How to make a simple tic tac toe game in Python

Yes, we can do fun stuffs with python; it’s not always about the black screen. Tic-Tac-Toe, or Noughts and Crosses (as the British call it), is one of the simplest fun games to play. You can either play it online against a computer or enjoy it with a friend.

Here we have shown how to create the game in python. What we have here are three code buckets. The first one is for automatic tit-tac-toe: the computer plays against itself and you just watch. The second code lets you play against the computer, and the last code runs for you to play with a friend.

If you understand the python syntax already then the codes would not present much difficulty to grasp, just the numpy and random libraries were used.

Related article
How to use math functions in Python

Check out our guide on how to use Python functions if you want to refresh your knowledge about Python functions.

So let us look at the three code classes.

Automatic Tic-Tac-Toe

I derive pleasure in watching my computer play against itself, it makes me feel like a robotics engineer.

# Tic-Tac-Toe Program using 
# random number in Python 
  
# importing all necessary libraries 
import numpy as np 
import random 
from time import sleep 
  
# Creates an empty board 
def create_board(): 
    return(np.array([[0, 0, 0], 
                     [0, 0, 0], 
                     [0, 0, 0]])) 
  
# Check for empty places on board 
def possibilities(board): 
    l = [] 
      
    for i in range(len(board)): 
        for j in range(len(board)): 
              
            if board[i][j] == 0: 
                l.append((i, j)) 
    return(l) 
  
# Select a random place for the player 
def random_place(board, player): 
    selection = possibilities(board) 
    current_loc = random.choice(selection) 
    board[current_loc] = player 
    return(board) 
  
# Checks whether the player has three  
# of their marks in a horizontal row 
def row_win(board, player): 
    for x in range(len(board)): 
        win = True
          
        for y in range(len(board)): 
            if board[x, y] != player: 
                win = False
                continue
                  
        if win == True: 
            return(win) 
    return(win) 
  
# Checks whether the player has three 
# of their marks in a vertical row 
def col_win(board, player): 
    for x in range(len(board)): 
        win = True
          
        for y in range(len(board)): 
            if board[y][x] != player: 
                win = False
                continue
                  
        if win == True: 
            return(win) 
    return(win) 
  
# Checks whether the player has three 
# of their marks in a diagonal row 
def diag_win(board, player): 
    win = True
      
    for x in range(len(board)): 
        if board[x, x] != player: 
            win = False
    return(win) 
  
# Evaluates whether there is 
# a winner or a tie  
def evaluate(board): 
    winner = 0
      
    for player in [1, 2]: 
        if (row_win(board, player) or
            col_win(board,player) or 
            diag_win(board,player)): 
                 
            winner = player 
              
    if np.all(board != 0) and winner == 0: 
        winner = -1
    return winner 
  
# Main function to start the game 
def play_game(): 
    board, winner, counter = create_board(), 0, 1
    print(board) 
    sleep(2) 
      
    while winner == 0: 
        for player in [1, 2]: 
            board = random_place(board, player) 
            print("Board after " + str(counter) + " move") 
            print(board) 
            sleep(2) 
            counter += 1
            winner = evaluate(board) 
            if winner != 0: 
                break
    return(winner) 
  
# Driver Code 
print("Winner is: " + str(play_game()))

Playing Tic-Tac-Toe with your Computer

They say humans are smarter than computers? Let a game be the judge.

(This code was written by Benjamin Ononugbu)

import time
import random as r
def makeboard(board):
        print(board[0],'|',board[1],'|',board[2])
        print('--+---+--')
        print(board[3],'|',board[4],'|',board[5])
        print('--+---+--')
        print(board[6],'|',board[7],'|',board[8])



def winning_checker(board,tom,user):
    row1 = [board[0],board[1],board[2]]
    row2 = [board[3],board[4],board[5]]
    row3 = [board[6],board[7],board[8]]
    col1 = [board[0],board[3],board[6]]
    col2 = [board[1],board[4],board[7]]
    col3 = [board[2],board[5],board[8]]
    dia1 = [board[0],board[4],board[8]]
    dia2 = [board[2],board[4],board[6]]
    for row in [row1,row2,row3,col1,col2,col3,dia1,dia2]:
        if row == [user,user,user]:
            return 'you win'
            break
        if row == [tom,tom,tom]:
            return 'computer wins'
            break

