Four Square Rules and Winning Strategies

Four square is a fun game where you hit a ball into other players’ squares while trying not to break the rules.

To start, the server bounces the ball once to themselves and then serves it underhand to someone else’s square.

Everyone needs to hit the ball into another square each time it comes to them without letting it bounce twice, hitting it too hard, or knocking it out of bounds.

If you do any of these, you’re out, and you have to go to the end of the line.

If there’s a disagreement, just play rock-paper-scissors to figure it out.

Most importantly, make sure to play fair and have a good time!

this infographic show information about four square gameplay rules


Four square has evolved into numerous local versions over the years.

If you’re sticking to the standard rules, it’s crucial that everyone understands them before you start playing.

Remember, what’s considered “standard” can vary widely from one school to another.

If you’re introducing rule variations or if the server can change rules during play, make sure everyone knows and agrees to these changes beforehand.

Clear communication before the game begins will help avoid any disputes that could spoil the fun.

But here are some of basic ones:

  • Always serve underhand with fingers pointing downward
  • Form a line outside the first square to start the game
  • The server must bounce the ball once to themselves before serving it
  • Hit the ball to other squares without committing a foul

Fouls leading to dismissal:

  • Hitting the ball with an overhand motion
  • Allowing the ball to bounce twice in your square
  • The ball hits the boundary line
  • Catching and throwing the ball
  • Hitting the ball out of bounds
  • The ball making contact with your body

If disagreements arise during gameplay, players can resolve them using rock-paper-scissors.

Starting the Game

starting four square game

To begin a game of Four square, players must follow these essential steps:

  1. Stand in a line outside the first square.
  2. Use an underhand serve, ensuring fingers point downward.
  3. The server bounces the ball once to themselves before serving the ball to another square.

Keep in mind that certain actions will lead to a foul and result in the player being out of the game:

  • Hitting the ball overhand
  • Allowing the ball to bounce twice within your square
  • The ball landing on a boundary line
  • Catching or throwing the ball instead of hitting it
  • Sending the ball out of bounds
  • The ball making contact with any part of your body

When a player is out, they must go to the end of the line, and the remaining players will move up a position in the squares.

In case of any disagreements, players should resolve them amicably using rock-paper-scissors. Remember, the key to a great game of Four square is to have fun and exhibit good sportsmanship.

Settling Disputes

When playing Four square, handling disagreements fairly is key. Conflicts might pop up over fouls or rule breaches. To settle these disputes, players can turn to the classic game of rock-paper-scissors. This straightforward approach provides a fair resolution and keeps the game fun and sportsmanlike.

four square how to play

Tips for Winning from the Ponds (1st Square) and Knights (2nd Square)

  • Always be ready for the ball to come your way.
  • Aim your hits towards the king’s square.
  • Charge forward if the king pops the ball up.
  • Keep your focus on the ball at all times.
  • Observe players in the knights’ position.
  • Target the player who seems easiest to eliminate first.
  • Continue to challenge the knight to advance.
  • With some skill and luck, you’ll move up a square.

Tips for Winning from the King’s and Queen’s Positions

  • These two positions are generally more manageable.
  • Feel free to create rules that enhance your chances of staying in the game.
  • Focus your hits towards the pond.
  • Decide strategically whether to hit the ball to the knight or the pond.
  • Take charge and go for the ball when someone hits a pop-up.
  • If someone charges you, aim to peg them.
  • Consider pegging the queen if possible.
  • Dominate the game and RULE!