## Learn how to play Sudoku: Solve your first game of Sudoku for beginners Easily

Learn how to play Sudoku and Solve your first Sudoku for beginners game 1 all by yourself in no time. Just follow the step by step instructions to solve.

Content sections are,

**What is a Sudoku game: Stage 1:**Labels, 81 cell Sudoku puzzle, structure of a Sudoku game and identifying a cell.**Rules of plaing a Sudoku puzzle game.****How to play Sudoku Stage 2:**Play begins: Sudoku technique of identifying a valid cell for a single digit by row column scan - finding first valid cell and valid digit.**How to play Sudoku Stage 3:**Finding second valid cell for a unique digit.**How to play Sudoku Stage 4:**Result of attempt to place the same previous digit in the third valid cell.**How to play Sudoku Stage 5:**Finding the third and other valid cells following a strategy.**How to play Sudoku Stage 6:**Row column scan for next larger digit in most favorable zone.**How to play Sudoku Stage 7:**Modifying primary strategy a second time.**How to play Sudoku Stage 8:**Final solution - modified strategy and many valid cells by exception.**How to play Sudoku:**A few points to remember.

The session ends with a new Sudoku game for beginners for you to solve as exercise.

### What is a Sudoku game - Structure and labels

Sudoku is a fascinating (and addictive) solo game that has the potential to keep you engaged for long time. It is fun and at the same time challenging to solve Sudoku games. The game is so popular that in every news daily of note you will invariably find a Sudoku daily dose just like cross-word puzzles. That was in older times. Today Android and other mobile stores boast of very good free Sudoku apps. Just launch a google search for Sudoku game to access all types of websites chock-full of Sudoku.

If you have free time to engage your mind actively, playing Sudoku is a great choice.

Sudoku games come in clearly identified hardness levels. Start at the very beginning and move up the hardness levels at your own pace. Best of all, you don't need know any math or any other subject at all to play Sudoku.

We will explain how to play Sudoku on the following Sudoku game.

#### Labels

The **labels C1, C2....C9** at the top of the large main square are **for identifying the nine columns** and labels R1, R2......R9 on the left are for identifying the nine rows.

#### The main game puzzle: Structure of a Sudoku game

The main large square with 81 tiny squares or **cells** is the **Sudoku game puzzle** you have to solve. **It consists of 9 columns and 9 rows.**

A few of these 81 cells are already filled up with digits 1 to 9 and the rest are empty.

To solve the puzzle game, you have to fill up the empty cells by the digits 1 to 9 following Sudoku rules.

There are millions of such different Sudoku puzzle game with the tiny cells filled up differently. You would never be able to exhaust this treasure even if you play hard and long throughout your life.

#### Identifying a cell

**A specific cell**, say the **cell shaded banana-leaf green on the second row R2**, is identified (for explanation only) by **R2C8**. This is because the cell is at the* intersection of ROW 2 and COLUMN 8*.

In a cell id R2C8, row number R2 appears first and column number C8 appears next.

#### Major squares and a Zone

The **81 tiny cells are further grouped** into $3\times{3}=9$ **medium sized squares** each **consisting of 9 tiny square cells**. These are 9 major squares.

A MAJOR SQUARE is formed at the intersection of three successive rows R1R2R3, R4R5R6 or R7R8R9 with three successive columns C1C2C3, C4C5C6 or C7C8C9.

Thick borders separate the major squares from each other and help identification at all times.

While explaining the solution of a Sudoku game, we'll refer to the major squares as:

Top left major square R1R2R3-C1C2C3, Top middle R1R2R3-C4C5C6, Top right R1R2R3-C7C8C9, Left middle R4R5R6-C1C2C3, Central middle R4R5R6-C4C5C6, Right middle R4R5R6-C7C8C9, Bottom left R7R8R9-C1C2C3, Bottom middle R7R8R9-C4C5C6 and finally Bottom right major square R7R8R9-C7C8C9 - all 9 major squares.

An example of a major square is shown in the figure shaded light blue. Can you tell what will be its name? We'll call it as bottom left major square.

