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Advice for minesweeper

When it is necessary to guess

When you play the Minesweeper, you find yourself in a situation where it is impossible to determine where the mines are. You are obliged to click randomly, and it is a 50-50 chance that you will die. Since choosing one solution instead of another one does not change anything, it is necessary to avoid choosing the box to be clicked, and click without wasting time.

Thus if you are in one of the following situations, click instantaneously. A way of saving time, is to always make the same choice each time - as to discover the box along the edge in the following example.

These three situations resemble each other much : there is only one mine among the two undiscovered boxes :


Another way of uncovering squares faster : when you only have to choose between two boxes, click on the line which separates them. The box on which your mouse is will be discovered. The advantage of clicking somewhere in the middle of the two boxes is that you do not need to precisely direct your mouse towards the box which you would have chosen : you have to click on a larger surface, which can be made more quickly than to click on only one box. In this example, you will click somewhere in the red circle.


I give you that this is only a theory , and saves little time, but remember that little + little = less little.

In this situation, only two mines are missing, which are in diagonal.

Click on a diagonal (top-left then bottom-right side for example) automatically. If you make the wrong choice, it can only be on the first mine, so if you have made the good choice, the 2nd box will be discovered in little time. But don't forget : do not mark the mines.

In the Beginner level, you will undoubtedly be brought to meet this kind of situation :

The only boxes which you can discover are as follows :

You will have to choose where the 3 mines are : either all on the left of the pairs of boxes, or all on right. In both cases, the 3 clicks are made at the same place of the pair boxes, and they must thus be made automatically.


About probabilities

You sometime meet situations where it is impossible to determine where the mine is. Some of these situations arrive more than others. Rather than to click randomly on the boxes, it is better to click where the probability is largest to find a mine (if it is the mine which you seeks).


You will rather often meet this situation
The two solutions for this situation are

figure 1


figure 2

There are three ways to solve this case with a minimum of risks

- Initially, you can discover the box in the corner; the probability that there is a mine is 20.625 % is approximately 1/5 (99 mines for 16*30=480 boxes) (15.625 % for the intermediary). That means that you jump on the mine all the 5 times. If it is under the box, it is figure 1 which is correct, and if it is one , then it is figure 2 which it is necessary to apply.

- Then, here another way, which is a little simpler : imagine that figure 1 is correct. The probability that that is false is also 1/5. You can also mark the mine beside the , then to make two double-slipped-clicks on the 2 . With this method, you do not need to recognize what there is under the box of the corner to continue.

- Last way of solving this case: you leave the situation just as it is, and return there only in all end of part. You look at the meter of mines.

If the meter displays
then the solution is


This situation does not arrive often, but deserves that one is interested in it a little. You can directly discover the box on the right bottom mine; if one is discovered , all is well (clic-double and that sets out again). On the other hand if it is under the box, we are really annoyed : there are 3 possible solutions, and it will be necessary to choose one of them.



figure 1
figure 2
figure 3

In this case, it is necessary to choose figure 1, which it the most probable solution. Indeed there are roughly 4/5 of chances that it is correct (exactly 77.11 %).

The last situation showed a characteristic of the Minesweeper : if there is X choices, it is one which is most probable, and it is that which contains less mines. It is because there is only one mine all the 5 boxes that it is more probable on three boxes to have only one mine than to have two of them. In other words, if you do not know where to place a mine, place it where the most boxes share a mine.


If you have to solve this situation

you must discover these boxes

while hoping to be able to continue without having to think too much. In this situation, it is more probable than there are only one mine for both , rather than for each , exactly at the place of


Last update: 6 August 2006 Grégoire Duffez 2001-2006 - Contact - Sitemap - Rules