Hex is my favourite board game. The rules are very easy -- indeed, the easiest rule of any game I know. Yet the strategy is quite deep and complex. Hex is played on a rhombic hexagonal pattern, as displayed on the right. This board has 11x11 cells, which is the most commonly used size, but Hex can be played on a board of any size. Notice the blue and red coloured borders. The players take turns colouring the cells one at a time. The Red player attempts to build a chain of red coloured cells connecting the two red borders, while the Blue player tries to connect the blue borders with blue coloured cells. In the second diagram on the right, Blue has completed a winning chain.
Hex has many wonderful properties and deep mathematical
connections. One of these properties is that Hex cannot end in a draw.
There will inevitably be a winner, no matter what happens, and in fact
there will be only
Explicit winning strategies are known for boards of size up to 9x9,
constructed by Jing Yang. A general winning strategy is unknown. It
The first player enjoys a pretty substantial advantage in Hex. One
would think that this could be offset by playing on a rectangular
board where the first player's borders are farther apart than the
second player's. Alas, that does not work, as it allows a simple
pairing strategy for the second player to win. Advanced players
usually use the
Hex has a relatively short history, having been *discovered*only some 60 years ago.Though there are several related games that some people claim to be superior, I still like Hex the best. Due to its nice mathematical properties, Hex has been the subject of scientific papers and books. I have a few proofs of the no draw property and a proof of the first-player win online. I try to maintain an exhaustive Hex bibliography. I used to have a page with Hex links, but the thing with internet links is that they go and change or die when you're not looking. So let's follow a more dynamic and modern approach to give you current Hex links, thanks to some wonderful piece of technological magic. Marvel at my design skills: Hex boards to print out and play our favourite game on. Beads not included.
| an empty Hex board of size 11x11 Blue has a winning connection |

these Hex pages are maintained by Javhar