10 Sudoku Tips for Absolute Beginners

A curated list of tips you can use when playing sudoku with your friends and family.

At first glance, Sudoku can seem like a very hard mathematical-based game to beginners. However, this isn’t the case. Although it deals with numbers, Sudoku is actually a logic based game, and the beginner level can be quite easy to play if you have a few tips and tricks to guide you along the way. Have you ever wondered how Sudoku masters solve puzzles within minutes? Well, this is because they know what to look out for when solving the puzzle.

In this article, we share 10 Sudoku tips for beginners that will help you get started playing Sudoku the right way. You may also check out tips for wordle and the other one with some tips for solving crossword.

1. Find out what the rules of the game are.

In order to play any game, the player needs to understand how the game works and the rules to be followed. Sudoku requires the player to apply logic while playing and it may take some time before a new player fully understands how to play the right way. The game’s rules will guide you while playing and also help you understand what the objective is.

Some common Sudoku rules include:

  • Each row and column must contain numbers 1 to 9 without repetition.
  • A number can only appear once per cube/block.
  • The sum of each row and column must equal 45.

2. Use a pencil and eraser.

Using a pencil and eraser will make it easier for the player to just erase any mistakes and start over again. Beginner players are expected to make a few mistakes which is a good sign that the player is learning.

Pencil markings can also help you identify hidden and naked pairs as well as improve your scanning technique. A hidden pair is when you have similar two digits appearing within the same column, row, or block. What makes them hidden is that there are other pencil marked digits in the cell. While a naked pair is when you have exactly two cells that only have exactly two specific digits missing.

3. Start with a beginner puzzle.

There are different puzzles for different levels. As a beginner, starting with the easiest one as a way to practice and learn will help you understand the game better. All Sudoku champions had to start from somewhere.

You can access basic beginner puzzles online and use them for learning and practicing purposes.

4. Start with the easier section.

It's now time to play and you’re wondering where to start. Placing the first number can be hard but here’s a quick tip: look for the sub-grid with the most numbers. A sub-grid with the most numbers is already pre-filled for you and you only need to figure out where to place the remaining numbers.

5. Look for numbers which are missing.

If a new Sudoku puzzle already has five 7s filled and only two 9s filled, it's easier to fill out the four remaining 7s than figuring out where to fill the seven 9s.

Also it’s important to remember if a number already exists in a sub-grid, row, or column, then you cannot place the number again. Your task is to spot opportunities to add numbers where they haven’t been placed. For example, if the bottom row already has the numbers 9, 8,7,1,2 and 3, then it means that you only need to add numbers 6, 4, and 5.

6. Don’t guess and keep moving.

Before placing any number, try hard not to guess. Sudoku is a game that requires the player to think logically and organize the numbers correctly. Guessing will affect the pattern and even make it impossible to finish. Only place a number after you’ve made a logical decision.

7. You can use hints.

Some online Sudoku puzzles provide hints and clues for beginners which can help guide the player. However, this isn’t the case for printed puzzles. Using hints helps the player progress while at the same time teaching them how to play.

8. Use the process of elimination.

You can also use the process of elimination which allows you to eliminate any possible numbers and make the puzzle easier to complete. Try to figure out the possible solutions for each column, row, and sub-grid, then eliminate the numbers that don’t work. Afterwards work on figuring out where the rest of the numbers go. This process also helps you not to repeat any numbers.

9. Cross-reference the rows and columns.

It’s important to remember that every number you place in any row, column, or grid will have an effect on the rest of the numbers. Be sure to cross-reference before filling any number.

In case you feel like you made a mistake somewhere, be sure to re-evaluate your last few moves to spot the mistake.

10. Be Patient.

You can’t expect to be a Sudoku pro overnight, you need to be patient and practice a lot. Learning how to play can be quite challenging and once you get through the beginner’s stage, the next stages will be easier to get through.


Sudoku is a highly strategic game that requires the player to focus and think logically before placing a number. It’s also fun and engaging which is why it's played worldwide.

If you’re a beginner and want to start playing, you need to remember that the rules are standard at all levels. Which means you need to know the rules before you start playing.

This article has highlighted some tips and tricks that will help beginners solve the puzzles and even advance to more complex levels.

Published on 29 Sep 2022
Author: Maureen