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MINESWEEPER: How to play (with Pictures and Free Game)

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Play minesweeper by selecting all the tiles that are not mines. Hints are given by the number of mines nearby and placed around unselected tiles. The clock in the upper right denotes how much time elapsed. The lower the time to select all the non-mine tiles, the better.

You lose the game if you select a tile containing a mine. To start play, select a random tile and watch for cascades. Cascades are where several tiles are unhidden after a selection.

Minesweeper Board after Cascades

Minesweeper strategy is to notice the tiles not shown after a cascade. Your decisions start with the position above. Notice once you step on a mine, all unmarked mines are shown below:

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Notice the mines and the numbered squares greater than one. The two (2) indicates two mines are next to the square. Notice the propensity of two and three numbers. In general a good strategy is to click away from those areas.


If you are not sure, click a tile with the least risk.

Marking a mine

In the Ourpastime's minesweeper game, you can mark a mine by long clicking a tile. Hold the mouse or your finger down for a beat, then let go. However, marking mines cannot be undone. So a second tip: do not mark a mine unnecessarily and marking mines is generally unnecessary when you get started. As you play harder boards with more mines, marking mines will help. See below for marked mines on the easy level:

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Above, there are 4 tiles left uncovered and two tiles to select. A key tip: after a cascade the corners and surrounded tiles are likely mines, especially if there is only one tile.

Here is what the position above looks like uncovered after I selected a mine:

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Tough decisions

The position below is where you are tantalizingly close to victory and clearing the minefield.

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There are three tiles to clear above and one is a mine. Now look carefully at the tiles above, especially the three marked mines in the upper left with a 3 and 2 surrounding. ​If you have marked all the possible mines, the unselected tile is safe to select.

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Above, the game is won since all ten (10) mines are found. Below is an example of winning the easy level of minesweeper:

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Some good tips for gameplay when you are forced to guess:

  • Make a guess that will help if it turns out to be right.
  • Avoid walls until you have cascaded through the map center
  • Choose the best move available rather than the first possible.
  • Play slow until the number of mistakes diminishes.

The minesweeper levels:

Easy is a grid of 9x9 with 10 mines, so 81 tiles and 71 tiles will need to uncovered; Medium is a grid of 16x16 with 40 mines, so 256 tiles and 216 tiles to uncover; and Hard is a grid of 30x16 with 99 mines, so 480 tiles and 381 tiles to uncover.

What is a good time to solve minesweeper?

Solving minesweeper is hard enough, so record ​your​ time when solving. If you get very good: Experts believe they should be able to solve 50% of expert level grids.

Minesweeper definitions:

  • Clear:​ Select a tile where a mine is not underneath.
  • Mark:​ Select a tile where a mine is likely underneath. In our game, you long click or long press.
  • Cascade:​ When the computer opens up clear squares for you automatically.
  • Map:​ The grid.
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