It is necessary to know all the rules of any game you play. So, here is a complete guide on how to play Carrom- Ace the game as a beginner.
We are sure that you might have played Carrom in your childhood with your friends and family. With regards to the beautiful memories you’ve around Carrom, we know that you are tempted to play it digitally with random players (or your friends). Because the game is in the public domain, different areas have their different set of rules on how to play Carrom.
Hence, we’ve come up with an ultimate guide that is surely going to help you understand the detailed rules on how to ace the game even if you are a beginner.
What is Carrom?
Originated in India, Carrom is a tabletop game and is played with the help of your fingers and strikers. You require 2-4 people (as singles or doubles) at once to play the game and the main aim of the game is to pocket all your colour game pieces along with a special red game piece (known as queen) before the opponent does. Each player needs to choose his colour before playing the game.
TIP: There are only 2 colours for the game pieces, black and white.
The striker adds the much needed thrill to the game where you strike your game pieces to pocket them one by one. All you have to do is pocket all your pieces and the special red one to win the game.
Why Is Carrom This Popular?
Game Difficulty: Easy to Medium
Game Duration: No Specific Time
Who can play: Age 6+
What Excites Players: Strikes to pocket their game pieces
You need to flick your striker in such a way that your game pieces fall into any of the pockets (on the four corners) of the Carrom board. And, also the special red piece which makes you win the game. The chase for the red piece, the flick and the unexpected turn of events on the board makes it the most popular games played online.
Due to its massive popularity, different areas have different names for the game, like, couronne, carum, karam, karom, karum, and finger billiards. Carrom is played in a relaxed setting, where clubs and cafes hold tournaments and competitions to add that X-factor in their customer’s clubbing experience.
Being a public domain game, Carrom Rules vary from place to place. However, for serious tournaments, one has to follow the formal professional Laws of Carrom by the International Carrom Federation.
Equipments Required to Play Carrom
Well, in the digital world, you require your mobile and a consistent network connection. Haha! Generally, there are certain equipments if you plan to play it offline and they are:
- Carrom Game Board
- Game Pieces ( 9 black and 9 white pieces)
- The Queen (red game piece)
Carrom Game Board
A Carrom board is a smooth wooden board which can be 72cm or 74 cm square in size and is positioned above 60-70cm above the ground. The corners of this square board have 51mm circular holes (called pockets) and you can find a small net underneath each hole to catch your game pieces. On the board, you can see two lines along the diagonals, these are called foul lines.
In the centre of the board, there are two concentric circles. The centre circle matches the size of your game pieces. On the edge of the board, you can find two straight placed parallely. At either end of these lines, there is a red circle of 3.8 cm diameter.
This thin rectangle on two sides of the board with small red circles is called the ‘baseline’. You need to flick your striker from this baseline everytime when your turn comes up.
PRO TIP: Use boric powder to polish your board to reduce the friction between the game pieces and the board.
Carrom Game pieces are usually referred to as ‘Carrom Men’ or ‘Carrom Coins’. These are usually small circular disks made up of plastic or wood. These are supposed to slide smoothly on the board when struck with the striker. Hence, their weight is lighter than that of the striker. Just like a pool game, you need to choose suitable angles before striking the game pieces so that they reach any of the pockets on the board.
- 9 white pieces
- 9 black pieces
A player can choose his colour according to his choice. If you are playing in a team (doubles), your team decides the colour of the game piece.
Few Things To Know About Game Pieces:
ICF-approved game pieces have a diameter of 3.18 cm to 3.02 cm. The thickness of these game pieces is always 7 and 9 mm. The plain and rounded edge of the game piece helps them slide smoothly on the board. The weight of the pieces must be between 5.0 and 5.5g.
Striker plays an important role in Carrom. It is the only means to push the game pieces across the board and pocket them in order to make you win the game. Generally, the striker is a little heavier than the game pieces. Hence, when flicked from a certain angle towards a game piece, it helps slide the game piece.
Your angle of strike determines the position of the game piece after sliding. The striker weighs 15 grams with a 7cm radius which is apt according to the size and weight of the game pieces.
