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The board of an incomplete ultimate tic-tac-toe game (the capital "X" and "O" represent local board games won by this player).The last move was O playing in the center left square of the top center grid, forcing X to play her next move in the center left grid.
Ultimate tic-tac-toe (also known as super tic-tac-toe, strategic tic-tac-toe, meta tic-tac-toe, tic-tac-toe, or (tic-tac-toe)) ²) is a board game consisting of nine tic-tac-toe boards arranged in a 3 × 3 grid.Players take turns playing on the smaller tic-tac-toe boards until one of them wins on the larger tic-tac-toe board.Compared to conventional tic-tac-toe, the strategy in this game is conceptually more difficult and has proven to be more challenging for computers.
Rules of Ultimate Tic Tac Toe
Since X played in the upper right corner of the local board, O is forced to play his next move in the upper right local board.
Each small 3 × 3 tic-tac-toe card is called a local card, and the larger 3 × 3 card is called a global card.
The game begins with X playing wherever they want in one of the 81 empty spaces.This move "sends" their opponent to their relative location.For example, if X is played in the top right space of the local board, O must next play in the top right local board on the global board.O can then play in any of the nine available spaces in that local board, with each move sending X to a different local board.
Playing on a spot inside a board, determines the next board in which the opponent must play their next move. The goal is to win a three in a row boards. You can play your next move at any board if you are directed to play in a full board or a board that has been won.
If a move is played in such a way that a local board is won according to the rules of normal tic-tac-toe, the entire local board is marked as a win for the player on the global board.
Once a local board is won or completely filled by a player, no more moves may be played on that board.If a player is sent to such a board, that player may play on another board.
Another version of the game allows players to continue playing in boxes that have already been won if there are still empty spaces.This allows the game to last longer and requires further strategic moves.This is up to the players to follow the rule.It was shown in 2020 that this set of rules allows for a winning strategy for the first player to move, meaning that the first player to move can always win, assuming a perfect game.
The game ends when either a player wins the global board or there are no legal moves left. In this case, the game is a draw.
How to play Ultimate Tic Tac Toe
Ultimate Tic-Tac-Toe is much more complex than most other variations of Tic-Tac-Toe, as there is no clear strategy for playing it. This is due to the complicated game branching in this game. Although each move must be played on a local board, which is equivalent to a normal tic-tac-toe board, each move must take into account the global board in different ways:
Anticipation of the next move: each move played on a local board determines where the opponent's next move may be played. This can lead to moves that are considered bad in the normal tic-tac-toe environment, as the opponent is sent to another local board and may not be able to respond immediately. Therefore, players are forced to consider the larger board rather than focusing only on the local board.
Visualizing the game tree: Visualizing future branches of the game tree is more difficult than one-board tic-tac-toe. Every move determines the next move, and so reading ahead - predicting future moves - follows a much less linear path. Future board positions are no longer interchangeable; each move leads to vastly different possible future positions. This makes it difficult to visualize the game tree, potentially missing many possible paths.
Winning the game: Because of the rules of ultimate tic-tac-toe, the global board is never directly affected. It is only governed by actions that take place on local boards. This means that any local move played is not intended to win the local board, but to win the global board.Local wins are not valuable if they cannot be used to win the global board. In fact, it can be strategic to sacrifice a local board to your opponent in order to win a more important local board yourself. This added complexity makes it harder for people to analyze the relative importance and significance of moves, and consequently it is harder to play well.