OTHER NAMES: Noughts and crosses (Britain), Xs and Os, Terni Lapilli (Roman Empire)



Tic-tac-toe originated from the ancient Roman Empire around the first century BCE, and it was called Terni Lapilli. The rules of the game differs as each player only had three pieces, moving around the empty spaces to keep playing. First print reference of the game appears in Britain with the name "Noughts and Crosses" in 1864. (1) The name "tic-tac-toe" is renamed from "Noughts and Crosses" in the 20th century USA, and is the earliest known game to display visuals on a video monitor. (2) Although Tic-tac-toe appear simplistic to play, it contains 138 terminal board positions and 255,168 possible ways these terminal board positions is obtained. (3)

Tic-Tac-Toe Board

Photo by eilonwy77 / CC BY



Tic-tac-toe is a two player game that takes turn marking spaces on a 3 by 3 grid, and the objective of the game is to place three connecting marks in a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal row.



Tic-tac-toe is one of the first games to be played by children due to its fast setup and easy engagement.


There are "Tic Tac Toe Panels" that can be easily found in children's playground or park all over the globe.

Child Playing Tic Tac Toe at Park

Photo by camknows / CC BY

Game box for playing Senet

Photo by ddenisen / CC BY

The origin of games is one of the oldest human civilization lineage, spanning over millenniums of development to date. From archaeological evidence traditional games is one of the fundamental aspect of life in the ancient world, and is paramount to the development of social culture and military strategies. Many of these games became modern day family fun for holidays and occasions to enjoy.

Family Playing Boardgame Together

Photo by krisnfred / CC BY



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