A ZONE IS EITHER A ROW, A COLUMN OR A MAJOR SQUARE.

Can you say how many zones are there in a Sudoku game? The number is 27: 9 each of rows, columns and major squares.

At this moment you need to forget about the labels and the colors. Those are all our doings for ease of explanation. The **actual puzzle is the large square with 81 cells some of which already are filled up with digits in them.**

### Rules of playing a Sudoku puzzle game

First rule:Each cell of the 81-cell board can have any of the nine digits 1 to 9 only, and nothing else.

In the beginning, some of the 81 cells will come filled up with digits and the rest empty. You have to fill up all the cells gradually, following a few more strict rules.

Second rule:Each row and each column can have the digits 1 to 9 without any repetition at all.

Ultimately when you fill up all the empty cells of this game, **each row and each column will have exactly nine digits 1 to 9 with no digit repeating**. That **will be the correct solution** of the Sudoku puzzle.

But this is not all.

Third rule:Each of the nine 9-cell major squares have their own little world in which they won't allow you to put anything other than the digits 1 to 9 again without any repetition.

Though this rule apparently makes the game more complex, this specific property helps greatly in solving a Sudoku game to its final correctly filled up solution.

**Note:** Now that you are aware of what is a Sudoku game and what are the rules, you may start placing the digits in the cells and finish the game. But after some time (which may be after completing the game successfully) you should return to this point and follow the game played here. It is necessary because that way *you'll be exposed to a systematic approach that'll save lots of time and frustration in future games.*

### How to play Sudoku Stage 2: Play begins - Finding our first valid cell and valid digit

Okay, with the ground rules laid down let's play.

Result of placing the first valid digit is shown below. We'll explain the process with the help of this figure. This is the result of action taken in this stage and will be the start of the next stage.

Filling a large number of empty cells without violating the three strict rules with no error and backtracking needs a SYSTEMATIC AND STRATEGIC APPROACH.

We'll play the game with a specific system and strategy, but with experience, you may form your own systematic approach and strategy.

This is an easy level beginner's Sudoku game and you'll need only the most basic of the Sudoku techniques to play the game.

#### Sudoku technique of Row Column scan

To fill our first VALID DIGIT in the first VALID CELL, we'll apply the *most basic Sudoku technique* of **row column scan for a specific digit.**

Row R1 and R3 have digit 1. It means, no other empty cells in these two rows can have digit 1. And same with 1 in column C9.

With this knowledge when the empty cells of top right major square R1R2R3-C7C8C9 are examined, you can see that by digit 1 in R1, R2 and C9 all cells in top right major square are disallowed for digit 1 **EXCEPT CELL R2C8.**

As the major square must have a digit 1 and as it can be placed only in R2C8, we get a **valid cell hit** for a **valid digit as R2C8 1.**

And this process we call as ROW COLUMN SCAN FOR DIGIT 1 ON TOP RIGHT MAJOR SQUARE.

**Row column scan is usually done ON** EMPTY CELLS OF A MAJOR SQUARE.

All cells in rows R1 and R3 and column C9 are lighted up by presence of digit 1.

With 1 already present, none of the empty cells of these three zones can have 1.

Lighting up cells means AFFECTED BY OR DISALLOWED FOR and this is indicated by yellow color shade.

Fine, we have at least filled our first valid digit. Next we would decide on which is the next digit to be filled.

### How to play Sudoku Stage 3: Finding second valid cell for a unique digit

Like before we'll show where we have placed the second valid digit and explain all about it on the figure below. This is the result of actions taken at this stage and will be the start of the next stage.

This is the time to tell you the primary strategy and system that we'll follow to find valid cells.

#### Strategy of finding a valid cell and fill it with a unique digit

Either valid cells can be found randomly or following a systematic approach.

It is necessary in Sudoku game playing to follow a systematic approach because of its inherent difficulty (even though easy Sudoku games are really easy) and high chances of confusion and error leading to frustration.

