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History:

Tic-Tac-Toe is an ancient game that some people have said has been played in Egypt as early as 1300 B.C.  It is also known as "Noughts and Crosses" or in slightly different form as "Nine Men's Morris". {see: Zasacsky, C. [1982] Tic-Tac-Toe and other three-in-a-row games.  Crowell, NY, USA}

Strategy:

The first player can win if the second player does not use a perfect defense strategy.  The second player can rarely win unless playing against an inexperienced opponent or unless the opponent makes a mistake.

In general players, at their turn, must: 1) first check to see if they can win during this turn.  That is, if they can complete a row, column or diagonal with three of their symbols  2) Next check to see if the opponent has two symbols in a row, column, or diagonal that would allow the opponent to win at their next turn,  

Many consider the center cell the best first move choice for either player.  The other player can be forced to defend early game plays made by the holder of the center cell, usually resulting in a tie.  

     
Strategy used in this game

In this simulation there are two games.  The strategy used depends on whether the human plays first, or the computer plays first.  The player who goes first has the advantage.  Game 1 strategy generally favors the computer, game 2 uses less than perfect strategy giving a slight advantage to the human.  

Game 1 -  Computer Plays First:  The computer will start by marking the center square.

Game 1 -  Human Plays First:  The computer will take the center, if available, otherwise a corner is selected.

Game 2 - Computer Plays First:  The computer will start by marking a corner square.

Game 2 - Human Plays First:  The computer will start by marking the center, if available, otherwise a side cell is selected.

 

 
The Tic-tac-toe Board:
       
Corner | Side | Corner
------ + ------- + --------
Side | Center | Side
------ + ------- + --------
Corner | Side | Corner
   
   
Numeric Arrangement
       
1 | 2 | 3
---- + ---- + ----
4 | 5 | 6
---- + ---- + ----
7 | 8 | 9

 

Further Study & Reading:

C. Zasacsky,  Tic-Tac-Toe and other three-in-a-row games,  Crowell, NY, USA, 1982

H. J. A. Murray, History of Board Games Other than Chess, Oxford University Press, 1952.

Museum and Archive of Games,  University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.  http://www.gamesmuseum.uwaterloo.ca/index.htm
Note:  This link has recently been updated.  The new games museum site is currently  under development.  11/22/09

For another archive of Board games, card games, and games using dice, tools, or other interesting toys, suggested by Shirley Baker, see:
http://www.bingohideout.co.uk/the-archive-of-classic-games.html

Comments:

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Last modified: Sunday November 22, 2009
  

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