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Your goal is to clear all of the squares on the board that don’t have mines, and flag all of the mines. Left-click your mouse to reveal hidden squares. Use the numbers you find to figure out where the mines are: each number tells you how many of the surrounding 8 tiles (up/down, left/right or diagonal) are mines. Once you’ve figured out where a mine is, right-click to place a flag there. How fast can you clear the entire board?
MINESWEEPER TIPS AND STRATEGY
Start at random — When you start playing Minesweeper, you’ll have to pick a square at random. Your first square will never be a mine, but there’s no way to know whether that square will turn up blank or numbered. However, it’s best to start in the center of the board, since if you pick a tile close to a corner it’s easier to find yourself stuck with no good moves early in the game. With that said, since you’re being timed, it’s best to just pick a square and get started. You can make better-educated choices after clicking on your first square.
Look for numbers that touch the same number of squares — When a 1 is only touching one uncleared square, that square must be a mine. This is the same for 2, 3, and so on. Of course this sounds obvious, but when you are stuck, look around the board for web site instances of this you may have missed! It’s very easy to work in one direction after opening up a new area of the board and forget to look in other directions.
Look for patterns — The more you play Minesweeper the more you’ll pick up on different patterns. For example, if you have a row of numbers that go 1-2-1 and the squares on the top or bottom of this row are cleared, you know you should flag the two squares next to the two 1s, regardless of what numbers are next to the 1s on either side (even if there is an unchecked square there!). This is because there can’t be a mine next to the 2, since then there would be no other place to put the second mine. Similarly, if you have a row of numbers that similarly goes 1-2-2-1 and is clear above or below, no matter what is on the other side of the 1s from the 2s, the mines must be next to the 2s. There are many more patterns than these to discover as you play!