No matter if you’re playing connect 4 with friends or looking to gain an edge in tournament play, Keith Galli from MIT holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science and he shares one of his winning strategies in this video below.
Plan more than one move ahead
Connect 4 is an iconic board game enjoyed by generations of players, but winning it doesn’t come easily. Just like any strategy game, success in Connect 4 requires careful planning and anticipation of your opponent’s moves to increase your odds of victory. While its rules might appear straightforward enough at first glance, its trillions of combinations provide limitless strategies and tactics you could try.
One effective strategy to increase your chances of victory is planning more than one move ahead. By studying the entire grid and anticipating what spaces your opponent might attempt to fill next turn, you can make moves which stop them and potentially score four in a row!
Another way of planning ahead is to identify potential “traps,” or “forks.” A trap combines two potential wins that your opponent cannot block with just one move – for instance if there are three horizontal threats and three diagonal threats lined up next to one another, they must choose which threat they will block first; leaving one open for success and opening another possibility for victory.
Playing the center row can also help you plan multiple moves ahead, since this row must complete all non-vertical connections and must therefore be exploited as quickly as possible.
Watch the grid carefully
Connect 4 is an exciting board game played over six rows and seven columns on an enormous grid, giving rise to trillions of possible combinations for winning combinations. To be truly great at connect 4, one must observe carefully their opponent’s moves and exploit any weaknesses they might possess; doing this increases your odds significantly of victory!
While watching the grid, keep an eye out for any major threats to four-in-a-row connections that could arise from rows or columns that appear out of nowhere. When you detect such threats, move your checkers quickly to block them immediately – this will prevent your opponent from making winning connections while providing you with an opportunity for new moves of your own.
An important strategy when playing solitaire is gaining control of the center of the board, particularly if you are going first. Gaining this control will make it harder for your opponent to get four-in-a-row; however, be wary not to overly focus on blocking their advances as this may allow them to come swooping in and win the game!
Don’t play directly below a game-ending space
One of the quickest ways to lose Connect Four is allowing your opponent to arrange three pieces in a horizontal line. As such, when dropping discs make sure it is not directly below an empty space that could end the game; newcomers might make this mistake unaware of how important it is to predict their opponents’ next moves.
Connect Four is an excellent way to hone your reasoning skills, since it forces you to anticipate several moves ahead and plan your opponent’s moves – perfect practice for more complex strategy games like chess!
Be the first to drop a disc on the center column for an increased chance of victory, since this space provides the greatest opportunities for connections. Furthermore, your opponent might find it harder to block two spaces next to each other in a connect-four game which would then require either vertical or diagonal connecting lines between spaces on top.
However, you should keep in mind that success in Connect Four is never guaranteed. Indeed, experienced Connect Four players know it is possible for an opponent to force a win before your 41st move due to an uneven number of columns on the game board.
Don’t assume your opponent knows all the strategies
No matter your level in Connect 4 play, it may come as a shock that there are multiple strategies you can employ to increase your odds of victory. Knowing and blocking opponent strategies may prove crucial – this allows you to prevent horizontal or diagonal connections leading to wins!
Keep in mind that one of the fastest ways to lose Connect 4 is allowing an opponent to place three checkers adjacent each other in a line. While this may be tempting, avoidance can easily be achieved by staying alert for game-ending spaces and playing defensively.
When starting off in Connect 4, starting in the center column is always best for strategic reasons; this way, you can maintain control of the central area and increase the chance for future connections. Also try to avoid playing in any perimeter columns on your first turn; against an experienced opponent it may be worthwhile trying to block their four-in-a-row by creating a “seven trap”, forcing them into playing into your middle column instead. By creating this trap they may force themselves into playing into it instead; giving you more chances to score wins further along.
Achieving victory in Connect 4 is a pursuit that demands foresight, strategy, and adaptability. The path to winning lies in staying one step ahead of your opponent, strategically positioning your discs to create a sequence of four in a row while simultaneously thwarting your opponent’s attempts to do the same. Whether through a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal alignment, the player who plans ahead, anticipates moves, and adeptly manipulates the board to build their winning line will emerge triumphant.