The Carrom is one of the most popular as well as prominent board games in the world. People of all ages and skill levels around the world play the game. The game of Carrom originated in India in the early 18th century. It has been theorized that Carrom was invented by Indian Maharajas. However, the game of Carrom has been played in India for several centuries. After World War 1, Carrom garnered quite a popularity among the public. In the early 20th century, carrom became a serious sport in India as several state-level tournaments were organized in India. In 1988, International Carrom Federation was formed in Chennai. Thereafter, numerous carrom tournaments have been organized over the last several decades. The popularity of carrom is not just restricted to India, it’s spread all over the world. Carrom is popular in the United States, Southeast Asia, North America, Europe, and Australia. 

There has been a tradition of playing carrom games among the people since ancient times. Every household has a carrom board and people enjoy time with their friends and family by playing this game. Carrom is a leisure and pastime activity for decades. Playing Carrom is fun and thrilling, but it is important to understand the basics and intricacies of the game. Understanding the rules of Carrom is pivotal for beginners to build a strong foundation in the game. Knowing the rules guarantees a competitive and enjoyable playing experience while fostering the skills of the game.

Here are 11 Basic Rules of the Game


1. The objective of the Game

The first and foremost important that a beginner of the game should understand is the main goal of the game. Once you understand the objective of the Carrom game, then you will be in a clear head during the game. The primary goal of the game is to pocket your pieces (White or Black) and Queen (Red) into any four corner pockets on the carrom board. If a player pockets the Queen, that player has to pocket his carrom man to protect the queen. If they fail to do so, he has to put the Queen back in the center of the board. The first player to pocket his/her carrom men as well as Queen wins the game. 

2. The Carrom Board and Equipment

The game is played by a maximum of four players, either divided into two teams or play individually. Players will sit across the board. Carrom is an essential piece of equipment in the game. There is a standard size of Carrom board set by the International Carrom Federation (ICF) for major tournaments. The dimensions of the playing surface are 29 inches x 29 inches, whereas the total board dimensions are 35 inches x 35 inches. Another important thing in Carrom’s board is the pieces. Carrom set comprises 18 coins, 9 each of White and Black, and one red coin which is Queen. 18 pieces are assembled on the center of the board, with Queen placed in the middle. 

3. Starting the Game

The toss decides which player will strike the Carrom men. In a carrom tournament, the referee hides either a white or black coin in his hand, and the player who calls rightly wins. After winning the toss, a player gets to choose either to change the side or strike first. If a player opts to change the side, the opponent will strike first. In a casual carrom game, the player to the left begins the game and each player will get turns in a clockwise direction. The first player to strike will break the game. The break is the initial shot of the game, which means the game has begun. When a player breaks it disperses the carrom men and queen assembled in the centre of the game. The significance of the break rests on the opportunity to disassemble the carrom men in the middle and pocket them. A successful break can put you in an advantageous position and scoring opportunities.

4. Player Turns 

In the game of Carrom, each player of the four players will get turns to strike their shots. The player’s turn is usually demanded by a coin toss or any fair method. The player who strikes and pockets the Queen (red) will get consecutive chances. A player has to pocket a carrom coin to protect his Queen. If the play fails to do, he/she must put the back Queen in the middle and wait for his turn. In Carrom, a striker is used to strike and pocket the carrom coins. Striker is a small disc-shaped piece that is used to strike the carrom coins and pocket them into four corners of the game. The purpose of the striker is to provide a force to hit the carrom coins into pockets. Use the striker wisely as it decides how far your carrom men move.

5. Pocketing the Pieces

There are four pocketing zones, each in four corners of the carrom board. The players can pocket their carrom coins (black or white) in any of the four pocketing zones. The player has to use the striker to pocket their carrom men. If you successfully pocket your carrom pieces, you will earn points. You will get bonus points for pocketing Queen. When you strike your coins, make sure you don’t hit or pocket the opponent’s carrom men. If you do so, it results in a penalty or loss of turn. This rule refrains the players from taking unfair advantage by pocketing the opponent’s pieces.

6. Foul and Penalty

In Carrom, the players will have to face the repercussions if they violate the rules of the carrom game. This can result in penalties or loss of points if the player is found committing foul play during the game. The most common fouls in the Carrom are pocketing the striker while striking the Carrom men, a player failing to make any contact with their coins, and others. Committing such fouls give an unwanted advantage to the opponents or receiving additional points. Therefore, keep your focus on the board and avoid committing any fouls. Otherwise, it will cost you a game.

7. Re-Striking 

In the carrom, re-striking takes place when a player fails to strike or pocket the carrom men or Queen. This happens only two times on the trot. To re-strike, the player has to place their striker on the baseline, flick the striker with the finger, and try to pocket a coin. If the player fails to do so, the opponent gains a point. Re-striking can only be done twice in a row and if turns unsuccessful, it is a foul and thus, allowing the opponent to place the striker anywhere on the board. 

8. Queen and Its Importance

In Carrom, Queen holds the utmost significance. Every player will understand importance of queen and look to strike the queen as it is the most valuable piece in the game. The Queen (red coin) is placed at the center of the board. If a player successfully pockets the Queen, then he/she gets three points. However, the player has to protect the Queen by striking one of his carrom men in consecutive. Failing to do so, the player has to put the Queen back at the center of the table. When you cover the Queen by pocketing a carrom man is a matter of pride.

9. Winning the Game

Oftentimes, the players would get confused about how would one win the game. It is simple. The Carrom game ends after one player pocket all his distinct carrom coins and the Queen has been pocketed. Make sure that you pocket all your coins before the opponents. The game will go on until the first player all their carrom coins and earn 25 points to become the winner of the game. If a Queen is pocketed before the last carrom piece, that player has to cover the Queen by pocketing on their pieces in a successive turn. 

Learn: How to Download Carrom App? 

10. Draw Situations 

Draw Situation happens if both players have equal scores at the end of the Carrom game and there is no clear winner. This can either happen if both players pocket their respective carrom men simultaneously or scored equal points. To deal with draws, players can take another chance, by either pocketing their coin or using a tiebreaker system to determine the winner of the game. The procedures in dealing with draws may differ depending on the rules mutually agreed upon by both players. 

11. Sportsmanship and Etiquette

In a game like Carrom, each player has to maintain decency and respect toward the opponent. A bad attitude and untoward behavior are completely unacceptable during the game. Good sportsmanship and fair play are very important in Carrom as they will promote a healthy and competitive gaming environment. Each player has to share a good camaraderie by appreciating their skills and gracefully accepting both victory and defeat. Respecting and maintaining good relationships with your fellow carrom players strengthens the overall gaming experience. 

Also Read: 7 Classic Tips To Win In Online Carrom

In Conclusion, playing Carrom is fun and thrilling. People of all ages and skill levels play the game. As a beginner of the game, in-depth knowledge and understanding of the game’s nuances are important to enjoy a competitive and thrilling experience. Basics such as carrom coins, the significance of the Queen, the importance of pocketing the pieces, the points scoring system, how the winner of the game is determined, fouls, penalties, and so forth. These basics will not just help you enhance your knowledge of the game but also become a better player.