What it is: A more challenging and fun variation of regular tic-tac-toe.

Best for: 2 players.

What you need: Paper, something to write with, and two players.

How to play: The game is basically the same as regular tic-tac-toe: you try to win by getting three X’s or O’s in a row. The trick is, instead of one grid of nine squares, you have three grids of nine squares, all stacked on top of each other. A diagonal, horizontal, or vertical set of three lets you win, but since the game is 3-D, there are many more winning possibilities, some of which are shown here:

And it’s more fun. And challenging. And harder to end in a tie.

Variations: I suppose, since the playing space is so much larger, you could try with more than two players. I never have, but just use another letter or shape or color and see how it goes. Or I guess you could try with four grids stacked on top of each other instead of three…woah, woah, that’s a lot of squares…but who knows? 😉 There are also some other fun variations of tic-tac-toe like ultimate tic-tac-toe and, my personal favorite, human tic-tac-toe.

Printables: Want a printout with grids all drawn up and ready to go? Click here and enjoy!


  1. I love this idea! I hadn’t ever thought of it before and its such a great way to up the strategy for older students!

  2. Do you have a game of 10-12 hexangular pieces with 3 or 4 curved colors on one side. Pieces must be placed so that a cotinuous circuit is produced with all segments of the circuit being the same color.

  3. When I’ve played this game, usually the two players take turns placing their Xs or Os on the board and go until the board is full. Then to score you count how many three-in-a-rows each player has. The one with the most three-in-a-rows wins! I think that way of playing is a bit more challenging and fun!

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