How to Win at Tic Tac Toe

Before the world was dominated by digital games, mobile technology, and the world of more or less complex games, the game Tic Tac Toe fascinated individuals around the world. And it still does today. The game is simple, quick, and fun, plus you don't need any special tools for it.

Tic Tac Toe

How to play the game Tic Tac Toe?

For the game of Tic Tac Toe, you once only needed a sheet of paper, a pencil, and a fellow player. But today there is also an online Tic Tac Toe game that you can play alone, against the computer. The point and goal of the game have not changed. Your goal is to line up crosses or circles horizontally, vertically, or diagonally before your opponent manages to do so, whether it's a live player or a computer.

After you choose (online game) or draw a grid (physical game), the one who will play with the sign X starts. If in an online game on the Play123 portal you choose the sign O, then the computer (with the sign X) will make the first move, and your move will be next.

Remember, the only goal of the game is to create a line of your characters (X or O), but during the game, you may find that your goal is shifting and you would rather block the plans of your fellow player (or computer) to prevent them from winning and establish the possibility of playing again (without a winner in the current game).

Tic Tac Toe for beginners

Try a quick Tic Tac Toe test that we have prepared for you.

Variations of the game Tic Tac Toe mainly differ in the size of the game board

There are quite a few variations of the game Tic Tac Toe, which mainly differ in the size of the grid game board. You can play on a game board with 9 fields (3x3), with 16 fields (4x4), with 49 fields (7x7), or more. On the Play123 portal, we offer you free play of various Tic Tac Toe games. Among others, you can try the classic game Tic Tac Toe, or the game Ultimate Tic Tac Toe Multiplayer, in which you can play against players from all over the world, or for example in the game Ultimate Tic Tac Toe, in which you can choose both the number of players and the size of the game board (3x3, 5x5 or 7x7).

3 strategic tricks of the game Tic Tac Toe

One of the main strategies in the game of Tic Tac Toe involves the so-called creation of "forks". What is it about? It's effective to place your signs in places that give you a chance to win in two different ways or via two different routes. Remember, you place signs alternately with your teammate, which means that in the case of "forks" your opponent cannot block both options for you to win, which in practice means that you will definitely win in your next move.

Tic Tac Toe forks

Example of “forks”.

The second trick that can help you is the "right, left, up, and down" strategy. When your opponent makes their move, check if you can place your sign on the right side of the field that your opponent previously chose. If you can't, then see if you can place it on the left side, if that doesn't work, you'll be most successful if you place your sign above the field that your opponent chose before you. If even the third option is not feasible, place it below the field where your opponent placed their sign. This strategy will help you optimize your position and block your opponent.

The third strategic trick is the "3 corners strategy". This is a situation that you can create by placing your signs in three of the four corners of the game board. This way, you will strengthen your chances of lining up three of your signs, as you will be able to fill them with a diagonal line or lines on the sides of the game board. Of course, a bit of luck is needed (so your intentions are not recognized by your opponent, who can quickly block you).

4 tips for playing Tic Tac Toe

Tip #1: How to start playing Tic Tac Toe?

The first move is by the player using crosses. It's best to place your first sign in the center of the game board, thereby increasing the number of combinations and possibilities for placing three (or all) of your signs in one line.

Tip #2: How to prevent your opponent from winning?

Don't focus exclusively on your moves or your own path to the goal. While planning a row of your signs, don't forget to block your opponent's moves. Try to block your opponent with your sign so that at the same time (with the same move) you build your row of signs.

Tip #3: What moves in Tic Tac Toe are not profitable?

The worst thing you can do is to place your initial moves on the side fields. These are the fields that are neither the center nor the corner positions, so in a 3x3 grid there are 4 such fields (up, down, left, and right). In this way, you create the least possible combinations for victory.

Tip #4: How to respond to a move when you don't start the game and the opponent places their sign in the center?

The best thing you can do in such a case is to place your sign on any corner field, as this will make it easier to control the possible combinations of your opponent and more easily build your row of signs.

FAQ Tic Tac Toe

Who originated the original game of Tic Tac Toe?

Tic Tac Toe is believed to originate from ancient Egypt (some sources even mention Mesopotamia). The game was initially played on sand dunes or by the river using stones and shells.

Is it possible to win every game of Tic Tac Toe?

No. If you and your opponent (or computer) are successful in blocking each other's plans, then you will create a situation where no one will either win or lose.

How is the game of Tic Tac Toe related to video games?

The first video game in the world was a partial version of Tic Tac Toe. It was called "OXO" and is considered the first video game, created as a computer program EDSAC in 1952.