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Kakuro Information / How to play

Kakuro puzzles resemble crosswords which use numbers instead of words. The aim of the game is to fill all the blank squares in the grid with only the numbers 1-9 so that the numbers you enter add up to the corresponding clues. When the grid is filled, the puzzle is complete.

Kakuro puzzle grids can be any size, though usually the squares within them have to be arranged symmetrically. As a rule of thumb, the more blank squares a puzzle contains, the harder it is, however this isn't always true, especially if it is a good quality puzzle.

NOTE: It is very important to note that a proper Kakuro puzzle has only 1 unique solution, and it will always have a logical way of reaching it, there should be no guesswork needed. Some websites advertise Kakuro puzzles which are broken and inferior, don't accept second best, Kakuro.com will always have quality puzzles.
Clue Squares

Kakuro puzzles will contain many clue squares, these are squares which help you to solve the puzzle. A clue square can have an "across" clue or a "down" clue, or both.

In the example below we see an "across" clue square, with 4 blank squares to the right of it. The 4 blank squares make up a "run", you must fill the run so that all the numbers in it add up to the clue (in this case 13). So you could enter 1,2,3 and 7.

An "across" clue, 13 over 4 squares
The same is true for "down" clues, however the squares which form the run are positioned below the clue square in that case.
Duplicate numbers

You may not enter any duplicate number in the same run, so the example on the left is incorrect as it has two 1's. Therefore the combination 1+1+7 cannot be used here to add up to the clue of 9.

So you must fill in every run, using only the numbers 1-9 without duplicates, so that they add up to the clue square given.
Doesn't Kakuro involve a lot of maths?

Initially, Kakuro may seem like it's a maths puzzle, but really it's more of a logic puzzle (with a bit of maths). You can always logically determine exactly which numbers to place in the squares with no guesswork, the key lies in knowing the number combinations which make up the clues.

For example, a clue number of 10 over a run of 3 squares has the following combinations:
1 + 2 + 7
1 + 3 + 6
1 + 4 + 5
2 + 3 + 5

However, a clue of 7 over 3 squares has only 1 combination:
1 + 2 + 4    (you can't have 1 + 3 + 3, as this would duplicate the number 3)
The fewer combinations a clue has, the easier it is to solve, so you should look for clues you know only have 1 or 2 combinations first. Click here for a printable list of all clues/runs which have only 1 combination.

The more you play Kakuro, the more you learn the number combinations, and the less maths you need to use.
The Kakuro.com combination helper tool

A small program which shows you all the combinations for any given clue over any number of squares. This tool is completely free to all our visitors, you can download and use it while solving any Kakuro puzzle.
Click here to download the free Kakuro combination tool (250k)

Note: If you play puzzles using Kakuro Master, it will automatically show you the correct combinations whenever you place your mouse over a clue square.
Where to go from here?

Now that you have learnt the basics of Kakuro, try the following:
How to play Kakuro
The Computer game
Daily Kakuro puzzle
Example puzzles
Solving Techniques
Contact us
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