Here's How To Win Connect Four Every Time

Connect Four might be a game that triggers childhood flashbacks, but it's not simple stuff. In fact, Numberphile reports that there are more than 4 trillion unique ways to fill a standard board. But there's only one way to guarantee a win every time.

There are slightly fewer than 2 trillion ways to get four in a row, but if two perfect players are competing, the only way to lock in the win is to go first and play in the center column. As Numberphile points out, a perfect opponent would know that they couldn't win at that point, but if they played perfectly anyway they would lose within 41 moves. Time to show all the kids in your life what's what.


Comments

    *adds Connect 4 to the list of games that are now completely pointless to play*

      But you have to be a perfect player versing a perfect opponent in order for that starting position to assure victory.

        Yeah, as long as who you're playing against isn't as smart as you, you're good as gold.

          The reason why they are called 'perfect' players is that they always make the best possible moves. If they dont make the best possible move then they lose. So its always a winning strategy.

    "In fact, Numberphile reports that there are more than 4 trillion unique ways to fill a standard board."
    Next sentence...
    "There are slightly fewer than 2 trillion ways to get four in a row"

    WTF

      just because there are over 4 trillion ways to fill the board does not mean there are over 4 trillion ways to WIN.

      He means: There are 4 trillion ways the board can play out at the end. Those all include situations with win/lose or draws. Basically every possible combination of red/yellow for every possible combination of position. The 2 trillion number removes the draws from that and looks at configurations of the board that can allow someone to win.

    If you ever head to Thailand, knowing this is like a life skill for free drinks.

      Until they bring out the Jenga that is.

    Not to blow my trumpet or anything, but in 2008 I played connect4 over 50 times against a variety of different people and did not lose. I can confirm that going first and taking the middle row is the best strategy to win, and going second if they take the middle row puts you into defensive mode until they make a mistake. Also, I love this game

Join the discussion!