What Is Sudoku And How To Play [+10 Printable Sudoku Puzzles]

Today we’re touching on what is sudoku and how to play this mind-bending game.

When we finish explaining how to play sudoku and how it can benefit your mental health, we got something for you. We have prepared 10 free printable sudoku puzzles for adults and kids to try. So, keep reading until the end. Then, test your skills with these printable puzzles and see what you’re made of.

But before that, let’s first learn some history, the rules of sudoku, and what sudoku is all about.

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Where does sudoku come from? states, “History of Sudoku dates back to an 18th Century Swiss mathematician’s game called “Latin Squares” and some of the first number puzzles to appear in newspapers were published in France in 1895. But the modern game of sudoku as we recognize it today was invented by Howard Garns, a freelance puzzle inventor from Connersville, Indiana, USA in 1979 when it was published in Dell Pencil Puzzles and Word Games magazine. The puzzle was known as “Number Place,” since it involved placing individual numbers into empty spots on a 9 x 9 grid.”

Sudoku originated in Japan in 1984, where it got its name. It is short for “Sūji was dokushin ni kagiru,” which means “the digits are limited to one occurence.” Even today, the most significant part of sudoku’s fan base comes from Japan. People there buy over 600,000 magazines per month.

What is sudoku, and how to play

“Sudoku is a logic-based combinatorial number-placement puzzle. In classic sudoku, the objective is to fill a 9 × 9 grid with digits so that each column, each row, and each of the nine 3 × 3 subgrids that compose the grid (also called “boxes”, “blocks”, or “regions”) contain all of the digits from 1 to 9. The puzzle setter provides a partially completed grid, which for a well-posed puzzle has a single solution,” according to Wikipedia.

Let’s look at an example of a sudoku grid in starting position. Then, you will get a better understanding.

A Sudoku's game starting position, with only beginning numbers entered.
Credits: Swanky Fella

The next logical move we can make is to fill in number eight on the first slot. When we look at the grids on the first row, we see two possible places for the number eight. Then, looking at the three grids in the column, we can see only one possibility.

A sudoku puzzle with only one entry on the grid.
Credits: Swanky Fella

After we fill in the number eight, we can use the same logic to fit number four in the first three-grid column. Again, it is because it has only one available box to fill. The same goes for number seven, no matter which way you look first, column, or row.

A sudoku interactive puzzle with three entries on the grid, at the beginning of the game.
Credits: Swanky Fella

As you can see in this example, we are filling up the empty spaces one by one. Each time we get one step closer to finishing the puzzle. Plus, the picture keeps getting bigger with every box filled. It becomes easier as we go because there are more variables to prove our thinking is right or wrong.

After I had figured out the numbers three and six, it was all downhill from there (like, easier to pedal). Below you can see the completed sudoku puzzle if you want to check your results.

Numbers written on the grid of a finished Sudoku puzzle game.
Credits: Swanky Fella

Why do I struggle with sudoku?

Like chess, things can get complicated when you have too many variations. Some sudoku variations seem impossible to solve. There is not enough information on the starting grid to understand the whole picture, at least not right away.

The complexity of a sudoku puzzle usually comes from the original setup. It’s about how many numbers are available at the start and where they are placed. With more difficult sudoku puzzles, you have to take chances or figure out two or even three ways things can go. There are no numbers around to confirm if the box is correct, and you cannot be 100% sure.

Play a couple of challenging sudoku puzzles, and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Let’s repeat the simple rules of sudoku one more time

A sudoku grid consists of 9 x 9 spaces, and you can only use numbers from 1 to 9. So, each number in the 3×3 block can only be used once, whether in a vertical column or horizontal row. No repeating.

At the start of each game, you will have a couple of entered numbers that you must consider when filling out the other boxes. You have finished the game when you fill the whole sudoku grid with the correct numbers.

Easy, right?


What is sudoku good for?

What are the benefits of playing sudoku? Playing sudoku will help your brain think faster. It will also make it easier for you to focus and concentrate while considering numerous variables.

