- Connect Four grid
- 42 checkers (either red and black or red and yellow)
Additional Setup Notes
- Before starting the game, players must assemble the Connect Four board. There are many versions of the classic Connect Four game, but they will all typically provide a grid that holds the checkers and a stand that holds the board upright. Ensure that once the board has been assembled, it’s placed on a flat surface.
- Make sure the sliding lever on the bottom of the board is closed to keep checkers from falling through the grid.
- Select which color of checkers each player will use while playing.
The goal of Connect Four is to create a four-part connection of checkers before your opponent manages to connect four of their checkers. Connect Four is incredibly competitive and boasts endless replayability as each player takes turns trying to connect four. Connect Four is a family-friendly game perfect for endless laughs and fun. Line the checkers up, block your opponent’s links, and connect four to win!
After the Connect Four board has been set up, separate the black and red checkers so each player has 21 of the same color. Choose a player to go first by flipping a coin or playing Rock, Paper, Scissors. The player to go first has a slight advantage in the game, so alternate which player takes their turn first with each new game to keep it fair.
Players will have the same goal for each turn: place four checkers of your color in a row. Each turn involves dropping one checker into the grid to form a row with future turns.
These rows can be vertically, horizontally, or diagonally. The objective of Connect Four is simple, but with another player there to thwart possible strategies, some games can get pretty intense.
Players will take turns placing checkers to connect four, identifying possible links between the seven columns and six rows on the board’s grid. The first person to play will be stuck placing a checker on the bottom row, but as the game continues, new avenues to victory may form through the other player’s strategy.
Remember, the goal of Connect Four isn’t only to connect four checkers. You have to connect four first, meaning it’s just as imperative to block any potential connections from the other player while strategizing. It’s very common to lose Connect Four by not properly reacting to the other player’s choices.
See Hasbro’s official Connect Four playing rules, here.
So when does Connect Four end? The game of Connect Four ends after a player manages to successfully connect four of their checkers. Alternatively, players might also reach a stalemate, meaning they both win and are due for a high-stakes rematch. Once a player wins, they can pull the lever on the bottom of the board to make all the checkers go flying. Connect four checkers and you win!
Connect Four Tips
- Start Strong: For players going first, the most advantageous play is placing a checker in the center column. This prevents the other play from connecting four checkers within the bottom row.
- Choose Offense or Defense: At the beginning of the game, it’s best to choose a strategy for charting a path to a four-part connection. You could choose to go on the attack by blocking all of your opponent’s plays in hopes you’ll connect four along the way. Alternatively, you could methodically defend your connections to prevent the other player from winning. Each game of Connect Four is different, so adjust based on the layout of the grid.
Can Connect Four be played with more than two players?
While Connect Four is traditionally played with two people, it can certainly be adjusted to accommodate more friends or loved ones. Feel free to play with four or six players by alternating which player will place a checker in the grid, but make sure the teams are even groups.