Play the Dots and Squares Game

This game is fairly simple, can be played just about anywhere, and is really, really fun!  You might know it by another name, but as you read the instructions (adapted from about.com) I’m sure you’ll recognize it!

1. Make a grid of dots on a piece of paper. Like this.

2. Have your opponent connect two of the dots, across or down (but not diagonally). Now you connect two of the dots. Keep taking turns until a square is formed.

3. The person who completes the square gets to put his or her initial in it, and gets another turn. Keep taking turns, connecting dots and completing squares, until all the dots on the grid are connected.

4. Count up each player’s initials on the grid. The one with the most squares wins. Tips: It’s easy enough to just fill a scrap of paper or the back of a receipt with dots to play this game, but you can also print out a bunch of grids in a compact format at pocketmod.com — just select the “dots” page for all pages of your mini-booklet.

To hone your skills, try practicing online at this site.

Strategy tip #1: Avoiding putting the third line on a box (enabling your opponent to capture it by adding the fourth line). That doesn’t mean you can’t slip and “accidentally” forget that strategy, giving your opponent a small victory.

Strategy tip  #2: Expand the number of dots in your grid to accommodate the amount of time you need to fill; limit it by the amount of attention your loved one can sustain. When in doubt, go with the latter. Better to play a couple of games than to have interest run out in the middle of one.

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