Way, way before any of us were around, the classic game of Sudoku was invented. Many people think that the game is Japanese (because “Sudoku” is a Japanese word), but actually, it was officially created in Switzerland. Sudoku is over three hundred years old, but the “magical number” games that it’s based on are literally thousands of years old! Funny how things change, but not really, right? Anyway, we are huge fans of free Sudoku games, so naturally, we made an entire web category of them for you to enjoy. Never played before? Don’t worry, all those numbers can look confusing at first, but it’s actually quite easy. Let’s cover the rules.

Okay, so the real “magic number” in Sudoku puzzles online is nine. The game board has a total of nine rows, nine columns, and nine large squares. Each large square is 3 x 3, which equals how many small squares inside? Nine! The rules of free Sudoku games are very simple – there are only three. See how some of the squares already have numbers, and some don’t? Your job is to fill in the empty squares with more numbers until the board is complete, but you have to do it while obeying the three rules. First, every column has to have the numbers one through nine in it with no repeats. The same goes for rows, and the same goes for each 3 x 3 square. That’s it!

Okay, so maybe we made the rules sound easy, but when you play Sudoku online for the first time, it can still be a little bit tricky. Don’t worry, we’ve got plenty of pro tips to help you master that Sudoku board, free of charge. And they don’t count as cheating, either, so don’t feel bad. If you just follow these three tips patiently, you will be able to solve any Sudoku beginner puzzle. You can even work your way to the harder difficulties if you’re patient enough. Ready for some awesome shortcuts? Let’s get into these pro tips.

Okay, so we’re pretending it’s your very first time playing Sudoku online games. You know that you have to fill those empty squares with numbers, but you’re not sure which numbers to put in. First, pick an empty square. Secondly, look at the column. If you already see the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 in that column, then the square has to be either 8 or 9, right? Next, look at the row. If you see a number 8 in the same row, then congrats! You’ve just solved your first empty space, which is a 9. If you needed to eliminate more wrong answers, you could have also checked the 3 x 3 square your blank space is in, because you can’t repeat the same number in those either, remember?

That’s all good and fine for a Sudoku beginner, you might say, but how do I know which empty square to start with? The best way is to find squares that have a lot of numbers nearby. If you pick a square that’s out in the middle of nowhere, how are you supposed to eliminate the wrong answers? No, try to find one that already has a lot of other numbers in the row, column, and 3 x 3 square associated with it. Once you guess enough squares, the game will go faster, because you’ll have filled it with more numbers to help your other guesses.

Finally, one of the most frustrating things about a web Sudoku game is making a wrong guess and ruining the whole game. If you don’t narrow down your guess to one number, and you just put down a guess, you may have to start from scratch. Why? Because the wrong number that you put in can influence some of your other guesses (because you use other numbers on the board to eliminate wrong answers), and those answers will be wrong too. Eventually, you’ll start to see numbers repeating themselves where they shouldn’t. Then, you’re starting allll over again. To avoid this Sudoku puzzles nightmare, simply don’t make a guess until you are absolutely sure of the answer.

Whether you’re a total Sudoku newbie or if you just want to have a more relaxing day of puzzle-solving, we’ve got just what you need to make it enjoyable. Since everyone plays with a different goal in mind, we made sure to include plenty of free online Sudoku games for beginners. The nice thing is, many of these games have adjustable difficulty levels so that everyone can enjoy the experience that they came for. There’s no shame in setting it to “easy” mode. In fact, it’s our favorite way to go through a lot of puzzles in one sitting!

Getting the hang of it, are you? If you’re feeling confident in your web Sudoku abilities, we’ve placed plenty of tougher challenges in your path to make things a bit more interesting. You can choose medium difficulty for a tough, but not really tough challenge. Don’t be surprised when these puzzles take you a few minutes longer. Ready to claim glory as the best Sudoku cracker in town? Pull up this Sudoku free category and start crunching the numbers!