Strategy in 2048

I've been playing the 2048 game which (if you haven't played it yet) is the most phenomenonal time sink invented. To save people from sanity, here are some general game hints; using this strategy I manage to obtain the 2048 tile in roughly 50% of games.

  1. Start by building up the big numbers in the lower left corner, spreading along the bottom row.
  2. As the bottom row is nearly full (say you have [16, 8, 4, _] start filling the third row with numbers starting from half the lower left number (say, [8, 4, 2, _)
  3. When the opportunity arises to have the bottom row full and the third row filling 3 of 4, right shift the board so the third row numbers line up above the same numbers on the bottom row and then drop them down and shift left to increase your bottom row numbers by a factor of 2.
  4. When the bottom row starts getting big (say, 64+ as the left corner number) start trying to order the third row in the opposite direction. If the bottom row is [128, 64, 32, 16] start trying to create 16 at the end of the third row. Whenever you can, drop numbers into the bottow row.
  5. At nearly all cost, avoid filling row 2 so that you have no option but to move the board up - that will trap small numbers under your row of big numbers. If that happens, drop the board again immediately (and hope).
  6. If you end up with 2 or 4 tile to the left of a big number tile on your bottom row, focus on increasing that tile number until it matches your big number so you can left-shift the bottom row and have the biggest tile in the bottom left corner.
Good luck!

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