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# In the game Tic-Tac-Toe, taking in the number of combinations possible, who is more likely to win '0' or 'X,' or is it more likely to end in a draw?

Question #106139. Asked by rtid. (Jun 07 09 5:31 AM)

mctavish99

There are 138 unique outcomes for a game of noughts and crosses (tic tac toe) - ie outcomes which are not simply rotations or reflections of other outcomes.

91 of these represent a win for X (assuming X always plays first)
44 represent a win for O.
3 will result in a draw.

Thus, the player who plays first has roughly twice the chance of winning as the player who plays second. This is for purely random plays - naturally strategy can increase a player's chances.

This article presents the numbers in digestible form, as well as explaining the optimum strategies for play.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tic-Tac-Toe

 Jun 07 09, 8:30 AM
looney_tunes

In practice, if both players know what they are doing, and make the best play possible, a game of Tic-Tac-Toe (aka Noughts and Crosses) should always end in a draw. The random combinations that lead to one of the players wining would not occur if both players use an appropriate strategy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tic-Tac-Toe

 Jun 07 09, 7:33 PM
zbeckabee

Tyger36 replies:

Tic-Tac-Toe is a game in which if the players think logically there should never be a winner. It should always be a draw. People only win if the other player makes a mistake. This point is best demonstrated at the end of the movie "War Games" where a computer is made to play itself only to learn that there can never be a winner.

busted123 replies:

First visit to http://www.funbrain.com showed a kids' site consisting of real questions to answer to even get a cross played before the computer plays a naught (nought?).
Next visit to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/tic_tac_toe and see "this game, played by experts, will end in a draw every time,, which is why it is used as children's game."
There's the draw(back).

[Moved from #106364 -- Zb]

 Jun 16 09, 9:41 AM

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