Only some people know about Tic-Tac-Toe strategy. Though they are relatively rare, it means there are some people that will never lost. If you can master this tic tac toe strategy algorithm, you can become a master.
Tic-Tac-Toe has four types of players, which are Novice player who makes random moves, intermediate who will blocks their opponent’s moves, experienced player who understands that playing in certain first squares will lose and expert player who will never lose.
The Expert, the one that cannot lose
On a Tic-Tac-Toe game board, choose “Expert” for each player and then hit “New Game”. You will find that the result of each game is a tie. Neither of the PC players can be beaten. PC does this by playing out every single game ahead of time and recognizing what moves are good and bad. It can do this because the possible games is not a lot. First move has nine squares, the second has eight squares, the third has seven squares and so on. It means, there are 362,880 possible games or nine factorial. PC or computer can breeze through 400,000 games easily but in real life, it has to play far fewer games than that number. Only 125,168 games in real life because mostly a player wins before all of the squares have been used.
How can a human become unbeatable? A human player can compensate with experience and reasoning.
Novice player, the player who use random play
The “Novice” player can be beaten easily on every game. It is because the novice player places its mark in any empty square. This is a very poor strategy and almost never give a win.
Intermediate player, the player who play reactionary
Most players start off as reactionary players. They will block opponents three in a row, or just take any three in a row that they can. Such player sometimes play like a novice and use random moves. This is the style that is used by the “Intermediate” in the computer.
Experienced player, the player who knows how to start
Experienced tic-tac-toe player knows the best starting moves. Below are the strategies that explain the moves in detail.
– Move First
When two intermediate players play many games, the one that goes first will win about twice as often as the second player. It happens because there are only nine squares on the game, which means that the first player gets five of and the second player will get four squares.
When the game played by two experts, the result is always a tie. Generally, the player that goes first gets a better chance of win than the player who moves in the second.
-Understand the bad first moves
As Player 1
If you go first, you must know the safe first moves. Here, you have to avoid the edges as the corners and the center are safer.
As Player 2
There are only two possibilities, which are player 1 took the corner or the center.
If for the first move player 1 moves in the corner, player 2 must take the center. If player 1 plays against a novice player, he can be ruthless and always play in the corner as the first move. It leaves a lot of board for the novice and player 1 will win more often.