SEO glossary: Tic Tac Toe from Google


In a nutshell: What is Tic Tac Toe by Google?

Tic Tac Toe is a strategy game that is probably thousands of years old and which Google has recently made available to play. Users compete against the computer or against a friend and play to be the first to have three identical characters (either a cross or a circle) in a row. Due to the small number of possible game situations and courses of play, Google's Tic Tac Toe always results in a draw, provided the players have understood the theory of the game and the computer is set to the "impossible" difficulty level.

Tic Tac Toe as one of several games offered by Google

The web giant Google is constantly working on optimizing the user experience (UX). The changes made to the search engine have a particular impact on the field of search engine optimization (SEO) . One innovation without SEO relevance is the integration of some game offers in the search results. One of these is Tic Tac Toe from Google.


If you enter "Tic Tac Toe" in the search bar of your browser or in Google's search mask and then press "Enter", a window with the game appears and you can play against the computer or compete with a friend. Tic Tac Toe has been around for thousands of years and is a two-person strategy game known in many cultures.


By offering Tic Tac Toe and other games, Google is improving the UX to the extent that users no longer have to visit the web pages in the search results to play the game. The game field for Tic Tac Toe from Google is displayed directly above all other search results. So users can start playing immediately. The screenshot below shows, among other things, how users can choose before starting the game,


  • whether they want to play with clubs and start or choose the circle and the computer opens the game.
  • which level of difficulty the game should have (see top left).
  • whether and how they want to share their game output with other people (see top right).



Online game interface with tic-tac-toe game and selection of other games such as quiz, memory and snake.



In addition to the game Tic Tac Toe, Google offers other games, some of which can be seen in the screenshot below. These include, for example, the game known from earlier Microsoft versions Minesweeper and the classic game Pac-Man. Google also offers a number of tools, such as a tuner and a metronome. It can be assumed that Google will expand its range of games and tools in the future.


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Rules of the strategy game Tic Tac Toe

The game is played with two symbols. Each player is assigned a symbol to play with - either a cross or a circle. The player with the cross always starts the game. He places his cross in one of the boxes in the playing field, which consists of nine boxes (three in the top row, three in the middle row and three in the bottom row). Then it is the turn of the player with the circle to place his circle in one of the empty boxes.


Both players take turns with their moves. The winner is the player who manages to collect three symbols in a row. For example, three crosses or circles vertically in a row from top to bottom are valid. Three crosses or circles horizontally in a row from left to right also count as a win. In addition, diagonal rows of symbols are permitted, for example a row of crosses or circles running diagonally from top left to bottom right. Whatever the constellation, the same symbol must appear three times in a row.


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General level of difficulty of Tic Tac Toe

Regardless of whether it is Google's TicTacToe game or the version from another provider, the level of difficulty of Tic Tac Toe is manageable. Compared to other strategy games such as checkers and chess, the number of possible courses of play and game situations is much smaller. The following figures from the Wikipedia entry on the game Tic Tac Toe illustrate this fact:


  • There is a maximum of 255,168 different match results. Of these, 131,184 end with a win for the first player, 77,904 with a win for the second player and 46,080 with a draw.
  • If you exclude from the count the play sequences that can be converted into one another by turning or mirroring the playing field, the figures mentioned are reduced to approximately one eighth in each case.
  • In total, there are a maximum of 5,478 different game situations, the number of which is reduced to 765 if the playing field is not rotated or mirrored.


Google's game offers the option of choosing between three levels of difficulty: "easy", "medium" and "impossible". Beginners can therefore slowly familiarize themselves with the game and adapt the level of the opponent (i.e. the computer) to their own abilities.


In addition to the computer as an opponent, the option to play with a friend can also be selected under the difficulty level setting. However, you cannot invite your friend by e-mail; they must be present to play Tic Tac Toe by Google together.


Tactics and tips for a higher chance of winning

Given the small number of possible courses of play and game situations as well as the specific rules of the game, it is relatively easy for any user to quickly reach a level where you always play to a draw - unless one of the players makes a gross mistake. First of all, it is important to mention that the starting player always has an advantage because all fields are free and the player has the most options to form his row of three with crosses.


The following tactic has been established: The first player places his cross in one of the corners of the field, but not in the middle. According to theory, by choosing one of the corners, the opponent is more likely to make a mistake. If the opponent then fails to place his circle in the middle of the field, he has certainly lost the game if the cross player plays his advantage cleverly.


An alternative tactic is for the starting player to place his cross in the middle of the playing field. The opponent must then place a circle in one of the corners of the playing field in order to preserve their chance of a draw.


Conclusion: What is Tic Tac Toe from Google?

Tic Tac Toe from Google and other games from the search engine operator, which are displayed above the search results, make it easier for users to access games quickly. Tic Tac Toe is a game with low strategic requirements that can be learned quickly. By knowing and observing just a few basic rules, players can match the level of the computer and are unbeatable.

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