Hidden pairs are an integral part of sudoku, and it’s important to understand exactly what they are and how they work to solve puzzles more efficiently.
In this guide, we’ll explain what hidden pairs are, how they can be used to narrow down your possible solutions, and how to identify them when you see them in your puzzle.
By the end of this article, you’ll have all the knowledge you need to confidently identify hidden pairs in any sudoku puzzle you encounter!
Image Clear The Concept of Hidden Pairs in Sudoku.
Explanation of Hidden Pair Sudoku (HPS)
An HPS is two squares in a puzzle that have the same number in them.
The number can be found either in the same column, row, or block.
When you find a hidden pair, it’s important to mark the squares with an X so you don’t accidentally put the same number in both squares.
More than one pair can occur in a single row or column (and some puzzles will even have three pairs per row or column), but all of those pairs need to be unique; there should be no repeating numbers on consecutive squares.
The Rules of Sudoku Hidden pairs
The basic rules of sudoku are simple:
• Each square is a 9×9 grid and must contain one of each digit from 1-9.
For example, 5 & 9 might be hidden pairs because 3 is also present as an 8 elsewhere in that same row, and 7 is also present as a 1 elsewhere in that same column.
Hidden pairs exist within all sudoku puzzles. The challenge is finding them!
• The first step is to identify the two numbers in the row and column that are paired together. In this example, the two numbers in the row are5, and 9. The two numbers in the column are 3 and 7.
• The next step is to find the two numbers in the block that are paired together. In this example, the two numbers in the block are 3 and 7. The two numbers in the block are also the only two numbers in that row and column that are not part of the hidden pair.
• The final step is to fill in the remaining squares in the grid with the appropriate Digit.
The Logic Behind Hidden Pairs
Hidden pairs aren’t as rare as you might think in a basic sudoku puzzle.
This is because there’s only one rule of hidden pair sudoku, which is that all of its puzzles have exactly two squares that each contain a hidden pair.
As you might imagine, there are plenty of ways in which number patterns in sudoku could appear to be different from what they are.
The most basic way to make a pair is to match two tiles that have the same number on them.
For instance, if you have a tile with the number one on it, you can match it with any other tile that has the number one on it.
There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to hidden pairs.
People often think that they are just a way to trick people into playing bad hands.
In reality, they are a very important part of the game for both beginner and expert players.
How to Find Hidden Pairs
If you’re playing a Hidden Pairs sudoku puzzle, you might be surprised at how easy it is to find some of them.
The two squares containing hidden pairs are always adjacent; they share an edge that runs along with one of three possible axes: horizontal, vertical, or diagonal.
By looking at just one square in each pair, you can determine whether or not they match.
All you need is a process for discovering their locations and for determining if your guesses are correct.
So let’s get started with a discussion on methodical approaches for both categories.
For starters, here’s what you need to know about finding hidden pairs.
- One way is to look at the cages (groups of squares that are all in the same row, column, or block). If you see two squares that are the only ones in their cage, and they are both the same number, then those squares must be a pair.
- Another way to find hidden pairs is to look at the numbers in the squares. If two squares have the same number in them, then they must be a pair.
- Another most common method is the scanning method. In this method, the solver scans the grid for pairs of numbers that are in the same row, column, or block.
The basics of Hidden Pairs Sudoku
Think of sudoku not as a puzzle with hidden numbers, but instead as a crossword-like grid with hidden pairs.
That is, each box must have two of its numbers (not necessarily next to each other) that aren’t used anywhere else in that box.
Hidden pairs sudoku is different from normal sudoku because you are looking for these pairs instead of trying to find individual values.
The rest of your sudoku will work on its own.
Because there are no questions about whether any square holds a certain number or not, nothing is stopping you from filling in blank squares with whatever makes sense for your puzzle.
Be flexible and allow for possible mistakes; use pencil and paper when filling in if needed!
The first step in solving a Sudoku puzzle is to find all of the Hidden Pairs.
Once you have found all of the Hidden Pairs, the next step is to start filling in the other numbers.
How to solve a Hidden Pairs Sudoku puzzle
Solving Hidden Pairs Sudoku puzzles is a bit trickier than some of its other cousins.
Instead of only having two digits per square (like standard sudoku) or two numbers per row, column, and block (like hidden sudoku).
- There are a few different methods that can be used to solve Hidden Pairs Sudoku puzzles.
One approach is to start by looking for pairs of numbers that are in the same row, column, or block. Once all pairs have been found, the remaining numbers can be filled in.
- Another strategy is to begin by finding the two numbers that are in the same row and column. Once these have been located, the rest of the puzzle can be solved by using basic Sudoku techniques.
- The next step is to determine the value of each square. This can be done by counting the number of squares that are filled in.
Tips for solving Hidden Pairs Sudoku puzzles
There are a few tips that can help when trying to solve Hidden Pairs Sudoku puzzles.
- The first is to look for patterns. Often, there will be a pattern in the numbers that will help to clue you in on where the pairs are.
- Another strategy is to focus on the edges of the grid. The numbers in the corners are more likely to form pairs because there aren’t as many options for where they could go.
- Finally, try not to get overwhelmed. If you can’t seem to find any pairs after a while, start guessing and crossing things off the grid until you find
The easiest way to solve Hidden Pairs sudoku puzzles is by first solving them completely, and then identifying pairs that belong together.
A good starting place is to look for easily hidden pairs on the extreme ends of each row, column, or block.
Once you’ve found those pairs and marked them off as complete (remembering not to repeat numbers in your puzzle grid), move on to harder hidden pairs within that same area.
This method tends to identify most of a puzzle’s hidden pairs quickly.
The benefits of solving Hidden Pairs Sudoku puzzles
There are many benefits to solving Hidden Pairs Sudoku puzzles.
- The first benefit is that it helps improve your problem-solving skills. This is because Hidden Pairs Sudoku puzzles are very challenging, and require a lot of logical thinking to solve.
- The second benefit is that it helps improve your concentration and focus. This is because Sudoku puzzles require you to stay focused for long periods, to find all of the pairs.
- The third benefit is that it helps improve your memory. This is because Sudoku puzzles involve remembering a lot of different pieces.
Hidden Pairs Sudoku is a variation of traditional sudoku that focuses on matching three numbers in a row, column, or block. In addition to writing your clues so they work with Hidden Pairs rules, you’ll also need to label your hidden triples grid appropriately.
It should be fairly easy to spot Hidden Pairs in a sudoku puzzle, but if you want an even easier way to find them, try out our hidden quad strategy.
Just as hidden pairs are two numbers that only appear in two squares next to each other, hidden quads are four numbers that only appear in four squares forming a square or rectangle.
Spotting hidden quads can reveal entire rows or columns of fillable cells and make solving much easier.
The hidden quads strategy is useful for puzzles that have more than one solution.
It’s also helpful for puzzles with tricky clues since it allows you to solve the puzzle without having to guess at any of the squares.
The hidden quads strategy is a way to solve the Sudoku puzzle faster. This method uses a little bit of logic and a lot of guesswork.
It’s not as accurate as some of the other methods, but it’s a lot faster.
In this blog post, we gave you a few hidden pairs of Sudoku puzzles to try.
These puzzles are a great way to improve your Sudoku skills.
To try more Sudoku puzzles, follow our blog.
We will be publishing new Sudoku puzzles every week.
This article introduced hidden pairs of Sudoku puzzles.
These puzzles are a little more challenging than regular Sudoku puzzles, but they are a lot of fun.