I understand that occupying the corners is desirable, as a counter placed there can never be flipped. Also, placing a counter on a square next to a corner seems to be bad as it usually hands the corner to your opponent.

What other tactics are useful to know?

  • 1
    you could expand your corner rules to: try not to place 1 row/column away from the boards edge. As it will allow your opponent to place in a space along the boards edge, which are hard to take.
    – Colin D
    Dec 7, 2012 at 15:14

2 Answers 2


In addition to "Go for corners"...

Don't take edge spaces adjacent to opponent pieces. Your opponent can usually just capture them. There are (rare) times to do so, but those times usually are ones which allow capturing the corner


In addition to trying your best not to allow your opponent to control edges and corners, trying to place in such a way that your opponent cannot play is a good tactic. This is effective during the mid- and late-game. This tactic is as much about luck in your opponent's placement as it is about your vision in being able to accomplish this.

Frequently, when you force them to miss a placement, there is another opportunity on your part to make them miss another, which can sometimes domino to 5 or 6 consecutive placements for you. This also gives you a large advantage since players continue to take turns if they can, so you will have placed more than your opponent over the course of the game.

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    More broadly, though, IIRC even limiting the number of moves available to your opponent appears to be a good heuristic - moves that have forced replies are usually better than moves that leave multiple replies. I have a conference proceedings that includes a paper on Othello AI, I'll try to take a look later and see what else it mentions heuristically (they mostly talk about their learning algorithm). Dec 12, 2012 at 16:50

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