Carrom – learn how to play with

By: Dennis B. B. Taylor

Welcome to the Exciting World of Carrom!

If you’re looking for a fun strategy game to play with your friends, then you’ll love Carrom. It’s a game that can be played by 2 to 4 players, making it perfect for small gatherings or cozy game nights.

Unlike other games, Carrom has different game setups depending on the number of players. For 2-player games, opponents sit across from each other, while in 4-player games, partners work together sitting opposite to each other. So, whether you’re in a competitive mood or looking for a friendly team game, Carrom has got you covered.

The objective of the game is simple – score points by clearing the board after pocketing the queen. The first player to achieve this goal wins the game. The target score is 25 points, but if that isn’t reached after 8 rounds, the winner is determined by the player with the highest point total.

Now, let’s take a look at the diagram below to get a better understanding of the game setup and the important terms used during gameplay:


So, let’s get started! To begin, we need to randomly choose the first player. This lucky person will be the white player in games with 2 or 4 players. Once the player has been chosen, it’s time to set up the board. Here’s how:

  1. Place the queen piece in the center of the board.
  2. Surround the queen with 6 pieces, alternating between black and white.
  3. In the next bigger circle, place 12 pieces, again alternating between black and white.
  4. Now, pay special attention to this part. Instead of using black pieces, we’ll be using double white pieces. Make sure they line up with the net holes as closely as possible.
  5. With the board all set up, the first player can now place their striker. They’ll have 3 chances to break the center circle.

That’s it! The game is now ready to begin. Good luck, and may the best player win!

When you’re placing a striker, make sure to position it between the two parallel baselines. You can also place it entirely on the red bases at the end of the baselines, but avoid partially crossing the base and baselines. When it comes to striking, remember not to let your arms, hands, or legs cross the diagonal foul lines at the corners of the board. And most importantly, only flick the striker with your finger without pushing it, making sure that your finger crosses the front baseline when flicking.


In three-player games, the objective is to score the most points, up to 25, to win. If 8 game boards are reached, the player with the highest score wins. Unlike other games, there are no assigned pieces for each player. Instead, points are awarded to pieces. The black pieces are worth 1 point, white pieces are worth 2 points, and the queen is worth 5 points.


When you play carrom, the first player gets three chances to break the carrom board. If they fail to do so, they need to be aware of the penalties.

On your turn, you use the striker to try and pocket your pieces. If you successfully pocket one of your pieces or the queen, you get your striker back and can take another shot. This continues until you don’t pocket any pieces.

If you either fail to pocket any pieces or commit a foul, your turn ends, and it’s the next player’s turn to play.

The Queen

Did you know that the queen is a pretty special piece? Yeah, it’s not your average chess piece. In order to pocket the queen, you gotta first pocket one of your own pieces. And here’s the catch: if you do pocket the queen, you gotta pocket another piece right after to “cover” it. Pretty cool, huh?

Watch out for Fouls and Penalties!

Now, be careful not to commit any fouls, ’cause they’ll end your turn real quick. And you don’t want that. When you commit a foul, you’ll have to face a penalty. Here’s how it goes: any pocketed piece and any other pieces that need to be returned will be placed in the circle by your opponent. Ouch!

When it comes to fouls in the game, there are a variety of things that can happen. Let me break it down for you:

  • If you pocket your striker, that’s a foul.
  • If any of your pieces leave the board, that’s also a foul.
  • When you pocket one of your opponent’s pieces, that’s a foul too. And if there’s a queen involved, that gets returned as well.
  • If you pocket all your pieces before the queen is pocketed, guess what? You’ll get a foul, and both pieces will be returned.
  • If you pocket your opponent’s last piece, you’ll receive a foul, and the piece will be returned with a penalty piece.
  • If you fail to break the center in the first three attempts, that’s another foul.
  • Touching a piece on the board that isn’t the striker is also a foul.
  • And finally, if you don’t follow the rules of striking, you’re definitely committing a foul.

Now, these are just a few examples of the fouls you can encounter in the game. It’s essential to understand and remember them to ensure fair gameplay. Fouls can have consequences, so be sure to play by the rules!


When you return pieces, you can stack them on top of others. But the pieces always stay in the position they were left, even if they overlap or fall on their side. If the striker piece gets stuck under another piece, you can take it out, but try not to disturb the other piece too much.


Once the queen piece has been successfully pocketed, anyone can pocket their last piece to end the game. And that person becomes the winner! The winner earns one point for each of their opponent’s pieces that haven’t been pocketed. If the winner also pocketed the queen, they get an extra 5 points. If not, the queen doesn’t count for any points.


The game ends when a player reaches 25 points or more and becomes the winner. The game also ends if 8 boards have been completed. The player with the highest score wins.

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