problem-solving algorithms. So get out there and start playing Sudoku today!