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Free Tic Tac Toe is a pencil and paper game played on a 3×3 grid wherein players take turns (one is X, and the other O) in marking down the spaces in the grid. The first player who can place his mark in a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal row wins the match.

 

The History Behind the Game

Known as noughts and crosses in Europe wherein naughts pertain to the O’s and Crosses to X’s. This modest game has been around and played since Ancient Egyptian times. The Roman Empire also has its own variation of the game called “Terni lapilli” which stands for “three pebbles at a time. “ The name Tic Tac Toe is derived from an old backgammon game called “Tick-Tack.”

Despite the game having multiple name changes, the gameplay mechanics of the game remain the same. At first glance, Free Tic Tac Toe may look like a no-brainer or an elementary game for kids but there is more to this game than meets the eye.

Aside from being used as a tool in teaching children the value or concepts or sportsmanship, the modest structure of Tic Tac Toe game inspired British computer Scientist Alexander S. Douglas to develop the OXO or Naughts and Crosses game in 1952. OXO is one of the very first video games in history and was accessible at the University of Cambridge’s Mathematical Laboratory through special permission.            

 

Tic Tac Toe in Modern Gaming

The simple structure and gameplay mechanics of Tic Tac Toe paved the way for the creation of other variants that feature bigger dimensions. One example is the 3D Tic Tac Toe or Qubic to some players. Unlike the base game, 3D Tic Tac Toe is played using a 4x4x4 array of cubical cells. Another example is the Quantum tic-tac-toe, which, as the name suggests is the intricate variant of the iconic game.

As unique as both of those two variants are, nothing beats the Ultimate Tic Tac Toe. This colossal version of the game features a 3×3 board. Contained within each grid space is a regular game of Free Tic Tac Toe. In other words, its nine games contained within a huge board. The player who successfully wins three games in a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal row is the victor.

 

Odds and Strategies

At first, glance, winning a round of Tic Tac Toe may look easy enough to accomplish. However, aiming for a perfect game (each round either results in a win or ends in a draw) is more challenging than you think. A perfect game requires an effective strategy coupled with a basic knowledge of the winning odds in the game.

In line with winning, a combinatorics study pertaining to the odds of winning in the game is included in Thomas Bolon’s book called “How to never lose at Tic-Tac-Toe.” The study explains that if X makes the first move at the beginning of each game, the odds of winning are as follows: (X) has 91 distinct winning positions, (O) has distinct positions, and three distinct positions often lead to a draw.

In terms of strategy, blocking an opponent’s fork according to experts is one of the most common if not the most effective way to dominate the opponent. Another effective technique is to utilize the corners whenever the first move in the game involves placing the mark at the center. Utilizing corners increases the chance of the other player to commit mistakes, thus, providing you with a clear advantage. In short, playing corners is always the best way to go.

 

Tic Tac Toe in Pop Culture

In addition to books and video games, Free Tic Tac Toe also influenced some of the most iconic TV game shows in history. One of the most obvious is The Hollywood Squares by NBC, obvious to the fact that the show is a modified or enhanced version of Tic Tac Toe. Other examples include The Price is Right, Beat the Teacher, and Minute to Win it. All of which features mini-games whose inspiration and design comes from the classic tic Tac Toe game.

 

Tic Tac Toe in Video Games

Aside from being the first to have a video game version, the modest and lightweight design of Tic Tac Toe made the game easy to develop. In fact, a video game version of the iconic game is available on all gaming platforms.

One example is the Tic Tac Toe download version from indie video game developer Wintrino. Unlike other versions that come with new features and flashy designs, Wintrino’s version is a straightforward game. This means that you get to enjoy the classic game in its traditional form. On top of that, the version also features four distinct game modes (easy medium hard expert) and a two-player option, multiple background themes, and game statistics.     

Tic Tac Toe, despite its modest design, has grown to become an iconic influencer in the entertainment industry. For the most part, the game is a great representation of the quote “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” by Leonardo Da Vinci. Check out this iconic game today free of charge.  If you like more board games like tic tac toe, check out Roll the Ball and play with your friends.

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Game Features

  • High Definition Graphics
  • User-Friendly Controls
  • Multiple Game Modes
  • Two-player Option

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Tic Tac Toe Screenshot
Tic Tac Toe Screenshot

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