Although the object is very simple, Hex strategy is very complex. It soon was clear that the first player had a distinct advantage and that the center, whichever way you turn it, was the preferred area for the first player's first move. That's why a swap is used to counteract the imbalance. However, a stone is a stone in Hex, and one could argue that any opening move is still better than moving second. If so (but it is not), one should always swap when playing second.

Beyond the initial moves we find a world ruled by what in Go is referred to as 'miai', a maze of routes in which creating alternatives from any given position is crucial, and where the tactics used do so often baffle newbies to the game. There's an amazing scope of playing strenght in this game, but not a great body of literature, so the best way to get an impression of how difficult this deceivingly simple game is, is to play at sites such as this one, or Little Golem, or iG Game Center, or BoardSpace.