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Python Program for Tic Tac Toe

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4th Jun, 2023
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Python Program for Tic Tac Toe

Tic Tac Toe in Brief

Tic tac toe is one of the most widely played games. It takes pride in being the best time killer game that can be played anywhere and anytime. No equipment is required to play this game. All you need is a pen and paper. Let’s understand how the game is played before we dive deeper into the Python implementation of this game. 

The game can be played between two individuals. Initially, a 3×3 square grid board is drawn. The player who chooses to play first opts ‘X’ as his selection. He draws it within any of the squares of the board. Now, the second player gets a chance to insert ‘O’ in any of the remaining squares. The ‘X’ and ‘O’ are alternatively drawn on the empty squares. This is continued until one of the players wins the game by drawing three consecutive identical marks either in vertical, horizontal or diagonal directions. If all spots are filled and none of the two draws three consecutive symbols, the game is declared to be a draw. 

Unknown facts about Tic-tac-toe

  • Tic tac toe is an ancient game that was played by Romans.
  • Tic tac toe is a favorite game of Math lovers and it involves several complicated math concepts like symmetry, permutations and combinations of ‘0’s and ‘X’s.
  • The game is popular for its simplicity. However, it requires a greater amount of practice to win instead of ending up in a draw. 

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Tic Tac Toe Game Pseudocode

  • Display the instructions of the game.
  • Determine which player creates an empty board display to play the tic tac toe game if no one has won or it is not a draw in the previous game. 
  • Get the person’s move if it is the person’s chance to play. 
  • Update the display board with the person’s move.
  • If it is not the person’s turn to play, calculate the move of the computer. 
  • Update the board with the computer’s move.
  • Display the board to the person.
  • Switch the turns till all the spaces are filled.
  • Declare a tie or congratulate the winner based on the fills in the display board.

Object-oriented Programming and Classes Implementation

Tic Tac Toe in Python will utilize object-oriented programming (OOP) and classes to put the game into action. To begin with, we shall establish a category for the Tic Tac Toe Python code for beginners. This code will feature a 3×3 grid with a view forming the Tic Tac Toe board. The next step is to design a class for the players using Tic Tac Toe Python Code. This class can have a name and a symbol (either ‘X’ or ‘O’).

The Minimax Algorithm

We will use the Minimax algorithm to create an unbeatable AI opponent. This algorithm analyses all potential moves and their results to find the best move. The Minimax algorithm ensures that the AI opponent never loses, and it will always make the best move possible.

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This algorithm analyses all feasible movements and their outcomes to discover the best suitable move. With the Minimax set of rules, the AI opponent will never lose, and it will usually make the best possible play.

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Basics of Minimax Algorithm

The minimax is an adversarial search type algorithm used to generate and explore the game trees. It finds a wider range of applications in solving the zero-sum games. These are the games where the gain of one side is equivalent to the loss on the other side. So, the sum of all the gains and losses will yield zero as a result. There are subtle differences between the conventional searching algorithms and the adversarial search. One main difference is the addition of opponents into a mix. This algorithm is used to aid the computer in playing the turns of both opponent and the player and explore the best possible move. In the Python automatic tic tac toe implementation, the minimax algorithm is used to enable the automatic moves by the program, alternatively.

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Python Implementation of Automatic Tic tac toe game using a random number

This section discusses the implementation of the automatic tic tac toe game using Python code. The programming does not require user inputs. This is because the program automatically plays the game. However, developing an amazing game is great fun. Let’s learn how this can be accomplished. 

The Python libraries ‘numpy’ and ‘random’ are used to develop this game. Instead of enabling the user to mark on the display board, the code abruptly chooses a place on the display board and places a mark. After each turn, the board is displayed until one of the players wins. If the game is a tie between the players, the value returned is -1.

Explanation of Python implementation of Tic tac toe

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The main function used in the Python code is the play_game(). This function performs the below-mentioned tasks. 

  • It invokes the create_board() function to draw a 9×9 board that is initialized with ‘0’.
  • It calls the function random_place() for each player (either player1 or player2) to arbitrarily choose a position on the board and mark that plot with the player’s character choice (either X or 0), alternatively.
  • The main function prints the board each time after a move is made by either of the players.
  • The main function analyses the display board after each move of the players to check whether a column or a row or a diagonal has the same characters (X or 0). If there are identical characters in any of the rows or columns or diagonals, the winner’s name is displayed. If no winner is displayed after 9 moves, the game is a tie and the main function displays -1.

Random Moves for the AI Opponent

Another way to implement the AI opponent is by using random moves. This implementation is easier to code but does not guarantee an unbeatable opponent. With this implementation, the AI opponent randomly selects an empty cell on the board.

Pygame Library for Graphical Interface

Pygame is a collection of Python modules that allows developers to create video games and multimedia programs. It offers a basic manner of dealing with user input and showing visuals. To generate a graphical user interface for the game, the Pygame library can be used.

Game Rules and Winning Conditions

  • A Tic-tac-toe match is played on a 3X3 matrix. 
  • Both players take turns and put their symbol (“X” or “O”) on the matrix. 
  • The player who gets the first three symbols in three continuous blocks, either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally wins. 
  • The game is a draw if all the spaces on the board fill up, meaning there would be no winners.

If you are curious to learn about tableau, data science, check out IIIT-B & upGrad’s Executive PG Programme in Data Science which is created for working professionals and offers 10+ case studies & projects, practical hands-on workshops, mentorship with industry experts, 1-on-1 with industry mentors, 400+ hours of learning and job assistance with top firms.


Pavan Vadapalli

Blog Author
Director of Engineering @ upGrad. Motivated to leverage technology to solve problems. Seasoned leader for startups and fast moving orgs. Working on solving problems of scale and long term technology strategy.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1Is it possible to win against the AI opponent?

With the Minimax algorithm, the AI opponent will continually make the best possible move, making it unbeatable. With the random move implementation, overcoming the AI opponent is far more feasible.

2Can the game be played on a cellular device?

Yes, the sport can be played on a cellular device by using the Python interpreter app or by developing a cellular device using a cellular development framework like Kivy.

3Can more than two players play the game?

No, Tic Tac Toe is a duo-player game.

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