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11 Disadvantages / Downsides of Tic-Tac-Toe (Predictability, Solved Game,…)

Last Updated on January 25, 2024 by Gamesver Team and JC Franco

Hand-drawn tic tac toe game

Who says that everyone loves playing Tic-Tac-Toe? Some people aren’t so keen on the game, and for good reasons. If you were asked to, off the top of your head, come up with a list of possible disadvantages and downsides of the game, would you be able to come up with many? After a little research, it has become apparent that there are several commonly agreed disadvantages of the game.

If you’re not enamored with the Tic-Tac-Toe game, don’t worry, many people aren’t. There are many reasons why people find it a bit of a downer to play. And, if you’re still uncertain of how the game can present downsides, read on below, where we discussed them in detail.

These are 11 reasons why some people just don’t like Tic-Tac-Toe:

1. It can get boring knowing that you are going to win every single time.

If you are an experienced Tic-Tac-Toe player, you probably (in fact, you do) know precisely how to win. If you are playing against newbies to the game or kids who haven’t had much experience with it, it can become a little boring if you are winning round after round. It can also be a little frustrating because teaching the tricks will simply end in a tie at the end of every round.

For the more experienced players, playing 2 or 3 rounds is usually all that they can stomach. 

2. The game usually takes less than a minute to play.

If you are looking for a game to while away a few hours of the afternoon or evening, Tic-Tac-Toe might not be it. The game is quick and easy, which means that it usually takes less than a minute for one of the players to win. 

After a few rounds, you probably won’t want to keep playing for hours. It’s not the type of game to keep people occupied for more than a few minutes to an hour.

3. You usually need paper and a pencil/pen to play.

If you want to play Tic-Tac-Toe, you need some paper and a pencil or pen. If you don’t have these available, you aren’t going to be able to play. This can be rather inconvenient. It’s even more inconvenient or frustrating if you have the paper but no pen!

With that in mind, it’s important to mention that many apps allow you to play the game on your devices.

4. When you know how to win, the game isn’t very challenging.

Why do you enjoy games? Do you like feeling challenged? That’s something that most people look for in a game: the challenge. 

For those who have had to play the game over and over, there’s a big chance that they know how to win the game. They probably know every trick in the book. These people don’t feel challenged when playing a game of Tic-Tac-Toe. 

A game that isn’t challenging on some level will not hold someone’s interest for very long. You might find that people who know the game back to front just don’t want to play and rather seek out something a little more challenging. 

tired student girl at school

5. It can get boring if every game ends in a tie. 

What happens when 2 players who are just as good as each other play together? It turns out that it’s not all that interesting when it comes to Tic-Tac-Toe.

If 2 experienced players play Tic-Tac-Toe, they might find the game frustrating or boring. Because both players know every move and block, there’s a high chance that every game is going to end in a tie. When this happens consistently, the game is deemed boring. Nobody wants to play a boring game, even if others find it fun and interesting. 

6. If you’re new to the game, you could be taken advantage of by players who know the game’s winning strategies.

People who are very new to the game of Tic-Tac-Toe or have never been taught the various tips and tricks to win at the game may start to feel a little taken advantage of by those who know how to win. At first, it might not be too obvious, but after losing round after round, it can become a tad obvious.

7. New versions of Tic-Tac-Toe have ruined the original version.

Not everyone likes change. Over the years, Tic-Tac-Toe has changed, and this is not something that is appreciated by everyone. Those who enjoy the original version of Tic-Tac-Toe may feel that the new variations have ruined it. 

Now, people don’t want to play the original version of Tic-Tac-Toe, but would rather play a variation of it that is considered more exciting or challenging. Some of the new versions of Tic-Tac-Toe out there include the likes of 3D Tic-Tac-Toe, Misere Tic-Tac-Toe, Notakto, Quixo, Word Tic-Tac-Toe, and Numerical Tic-Tac-Toe. Of course, this is only to name a few. 

8. The game can be addictive and can lead to wasting a lot of time.

We all know that certain games can become addictive. Everyone is different. Some people get addicted to video games, while others get addicted to paper and pencil games, like Tic-Tac-Toe. 

Some people enjoy Tic-Tac-Toe so much that they just can’t stop. They get addicted to the thrill of winning, especially when playing against people who don’t know much about the winning strategies of the game. The winning thrill can result in playing game after game which can lead to wasting a lot of valuable time.

9. It gets annoying being asked to play all the time.

You might be wondering why you might find yourself in a situation where you feel as if you must play Tic-Tac-Toe all of the time. Well, teachers have this problem! 

Many teachers on forums claim that their students ask them to play Tic-Tac-Toe constantly. They admit to this being one of the most annoying things “ever” (to be asked to play the game). 

If you are in a situation where people keep asking you to play the game, you could find yourself becoming annoyed at the mere thought or mention of the game. 

10. It’s a solved game.

Many people find the fact that Tic-Tac-Toe is a solved game to be rather annoying. What is a solved game, you ask? Wikipedia tells us the following about solved games: “A solved game is a game whose outcome (win, lose or draw) can be correctly predicted from any position, assuming that both players play perfectly.” 

Abstract Tic Tac Toe Game Competition

As you can imagine, this can be irritating for people looking for a game where the winner cannot be predicted from the very first move. 

11. You can’t play the game solo. 

If you are the type of person who likes a game that you can sometimes play alone to entertain yourself, you probably don’t appreciate the fact that Tic-Tac-Toe is a 2 player game. It cannot be played solo, which means that if you can’t convince or persuade someone to play with you, you won’t be able to enjoy the game. 

Of course, there is always the option of playing a computer or mobile app version of the game, but that’s not really the same as winning against a human, is it? Certainly not!

All in all

If you really think about it, these are quite viable disadvantages and downsides. For those who don’t enjoy Tic-Tac-Toe, don’t worry; you aren’t alone. 

Many people don’t enjoy the game, and the 11 reasons mentioned above are valid enough! If you were wondering how someone could find Tic-Tac-Toe unappealing, now you have 11 reasons to consider. If someone is resistant to the game, rather find something else to play. Good luck!

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This article was co-authored by our team of in-house and freelance writers, and reviewed by our editors, who enjoy sharing their knowledge about their favorite games with others!

JC Franco
Editor | + posts

JC Franco serves as a New York-based editor for Gamesver. His interest for board games centers around chess, a pursuit he began in elementary school at the age of 9. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Mercyhurst University, JC brings a blend of business acumen and creative insight to his role. Beyond his editorial endeavors, he is a certified USPTA professional, imparting his knowledge in tennis to enthusiasts across the New York City Metropolitan area.