Connect FourThe object of Connect Four is to get four stones of your own color (red or yellow) in a row, be it horizontal, vertical or diagonal. Every turn a player places a stone on the board.
Board & start of the board gameA Connect Four board is 8 by 8 squares and is initially empty.
Yellow plays first and places his/her stone in one of the eight columns (a to h). The stone "falls down" until it reaches the bottom of the board or another stone (so it ends up immediately above an old stone or on the first row).
TacticsBefore we can discuss some tactics, we first need the definition of a "threat". You have a threat on a square if you would have a four in a row if you had a stone there. So in the diagram below, yellow has a threat on f2. It doesn't matter if the player to move can actually place a stone there or not.
One of the easiest tricks is to make two threats directly above each other, so for example on G3 and G4. If you place a stone on G2, your opponent must react to the first threat and play G3. Then you can play G4 and win the board game. Here is a more sophisticated example:
Red must play F2 (otherwise yellow wins immediately) and then yellow plays f3 and creates a threat on g3 and g4. Yellow's next move will certainly be G2.
Of course it is also possible to take advantage from a mistake by your opponent. But that won't happen very often, especially against strong opponents. Here is an example of how this could happen:
As you can see, there is no trouble at the moment, but if yellow plays A1, then the board game ends quickly because red answers A2. Yellow must play B3 to counter red's threat. Red's next move is B4 and wins. Always try to provoke bad moves from your opponent.
Connect Four is a board game with simple rules, but there are very complex strategies; you'll find more information on Wikipedia. Although most of the times Connect Four is played on a 7 by 6 board, most strategies still apply here.
Good luck, the Brettspielnetz.de team.