The Minesweeper Page - Mouse Handling (Last Update: 13.7.98)

First of all: Do not use markers. Either you do not need them, or you are faster by just guessing in the rare situations where you could need them. Another reason: if you misplaced a mine-sign, you need two mouse clicks instead of only one to remove the sign. 

Use the left+right click. If a sqare has the correct number of mines marked around it and you left and right click on it at the same time, all non marked sqares around it will open. Yes, I know this is mentioned in the helpfile. But I tell this here, because a friend of mine with impressing 127 seconds saw me playing minesweeper and asked: "What are you doing there? This clicking with both mouse buttons?" - he obviously did not read the helpfile. 

How to use the left+right click (important): If you just marked the last mine around a number, you do not have to release the right mouse button in order to press it again with the left mouse button. So what you should do is: Press the right mouse button above the square where you want to set a mine-sign. Do not release the right button. Move the mouse over the square with the number with full mines around it. Press and release the left mouse button. Repeat clicking with only the left mouse button on every field that has the full number of mines marked around it. Release the right mouse button, only when you want to mark another mine or want to open a single sqare with the left mouse button. If this is too complicated for you, don't do it. If you're using this technique fast, it feels like a sort of gliding while pressing both mouse keys. Use this, it will give you good seconds.

When to use the left+right click/mine marking: You have to use these feature to save time. So: 

  • If you have to click less often (like around 1's and 2's), mark a mine and left+right-click.
  • Do not mark around high numbers (5,6,7,8). Instead open the remaining squares with your left mouse button only.
  • Marking mines helps you in deciding, where the other mines are. You have to click a bit more, but a bit less to think. Mark more mines in expert mode than in intermediate mode, since the mine density and therefore your thinking efforts are higher. Just in case you did not know: You do not need to mark every mine, if all no-mine-fields are open, Minesweeper automatically marks the remaining (mine-)fields.

Play often. One half of minesweeper is your mouse moving ability. If you think, you cannot get any better, this is not true. Some time ago, I simply wanted a highscore below 100. When I got 97 seconds, I thought, I could not get any better - like with any minesweeper highscore you get. Right now, 1 of 2 minesweeper games that I finish have times below 100. So if you have a highscore of more than 50 (?) seconds, you will get better. It's just a matter of time - of course maybe your life is too short. 

You want to gain additional microseconds? If your mouse driver supports mapping of a doubleclick onto the middle mouse button, use it to open the first sqares. If you move your mouse fast, you will open two sqares with one click. 

I am using the Windows 95 version of Minesweeper. I think, all the hints above work with other versions, but I am not sure of this. 

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