Is Connect 4 a solved game? (What does that even mean?) (2023)

Is Connect 4 a solved game? (What does that even mean?) (1)

I've been playing Connect 4 with my favorite uncle for a long time and I wonder how he always manages to win. It didn't matter how I adjusted my strategy or how smart I was; I just couldn't win against him. What was his secret? Did Connect 4 "solve" it?

Is Connect 4 a solved game?Yes, Connect 4 is a solved game. This means that there is a specific strategy that the player can use to win a round of Connect 4 every time. However, the player must play the "perfect game" in order to win using that specific strategy. Anyone who knows the solution for Connect 4 has an advantage in the game.

So my uncle's secret was that Connect 4 was a solved game, and he knew the solution. I'm tempted to yell at him and call him a cheater, but the reality is that I've used this knowledge to my advantage since I found out about it myself.

You want to be the ultimateChampion bei Connect 4and in your household? All you need to do is keep reading. Below, we'll take a closer look at when Connect 4 is resolved, what that actually means, and how you can use this solution to win future Connect 4 games.

Connect 4 - limited or unlimited gameplay?

Ifwhile playing a Connect 4 gameFor the first time you will be surprised how many moves are possible. When I started, I have to admit that I played randomly. I was still unaware of the game's strategy and was often beaten by it.

The reality is that there aren't "many" possible moves in Connect 4 - there areover 4 billionWays to charge the standard Connect 4 stand! The complexity of the game is measured by the number of possible positions in the rack. Appropriatelyfile numberIn a standard 6 x 7 wide Connect 4 tray with 0 to 42 tiles (or discs) in total.4.531.985.219.092possible positions. Imagine how much work it must have been to solve the game!

If you're learning more visually, I recommend watching the YouTube video belowfile number.

Who solved Connect 4 first?

You might be wondering who was the first to solve Connect 4 and how did they do it. Before computers were used for gaming, Connect 4 wasn't really considered a "solved" game, but that has changed with the advent of the digital age.

The first man to solve Connect 4 was James Dow Allen (1988) and he used a computer to do it! Computers existed back then, but algorithms weren't as sophisticated as they are today, so "brute force" methods weren't possible back then.

AppropriatelyPC Magazine"Brute force" in computer science refers to general computer problem solving techniques that "systematic, comprehensive testing of all possible methodssolve the problem. Computer technology and algorithms have made great strides since 1988, meaning that brute force was often usedConnect 4and other puzzles.

Let's get to the good stuff... whostrictly speakingSolved Connect 4?

The game was officially terminated by James on October 1, 1988. Of course, he discovered that the game can always be won if the player uses the perfect playing strategy. This is not always possible with humans! James then wrote a book on how to win at Connect 4, which is still available for purchase. In his bookComplete book Connect 4,It features Connect 4 story, game strategies and various puzzles.

Shortly (actually just 15 days later) after James Dow Allen solved Connect 4, another man, Victor Allis, independently solved Connect 4. Victor Allis has since releasedknowledge-based approachsolve the game with 9 strategies to win. And they do!

Is Connect 4 a solved game? (What does that even mean?) (2)

What is the solution for Connect 4? | How to beat Connect 4 every time

Now youknow that Connect 4Since this is a solved game, you probably want to know the solution so you can start learning the strategy and then win every game you play after that. There's nothing wrong with that - I did the exact same thing!

James Dow Allen discovered that a player can always win if he starts the game first and plays in the middle column. This opens up more opportunities for player 1 to get 4 discs in a row in each direction. He also discovered that player 2 can move when the player first chooses a different column.

So what is the strategy to win Connect 4? Well, as the solution suggests, you need to make sure you control the middle column, but that's not the only way to win. Just because there is a surefire way to win Connect 4 doesn't mean there isn't oneInsideways to win the game. What if you started second? What if you don't know the actual solution of the game? Then you need to employ some clever strategies to win.

Some of them are presented belowwaysthat you can increase your chances of solving/winning Connect 4 every time you play.

1. Central control.

Ok, we've already mentioned this, but it's worth mentioning again. Controlling the center is the best way to win. TheConnect 4The bookcase has an odd number of columns. This means that if you play your records in the center column, you have a better chance of connecting in all directions.

how one:Just place the first board in the bottom center slot.

Is Connect 4 a solved game? (What does that even mean?) (3)

2. Pay attention to your opponent and block him.

You may not be able to win the game, but you can certainly prevent your opponent from winning, and that's a good thing. Defend against your opponent's tactics as much as possible.

how one:You can do this by focusing on placing your discs in the path of each opponent's move, rather than creating your own 4 in a row.

3. Play offensively.

Playing defensive and blocking your opponent's moves is a strategy that works, but that doesn't mean attacking has no value. In fact, this is a great strategy that you can use to increase your chances of winning.

how one:Build horizontal rows outward or use discs to create diagonal row and column connections.

4. Plan multiple moves in advance.

Thinking ahead is always a good thing in all areas of life. Like all strategiesGamesPlayers need to think ahead, but in Connect 4 you can plan ahead to distract your opponent from your intended move.

how one:If you're aiming for a specific win, place your discs in more than one spot on the rack where you can start making a line. This will attract your opponent's attention and hopefully cause him to block your moves, leaving the real winning move free and available to play.

Is Connect 4 a solved game? (What does that even mean?) (4)

5. Setting trap number 7.

The 7-trap is a popular strategy for those who have used it beforeConnect 4 gamesfor years. In this strategy, you place your 7-shaped discs on a rack. You can create a 7 configuration in any direction, including upside down, backwards and even upside down and backwards! Why do that? The trap 7 allows series connection 4 in multiple directions.

Last word

Once you decide to play Connect 4, it can be very helpful to read the game manual. I definitely found a lot of value in it. At our last family reunion, I surprised my uncle with a few triumphs of my own—and I won. In light of what has been saidConnect 4 Winning Strategiesyou can significantly increase your chances of becoming the next Connect 4 champion in your home and social circle.

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