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Minesweeper Rules

Objective and basic concepts

The objective in Minesweeper is to find and mark all the mines hidden under the grey squares, in the shortest time possible. This is done by clicking on the squares to open them. Each square will have one of the following:

  1. A mine, and if you click on it you'll lose the game.
  2. A number, which tells you how many of its adjacent squares have mines in them.
  3. Nothing. In this case you know that none of the adjacent squares have mines, and they will be automatically opened as well.

It is guaranteed that the first square you open won't contain a mine, so you can start by clicking any square. Often you'll hit on an empty square on the first try and then you'll open up a few adjacent squares as well, which makes it easier to continue. Then it's basically just looking at the numbers shown, and figuring out where the mines are.


There are essentially five actions you can take in Minesweeper:

  1. Open a square. This is done simply by left clicking on a square.
  2. Marking a square as a mine. This is done by right clicking on a square. A little mine icon will show up there.
  3. Marking a square with a question mark. This is done by right clicking twice on a square, or right clicking once on a square that's already marked as a mine. Question marks are useful to mark squares you're not absolutely sure are mines, but want to make sure you don't accidentally open them.
  4. Clear any marks. Again, right click on the square. Right clicking cycles through the following states: Bomb, Question Mark, Clear.
  5. Opening all remaining adjacent squares to a number square. If for example you have a square with the number 1 and you have already marked one mine in one of the adjacent squares you can left click on the 1 square and the remaining adjacent squares will all be opened. This can save a lot of time while trying to quickly clear out squares. If you press on a number where not all adjacent mines have been marked, e.g. the number is 3 and you've only flagged one adjacent square, then the squares will not be opened, to prevent you from accidentally clicking on a number and blowing yourself up! In the old Windows version of this game you used both mouse buttons together to perform this action, but here we just use a normal left-click.


You've won the game when you've opened all squares that don't contain a mine. If you've opened all the empty/nr squares but haven't flagged the mine squares remaining, they will be auto-flagged and you have won. So, essentially flagging is not required, it's only there to help you keep track of where you think the mines are. The real way to win is open all the non-mine squares. This can be used to gain a tiny bit of speed if you're trying to improve your time :)

Support for tablets and phones

If you’re playing on a tablet, mobile phone or other touch device you won’t be able to right click on the squares. To perform right-click actions you press the square you want to mark and hold until a box pops up showing a flag. If you keep on pressing down, the box will cycle through three states: Flag, Question Mark, Clear. When the box shows the state you want to mark the square with, simply stop pressing down and the square will be marked with that state.

I'm kind of unhappy with how slowly the touches trigger the actions in the game. If someone out there is an expert in JavaScript and 'touchstart' and 'touchend' events, please get in touch :)

Why on earth is Bill watching me?

You might have noticed that Bill is there, but doesn't really give you any hints or do anyting useful. He's just there because I like him, and in the old Windows game there was a smiley face above the puzzle that looked worried while you were clicking, and got sunglasses on when you won. I wanted something similar so I just used Bill for that :)

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About Minesweeper

Author image

I've been making games for about 3 years now (see top of page for links). Mostly they have been card games, but I've also created Sudoku and Yahtzee. This time I wanted something different than a card game so I decided to make a clone of one of my all time favorite games, Minesweeper.

Minesweeper has been around forever. According to Wikipedia the game originated in the 1960's, and has been included with many operating systems throughout the years. The main reason it became popular though is that it was included with the Windows operating system in all versions from 3.1 to Windows 7. This version I've created is very inspired by the version that shipped with Windows 95 - Windows XP. I hope you enjoy the game, I've had a lot of fun creating it and playing Minesweeper for the first time in years :)

As usual I use graphics that I found at OpenClipArt, a great site with free graphics. Although this time the only graphic from there is Bill's face, as I created the mines and flags myself.

Need to contact us?

Any comments, complaints, bug reports, questions, or anything else should be sent to support@cardgames.io. We can't respond to everyone, but we try to respond to as many as we can. If you just have a quick question make sure it isn't covered in our FAQ. You can also often get help from other users on our Facebook community group , where many of our users congregate. Pop in and say hello!

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This is version 1.13.3 of Minesweeper.

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