It is safer to carry on **row column scan for digit 1 first**, next larger digit 2 second, continuing till either it is no longer possible to get a valid cell for a digit OR digit 9 is reached.

With this PRIMARY STRATEGY, row column scan for digit 1 continued on bottom middle major square: scan for 1 in R8, R9, C4 -- R7C5 1 as the only cell left in the major square for 1.

This is shown by yellow shaded lighting up of all other empty cells of bottom middle major square.

According to the primary strategy **we'll try for the third valid cell for digit 1 only.**

And the result we'll see next stage.

### How to play Sudoku Stage 4: Result of attempt to place the same previous digit in the third valid cell

Like before we'll show below the result of actions taken at this stage that will be the start of next stage.

See that out of 9 major squares, 7 have digit 1. The two major squares, left middle and central middle only do not have digit 1 yet.

Can we find a valid cell for 1 in either or both these major squares?

Work out the cells that are lighted up by the other 7 digit 1s. You will find that, all cells are lighted up for 1 **except two pairs of cells.**

One pair, R5C3, R6C3 and second pair R5C6, R6C6.

We cannot decide which single cell to place 1 in for both the major squares.

This is how effort to find valid cell by row column scan for a digit is stopped **for the time being** (naturally we'll get the two valid cells for two more digit 1s later when more cells are filled up by valid digits).

What to do next? According to our primary strategy **we'll scan for the next larger digit 2 now.** That'll be shown in next stage.

### How to play Sudoku Stage 5: Finding the third and other valid cells following a strategy

At the fifth stage, according to our primary strategy we'll scan for the next larger digit 2. But we'll not stop at 2, we'll find more valid cells. Result of all actions taken at this stage is shown below. Explanations follow.

With no more valid cells possible for 1, following the strategy of row column scan, we'll now scan for next larger digit 2.

Where to scan?

Choice is the **top right major square**, as it is the **FAVORABLE ZONE with 6 digits filled** as well as, we can see that, **R3C8 2** by row scan of digit 2 in R1, R2. 2 in these 2 rows lights up the cells R1C9, R2C9 respectively for 2 so that the single cell R3C8 is not affected by the presence of 2 in R1 and R2.

#### Modifying primary strategy of row column scan for a digit

Now only 2 digits [4,8] are left as well as two empty cells left for the digits in the top right major square. With so few empty cells left in the zone, we'll make an exception to our primary strategy of scanning for the same digit.

**Note:** *FAVORABLE OR PROMISING ZONE is a column, row or major square high possibility of getting a valid cell. This is indirectly determined by the presence of large number of cells already filled up in the zone.*

With clear chances of quick valid cell hit on a favorable zone with only two empty cells, we won't continue to scan for 2.

Instead, we would try to get valid cells among these two empty cells only.

Accordingly, scan for 4 in R1 lights up the cell R1C9 blocking it for 4. So 4 is placed in only the cell left R2C9, and similarly 8 in single cell left in the major square R1C9.

This is a **hybrid strategy of identifying promising valid cells whenever it is easily feasible** and then moving on to the system of scanning for next higher digit.

A quick scan for next digit 2 proves no success.

So we take up scanning for next larger digit 3 and get immediate successes: R9C1 3 scan for 3 in R8, C2 -- R1C3 3 scan for 3 in R3, C1, C2 -- R2C5 3 scan for 3 in R1, R3, C6.

Continuing with 3 more successes: R7C7 3 scan for 3 in R8, R9, C9 -- R5C8 3 scan for 3 in C7, C9 and lastly R4C4 3 by largest row column scan R5, R6, C5, C6.

You may record the fact that all 9 digit 3 filled up.

Scanning for next larger digit 4, first success we get with cross-scan for 4 in R8 and C6 that leaves only the unaffected cell R7C4 for 4. This is an example of cross-scan by a row and a column only.

Continuing with 4 as the **PROMISING DIGIT with only 3 more left,** next valid cell we get R9C7 4 by row column cross scan of R7, R8 and C8 and next R3C1 4 by scanning R2, C2, C3.

