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I just started playing Nine Men's Morris. I have tried playing with both the computer and on online multiplayer settings and have been doing abysmally. I tried finding some good resource on the net that could give me some in depth study of useful strategies for this board game but I found very basic guides that were basically just a rehash of the rules. Could somebody help me in my dilemma, I want to start winning at least a few of the games.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

There's some information available in German. The game's called "Mühle" (= mill) in German, and there exists at least one book on this subject. The book can be found online here:
Click on "Mühle", the book can be viewed in html or as an applet. It's a beginner's book, but contains even some advanced strategies.

It should be possible to understand a lot of the strategies even without knowledge of German, but with "Google translate", or you should be able to make sense of most of the text.

There's even an organization which organizes (European) championchips, see
It might be possible to get information from there, too.

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With respect to basic strategy, I'm assuming that you've found this, which seems to have scraped the text from this page (or vice versa).

In the early '90s, at least one person believed that the strategy you are seeking was not possible to describe.

  • What is an optimal opening strategy (for humans)?

I must admit that I have not examined the opening moves for any easily describable patterns. However, the examination of mid- and endgame databases has repeatedly shown optimal play to be beyond human comprehension. Therefore, I very much doubt that any such simple-to-describe strategy exists.

I've not found anything to contradict him, so unless someone else has more recent experience to share, you may be out of luck.

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I realize you are searching for a human strategy, but it might be useful to look at this:

Problem was solved by Ralph Gasser for an AI player.

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