Tic Tac Toe Game-Players Guide

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The whoGoesFirst function does a virtual coin flip to determine whether the computer or the player goes first. The coin flip is in calling random. If this function call returns a 0 , the whoGoesFirst function returns the string 'computer'. Otherwise, the function returns the string 'player'. The code that calls this function will use the return value to know who will make the first move of the game.

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The playAgain function asks the player if they want to play another game. The function returns True if the player types in 'yes' , 'YES' , 'y' , or anything that begins with the letter Y. For any other response, the function returns False. This function is identical to the one in the Hangman game. The makeMove function is simple and only one line. But wait a second. This code seems to change one of the items in the board list to the value in letter.

But because this code is in a function, the board parameter will be forgotten when the function returns. This is because lists are special when you pass them as arguments to functions. You are actually passing a reference of the list and not the list itself. These results make sense from what you know so far. You assign 42 to the spam variable, and then assign the value in spam and to the variable cheese. This is because spam and cheese are different variables that store different values.

A reference is a value that points to some bit of data. Here is some code that will make this easier to understand. Type this into the interactive shell:. This looks odd. The code only changed the cheese list, but it seems that both the cheese and spam lists have changed. This is because the spam variable does not contain the list value itself, but rather spam contains a reference to the list as shown in Figure The actual list itself is not contained in any variable, but rather exists outside of them.

Now both spam and cheese store a reference that refers to the same list value.

But there is only one list. The list was not copied, the reference to the list was copied. Figure shows this copying. This is why spam seems to have the same list value that cheese does. They both have references that refer to the same list, as shown in Figure Figure Changing the list changes all variables with references to that list. If you want spam and cheese to store two different lists, you have to create two different lists instead of copying a reference:.

In the above example, spam and cheese have two different lists stored in them even though these lists are identical in content. Dictionaries also work the same way. When a list value is passed for the board parameter, the function's local variable is really a copy of the reference to the list, not a copy of the list. But a copy of the reference still refers to the same list the original reference refers.

So any changes to board in this function will also happen to the original list. Even though board is a local variable, the makeMove function modifies the original list. The letter and move parameters are copies of the string and integer values that you pass. Lines 53 to 60 in the isWinner function are actually one long return statement. The bo and le names are shortcuts for the board and letter parameters. These shorter names mean you have less to type in this function. There are eight possible ways to win at Tic Tac Toe.

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You can have a line across the top, middle, and bottom rows. Or you can have a line down the left, middle, or right columns. Or you can have a line over either of the two diagonals. Note that each line of the condition checks if the three spaces are equal to the letter provided combined with the and operator and you use the or operator to combine the eight different ways to win.

This means only one of the eight ways must be true in order for us to say that the player who owns letter in le is the winner. The board looks like this:. Here is how the expression after the return keyword on line 53 would evaluate:.


First Python will replace the variables bo and le with the value inside of them:. Then the Python interpreter will evaluate all those expressions inside the parentheses:. Now evaluate the expression that is connecter by all those or operators:. So given those values for bo and le , the expression would evaluate to True.

This is how the program can tell if one of the players has won the game. The getBoardCopy function is here so that you can easily make a copy of a given string list that represents a Tic Tac Toe board in the game. In that case, call this function to make a copy of the board's list. The new list is created on line 64, with the blank list brackets []. But the list stored in dupeBoard on line 64 is just an empty list.

The for loop will iterate over the board parameter, appending a copy of the string values in the original board to the duplicate board. Finally, after the loop, dupeBoard is returned. The getBoardCopy function builds up a copy of the original board and returning a reference to this new board in dupeBoard , and not the original one in board. This is a simple function that, given a Tic Tac Toe board and a possible move, will return if that move is available or not. Remember that free spaces on the board lists are marked as a single space string.

The getPlayerMove function asks the player to enter the number for the space they want to move on. The loop makes sure the execution does not continue until the player has entered an integer from 1 to 9. The two lines of code inside the while loop simply ask the player to enter a number from 1 to 9. The condition on line 78 is True if either of the expressions on the left or right side of the or operator is True. The expression on the right side checks if the move that the player entered is a free space on the board.

Winning Tic-tac-toe Strategies: 5 Steps

It checks this by calling the isSpaceFree function. Remember that isSpaceFree will return True if the move you pass is available on the board. Note that isSpaceFree expects an integer for move , so the int function returns an integer form of move. The not operators are added to both sides so that the condition is True when either of these requirements are unfulfilled.

Available on

This will cause the loop to ask the player again and again until they enter a proper move. Finally, line 81 returns the integer form of whatever move the player entered. Remember that input returns strings, so the int function is called to return an integer form of the string. What if the player typed in 'Z' or some other non-integer string?

The expression move not in '1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9'.

A Simple Tic Tac Toe Game that Learns To Play

But calling int 'Z' would cause an error. Python gives this error because the int function can only take strings of number characters, like '9' or '0' , not strings like 'Z'.

ValueError: invalid literal for int with base 'Z'. Short-circuiting means is that since the part on the left side of the or keyword move not in '1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9'. This means the int and the isSpaceFree functions are never called as long as move not in '1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9'. That would cause int to give us an error.

In that case, the call to int would not give us an error. Try entering the following into the interactive shell:. When ReturnsTrue is called, it prints 'ReturnsTrue was called.

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The same goes for ReturnsFalse. The first part makes sense: The expression ReturnsFalse or ReturnsTrue calls both of the functions, so you see both of the printed messages.