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For those of you who don’t know, Othello is a strategy-based board game, one that is very similar to Go, Checkers, and Chess, and even to Connect Four and Tic-Tac-Toe. Realistically, it is like a combination of Tic-Tac-Toe, Connect Four, and Checkers.
The aim of the game is of course to outflank your opponents with the aim of creating a straight line. What we are here to do today is to provide you with the most valuable tips to follow so you can win a game of Othello against somebody who knows what they are doing. Let’s get to it and provide you with some pro tips for this awesome game.
Tip #1: Dealing with Walls
One of the most important tips to follow when playing Othello is that you should avoid walls at all costs. Walls block off the sides of the gameboard, which means that there can be very long and unbroken lines of discs of the same color that seal off the side of the board. If you get your pieces stuck against one of the walls, you will end up running into some serious trouble.
Tip #2: Don’t Creep the Edges
If you are a beginner Othello player, one of the things that you need to avoid doing is to creep along the edges of the board. While it may be OK to use this strategy against a beginner player, as they will likely run out of moves to make, due to a lack of skill, if you try doing this against an advanced player who knows what they are doing, you will likely lose, as advanced players know exactly how to deal with and defeat this so-called edge creeping tactic.
Tip #3: Dealing with Forced Bad Moves
What often happens late in the game is that you may be forced to make a bad move. If it is very late in the game and a lot of the board is already covered with chips, then chances are that you will have to make a move that is considered bad. In other words, if you want to continue playing, you have to make a move.
If this is the case, what you need to do is to play in an area on the board where there are an odd number of empty squares left. On the other hand, if there is an odd number of empty squares left, it will increase your chances of being able to complete a solid line or to capture one of your opponent’s pieces. If you are forced to put a piece into an area where there is an even number of spaces left, it can cause issues.
Tip #4: Limit Your Opponent’s Options
One of the things that you want to do, particularly in the beginning and middle portions of the game, is to try to minimize the moves your opponent can make, while simultaneously maximizing the number of possible moves that you can make.
One of the best ways to go about this is by keeping all of your pieces closely grouped together. If you do not keep your game pieces closely grouped together, it gives your opponent the chance to cut off your lines and capture your pieces. Spreading out your chips is not a good move, particularly not if you are a beginner player.
Tip #5: Stick to the Middle
Related to the previous tip, when playing Othello, especially as a beginner, you really want to try to keep your pieces not only grouped together but also in the center of the game board. Keep in mind that mobility is crucial in this game, so you don’t want to start out by having too many pieces against the edges or corners of the board, because you will limit the number of moves you can make, and may even end up indirectly trapping yourself.
Tip #6: Don’t Be Too Dramatic
One of the biggest mistakes that many newbie Othello players make is to try to execute these massive moves that flip as many of the opponent’s discs as possible. While it may be very counterintuitive to say that the less dramatic moves that flip fewer discs tend to be better, this is actually the case. A great way to win the game is to get a solid block of color against a wall, rather than trying to over aggressively infiltrate an opponent’s color block.
Tip #7: Saving Good Moves
Another important tip to follow here is that if you have moves that you can play but your opponent cannot touch, then you should save those moves for the very last. If an opponent cannot touch or get near said move, then there is no point in wasting it until you absolutely need to use it.
Tip #8: Be Weary of Isolated Squares
Squares known as isolated squares include B1, G1, A2, H2, A7, H7, B8, and G8. These are the squares on the edges that are located next to the corners. Whether you are a beginner or not, if you are not 100% confident in what you are doing, do not put any discs on those squares if you do not have any discs beside those squares. If those discs have no discs beside them, they are vulnerable to attack, especially from a more skilled player.
Tip #9: Control the Diagonals
As you get near the end of the game, you should try to control the diagonals, as this will allow you to make a move on an X-square without losing the corner disc, which is of course crucial to your success.
Tip #10: Take the Corners
Perhaps the most important tip of all here is that you need to capture the corners. Discs that are played in the corners cannot be flipped, thus allowing for a great advantage for those who take the corners. There are good defenses against this kind of play, but with that said, if you manage to take the corners and you are not playing a pro, you will be at a huge advantage.
Keep in mind that the squares adjacent to the corners are also very important to take. Moreover, the X squares, the ones surrounding the corners, are also very important, but in this case, you want to avoid putting discs there, as this will allow you to avoid capture.
Tip #11: Minimize Discs in Play
As a rule of thumb, the player who has the least amount of discs on the field is generally the one who is winning. As we mentioned before, the moves that flip as few discs as possible are usually the best ones. The fewer discs there are on the field, the more mobility options you have at your disposal.
There you have it folks, all of the tips that you need to know in order to win a game of Othello. It can be quite challenging, so you will likely require a good deal of practice before you get good at it.