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How to Play Connect Four

Looking for a new family game to play? There are many choices out there, but if you want to stick with one that is quick and simple so you can play multiple rounds in a short time frame, or you just want a quick game to play with a friend or family member, Connect Four is a great choice. Easy to set up, easy to play, and simple to strategize with, Connect Four is and has been a family favorite game for decades. This is simply a step by step guide to setup, rules, and strategies that will make the experience even more fun.  Read on to learn how to play Connect Four!

Connect Four Setup

Setting up a game of Connect Four is extremely easy. While there are several different types of boards, they all have two basic components: the grid, and the grid holder. Whatever type of board you have, you simply have to attach the grid to its holder and place it between you and your opponent so they two of you are on opposite sides. Of course, you will also have to choose which color checkers you will use, but that’s simply a matter of dividing the forty two checkers into their respective groups and choosing one.

You will also have to decide who goes first, which you can either settle on through discussion, or you can flip a coin for a quick and arbitrary decision.

How to Play Connect Four

  1. The end goal of Connect Four is very simple. All you have to do is get four of your checkers in a row on the game grid, either vertically, horizontally, or diagonally. There are some extra versions of Connect Four where you can add an extra grid slot and try to connect five, but the basic concept is still exactly the same.
  2. Standard grid boards have seven columns and six rows to choose from, and when it’s your turn you drop a checker into the space you desire, simple as that. Of course, there is some degree of strategy to it. You want to plan your move carefully, because it could make it harder for you to get four in a row or even make it easier for your opponent to get four in a row, depending on who is going first and how the alternation is working.

Most of Connect Four is about anticipation and foresight. The game concept is simple, but like any game of strategy you have to plan ahead for your own moves and plan your response to your opponent’s moves. Every time you make a move, you should make it after significant thought on how it affects the already placed checkers as a whole, and how your opponent will likely react to it, thus changing the board further.

Winning Strategies

Just because Connect Four is simple doesn’t mean there aren’t winning strategies for it. Like all strategy games there are some plans of attack that are just better than others, especially if you are the player that goes first.

  1. If you make the first move, it’s always a good idea to place your checker in the center column. Not only does this increase the number of options you have for later moves, but it makes it much more difficult for your opponent to hinder you when their turn comes around. Choosing one of the other columns makes it significantly easier for your opponent to force a tie.
  1. When your next turn comes around, it is best if you take another bottom row, so you can extend the number of paths you have available for a connect four and increase the number of paths that your opponent has to block. This is a far preferable second move to placing the checker on top of your first one, which offers no extra advantages.
  1. If you are the second player and the first player doesn’t take advantage of the center row, you should make the move yourself. Of all the rows and columns, the center has the largest advantage for the players, so it should always be taken at the earliest opportunity.

In the end, Connect Four is a simple game that the whole family can play quickly. You can go through several rounds in just a few minutes, making it a perfect party game. But even though it’s simple, it can still be complex in strategy, especially if you have a good opponent, and that just makes it even more fun. Without a doubt, Connect Four is a great game for people of all ages.

Connect 4 Video Tutorial