def AI_simulator(board,tom,user,u):
    row1 = [board[0],board[1],board[2]]
    row2 = [board[3],board[4],board[5]]
    row3 = [board[6],board[7],board[8]]
    col1 = [board[0],board[3],board[6]]
    col2 = [board[1],board[4],board[7]]
    col3 = [board[2],board[5],board[8]]
    dia1 = [board[0],board[4],board[8]]
    dia2 = [board[2],board[4],board[6]]
    tabs = [row1,row2,row3,col1,col2,col3,dia1,dia2]
    for row in tabs:
        if row == [' ',tom,tom]:
            x = tabs.index(row)
            if x == 0:
                board[0] = tom
            if x == 1:
                board[3] = tom
            if x == 2:
                board[6] = tom
            if x == 3:
                board[0] = tom
            if x == 4:
                board[1] = tom
            if x == 5:
                board[2] = tom
            if x == 6:
                board[0] = tom
            if x == 7:
                board[2] = tom
            print('tom played:')
            makeboard(board)
            break
        elif row == [tom,' ',tom]:
            x = tabs.index(row)
            if x == 0:
                board[1] = tom
            if x == 1:
                board[4] = tom
            if x == 2:
                board[7] = tom
            if x == 3:
                board[3] = tom
            if x == 4:
                board[4] = tom
            if x == 5:
                board[5] = tom
            if x == 6:
                board[4] = tom
            if x == 7:
                board[4] = tom
            print('tom played:')
            makeboard(board)
            break
        elif row == [tom,tom,' ']:
            x = tabs.index(row)
            if x == 0:
                board[2] = tom
            if x == 1:
                board[5] = tom
            if x == 2:
                board[8] = tom
            if x == 3:
                board[6] = tom
            if x == 4:
                board[7] = tom
            if x == 5:
                board[8] = tom
            if x == 6:
                board[8] = tom
            if x == 7:
                board[6] = tom
            print('tom played:')
            makeboard(board)
            break
    if (row != [' ',tom,tom] and row != [tom,' ',tom] and row != [tom,tom,' ']):
        time.sleep(1)
        AI_block(board,tom,user)

def AI_block(board,tom,user):
    row1 = [board[0],board[1],board[2]]
    row2 = [board[3],board[4],board[5]]
    row3 = [board[6],board[7],board[8]]
    col1 = [board[0],board[3],board[6]]
    col2 = [board[1],board[4],board[7]]
    col3 = [board[2],board[5],board[8]]
    dia1 = [board[0],board[4],board[8]]
    dia2 = [board[2],board[4],board[6]]
    tabs = [row1,row2,row3,col1,col2,col3,dia1,dia2]
    for row in tabs:
        if row == [' ',user,user]:
            x = tabs.index(row)
            if x == 0:
                board[0] = tom
            if x == 1:
                board[3] = tom
            if x == 2:
                board[6] = tom
            if x == 3:
                board[0] = tom
            if x == 4:
                board[1] = tom
            if x == 5:
                board[2] = tom
            if x == 6:
                board[0] = tom
            if x == 7:
                board[2] = tom
            print('tom played:')
            makeboard(board)
            break
        elif row == [user,' ',user]:
            x = tabs.index(row)
            if x == 0:
                board[1] = tom
            if x == 1:
                board[4] = tom
            if x == 2:
                board[7] = tom
            if x == 3:
                board[3] = tom
            if x == 4:
                board[4] = tom
            if x == 5:
                board[5] = tom
            if x == 6:
                board[4] = tom
            if x == 7:
                board[4] = tom
            print('tom played:')
            makeboard(board)
            break
        elif row == [user,user,' ']:
            x = tabs.index(row)
            if x == 0:
                board[2] = tom
            if x == 1:
                board[5] = tom
            if x == 2:
                board[8] = tom
            if x == 3:
                board[6] = tom
            if x == 4:
                board[7] = tom
            if x == 5:
                board[8] = tom
            if x == 6:
                board[8] = tom
            if x == 7:
                board[6] = tom
            print('tom played:')
            makeboard(board)
            break
    if (row != [' ',user,user] and row != [user,' ',user] and row != [user,user,' ']):
        AI_decisionbox(board,tom,user)

