With just a few simple tips, you can start to see the Sudoku grid with greater visibility and quickly make more of the right sorts of moves to get a fast start and solve Sudoku puzzles more efficiently.
Here are 3 simple Sudoku tips for Sudoku beginners to build momentum and start solving puzzles more quickly:
Look for “Low-Hanging Fruit”
When you first start to play a Sudoku puzzle, you need to look around the grid and try to find the areas where there are already a lot of numbers in place. For example, if there is a row that already has 7 out of 9 numbers in place, or a square that already has 6 out of the 9 numbers in place, these might be good places to start.
It’s often best to start by placing more numbers in the parts of the grid that already have a lot of numbers – because this makes it easiest to figure out which numbers are missing.
If you can start your Sudoku game by focusing on a few areas that already have most of the numbers in place (for example, 5 or 6 or more out of the 9 numbers), you’ll be able to quickly get a jump on the game and start filling in some blank spaces.
Build on Your Early Momentum
Once you have filled in some blank spaces by using the “low-hanging fruit” strategy, you need to build upon this initial momentum.
Every new number that you place onto the grid gives you additional information and clues that you can use to solve additional blank spaces. Every time you place a new number on the grid, look to the neighboring squares, rows and columns to see how the rest of the grid is affected by the numbers that you have just placed – sometimes you will quickly see new clues and new opportunities to place additional numbers.
By building on your momentum in this way, you can turn a few early number placements into a long-lasting streak of success. For example, you might find that placing the 8th and 9th numbers in a certain row will give you new clues to eliminate other numbers from that corresponding square. Every number added to the grid gives you the chance to rule out other numbers from the nearby empty spaces.
Scan the Grid for More Opportunities
After you’ve pursued the momentum of your early successes and wrapped up any lose ends, it’s important to keep glancing around the grid and trying to spot new opportunities. Try to keep looking at the grid with fresh eyes – don’t get bogged down in one corner or area of the grid, just because you thought you had a chance to place more numbers there. Sudoku requires you to stay agile and adaptive, and keep trying new areas of the grid.