Minesweeper & MSN Minesweeper Flags
Cheats, Hints, Tips, Hacks, Strategy
Minesweeper hints & tips
MSN Minesweeper Flags
MSN Minesweeper Flags cheats & hacks
MSN Minesweeper Flags hints & tips
How to play Minesweeper Flags
Practise Minesweeper Flags against your computer
MSN Minesweeper Flags strategies
While the pointer is inside the Minesweeper window type "XYZZY" and then press Shift+Enter and then Enter. A white dot will show up in the top left of your screen. When your pointer is over a square with a mine under it the dot will turn black.
Start a game and make an opening move. Then press the left and right mouse buttons at once and you should see a 3x3 square imprint on the board. While holding down both mouse buttons press Enter and the timer will stop.
(This cheat does not work for the Windows XP or Windows Vista versions of Windows Minesweeper)
After starting a game hold down the Windows key and then press the D key. Any open windows will minimize. Once you restore the Minesweeper window the timer will be stopped allowing you to complete the game at your leisure.
Minesweeper Hints & Tips
If a square has a 1 in it and there is only one covered square next to it, then that covered square must contain a mine.
Similarly, if there is an uncovered square and the number shown within that square is equal to the number of squares surrounding it that could possibly contain mines then each of those possible squares will contain mines.
Once you have flagged all the mines around an uncovered square (there are the same number of flags around it as its number), uncover the remaining adjacent squares around it by clicking on it with both the left and right mouse buttons at once.
If you can recognise common patterns in minesweeper then you won't have to waste time working out where the mines are during a game. Here are some examples of some frequently occuring patterns:
If you see this pattern: (The X's below can be any numbers, they don't matter in this situation)
You should flag the square down and left from the 2 and uncover the square down and to the right of the 1:
For this pattern:
You should flag the squares shown and uncover the squares down and either side of the 1:
Minesweeper Flags Cheats & Hacks
There are no cheats included within MSN Minesweeper Flags. However there are cheat/hack programs made such as msfspy that will tell you where the mines are.
Minesweeper Flags Hints & Tips
When guessing randomly, don't click squares along the sides of the board or in the corners. These squares are much more likely to cause a cascade. (cascade means: when you click an empty square with no surrounding mines and it opens up a big area)
When guessing randomly, choose a square adjacent to a flagged mine, but where a mine could still potentially be. This way it is impossible for you to cause a cascade but you still may flag a mine.
When guessing, you need to consider that if your guess doesn't flag a mine then what are the chances of that square giving away logically certain mines to your opponent. For example if you click a square where there is only one square adjacent to it that could contain a mine, then if your guess reveals a "1" then you have revealed a logically certain mine to your opponent. If your guess had five adjacent squares that could contain a mine, and you reveal a "1" then you have only given away a one mine in five squares probability to your opponent. Therefore guessing squares with higher numbers of possible mine squares surrounding, is defensively better.
When using the bomb you will most likely cause a cascade. Therefore try to limit how far the cascade can spread, eg usually you would use it in a corner and try to fence off the cascade by choosing an area surrounded by already revealed squares.
How To Play Minesweeper Flags
The object of Minesweeper Flags is to flag 26 mines out of the 51 total mines before your opponent does.
To flag a mine left click on a square where you think a mine is. If you are correct then a flag of your color will appear on the square, your score will go up by one and you will get to have another go. If you are incorrect then you lose your turn and the square will be uncovered. If there are any mines next to the square you clicked on then a number will appear in it telling you how many mines surround that square. Players can use the numbers and logic to work out the mine's locations. If there are no mines at all next to the square you have clicked on (ie. it's a 0) then the squares surrounding it will be revealed too. If any one of those revealed squares have no mines surrounding it (ie. it is also a 0) then all the squares surrounding that square will be revealed again, and so on which can cause a "cascade" of squares being revealed.
If you are losing then you have the option of using the bomb button which will blow up an area of squares five high by five wide. If you use the bomb then any mines in the blown up area will be flagged in your color. The other squares in the area will be cleared as usual.
Practise Minesweeper Flags Against Your Computer
You can download Mineswee++ to practise Minesweeper Flags vs a computer opponent. The program is good at finding mines that are logically certain but not as good at defense and avoiding cascades.
Minesweeper Flags Strategy Guide
Every move in Minesweeper Flags will be one of two types: a certainty move where you have worked out there is definitely a mine there, or a guess move. However there is more to a guess than a guess.
To a guess there is three factors:
A. The likelihood of hitting a mine. (Offense)
B. The likelihood of causing a cascade. (Defense)
C. The likelihood of giving information to your opponent. (Defense)
A. Finding Mines
i. Basic Rules of Thumb
Of course if you have worked out a mine's position with 100% certainty then you do not need to be concerned about causing a cascade or giving away information when you click that square.
