I started a game of Minesweeper, and it ended pretty unspectacularly:

Game over after revealing two squares

I clicked near the center of the board, revealing a '1'. I then clicked a square next to the 1, revealing the mine.

Is there anything I could've done in such a situation to improve my chances? Is it just down to luck?

  • 2
    You posted this at an interesting time - we have an on going meta about how to handle these minesweeper questions... I can tell you that your answer lies here.
    – Timmy Jim
    Commented Aug 26, 2021 at 23:34
  • @TimmyJim Hmmm...I'm not the biggest fan of "hope and pray", but I guess that's ultimately what Minesweeper is all about. Thanks for the link. You can close it as a duplicate as well, since that's pretty much a duplicate.
    – MechMK1
    Commented Aug 26, 2021 at 23:44
  • 1
    In this case, yup! You could only technically make a guess. You stood a really good chance of surviving, but as luck would have it... you didn't make it. That's got to be the worse way to lose.
    – Timmy Jim
    Commented Aug 26, 2021 at 23:49

1 Answer 1


The odds of hitting that mine were 1/8 ≈ 13%. The odds of hitting a mine anywhere else on the board were 98/471 ≈ 21%.

So you made the right choice, and got unlucky. That's Minesweeper.

  • Shouldn't it be 1/8 as there are 8 squares around the "1"? Commented Jan 24, 2022 at 3:21
  • @SkrewEverything: Facepalmed and fixed, thanks! Commented Jan 24, 2022 at 17:55
  • Basically, there is no 'win every time' strategy in Minesweeper because of this. You can be unlucky and just click a mine in the first few moves, nothing to do about it because the board is decided before your first click. It doesn't change to make sure you don't get a mine in your first 2-3 clicks.
    – Fredy31
    Commented Jan 24, 2022 at 19:24
  • @Fredy31: I believe some versions of Minesweeper detect the case where the very first square clicked is a mine, and move the mine to the top-left square if this happens. So I guess the moral there is "don't guess the top-left square if you have to guess."
    – Kevin
    Commented Jan 24, 2022 at 23:20

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