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23 Fun Facts About Dots and Boxes (Game) – Origins, Research, AI,…

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

Get ready for the blast of fun facts on Dots and Boxes that are about to hit you in this piece. Although first created in the 19th century, this game was not called Dots and Boxes. It went by the name “la Pipo pipette” and was invented by a French mathematician. 

Interestingly, the game went by other names, such as pigs in a pen or game of dots. You’d also find several published research papers on the strategies that players can apply to win the game Dots and Boxes.

Here we’ve curated 20+ interesting facts about the Dots and Boxes paper-and-pencil game.

1. Dots and Boxes Was First Published in the 19th Century

The pencil and paper game came to light in 1889. Interestingly, this was the same year Nintendo was founded.

2. A French Mathematician Invented the Game

A French mathematician by the name of Edouard Lucas invented the game. He was also a professor of mathematics, and before Dots and Boxes, he had developed the puzzle game called the Tower of Hanoi. This French mathematician also created solutions to other puzzle games.

3. Dots and Boxes was Not the Given Name 

When the game was first introduced in 1889, it was originally called la Pipo pipette. Other names include; pigs in a pen, boxes, squares, paddocks, dots and dashes, boxes, and the dot game.

4. You Can Now Play Dots and Boxes on Your Mobile Phones

When the game was invented, it was only possible to play if you had a pen and a paper, but with the invention of mobile devices, the game is now mobile. Players can now access the game anytime as long as they have a mobile device.

5. There are Published Papers on The Game Dots and Boxes

Not many games have had mathematicians study them and develop possible strategies to win. Interestingly, Dots and Boxes have had researchers publish mathematical strategies that players can use to win the game.

Papers like technical analysis of Dots and Boxes and research and implementations of Dots and Boxes are some of such papers.

6. One of the Highest Scores Ever for Dots 

The highest score ever recorded in the game of Dots and Boxes is 800. So, when playing and getting a score remotely closer to this, you can consider yourself a pro in Dots and Boxes.

7. There are Apps for the Game of Dots and Boxes

As an alternative to playing Dots and Boxes via your browser, you can now download the game app. The introduction of a Dots and Boxes gaming app makes the game easier to play and is more efficient for tracking scores and learning new strategies.

8. The Game Has No Age Limit

Dots and Boxes is a simple game to learn, yet it relaxes and helps to task the mind. This factor makes it good for all age ranges. From a child that can understand the basic rules to an adult, the game is open to everyone.

9. Availability of Printable Templates

Instead of wasting time drawing dots on paper, you can now purchase a printed and fully designed template to play on. This template makes the game a lot easier and fun to play because it typically has more dots than the ones done by an individual. It can also be accessed anywhere since it is designed and ready to go.

10. Dots and Boxes can Aid Learning

It is interesting to note, especially for parents, that while this might be a game, it is also an interesting way to get your kids more involved with their learning.

11. Published by the New York times

The Dots and Boxes game is one of the pencil and paper games published by the New York Times. It is one of the best options recommended for a classic game.

12. It Supports the Rules of the Game String and Coins

Strings and coins, a game created by Elwin Berlekamp, is the graphical representation of Dots and Boxes. Elwin created strings and coins to allow dots to be played on graphs; it allows a more graphical representation of the connection of the dots game.

13. Mathematics Can be Used to Solve the Game

Dots and Boxes might be a way to pass the time and for fun, but it can involve quite a bit of mathematics than you’d expect of a game. 

It’s no wonder mathematicians have spent a lot of their time developing thesis and theories that players of dots can use to solve this game. So, while some may play the game for fun, others study it as a profession.

14. A Contest Involving the Development of a Bot for Dots and Boxes

There was a contest by Brilliant for artificial intelligence, and the requirement was the development of a bot to play the game Dots and Boxes. Interestingly, a company best known for its desire to boost mathematical knowledge would consider Dots and Boxes for their tests.

15. It Runs JavaScript Programming

The website available online to play the game of dots is an html5 app with an algorithm in JavaScript behind it.  

16. It is Available on the iPhone’s iMessage Games

You can now play Dots and Boxes on your iPhone as an iMessage game. The convenience and accessibility it offers are unrivaled.

17. Dots and Boxes XYZ

There is an algebraic version of the dots game, which Lucas also curated. This version involves solving equations along the lines of the boxes drawn. These are usually worth more than the one point we get from laying the simpler version.

18. It Is a Fun Way to Understand Geometry

Dots and Boxes has to do with connecting dots with a line that forms certain shapes. It is easier to understand how these dots connect and what shapes they form when playing the game of dots.

19. There are Tutorials on How to Play the Game

You can find detailed tutorials on how to master the game of dots on YouTube. This detailed analysis shows the players how best to beat their opponent in the game.

20. There are Tutorials on How to Write the Game’s Code 

Any programmer with a basic understanding of how programming languages work can now create their own game of dots. They can follow the tutorials available online, which makes it easier for them to access the game of dots.

21. The Chances of Draw are Slim

When playing Dots and Boxes, the game’s chances of ending in a draw are very slim. Due to the chances that a player who draws the fourth line gets another turn, this already has the player at an advantage and limits the chances of the game ending in a draw.

22. Two or More People Can play the Game

When Lucas first created the game, it was typically played by two people, but today, the game has evolved to a point where multiple people can play the same game simultaneously.

23. The Berlekamp Improvement

After learning and mastering the simple game of dots, Berlekamp came up with an improved mathematical method for Dots and Boxes. The game has four different levels, and Berlekamp submitted this theorem to the University of Calgary in the late 1960s. 

Last Word

These facts are here to show how special the dots game really is. The game’s journey started in the year 1889, and even today, it is still a popular gaming choice.

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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.