Home » Connect 4 Rules – Learn how to play Connect 4

Connect 4 Rules – Learn how to play Connect 4

Connect 4 Rules

If you have been playing tic-tac-toe and find it challenging or fun then you will absolutely love a game of Connect 4. Connect 4 is a two-player game that involves a two-sided vertical grid with seven columns across the grid and six high rows. Each player is provided with a colored checker to play the game. If a player gets 4 similar colored checkers in a row – vertically, horizontally, and diagonally – then that player wins. Connect 4 rules suggest that a player cannot use the column once it is already full.
Connect 4 has been a favorite in all households since its development by Milton Bradley in 1974. The game is fun and is equally famous for young and old. One major characteristic of this game is that it is a solved game. It means that once a game is started, its result can be predicted depending on who took the first turn and where the first coin dropped. It doesn’t require the players to score through the game, just like tic-tac-toe. However, the players need to strategize the game in order to win.


How to win Connect 4

Usually, a game can be won when a player knows the dos and don’ts of a game. But a game of Connect 4 cannot be won by simply knowing the rules. It encourages the player to actively use his ability to set a strategy and technique in order to win a game of Connect 4.


The game of Connect 4 comes in a box with a two-sided vertical grid, 42 checkers, and a checker holder for two players.
Connect 4 requires:

  • 2 players
  • A grid
  • 21 checkers for each player


Since Connect 4 is a connection-building game, the goal in a game of Connect 4 is for the players to strategically connect 4 coins in a row. The row can be vertical, horizontal, or diagonal. Whoever succeeds at doing so first, wins the game.


The most fun part of Connect 4 is that it does not have any scoring sheet or rule which challenges the players with the added responsibility to play it with strategy and wit.

How To Win

  • Since rules are not enough to win a game of Connect 4, a few tips might help you strategize the game and become a champion of Connect 4.
  • Try to take the first turn while deciding who to play first.
  • You can either be a defensive player in Connect 4 or an offensive one. It means that a player can do either of two things:
    (1) Play to simply achieve 4 in a row.
    (2) Play to focus on blocking the other player from getting a 4 in a row.
  • Keep your options open by putting your checker in the middle of the grid. This will provide you with options to draw for in a row in all directions.
  • Block the other player with a purpose. It means blocking the other player but keeping your options open.
  • Try making a square setup. This gives options to build a connection quickly and that too from multiple sides.
  • Try to own a column. This gives the players control over the game.



Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the easiest strategy to win a game of Connect 4?
    Connect 4 is a game of strategy and technique. It doesn’t matter if players know the rules by heart, they still need to practice their strategy and technique in order to win. However, each player needs to think through his own strategy to win a game of Connect 4.

  2. How can a player play a defensive/offensive game of Connect 4?

    Playing defensive in a game of Connect 4 means that a player is focused on building a connection of four. He is focused on setting strategies for himself to win. Whereas, an offensive player is focused to destabilize and sabotage the other player’s chance to win.