One of my fondest memories of school involves engaging in competitive paper and pen games with my classmates. Tic-tac-toe, connect the dots and pair the words were part of our daily lives and the thought of these excites me to this day. Not to brag, but I was a self-acclaimed legend when it came to tic-tac-toe. I was unbeatable. So much so, that people refused to play with me because I always managed to win with the few tricks I had up my sleeve. Even today, some of my batchmates remember me as the best tic-tac-toe player in school. Even years later, in all of our gatherings and kitty parties, tic-tac-toe is a staple. So, today I decided to share these tips and tricks with you all on – How to win tic-tac-toe, so even you can become the life of every school match and social gathering!

Although tic-tac-toe seems to be an easy game, it can be quite deceitful. It requires a lot of strategic thinking, concentration and needless to say, practice.

Before we arrive at the main disclosure, here are the rules of the tic-tac-toe –

The rules of the game are fairly straightforward.

  1. The game requires two players, X and O.
  2. The game board is a set 3×3 grid in which players will place their symbol to claim that segment.
  3. X typically players first, then players alternate turns.
  4. The goal is to claim three segments of the grid in a row, either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.
  5. No additional sides can be added to the grid.
  6. The game is over either when one player achieves three segments in a row, or when the grid is filled without anyone achieving three segments in a row.

Finally, here are a few simple strategies that will make sure you never lose a match of tic-tac-toe

How to win tic-tac-toe when you go first

When you’re the first one up, there is a simple strategy on how to win tic tac toe: put your ‘X’ in any corner. This move will pretty much send you to the winner’s circle every time, so long as your opponent doesn’t put their first ‘O’ in the center box. This can make it harder to win, but it can happen.

How to win tic-tac-toe when you go second

If you’re the second to go, it may be harder to win the game.  Follow this – Your opponent takes the center space, counteract that by placing your letter in a corner. Your opponent takes a corner space, take the middle space. This will force a draw in both cases. Winning is almost impossible unless a major mistake is made by your opponent.

But, if your opponent starts on an edge that is not a corner, you can win. There is an exact science on how to win tic tac toe if this is the case: Put your first letter in the center. You can only claim victory if your opponent puts their letter on the other edge. If not, you will have to settle for a draw.

How to never lose at tic-tac-toe

Some players want to learn how to always win, but others simply want to know how to never lose, which in essence means they want to know how to force a tie in any situation. Forcing a tie is quite easy in this game if you know the standard blocking strategy. Here are a few of the best strategies for forcing ties:

  1. If you are playing first, forced ties are quite easy. They only require that the player not miss any chances to block wins from the opponent. Playing first is the best way to win as well, and losing is almost impossible with proper strategy
  2. If you are playing second, your main goal is to force to a tie. Winning from the second position is quite difficult, and it requires several mistakes from the opponent. If the first player makes their first move in a corner, which is the recommended first move, the second player should take the center segment. The first player will then make their second move, and the second player should then take one of the edges. Only take a corner piece to block your opponent from getting three in a row. If that strategy is employed, a tie will certainly be reached.
  3. If you are playing second and the first player takes the center segment, your first move should be to take a corner. After that, the second player should only focus on blocking the first player.

Symmetry is your friend

If you’re not sure what the next move is, experts point out that symmetry is always the best bet, so when contemplating a move, look for the one that will make the board as symmetrical as possible. Not only will it make your board look nice, but it will also block your opponent from being able to run away with a victory.

Hope these tips and tricks were helpful!

Want to know how to solve a Rubik’s cube? – How to Solve a Rubik’s Cube