Strategy Guide: Threes! 🌔 February 11 2014

Disclaimer: I’m not sure if I believe anything I wrote below anymore. This game is incredible and more complex than I currently imagined. Go buy it. Like, Now.

Threes! is a game about making pairs of increasing value. It begins with a 4X4 grid of seven empty spaces1 and nine filled randomly with 1's, 2's, and 3's. you slide the pieces orthoganally to combine like numbers, building up to bigger and bigger values. After a few days of play, I've figured out a solid strategy and a few supporting techniques.

I broke my own rule and pulled a 384 out of the corner, but only to pair with another 384. The entire purpose of my strategy is to get the highest value possible.

THE GUIDING RULE: Push ruthlessly towards a corner

Push your largest piece to your chosen corner, then use the rest of the board to build up to that number. The two adjacent walls to your chosen corner should hold a blocks that, when combined with one another, can be built up to the corner value. The opposite walls and middle space are your playground. Get blocks in here to the adjacent walls.

This shows the waterfalling paradigm nicely. I would probably swipe up, combining the 1 and 2. Then left, pairing the newly made 3 withe the existing 3. Then up to combine the 6's then again to combine the 12's.

With this strategy, you set yourself up to make the biggest pairings possible. And, the larger your highest value, the larger the bonus you’ll receive and the larger your final score will be.

Once locked into this type of game, breaking this rule for almost any reason has marked the beginning of the end of me.

Supporting tactics

(not necessarily in order of importance, and always secondary)

  1. Make as many combinations as possible per turn. Freeing up board space gives you more wiggle room, and with wiggle room comes better options. If you can’t make multiple pairings…
  2. Set yourself up for pairings. If you have four 3’s near one another, you can probably make a 2 pair in as many turns. Better to strategize and leverage the available blocks than create loose ends
  3. Find paths. Two 3’s that set you up to combine with a 6 that sets you up to combine with a 12 that sets…you get it. (shown above)
  4. get rid of 1’s and 2’s quickly. they are the bane of the board. Seriously, they dont even have faces.

If you've had success, with this or other strategies, I'd love to hear from you. Email me or, preferably, hit me up on twitter


  1. The phrase empty space sounds redundant, and made me laugh. click here to jump back to the footnote