How to win at Connect 44
Hello, I'm making this thread because, with a few exceptions, y'all suck at connect 4, and it makes me sad because it's such a fun game when you learn it. I'm going to assume you know how to play connect 4 already (If you don't, see the stickied topic in this forum section). This will mostly be just tips and tricks.
Let's start with the basics. First of all, Connect 4 is not an aggressive game. In most cases, you should concern yourself more with not losing than actually winning.
How do you lose a game of connect 4?
Your opponent gets four pieces in a row.
How does your opponent get four pieces in a row?
Your opponent gets three pieces in a row.
How does your opponent get three pieces in a row?
Yeah, you see where this is going. You can't stop them from getting a piece on the board, nor can you stop them from getting two pieces in a row, but what you can stop is them getting three pieces in a row. While playing, ask yourself, "What space does my opponent want?", then don't let them get that space, if possible.
The way this works with two people who know how to play is that the board fills up and each person only has one or two places they can win, then it either ties or someone wins by attrition. This is how most games should go.
Next, lets talk about your second priority: actually winning. How do you win? You get four pieces in a row. The board, unless you are playing some jank version, is a 6x7. What this means to you, unless you are going for the impossible vertical win, is that any four in a row you get is going to have to include the middle column. Yes, the middle column is the best, and no, your AMAZING strat where you start in the corner does not work. You should almost always try to grab as many center spaces as possible, especially the two in the middle two rows of the board. This is both offensive and defensive, as it allows you more chances to get four in a row, while also constricting what your opponent can do. A lot of beginners will let you grab all but one center space while you just sit there and snicker.
As the center is very important, when two people who know how to play connect 4 face each other, it usually ends up with both of them getting 3, which is a very even way to start.
Also, if you can bribe lucid to let you go first, that will give you a little bit of advantage.
Now, unless you are playing against someone who's tired or not paying attention, you aren't going to win unless you trap the opponent. Connect 4 is not a game about trying to sneak in a win while your opponent isn't paying attention, (though that's always fun) it's a game about logic and strategy.
To trap someone, you have to make a move that immediately threatens two spaces at once or threaten both a space and the space above it. Once you achieve this, you've won! Now good luck actually doing that.
Let's talk about attrition. Eventually, the board will fill up, and you and your opponent will have no moves left to make but one column. When this happens, you want to come out on top, of course, but actually doing so requires a lot of planning ahead. In theory, what you need to do is, as black, threaten an even numbered row, or, as red, threaten an odd numbered row. Actually achieving this is a lot harder than it sounds, though. I have no tips for you there... just, good luck.
Finally, be a good sport. Though I went kind of in-depth on this stupid game, it's nothing more than that - a stupid game. Be kind and courteous to your opponent, and try not to brag too much or get too frustrated when attrition hates on you.
That's all. There, I've done it. I've ruined this lobby for connect 4 for a while. Playing against people who know how to play is not nearly as fun as playing against people who don't. Oh well, now you can beat your irl friends.
If you have anything to add, feel free to post it. Good luck!