**Hex**is a board game played on a hexagonal grid, usually in the shape of a 10 by 10 or a 11 by 11 rhombus. (The book

*A Beautiful Mind*says Nash

*et al*settled on 14 by 14 as best.)

Table of contents |

2 Rules 3 Strategy 4 Templates 5 Variants 6 See also: 7 External links and References |

## History

The game was invented by the Danish mathematician Piet Hein in 1942, and independently by the mathematician John Nash in the late 1940s. It became known in Denmark under the name *Polygon*; Nash's fellow players at first called the game *Nash*. According to Martin Gardner, some of the Princeton University students also referred to the game as John, because it was often played on the hexagonal tiles of bathroom floors. In 1952 Parker Brothers marketed a version. They called their version "Hex" and the name stuck.

## Rules

Red moved first in this game, and won.

## Strategy

A better way is to allow the second player to choose his color after the first player makes the first move, or first three moves, which encourages the first player to intentionally even out the game. *See the **pie rule for a more detailed discussion.* Nowadays, in most online sites, the swap rule is the default, with the swap made after only one move (ensuring a second player win).

Cameron Browne wrote a book entitled *Hex Strategy: Making the Right Connections*, which covers Hex strategy at a greater level of detail than any preceding work. However, some hex players feel that this book contains many factual errors and advocates questionable strategies. Another book, to be written by Jack van Rijswijck and Ryan Hayward, was put on hold soon after the publication of *Hex Strategy*; it was to have a more mathematical bent than the somewhat conversational tone of Browne's book.

Hex has been proven to be PSPACE hard. But don't be frightened by this. After all, checkers, chess and go are EXPTIME

## Templates

## Variants

### Blockbusters

Hex had an incarnation as the question board from the television game show *Blockbusters*. In order to play a "move", contestants had to answer a question correctly. The board was much smaller than in standard Hex.

### The game of Y

See Y (game). It has a lot of similarities with Hex.

### The Shannon Switching game

See Shannon switching game. Unlike Hex, this isn't PSPACE hard.

## See also:

## External links and References

- Hex game information center
- http://members.iex.net/~rfinn/gameshlf/abstract/hex/hex.htm
- Playsite - play hex online.
- Six Perhaps the strongest Hex program out there. However, by default it plays at the beginner's level.
- Hexy The second strongest program out there. It's for windows and there are some publications on Hex algorithms on this site. Some of the papers there might be of interest to mathematicians willing to make a mathematical analysis of Hex.
- Hex Program Olympiad In light of the dismal quality of current Hex programs, why not take the challenge and participate in this annual Computer Olympiad? You can be a winner if you beat the current entries!
- OHex This is an online database of Hex games. But please take it with a grain of salt since the database contains quite a number of mediocre games. There's also a Hex mailing list you can join there.
- Jhex Jhex is a game tree editor for hex with many features, written in Java. It also contains a fairly large downloadable database of Hex games.
- 7x7, 8x8 and 9x9 solutions by Jing Yang of the University of Manitoba
- Java applet (downloadable) It's of poor quality. I suggest Six if you have UNIX or Hexy if you have Windows instead.
- basic strategy well explained
- Browne, Cameron.
*Hex Strategy: Making the Right Connections*. ISBN 1-56881-117-9 - Cameron's Hex Page author Cameron Browne explains
- Xah: Great Math Programs links concerning Martin Gardner and various board game programs.