Carrom Board - Guide & Rules

The game of carrom denotes the childhood, youth and the old age of India. It has its own identity in Indian households, especially for those special family times.

One out of very few household games that have conquered a professional stage, the table-top game of carroms is ever so fascinating. It was only recently that the game of carrom became popular in the world, both as a hobby and a professional game. With every country establishing its own regulatory bodies, the game has since evolved its wings.

Let’s learn what is carrom and what are its rules!

What is the game of carrom?

Similar to billiards or pool, the game of carrom involves potting all your ‘carrom men’ or ‘carrom pieces’ into four adjacent holes on a carrom board. It is played by 2 or 4 players striking against each other.

Objective

The basic aim of the game involves pocketing carrom men and a queen into the holes that are placed on four corners of carrom board. A player may strike/flick a striker with his/her fingers to hit the carroms.

The following equipment is used in a game of carrom:

Carrom men – There are three different types of circular wooden discs in different colours. These are called the carrom men. There are 9 black carrom men, 9 white and 1 red which is also called the queen. The queen is the most important piece to win a game.

Striker – A white circular disc that is bigger than a carrom man is called the striker. It is usually made of plastic and used to strike the carrom men.

Carrom Board – The most important part of the game is the carrom board. It is a square-shaped board with a dimension of about 29 inches. It has four pockets on each corner to pocket the carrom men and queen. A boric acid powder is used on the board to enable the pieces to move freely.

Rules of the game

  • The queen must be placed in the centre, aligning to the outline provided on the board. The other carrom men can be arranged around the queen in alternating colours.
  • The first move is called breaking and must be done in order to disperse the pieces around the board.
  • Then, turn-wise, the players on the board can start pocketing their designated carrom men by placing the striker on the base lines provided in front of each player. One may strike in the front-line only.
  • If the striker is pocketed by accident, the player owes the opposition a carrom coin (carrom man) of their colour to the centre of the board.
  • Upon successful pocketing of a coin, the player wins another turn.
  • A game of carrom is played for 29 points with each coin (men, piece) winning 1 point. The queen wins 5 points.
  • To pocket the queen, a player needs to pocket the queen first and immediately pocket another coin of his/her colour. If he/she cannot pocket another coin, the queen will be returned to the centre of the board.
  • If a player has less than 24 points at the end of the game with the queen, then the player will be scored 5 bonus points declaring him/her winner. However, if the player scores 24 or more points, then the queen does not bring him/her a bonus.
  • Any foul such as pocketing the striker, pocketing opponent’s piece, piece leaving the board, incorrectly positioning striker, final piece pocketing before the queen, etc. will land the player with a penalty. This will include the player placing one of their pocketed coins at the centre of the board and losing a turn to strike.

While there may be many other variations to the game, these constitute the most widely used rules and regulations of the game.

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