# Getting Started With Sudoku

Sudoku may seem difficult at first glance, but actually it is not as hard as it looks!

The aim is to fill in the whole grid – and depending on the difficulty of the puzzle this can be quite easy (just counting and checking), or later on for more tricky puzzles require a bit more logic and reasoning.

### The Rules of Sudoku

• Fill a number in to every cell in the grid, using the numbers 1 to 9
• You can only use each number once in each row, each column, and in each of the 3×3 boxes

Take a look at this incomplete puzzle…

The three red question marks are in places where there is a missing value - but it is easy to see which number to place in each. If the rest of the line or box is complete, then by a process of elimination, you know which value must be left!

• In this case, the only number missing from the horizontal row is a 3.
• The number missing from the vertical column is a 9.
• The value missing from the box is a 4!

All you really need to get started is a Sudoku puzzle (preferably an easy one!), a pencil + eraser, and a spare half-hour when you think you can get away without being disturbed!

## Getting Started – its easy!

Here are 6 beginner puzzles, starting off really easy, and ramping up bit-by-bit!

Until you’ve had lots of practise filling out puzzles, here are some questions that you can ask as you play to help you to make progress:

• Where could I place the value X in this row / this column / this box ? (Go through the numbers 1 to 9, and scan to see if the number is already in that row / column / box)
• What value could I put in this cell? (If there’s just one acceptable – put it in!)
• What row / column / box is nearly full, and can I fill it?

Print off this page and have a go filling them out! Click the “Solution” to see it filled in.

Finally, some thoughts:

• Don’t Panic! The solution is in there somewhere
• Don’t Guess! For everything up to expert level, you don’t need to guess
• Don’t Worry! It might look hard to begin with, but as you fill in more it gets easier and easier

## How did you do?

Was it as tricky as you thought it would be? Hopefully you didn't make too many mistakes, but if you did don't worry - everyone does to begin with! You can tell if you're already a Sudoku addict if you got a little bit of satisfaction every time you placed a number, a smile every time you completed a row, column or box, and a big grin of smugness when you filled out the whole puzzle! If you're ready for some more, click here for plenty of free Sudoku!