How to Play Connect Four

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Connect Four Rules & Instructions

connect four gameplay example



  • 2


  • 7 x 6 Connect Four grid
  • 2 plastic support arms
  • 21 red checkers
  • 21 yellow checkers

Connect Four Grid Setup

  • Attach the plastic support arms to each side of the grid
  • Make sure the release slider at the bottom is closed so the checkers will hold in the grid instead of falling through

Determine Who Goes First

  • The player who goes first has an advantage so flip a coin or play rock, paper, scissors to determine who gets the first move. Make sure to alternate each game to make it fair!


The objective of Connect Four is to be the first player to consecutively place four checkers in a row horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.

how to win connect four


Each player alternates dropping a checker down one of the seven columns on the grid. This continues until one player has successfully connected four checkers in a row. It’s a simple concept, but the strategy and antipication make it fun!

Here are some tips for the next time you play:

  • The best first move is directly down the middle on the bottom row. This leaves you with more options for future turns and can open the door for your opponent to slip up. If you control the center, it’ll be tough for your opponent to connect four in a row horizontally or diagonally.
  • Anticipate multiple moves ahead. It’s really easy to block a vertical stack, but if you can disguise your moves and keep your opponent guessing, they might not see the progression your building.
  • If possible, create setups where you can play on either side. You’ll win the game if you’re able to connect three in a row with an option to place your next checker on either side since your opponent will only be able to block one.

End Game

Once the game is over, slide the bottom release so that the checkers fall into the box. If you are playing multiple rounds, simply re-organize the checkers by color, put the release back in place and play again!

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