Winning at Reversi requires considerable skill and strategic thinking. Here are a few strategic concepts to consider.
In Reversi it’s not enough to simply try to capture the maximum number of your opponent’s pieces on each turn. Beyond the beginner level, you will need to be considering the ramifications of your moves down the line and looking ahead, well beyond the current move. For example, to take a corner you may first need to force your opponent to play into the square next to the corner.
Computers are much more proficient at looking ahead and analyzing possible outcomes than humans are. That’s why good computer opponents beat good human players.
Take the corners
The advantage to taking the corners is obvious: a corner piece cannot be flipped by your opponent. Good players work towards setting themselves up to take corners. However, taking corners is not the ultimate goal but rather part of the overall strategic picture.
Limit your opponents options
To achieve your objective, you need to make plays that limit your opponent’s options and force them into certain moves.
One example of this is the so-called “minimum disk strategy”. The essence of this strategy is the fewer disks you have in play, the fewer options your opponent will have. Of course, at some point in the game you will abandon this strategy and beginning flipping your opponent’s pieces in earnest.
Learnplaywin.net now has an advanced reversi strategy guide if you would like to go more in depth on this topic.
More Othello strategy resources
The above discussion is nothing more than a primer to introduce you to a few concepts of Othello strategy. Below are links to resources where intermediate and advanced players can further study the game:
Othello: A Minute to Learn a Lifetime to Master – a 162 page book in PDF format by champion Brian Rose
Strategy at Yahoo Games – Nice explanation of basic strategic concepts
Strategy Guide for Reversi & Reversed Reversi