The Game of Hex

The game of Hex has been invented in 1942 by Piet Hein, reinvented in 1948 by John Nash, got its name in 1952 from a commercial distribution by Parker Brothers and has been popularized by Martin Gardner in 1957.

In Hex, the player to make the first move has a better chance of winning than the other player. This follows by the strategy stealing argument invented by John Nash. Hence the first player has an advantage in the game. To compensate for this advantage in the applet below, the central cell is blocked for the very first move.

Unlike chess or checkers, Hex can't end in a draw. You'll have to do your best to win against the computer.

This applet requires Sun's Java VM 2 which your browser may perceive as a popup. Which it is not. If you want to see the applet work, visit Sun's website at, download and install Java VM and enjoy the applet.

What if applet does not run? Applet parameters (Name - Type - Description): bgColor - integer -Background color (24-bit RGB hex int) title - string - Applet title text newGame - string - New Game button text white - string - Player Side White text black - string - Player Side Black text level - string - Level label text basic - string - Basic level text advanced - string - Advanced level text yourMove - string - Player Move status text thinking - string - Computer Thinking status text whiteWins - string - White Wins status text blackWins - string - Black Wins status text ---------------------------------------------------------->

The applet is courtesy of, Copyright © 2002 Robert Kirkland. All Rights Reserved.


  1. B. Averbach and O. Chein, Problem Solving Through Recreational Mathematics, Dover, 2000 from 1980 original
  2. A. Beck, M.N. Bleicher, D. W. Crowe, Excursions into Mathematics, A K Peters, 2000
  3. C. Browne, HEX Strategy, A K Peters, 2000
  4. D. Gale, The Game of Hex and the Brouwer Fixed-Point Theorem, Am Math Monthly, vol. 86, no, 10 (Dec., 1979), 818-827
  5. M. Gardner, Hexaflexagons and Other Mathematical Diversions, The University of Chicago Press, 1988

The Hex and Y Games

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