Lastly R5C5 4 by largest row column scan by two rows and two columns R5C5 4 by scanning on R4, R6, C4, C6. With this digit 4 is completely filled up. For convenience you may record it.

At the end of this stage we get a quick success with next larger digit 5, R8C9 5 by a simple cross-scan for 5 over R7 and C8 leaving only the cell R8C9 for 5.

The result of actions at this stage is repeated below for ease of understanding.

### How to play Sudoku Stage 6: Row column scan for next larger digit in most favorable zone

In the sixth stage we make use of the most favorable zone along with scanning for the next larger digit. Result of actions at this stage shown below.

With no more success with 5, scan for digit 6 is taken up.

What is the most favorable zone at this point? It is the column C9 with only 2 cells empty.

So we scan the intersecting rows for 6 against these two empty cells of C1.

This is a different type of scan compared to scanning against the empty cells of a major square. Nevertheless this is equally effective in giving us the valid cell R7C9 6 as the only cell left in the column for 6.

And next R6C9 9 automatically by self-scan on the column C9 to identify digit 9 left for the single cell R6C9.

**Caution:** *This is where you might make a mistake, so identify the single missing digit in column C9 carefully.*

In the same way, 2 is the single missing digit in row R7 and it is placed in the single empty cell in the row, R7C2 2.

### How to play Sudoku Stage 7: Modifying primary strategy a second time

After following the primary strategy of scanning for the next larger digit we'll modify the strategy a second time for more convenience. Result of steps at this stage is shown below.

With 3 and 4 fully filled and no more 2 and 5 possible, we'll return to scanning for 6 getting immediate success: R8C2 6 scanning for 6 in column C1 -- R8C1 7 as the only digit left by exception.

Further scan for 6: R4C3 6 scan for 6 in C1, C2 -- R1C4 6 scan for 6 in R2, R3 -- R1C2 9 by exception as the only digit left, and lastly R5C6 6 by scan for 6 in R4, R6, C4.

All nine digit 6s are filled up.

#### Second modification of primary strategy - going backwards and starting with smallest unfinished digit scan

With much of the empty cells filled up we'll go back to scanning for the smallest digit 1 that has not been fully filled yet. **This is the second modification in primary strategy.**

With good amount of cells filled, we'll go back to scanning for the smallest digit not yet fully filled which is digit 1.

Two 1s we get easily as, R6C6 1 by scanning for 1 in R4, C4, C5 -- R5C3 1 by scanning for 1 in R4, R6, C2 -- R6C3 7 by exception in C3.

Digit 1 is now fully filled.

Scanning for the next larger digit 2 following primary strategy: R4C6 2 by scanning for 2 in R5, R6, C5. And lastly, R8C4 2 by scanning R9, C5.

Digit 2 is also fully filled.

### How to play Sudoku Stage 8: Final solution - modified strategy and many valid cells by exception

This is the stage where we'll fill all the empty cells. We'll first show the final solution and then explain the logic of the steps to find valid cells.

With very few empty cells left, we'll adopt a first come first served kind of strategy without any specific sequence of digits.

#### Third modification in primary strategy - First come first served strategy

This is nearly same as the first modification. We'll spot an opportunity for a valid cell in any suitable promising zone and will continue to do so.

As it is easier to identify the missing digits in a major square because of compact nature of the digits filled compared to a column or a row, we'll take up one of the promising zones as the left middle major square.

One of the missing digits being 9, we get immediately, R4C1 9 -- R2C1 5 by exception in column C1 -- R5C2 5 by exception in left middle major square -- R2C2 7 by exception in top left major square -- R2C6 9 by exception in top middle major square.

No more valid cells by exception.

So we take up the **first come first served strategy** on top middle major square.

With two digits left [5,7], R3C5 5 by scan for 5 in Column C6 -- R3C6 7 by exception in R3 -- R9C6 8 by exception in C6 -- R9C8 9 by exception in R9 -- R8C8 8 by exception in C8 -- R8C5 9 by exception in R8.