The single red game piece is called the queen. It is the most valuable piece of the game that has the power to make you win or lose the game. When you set up the board for play, the queen is placed in the centre and the dimensions are the same as that of other game pieces.
How To Arrange the Game Pieces – Carrom Game Setup
- Arrange the game pieces at the centre of the board
- Red queen should always be at the centre of the board
- The whites should be lined up to form a “Y” shape.
- The two sides of the white game pieces should be aiming directly towards the pockets on the board
- If required, dust your board with boric powder or chalk dust to make your game pieces slide smoothly on the board while playing
How To Play Carrom Online?
The main objective of this tabletop board game is to pocket all your game pieces using the striker before your opponent does. Whenever your turn comes, you should choose an angle of strike so as to make your pieces slide on the board to reach the pockets.
Remember: You can’t choose any angle on the board to flick your striker. In such cases, it is considered a foul and you are penalized.
The First Move: Break-In
Break-In is just the first shot of the game by a player. In the beginning, all the game pieces protect the queen. So, the main aim of the break-in is to disperse these game pieces, away from the queen and to scatter them around the board. The person who chooses white game pieces has to take the first strike or move.
You must flick your striker from the baseline (and your striker should be placed between the rectangle). The striker should be touching both the lines but not the diagonal ones on the board.
Things to Remember while Breaking-In
- If you fail to leave both the rectangle lines during the strike, you get another strike. Your are allowed to try for three times until the turn is passed on to the next player
- If you are able to pocket a game piece, you can continue striking.
- Each time you pocket a game piece, you get another shot
- Each shot has to be from the baseline
Yes, it is possible to win the game without giving a chance to your opponent. But as soon as you are not able to pocket the game piece, you have to pass the turn to your opponent.
- Each player is given one chance
- Now, if the player pockets a game piece, he gets another chance
- This continues until he fails to pocket a game piece
- Upon failing, the turn is passed on to the next player
- If it is a doubles game- the turns go anti-clockwise from right to left
Covering the Queen
- Pocketing and covering your queen is allowed when you have pocketed one game piece of your colour
- Sometimes, you pocket a queen before any other game piece. In such situation, you must pocket a game piece in your turn if you want to keep the queen
- If you are unable to pocket your game piece at the end of the turn, the game piece is returned to the centre of the board
- You can pocket the queen after you pocket your colour piece. But, you need to pocket the queen before you pocket the last game piece.
Fouls and Scoring in Carrom Board Game
While playing the game, you need to keep in mind about the fouls and how you can score. Whenever there is a foul, you are penalized and if you score, you get extra points for the same.
A foul is considered when:
- Accidentally pocketing the Striker
- Pocketed an opponent’s piece
- On your turn, a game piece leaves the board
- Last piece pocketed before pocketing the queen
- Incorrect position of the striker
- Incorrect position of the arm while striking
- Unable to break-in during your three attempts
- A round is called a board in a carrom game
- Once the queen is covered by you, you have to pot all your game pieces first to win the game
- The winner of a round gets a point for each of the opponent’s game pieces left, three points for queen (if covered by the winner)
- Once your score reaches 22, you do not get any point for the queen
- When a player hits 29 points or higher the game ends and the highest scorer is considered as a winner of the game.
What is the basic Carrom Rule?
There is just one basic rule that you have to pocket all your colour game pieces before the opponent does. Along with it, you need to pocket the queen before you pocket your last game piece. Once you do this, you are the winner.
What if Striker and a game piece is pocketed together?
This situation is called double due and you are penalized for the same. The penalty can be losing one of your turns or losing earned points depending on the game rule of the area.
Can both hands be used to play Carrom?
Either of your hands can be used to play the game. But, you can’t use both hands at the same time.
We hope that we’ve covered everything about how to play and win the Carrom game online.
Being one of the popular games played worldwide, it is sure that once you play it, you’re going to love the game.
Let us know if we missed anything in it. We’ll love to hear your views on the same. Get in touch with is on our Instagram channel.
All the best for your next game! Cheers!