How To: Never lose at tic-tac-toe

Never lose at tic-tac-toe

Learn how to never lose at tic-tac-toe. Almost anyone knows how to play tic-tac-toe, but not everyone knows the strategy that guarantees they'll never lose another game.

You Will Need

* An opponent
* A pencil or pen
* Paper

Step 1. Draw a tic-tac-toe board

Draw your tic-tac-toe board on a piece of paper using a pen or pencil. It should have nine squares total, with three on the top, three in the middle, and three on the bottom.

Step 2. Get the first turn

Whether you are flipping a coin or throwing dice, you need to win the right to the first move if you don't want to lose the game.

Step 3. Mark the center square

Mark the center square with an "X" or an "O." This is the key to guaranteeing you'll never lose in tic-tac-toe when you have the first move.

Following this rule will not guarantee you a win. It will guarantee that, even against a tic-tac-toe master, you will never lose.

Step 4. Go to the right

After your opponent makes their mark, look to see if there is a square to the right of it available. If so, take it with your next move.

Step 5. If you can't go right, go left

If the square to the right isn't available, take the square to the left with your next move.

Step 6. If you can't go right or left, go above

If the squares to the right and left are taken, place your next mark above their last mark.

Step 7. If all else fails, go below

If the squares to the right and left and above your opponent's last move are taken, choose the square below it.

Step 8. Repeat

Repeat the right-left-above-and-below rule for each move you play. Congratulations! You may not win, but you'll never be a loser.

FACT: In the movie "WarGames," war is averted when the computer is shown that nuclear war, like tic-tac-toe, can not be won.

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