def AI_decisionbox(board,tom,user):
    count = 0
    for posn in range(9):
        if board[posn] == ' ':
            board[posn] = user
            row1 = [board[0],board[1],board[2]]
            row2 = [board[3],board[4],board[5]]
            row3 = [board[6],board[7],board[8]]
            col1 = [board[0],board[3],board[6]]
            col2 = [board[1],board[4],board[7]]
            col3 = [board[2],board[5],board[8]]
            dia1 = [board[0],board[4],board[8]]
            dia2 = [board[2],board[4],board[6]]
            tabs = [row1,row2,row3,col1,col2,col3,dia1,dia2]
            for row in tabs:
                if (row == [' ',user,user]) or (row == [user,' ',user]) or (row == [user,user,' ']):
                    count += 1
            if count >= 2:
                board[posn] = tom
                print('tom played:')
                makeboard(board)
                break
            else:
                board[posn] = ' '
                count = 0
    if count < 2: while True: n = r.choice([0,2,6,8]) if board[n] == ' ': board[n] = tom print('tom played: ') makeboard(board) break else: nu = r.randint(0,8) if board[nu] == ' ': board[nu] = tom print('tom played: ') makeboard(board) break while True: entry = input('choose between O and X: ') user = entry.upper() while user not in ['X','O','x','o']: print('X and O are the recommended markers') entry = input() user = entry.upper() if (user == 'X') or (user == 'x'): tom = 'O' else: tom = 'X' board = [' ',' ',' ',' ',' ',' ',' ',' ',' '] k = 0 u = 0 t = 0 corners = [0,2,6,8] while True: if k == 0: makeboard(board) num = int(input('choose a number between 0 and 8: ')) while True: if num > 8:
                print('number must be from 1 to 8')
                num = int(input('enter number again'))
            break
        while True:
            if board[num] != ' ':
                print('this number has been chosen please choose another')
                num =int(input())
            else:
                board[num] = user
                print('you played:')
                makeboard(board)
                break
        if u >= 2:
            winning_checker(board,tom,user)
            if winning_checker(board,tom,user) == 'you win':
                time.sleep(1)
                print('you win')
                break
        u += 1
        if k == 4:
            print('the game ends in a draw')
            break
        print('its tom turn')
        time.sleep(1)
        if t == 0:
            while True:
                if board[4] == ' ':
                    board[4] = tom
                    print('tom played:')
                    makeboard(board)
                    break
                elif board[4] != ' ':
                    p = r.choice(corners)
                    if board[p] == ' ':
                        board[p] = tom
                        print('tom played:')
                        makeboard(board)
                        break
                #else:
                    #nu = r.randint(0,8)
                    #if board[nu] == ' ':
                        #board[nu] = tom
                        #print('tom played: ')
                        #makeboard(board)
                        #break
        if t > 0:
            if t == 1:
                if (board[0] == user and board[8] == user) or (board[2] == user and board[6] == user):
                    while True:
                        q = r.choice([1,3,5,7])
                        if board[q] == ' ':
                            board[q] = tom
                            print('tom played:')
                            makeboard(board)
                            break
                else:
                    AI_simulator(board,tom,user,u)
                    winning_checker(board,tom,user)
            else:
                AI_simulator(board,tom,user,u)
                winning_checker(board,tom,user)
        if winning_checker(board,tom,user) == 'computer wins':
            print('tom wins')
            break
        t += 1
        k += 1
        time.sleep(1)
    print('Do you want to play again')
    time.sleep(1)
    reply = input('enter yes to play again: ')
    reply = reply.lower()
    if reply == 'yes':
        continue
    else:
        time.sleep(1)
        print('thank you for playing')
        break

Playing Tic-Tac-Toe with your friend

Do you have a friend around? Why not share the fun?

def tic_tac_toe():
    board = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]
    end = False
    win_commbinations = ((0, 1, 2), (3, 4, 5), (6, 7, 8), (0, 3, 6), (1, 4, 7), (2, 5, 8), (0, 4, 8), (2, 4, 6))

    def draw():
        print(board[0], board[1], board[2])
        print(board[3], board[4], board[5])
        print(board[6], board[7], board[8])
        print()

    def p1():
        n = choose_number()
        if board[n] == "X" or board[n] == "O":
            print("\nYou can't go there. Try again")
            p1()
        else:
            board[n] = "X"

    def p2():
        n = choose_number()
        if board[n] == "X" or board[n] == "O":
            print("\nYou can't go there. Try again")
            p2()
        else:
            board[n] = "O"

    def choose_number():
        while True:
            while True:
                a = input()
                try:
                    a  = int(a)
                    a -= 1
                    if a in range(0, 9):
                        return a
                    else:
                        print("\nThat's not on the board. Try again")
                        continue
                except ValueError:
                   print("\nThat's not a number. Try again")
                   continue

    def check_board():
        count = 0
        for a in win_commbinations:
            if board[a[0]] == board[a[1]] == board[a[2]] == "X":
                print("Player 1 Wins!\n")
                print("Congratulations!\n")
                return True

            if board[a[0]] == board[a[1]] == board[a[2]] == "O":
                print("Player 2 Wins!\n")
                print("Congratulations!\n")
                return True
        for a in range(9):
            if board[a] == "X" or board[a] == "O":
                count += 1
            if count == 9:
                print("The game ends in a Tie\n")
                return True

    while not end:
        draw()
        end = check_board()
        if end == True:
            break
        print("Player 1 choose where to place a cross")
        p1()
        print()
        draw()
        end = check_board()
        if end == True:
            break
        print("Player 2 choose where to place a nought")
        p2()
        print()

    if input("Play again (y/n)\n") == "y":
        print()
        tic_tac_toe()

tic_tac_toe()

There you have it. The game is afoot!

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Agbo Dozie

Science Writer, Mathematician, AI Researcher.

I love to write about the future, trends in science and technology, and bananas.