Aging people should always keep their brains active to reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. You want to keep your thinking skills as sharp as possible for as long as possible.

This is the same as anything you enjoy. Sudoku can bring peace and a sense of happiness and fulfillment after a successful round. In a sense, it’s an accomplishment to work through tricky sudoku puzzles.

So, what is sudoku all about?

To solve a Sudoku puzzle, you must follow several strategies while absorbing several pieces of information in a short game. This will stimulate your brain and make it focus. Trying to figure out a way to place all the numbers in the correct positions without repeating them is more challenging than it sounds.

Sudoku is all about the sense of order. It is very satisfying to fill all those empty boxes. It’s also an effortless game to learn. People love to test, challenge, and improve their brains, and this is a fun way to do it. It’s a game for the whole family – kids and adults can play it together.

You can even play it with people who don’t know a word of your language – it’s number based. Check out this multiplayer sudoku version based on the time needed to finish the puzzle.

The tricks to sudoku

Here are the tricks to sudoku we recommend applying. They will help your strategy and make you more efficient immediately. First, scan the rows and columns within each triple-box area. Now you can eliminate numbers or squares and find situations where only a single number can fit into a square.

  • Scan horizontal rows within the three-grid area, and eliminate the numbers or squares
  • Scan vertical columns, just like the above
  • Single out candidates – find squares that can only fit a single number
  • Confirm the elimination to make sure that you haven’t foreseen something

How to play sudoku online

Now we’re getting to what we have prepared for you. You can find easy sudoku puzzles to complete on the web or download these free printable sudoku puzzles we have ready for you. Here we have 10 printable sudoku puzzles for adults & kids in three categories.

Choose between three easy, intermediate, and hard sudoku puzzles depending on your level.


We have also included one bonus printable sudoku puzzle that is extra hard to solve, so why not try it? It will be a fun experience. Let’s get on with the puzzles now.

Easy sudoku puzzles

Here we have three beginner sudoku puzzles to get you warmed up. Learn about the game and try out different tactics to eliminate the boxes.

Free and easy printable sudoku puzzle.
1/3 – Credits: Swanky Fella
Free printable sudoku puzzle to learn playing the game.
2/3 – Credits: Swanky Fella
Free printable sudoku puzzle of easy difficulty for learning how to play sudoku.
3/3 – Credits: Swanky Fella

Intermediate sudoku puzzles

Let’s ramp it up a bit. The upcoming three printable sudoku puzzles will be a bit harder, but nothing you can’t handle.

An intermediate medium difficulty printable sudoku puzzle.
1/3 – Credits: Swanky Fella
Sudoku puzzle intermediate difficulty available for print, for free.
2/3 – Credits: Swanky Fella
A free, printable sudoku puzzle from tutorial on how to play sudoku.
3/3 – Credits: Swanky Fella

Hard sudoku puzzles

Okay, now we’re getting somewhere. Good work if you have solved the ones before, but these puzzles are now going up a notch. Let’s see if you can keep up.

Hard difficulty printable sudoku puzzle for free.
1/3 – Credits: Swanky Fella
Download this free printable sudoku puzzle with hard difficulty to practice.
2/3 – Credits: Swanky Fella
A hard-difficulty sudoku puzzle for free print and learning the game of sudoku.
3/3 – Credits: Swanky Fella

The Extra Hard Sudoku Puzzle

We have prepared one more challenge for you. As a last one, it’s better, more robust, and scarier than before. We present – the extra hard sudoku puzzle. Just kidding, but jokes aside, this sudoku puzzle is pretty hard. See what you can do.

Extra hard free printable sudoku puzzle to use for developing brain abilities.
1/1 – Credits: Swanky Fella

The bottom line

So, we have figured out that sudoku is a fun way to spend free time while improving the function of your brain. We have given you 10 free printable sudoku puzzles and tricks to sudoku, explained what sudoku is good for and what sudoku is all about. The only thing left is for you to find some puzzles and start playing.

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