1. Read the rules
It might not seem like a big deal, but understanding the objective and rules of the game can really help you in the long run. In Sudoku, for example, recognizing that groups of cells share a single number, and the rules for reading or writing digits within those cells, go a long way in determining your strategy and solving techniques.
2. Start simple
Beginners should start with easier puzzles or games and stick to them until they understand the techniques of puzzle-solving. You might find that different levels of difficulty exist with Sudoku. Beginners should start with the most basic puzzles, and work their way up to higher levels once they are comfortable with the process. Most beginners’ books come with easy puzzles so this shouldn’t be an issue.
3. Keep moving onwards.
Don’t stagnate too long once you’ve had a good shot at Sudoku. Once you find the easy puzzles too straightforward to solve, start looking for more complicated ones. As each difficulty level becomes easier, keep going. This is great way to train your brain and make sure it remains sharp and active.
4. Work on the easiest sections first.
Since some puzzles are pretty hard to solve, you should focus on the easiest parts first. Some of the easy grids have numbers put in place that look like clues on what to do next when you finish solving a block. Some grids will have more numbers than others. If there’s a grid that looks similar to (or easier than) what you’ve already done, try solving it next! It’s always trial and error, so if you do something wrong and want to start over, you can always do that. You can start by adding numbers where it seems the most obvious fit.
5. Use the process of elimination
(called POE in the PM world) to get a rough idea or break the problem into smaller problems. If the numbers on a Sudoku grid are 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, you know that you need to find the numbers 3, 7 and 9 to complete the grid. This won’t give each number a place in the grid, but it will help you narrow things down.
6. Begin by looking for missing digits
in each subgrid and column. After that, place numbers in the correct blocks.
It’s one of the easiest ways to solve a puzzle as a beginner. Cross-hatching is a process of cross-referencing rows and columns to find out which of the remaining numbers is most unique to that particular grid. Doing this also helps you remain aware of all the numbers that you are placing in the empty blocks.
8. Practice patience
Yes, you have to be patient to learn Sudoku. This is true for any skill in the world, actually. Patience will help you improve.
9. Re-evaluate each number placement
Yes, you should analyze every placement to see if it’s doing more harm than good. Scrutinize every square and intersection with a fine-tooth comb.
10. Keep practicing
Practice makes perfect, so don’t give up on it! It might have been easier when you first started, but as your brain learns, it will get harder and harder. Being persistent is the only key to success here.