Winning Strategies for Connect 4

We look at some quick winning strategies for Connect 4 to help you beat your friends!

Players: 2 to 2 | Game duration from: 5 mins | Game Complexity:

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Predict your opponent’s moves

When playing, one of the most important strategies for connect 4 is to remember is to anticipate your opponent’s moves. Don’t force your opponent into a winning position inadvertently.

Keep your positions in the middle

In the standard Connect 4 seven-column board, any connect-four that is not vertical must use one checker/piece from the centre column. You can run a good defensive connect 4 strategy by controlling most of the central column. This will make it very difficult for your opponent to get a connect-four.

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Keep an eye out for game-ending spaces

Sometimes a certain space on the board will give either you or your opponent a connect-four, depending on who plays there. If this happens, the game will be over once that space has been filled. All spaces above the game-ending space in the same column can be ignored, as can any potential connect-fours that rely on those spaces.

Do not play directly below the game-ending space

If you do this, your opponent can play into the space and claim victory. In contrast, you should try to force your opponent to play just below the game-ending space, perhaps by setting up a connect-four that forces your opponent to block there.

Use fork threats whenever possible

The ideal situation is for you to have two potential connect-fours on top of each other that need a final checker. In most cases, this will lead to a win because you can threaten in the first space. If your opponent fails to block this space, you win. If your opponent blocks that space, you play the checker above the space to win.

Create a ‘7’ formation

One of the key traps in Connect 4 is to create the seven formations around the middle of the board. It is dominant because by building up the column next to it, the opponent cannot block both 4 in a row.

These are the key strategies for connect 4.

Feel free to share your own connect 4 strategy in the comments below.

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