7
$\begingroup$

I always start a Minesweeper puzzle in Windows by clicking the cell in the lower left corner. Even though I have never seen a bomb there, how sound is this strategy? Is it possible that some time in the future there will be a bomb there? Or is it possible to click anywhere the first time?

$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ That depends on how the grid is generated. $\endgroup$ – Doorknob May 22 '14 at 1:17
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Doorknob I'm referring to the Minesweeper that comes with the Windows operating system. Vista and 7. $\endgroup$ – Brian J. Fink May 22 '14 at 1:22
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ @KendallFrey Minesweeper is puzzle-based, and so would be on-topic; Arqade is for videogames! $\endgroup$ – Brian J. Fink May 22 '14 at 1:26
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Minesweeper is a video game, but it is a puzzling one. $\endgroup$ – Kendall Frey May 22 '14 at 1:58
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @KendallFrey There are many other questions, not just by Brian, under the minesweeper tag. A diamond mod has even asked a question here about minesweeper. $\endgroup$ – haykam Jun 8 '16 at 15:50
21
$\begingroup$

Many Minesweeper games, including the one that ships with Windows, do not allow the first square you click to be a mine. The lower-left-hand corner is not necessarily safe, but if it's the first square you click, then it will be safe.

$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Funny. Sometimes I click elsewhere and it is a bomb. $\endgroup$ – Brian J. Fink May 22 '14 at 1:30
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Not the very first one you click, that will never be a bomb in the MS version. Go start a game and click the first square. Do that a hundred times and tell me how many times you get a bomb. $\endgroup$ – Kevin May 22 '14 at 1:32
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I don't know for sure whether it doesn't generate a board until you click or if it generates the grid and just regenerates if you hit a bomb first time, but I really doubt it's generating a grid with a clear area just around where you click. You're probably just experiencing selection bias and/or cognitive dissonance, both are strong and well-documented psychological tendencies. $\endgroup$ – Kevin May 22 '14 at 1:40
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @JoeZ. so you're saying I can literally click anywhere in the puzzle grid, and as long as it's a new game, it won't blow up? $\endgroup$ – Brian J. Fink May 22 '14 at 2:06
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Yes, exactly. That's how the software is programmed. $\endgroup$ – Joe Z. May 22 '14 at 2:09
1
$\begingroup$

In at least one version of Windows (I think it was XP that I tried this on), Minesweeper ships with a cheat code that allows seeing whether a square has a mine or not by hovering the mouse on the square without clicking. I once used this to mark every mine on the board before clearing even the first square. I then clicked on one of the known mines. That one mine was moved, but all 98 other mine markings proved still accurate.

The board is generated before you start to play, but the first square you click is forced safe regardless, even if that requires relocating one mine.

$\endgroup$
0
$\begingroup$

Since the cells adjacent to the corners have only 5 cells surrounding them, and because the algorithm that means you usually will have bombs next to each other, the minimal amount of cells touching cells creates an area where bombs are less likely to appear. It is also a good strategic move because the cell (if it is not a bomb) will say 1, 2, 3, or 0. 1 gives you a 0% of knowing where to go if you click on it, and 2 or 0 gives you a 100% of knowing where to go if you click on the corner cell. And 3 is a 33.3% chance. Add that up and you get 70.8% of knowing where to go. Cells not on a corner but touching the edge: 54.7%, and cells in the middle: 41.3%. Going in the corner is a good first move in Minesweeper.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ IIRC, at least in the Windows version of Minesweeper, diagonals are counted. So a corner tile can be 0,1,2, or 3. $\endgroup$ – Robert Fraser Jun 7 '16 at 10:06
  • $\begingroup$ @RobertFraser thx. That helps. $\endgroup$ – Xxoplechic Jun 7 '16 at 11:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.