Ultimate Tic-Tac-Toe

Ultimate Tic-Tac-Toe is an extended version of the traditional game of Tic-Tac-Toe; it involves two players and a large board split into nine small games. The object is to win three small games of Tic-Tac-Toe in a row, column, or diagonal to win the large game. A small game that results in a tie does not count as a win for either opponent in the large game. Each player's move is based on the opponent's previous move. If your opponent played in the upper-right in a small game, you must play in the upper-right game, and so on, even if that game has already been won. If you are sent to play in a small game that is full, you can play anywhere.
  • Special thanks to the University of Illinois NetMath Program and the mathematics department at William Fremd High School.
  • Contributed by: Amy Chen and Elisa Kim
  • Based on a program by: Michael Schreiber


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Snapshot 1: even though X won the upper-middle box, players are still forced to move in it if sent there
Snapshot 2: X wins the game
Snapshot 3: X and O tie
[1] B. Orlin. "Ultimate Tic-Tac-Toe," Math with Bad Drawings (blog). (Jun 8, 2016) mathwithbaddrawings.com/2013/06/16/ultimate-tic-tac-toe.
[2] Vikesh. "Ultimate Tic-Tac-Toe." (Jun 8, 2016) vikeshkhanna.webfactional.com/ultimate.
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