OBJECT OF CARROM: The object of Carrom is to score 25 points, or the most points before the time runs out. 

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 to 4 players

MATERIALS: A Carrom board and stand, 9 black pieces, 9 white pieces, 1 red piece, and strikers. 

TYPE OF GAME: Strategy Board Game



Carrom is a strategy game for 2 to 4 players. In 2 player games, opponents sit opposite of each other, and for 4 players, partners are used and sit opposite of each other. The only difference between these two game plays is the use of partners and seating, all gameplay is the same. In a three-player game, you play for points. which will be described below. 

The goal of the game is to score points by being the first player to clear the boar once the queen has been successfully pocketed. The goal is to reach 25 points, but if this does not occur before 8 boards are played the winner is the player with the highest point total. Below is a diagram with the needed layout for the opening board and the terminology needed for the game. 


The first player is chosen randomly. They will be the white player in 2 and 4 player games. The board should be set up so that the queen is in the center and is surrounded by 6 pieces of alternating black and white, in the next bigger circle there should be 12 pieces of alternating black and white. Unlike the diagram above, you want double white instead of black and you want them to line up with the net holes as closely as possible. Once the board is set the first player will place their striker and will have 3 chances to break the center circle. 

When placing a striker, a player must place it between the two parallel baselines. They may also place it completely on the red bases at the end of the baselines but may not place them partially on the base and baselines. When striking you may not have your arms, hands or legs cross the diagonal foul likes at the corners of the board. You must also only flick with your finger and not push, and the finer used must cross the front baseline when flicking. 


For three-player games, the goal is to score the most points, up to 25 to win, and the most if 8 game boards are reached. There are no pieces assigned to players, instead, points are assigned to pieces. The black pieces are worth 1 point, whites are worth 2 points and the queen is worth 5 points. 


The first player has 3 attempts to break the carrom. If they do not check for penalties below. 

On a player’s turn, they will use their striker to try and pocket their pieces. If they are successful in pocketing one of their pieces or the queen, they receive their striker back and strike again. This continues until no pieces are pocketed. 

Once no pieces or pocketed or a foul is committed that player’s turn ends and the next player may start theirs. 


The queen is a special piece. It can only be pocketed once you have pocketed a piece of your own and if you do pocket it you must pocket another of your pieces to “cover” it. If the queen is pocketed before you pocket another piece it is returned to the center of the board at the end of the turn. If not covered the opponent may place the queen as close to the center as possible at the end of the turn. 

Fouls and Penalties

Fouls end a player’s turn immediately and a penalty is applied to the player who committed it. Penalties are having a pocketed piece and any other pieces that need to be returned placed in the circle by an opponent. 

Fouls can be a lot of things. Fouls include: pocketing a striker, having any pieces leave the board, pocketing an opponent’s pieces (in this case the opponent’s piece and the queen if relevant are also returned, other pieces are left pocketed, besides the penalty piece), pocketing all your pieces before the queen is pocketed (both pocketed and the penalty piece are retuned), pocketing the opponent’s last piece (it is returned along with a penalty piece), a player doesn’t break the center in the first three attempts, a player touches a piece on the board other than the striker, and if you do not follow the rules of striking. 


When returning pieces, they may be staked on others. A piece is always left how it rest even if overlapping another or on its side. If the striker is caught under another piece it can be removed but the other piece must be disturbed as little as possible. 


After the queen has been successfully pocketed any player may pocket their last piece to end the board. This is the winner of the board. The winner scores a point for each piece of their opponent’s not pocketed. If the winner was also the player to pocket the queen, they score an additional 5 points; Otherwise, the queen is not scored. 


The game ends if a player reaches 25 or more points and they are the winner. The game also ends if 8 boards are completed. The player with the highest score wins.

Amber Crook
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