# What are the odds of cracking a cellphone pattern-lock?

In case someone don't know what a pattern lock is, they are like this:

I am curious on the probability of randomly cracking one of these 'passwords', given that the length of the grid is 3x3 and that we know the pattern length (e.g number of lines).

Also, you may or not noticed but the pattern can go in both + and x directions.

Note: we can have multiple lines that go to a single dot, but we can never draw a line above another line (I think some apps allow this, but for this question lets assume we will not).

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Can patterns be of any length (i.e., 1 or more dots)? – sacohe Dec 6 '12 at 3:26
stackoverflow.com/questions/2120655/… – user51427 Dec 6 '12 at 3:26
@sacohe the minimum is connecting 2 dots, the maximum however, was left blank because the answers I want to be like a function that you put one number here and then everything is done using that number sorry my englishç – ajax333221 Dec 6 '12 at 3:30
Perhaps a duplicate of Combination of smartphones' pattern password. – Bill Dubuque Dec 6 '12 at 4:12
@BillDubuque I agree, after knowing the total combinations should not be hard to calculate the odds of cracking one of those – ajax333221 Dec 6 '12 at 4:15

The answer arrived at the end in sunflower's link, 389112 is actually incorrect. It doesn't take into account patterns connect via 2 steps along a line, or a peg jump if the middle point is already used. The correct answer thus becomes 766752. Here's the explanation given by Yoyo Zhou, a Google engineer, along with his algorithm :-

http://www.quora.com/How-many-combinations-does-Android-9-point-unlock-have

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Actually 389112 is correct. It is impossible to draw patterns like '1-8-2' since the middle dot should be also connected. (Swiping fingers like '1-8-1-2' does not help.) I too got 'incorrect' solution 766752 without considering that and got 389112 after fixed. – JiminP May 22 '14 at 11:17
'1-8-2' is not a peg jump. An example of a peg jump would be '2-1-3'. Also, though older phones initially didn't allow moves like '1-8-2', it's valid in almost all new phones now. I know for a fact that it is, in mine. – Anton Schigur May 22 '14 at 12:52
So can '1-8-2' be done without doing '1-8-5-2'? (My phone can't do this.) And the result 389112 of course concerns those moves. ('1-2-3', '2-1-3', '2-3-1' are valid and different, but '1-3-2' can't be done.) – JiminP May 22 '14 at 16:41