How to play

  • Select an empty cell and choose a number from 1 to 9 to fill it;
  • The objective is to fill all the cells following these three basic rules:
    • Don't repeat the numbers in the same row;
    • Don't repeat the numbers in the same column;
    • Don't repeat the numbers in the same subgrid (3x3 box);

For more instructions and explanations about strategies (ranging from basic to advanced), read our guide (written by a former Sudoku Grandmaster): How to Play and Strategies.

History of Sudoku

The origins of Sudoku can be traced back to Latin squares, a concept that dates back to the 18th century, conceived by Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler. However, the modern form of Sudoku as we know it was developed in the late 20th century. It gained international attention in 1984 when it was published by the American puzzle company Dell Magazines under the name "Number Place."

The puzzle's current name, "Sudoku," comes from Japan. It was popularized by Japanese puzzle company Nikoli in the 1980s. The term "Sudoku" is short for "Su-ji wa dokushin ni kagiru," which translates to "the digits must remain single." It gained global popularity in the early 21st century, largely due to the efforts of New Zealand judge Wayne Gould, who developed a computer program to generate Sudoku puzzles. The puzzle soon found its way into newspapers and websites, becoming a global phenomenon.

Mental Benefits of Sudoku

Playing Sudoku offers various cognitive benefits. One of the primary advantages is the improvement of problem-solving skills. The game requires players to use logic and deductive reasoning to fill in the grid, which stimulates the analytical part of the brain. Additionally, Sudoku can help improve memory and concentration as players must keep multiple pieces of information in mind while navigating through the grid to find the correct solution.

Beyond cognitive benefits, Sudoku can also have a positive impact on mental well-being. It serves as a form of escapism, allowing players to focus solely on the task at hand, thereby reducing stress and anxiety. The sense of accomplishment from solving a challenging puzzle can also boost self-esteem and contribute to a more positive mental outlook. Overall, Sudoku can be a valuable tool for both cognitive enhancement and emotional well-being.

Sudoku in Education

Sudoku puzzles are increasingly being integrated into educational settings as a supplemental tool for teaching various skills. The game's inherent requirement for logical thinking and pattern recognition makes it useful for enhancing these abilities in students. Teachers often incorporate Sudoku puzzles into math lessons to help students practice concepts like sequencing and order. Additionally, Sudoku can be used to introduce the basics of algorithmic thinking, which is foundational for computer science education.

The game is not limited to math and can be adapted to fit other subject areas as well. For example, word-based or picture-based Sudoku puzzles can be used in language arts or social studies to reinforce vocabulary or historical figures, respectively. The game's versatility, along with its ability to engage students and stimulate their cognitive functions, makes it a valuable educational resource. It can be utilized across various age groups and educational levels, from elementary school to higher education.