As per our strategy of **focusing on most favorable zone preferably a major square with 2 missing digits**, next choice is right middle major square with missing digits [5,8].

**And successes**: R4C7 5 by scan for 5 in R5 -- R5C7 8 by exception in C7 -- R4C5 7 by exception in R4 -- R6C5 8 by exception in C5 -- R6C4 5 by exception in R6 -- R5C4 9 by exception in all three parent zones of R5, C4 and central middle major square.

**END.**

Observe how a systematic approach resulted in finding the valid cells in a fully controlled manner.

All red colored digits you have filled and all turquoise blue shaded cells you have filled at this last stage.

### A few important points to remember

Before we end let us jot down a few important points for your convenience in playing Sudoku.

#### Playing medium

Should you play Sudoku using pen and paper, in a mobile or using something else? **Our strong recommendation is**,

If possible always play Sudoku in a spreadsheet program. We are not aware of any better medium of Sudoku game solving, be it an easy game like we have solved just now or the reportedly the hardest Sudoku game in the world.

The advantage will simply be in the ease of creating a good looking Sudoku game board from a book or from mobile, delete the mistakes easily, undoing mistakes in series till you return back to a correct previous position with certainty. Errors are frequent as strong concentration sometimes waver. It is human.

A good habit is to copy the whole board of a correct position to a new position alongside the old board and play on the new board. This way, later you would be able to analyze your progress through the game very conveniently. It is a great help in learning.

**You can use color to mark special cells.** You have perhaps noticed that **we have colored all our newly filled up cells as red.** This always keeps you informed about the old supplied filled up cells and the cells you have filled up.

In a single worksheet you can play and preserve many Sudoku boards along with your own notes if any.

The advantages are many.

#### Build up your own strategies

In this page we have led you by hand. That is not good for learning.

Unless you venture into a jungle on your own you won't know its ways.

In other words, if you are serious about playing Sudoku, you have to play lots of games yourself and always should be in a learning mode, identifying and noting the special strategies and techniques that you have found useful.

This is as true in Sudoku as in learning Maths.

#### Checking correctness of a game board

Always try to check correctness of a game you have finished without looking at the answers. This will increase your feel about the playing board.

#### Don't try to skip difficulty levels

By this we mean, when you feel confident about a difficulty level of Sudoku, don't be rash enough to skip one higher level of difficulty to try a problem at two higher level of difficulty. By mistake we have done this once resulting in great hardships.

You should move up one level of difficulty when you are completely confident of the present level of games you are playing.

#### Don't spend too much time on Sudoku

This warning is important as we know for sure that this game is great but it is also very addictive. It might encroach into your valuable work or study time.

### A game for you to solve

We leave you here with a new game for you to solve. In our next session we will present its solution and another new game.

Enjoy.

### Sudoku for beginners learning and practice sessions

**Sudoku for beginners 11 - Learn and practice Sudoku level 1**

**Sudoku for beginners 10 - Learn and practice Sudoku level 1**

**Sudoku for beginners 9 - Learn and practice Sudoku level 1**

**Sudoku for beginners 8 - Learn and practice Sudoku level 1**

**Sudoku for beginners 7 - Learn and practice Sudoku level 1**

**Sudoku for beginners 6 - Learn and practice Sudoku level 1**

**Sudoku for beginners 5 - Learn and practice Sudoku level 1**

**Sudoku for beginners 4 - Learn and practice Sudoku level 1**

**Sudoku for beginners 3 - Learn and practice Sudoku level 1**

**Sudoku for beginners 2 - Learn and practice Sudoku level 1**

**Learn to Play Sudoku for Beginners Game 1**

### Second and higher level Sudoku games

You will get links to all the 2nd level Sudoku game solutions at **Second level Sudoku.**

Links to third and higher level Sudoku game solutions are available in the main * Sudoku* page.

It is **recommended** that without jumping over any of the hardness levels, one should progress through solving higher level Sudoku games strictly step by one step up. For example, you shouldn't play a 3rd level Sudoku game without being comfortable in solving 2nd level games.