With just a few quick tips, you can start to see the sudoku grid more clearly and make more of the right moves quickly to get started and solve sudoku puzzles more efficiently.
Here are 3 simple tips for Sudoku beginners to help you gain momentum and start solving puzzles faster:
Scan the grid to see more possibilities
Once you’ve taken advantage of your initial successes and completed all the losses, it’s important to keep looking around the grid and trying to spot new opportunities. Try to look at the grid with fresh eyes – don’t get hung up on one corner or section of the grid just because you thought you could fit more numbers there. Sudoku requires that you remain flexible and adaptive and keep trying new areas of the grid.
Use your early momentum.
After you’ve filled in some gaps using the low-hanging fruit strategy, you need to develop your initial momentum.
Each new number you place on the grid gives you additional information and clues that you can use to solve additional gaps. Each time you place a new number on the grid, look at the adjacent squares, rows and columns to see how the rest of the grid is affected by the numbers you have just placed – sometimes you will quickly see new clues and new opportunities to place additional numbers.
By developing momentum in this way, you can turn your first few number placements into a long-term success streak. For example, you may find that placing the 8th and 9th numbers in a particular row will give you new clues to exclude other numbers from the corresponding square. Each number added to the grid gives you the opportunity to exclude other numbers from the nearest empty space.
Look for ‘low-hanging fruit’.
When you first start playing Sudoku, you need to look around the grid and try to find areas where there are already lots of numbers. For example, if there is a row that already has 7 out of 9 numbers, or a square that already has 6 out of 9 numbers, these might be good places to start.
It is often better to start by placing more numbers in the parts of the grid where there are already a lot of numbers, because this makes it easier to identify which numbers are missing.
If you can start a game of Sudoku by focusing on a few areas where there are already most of the numbers (such as 5 or 6 or more of the 9 numbers), you can quickly move on to the game and start filling in the empty spaces.