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4 In a Row Strategies, Rules, and More

Coolmath Games Staff / March 3, 2021
4 In a Row Strategies, Rules, and More

Have you ever played 4 In a Row? It's one of the most classic two-player puzzle games that really makes you think. Otherwise referred to as "Connect Four," it's like tic tac toe on a whole other level!

Do you want to know how to play? 

Whether you're playing with a friend or a tough virtual opponent, we've got you covered. From the rules and goals to tips and tricks, keep reading to learn what you need to know. 

4 In a Row Strategies

In 4 In a Row, your goal is to get four of your pieces to line up in a row before the other player does. 

You choose a game piece color. You'll have several pieces so you're able to fill in the board. The board is arranged with empty spaces. You and your opponent take turns placing your pieces in those spaces in an effort to connect four of your own pieces in a row.

how to play 4 in a row

Once your piece is placed, you can't move it. You win when you get your line of four, but if no one ends up with a line, the game is a tie. 

Think a Few Moves Ahead

You can't just think about the current move when you're playing the game. You have to anticipate what the other player is going to do and how you'll respond. This means that you should try to see all possible outcomes. This is referred to as strategic thinking. Thinking ahead and foreseeing how your opponent will respond is key when it comes to 4 In a Row strategies.

how to play 4 in a row

Try moving in patterns like the one shown above. Think about setting up multiple ways to win, so you can stump your opponent. When you play in a reactionary way, you're giving the other player the upper hand and letting them take control of the board.

Block Opponent Moves

This is one of the key 4 In a Row strategies. It's tempting to only move in ways that will give you four connecting dots, but if you're not paying attention, the other player will sneak up on you.

Instead, make sure that your opponent isn't approaching four dots in a row. This is where that strategic thinking comes in. Once you get the hang of the game, it's easy to see where your opponent is going to place their next dot. Get ahead of them!

how to play 4 in a row

Don't Forget Diagonals

4 In a Row isn't all about up and down movements. You also get to take advantage of diagonals (they still count). When you feel stuck with your horizontal and vertical moves, see if there's anything available diagonally.

This is another area in which you need to be careful about your opponent's moves. If you're not thinking diagonally, they might be. 

Don't Rush

Don't let your opponent rush you. You can take your time to plan out your move. If you rush, you may miss a good strategic move or a place where your opponent is about to win. 

Scan the entire board before placing your piece. Remember, you can't take it back. 

Test Out Your 4 In a Row Strategies

4 In a Row might look simple, but there's a strategy behind the game! Once you play a few times you'll know what to look for and how to get the upper hand. Play 4 In a Row today or check out some of our other games for hours of fun.

Have fun playing!

Are you looking for more games that test your strategy, logic, and math skills? We have a ton to choose from! From classics like Checkers or Chess, to more innovative strategic games like Strategic Tic Tac Toe.