The ‘Hidden Pairs’ Strategy

The ‘Hidden Pairs’ technique builds on the principles of the ‘Hidden Singles’ method, but it’s a bit more advanced. This strategy involves a careful analysis of the candidate numbers in each cell.

The key condition for ‘Hidden Pairs’ is to identify two cells within a row, column, or 3×3 block that share the same two candidate numbers, and these numbers do not appear in any other cells within that unit. Once identified, these numbers can be confirmed as the correct candidates for those two cells, and all other candidate numbers in these cells can be eliminated.

To illustrate this technique, let’s consider an example within a 3×3 block. Suppose we examine the notes and notice that the numbers 8 and 9 each appear twice, and nowhere else in the block. These numbers form our ‘Hidden Pairs’. We then remove all other candidate numbers from these two cells, leaving only 8 and 9. Now we continue applying other techniques to solve this puzzle.

Mastering ‘Hidden Pairs’ will totally level up your game and make cracking even the trickiest Sudoku puzzles a breeze! So go on, download our free printable Sudoku puzzle books and give it a try!