How to Win or Draw at Tic Tac Toe but Never Lose

Tic Tac Toe Strategy     Tic Tac Toe, the game that has more X's and O's in it than your last letter from old Aunt Sofie, has been around for a long, long time. In fact, Tic Tac Toe was probably the first strategy game that most of us ever played. In my experience, the majority of players who enjoy Tic Tac Toe think of it as a very simple strategy game. However, if you ask yourself, honestly, "Have I ever lost a game of tic tac toe?" the answer will invariably be yes. However, by following the guidelines of the Chess and Poker Dot Com Tic Tac Toe strategy guide you'll be able to guarantee at least a draw in all of your games, and hopefully have great winning chances against your less-informed opponents.

      To refresh you on the rules, the object of the game is to make three of your symbol in a row which wins the game. One player is designated as player X and makes the first play by marking an X into any of the 9 open squares of the board. The second player, "O", then follows suit by marking an O into any of the other open squares that remain. This continues back-and-forth until one player wins the game or players fill all squares on the board without establishing a winner. This is a draw, also known as a "Cats" game.

tic tac toe strategy      In the following strategy guide, I will detail a tic tac toe strategy for both Player X and Player O that will allow them to either Win the game or force a Draw, but never lose it, with all possible plays detailed. In the chart you see to the right, notice that I have labeled each individual square on the tic tac toe board. The three sections I have divided it into are corner squares, edge squares and the center square. Using these different sections of the board will be necessary to understand the strategy guide below. Also, there are just a few terms that need elaboration. When I say to play to the square "caddy-corner" from a certain square, it means the square diagonal from it. And when a square is "bordered" by a symbol, it simply means that the square directly beside it vertically and/or horizontally contains the opponents symbol.

Player X Tic Tac Toe StrategyPlayer O Tic Tac Toe Strategy

X any corner square. Your choice!
Then follow the strategy below after O's turn.

O Plays to the Center Square
X the square caddy-corner from your original X.

Then two Scenarios will arise:
O plays to a corner square.
X the only open corner square.
Make three X's in a row on your next turn.

O plays second move to an edge square.
Block O's threatened win. Block and draw.

O Plays to a Corner Square
X either of the two open corner squares.
O must block, then X the only open corner square.
Make three X's in a row on your next turn.

O Plays to an Edge Square
X the center square.
O must block your threatened win.

Then two Scenarios will arise:
The second O threatens a win.
Block and win next turn.

The second O does not threaten a win.
X the corner square not bordered by an O.
Win on your next turn.

X has played to a non-center square.
O to the Center Square.
Then follow the strategy below after X's turn.

The Second X Threatens a Win
Block, which forces X to block.

Then two Scenarios will arise:
The third X threatens another win.
Block, which forces X to block. Draw.

The third X does NOT threaten a win
O any open edge square.
X must block, which threatens a win.
Block and draw.

One X on a Corner, the other on an Edge
O the corner square caddy-corner to the corner X.
Block or play to any square to draw.

Both X's are on Edge Squares
When both X's border a corner square (draw):
O the corner square bordered by the two X's.
X must block your threatened win.
O any square. Block and draw.

When both X's don't border a corner (O wins!):
O either of the remaining open edge squares.
X must block your threatened win.
O either corner square bordered by only one X.
Win on your next move. Amazing!

Caddy-Corner X's
O any open edge square.
X must block your threatened win.
Both players block and draw.

So you're trying to become a Tic Tac Toe Master and have learned the ancient techniques detailed above. You are capable of beating any opponent at will. But what if X plays the first move to the Center square? Take a deep breath...

Play your O to a Corner Square: If X threatens a win, block and draw. If X does not threaten a win, O a corner square. Block and draw. You're so money and you don't even know it. Thou art master of thy domain. Browsing Options

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