Here are some basic rules for working out a mine's position:
1. When there is a number on the board and the number of squares that could possibly contain mines surrounding it is equal to that number, then each of those squares contains a mine.
In this situation both of the unrevealed squares contain mines, since the 2 in the centre only has two squares surrounding it that could contain mines.|
In this situation each of the unrevealed squares contain mines, since the 3 in the centre only has three squares surrounding it that could contain mines.
2. For two numbers on the board, ie X and Y:
Let a = the number of mines in squares adjacent only to X (ie not also adjacent to Y)
Let b = the number of mines in squares adjacent only to Y
X - Y = a - b
In this picture if we let X be the 3 in the centre, and Y be the 1 to its left. Then a is the squares outlined in red and b is the square outlined in blue.
X - Y = a - b
3 - 1 = a - b
2 = a - b
Since a cannot be greater than 2, b must be 0 or less. However b cannot be negative so therefore a = 2, b = 0. (And note there must be one mine in the two unrevealed squares between a and b, so each square has a 50% chance of containing a mine.)
Another way of thinking about this is there cannot be more than one mine in the squares adjacent to the 1 which is to the left of the 3, therefore there must be two mines in a so as to make it possible for the 3 to be true. Then there must be one mine in either of the squares adjacent to both the 1 and the 3, to make up three total mines adjacent to the 3. Therefore b must be empty because there can only be one mine adjacent to the 1.
Some more examples of this:
|There must be a mine in the top right square.
There must be mines either side of the 2.|
B. Avoiding Cascades
i. First Move
Sometimes you will have to make a totally uneducated guess, like if you are making the first move of the game. You may get lucky and hit a mine but otherwise the best you can hope for here is damage control.
Often I see people who are hoping to avoid a cascade clicking along the edge of the board. I don't know why, there must be an illusion that it looks safer along the edge or something, I suppose it's because if they create a cascade then it is at least blocked from spreading in one direction. Anyway a cascade is caused when there are no mines in the surrounding squares of the square you clicked on, therefore if for the first move you click in the middle of the board on a square that is surrounded by eight squares then you have eight chances to avoid a cascade, assuming you did not flag a mine. If however you guess a square along the side then you only have five chances to avoid a cascade (a square on the edge of the board has five adjacent squares). People often also click in the corners hoping to get lucky, but this is an even more risky strategy with there only being three chances to avoid a cascade.
ii. Cascade Probabilities
This can be represented in probability as follows:
Let P = probability of a square being empty
When we click on a square in a corner, there will be a cascade if the square we clicked on AND all 3 of the surrounding squares are empty.
ie. if the clicked on square is empty AND square 1 is empty AND square 2 is empty AND square 3 is empty = PxPxPxP = P^4
When we click on a square along the side of the map, there will be a cascade if that square and all 5 of the surrounding squares are empty.
ie. PxPxPxPxPxP= P^6
When we click on a square in the middle of the board, there will be a cascade if that square AND all 8 of the surrounding squares are empty.
We can work out that there are 16x16 squares on the map = 256 squares, and there are 51 mines in each game. So therefore 205 squares are empty. Therefore the probability that a square will be empty is 205/256 which is approximately 80%
Therefore the probability of causing a cascade
When clicking in the corner is approximately 40%
When clicking along the side is approximately 26%
When clicking the centre of the board is approximately 13.4%
iii. Informed Guessing
However the above advice might only be needed for the first move when it is not possible to be sure to avoid a cascade. After that you nearly do not ever have to risk causing a cascade again, depending on how defensively you play.
I play fairly cautiously myself, with my mind always on defence as well as attack. Nearly all of the squares I click on are ones that are adjacent to a flag. This makes it impossible to create a cascade. However I try to make it so the square that I click on still has a chance that it could have a mine beneath it.
I don't want to play a totally defensive game where all my guesses are squares that cannot cause a cascade but I know don't contain mines either, and just be waiting for my opponent to give away mine positions.
C. Giving Away Information
The other thing to consider is if your click doesn't flag a mine what is the likelihood that the number it reveals will give away another mine's position to your opponent. To work this out, look at the number of squares touching the square you are contemplating clicking that could potentially have mines there. The lower the number of these squares the more risky it is in terms of giving away mine positions to your opponent.
For example if you click a square where there is only one square adjacent to it that could contain a mine, then if your guess reveals a "1" then you have given away a logically certain mine to your opponent. If your guess had five adjacent squares that could contain a mine, and you reveal a "1" then you have only given away a one mine in five squares probability to your opponent. So guessing squares with higher numbers of possible mine squares surrounding it, is defensively better.
For this reason and others, when you look at the board you should see the unclicked on squares in your mind divided up into ones where there can be no mines there based on what the numbers around them are telling you and squares that could possibly have mines there. This is especially important towards the endgame.
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