What is Cushion Caroms: How To Play, Rules, And More


Table of content:

What do you mean by carom cushions?

A carom in itself means when an object touches and rebounds from a surface. Carom cushion is a form of cushion billiards game wherein a player must aim to touch the cue ball to at least one rail of the table before it hits the object ball.

Based on the variation of the game, the cue ball can hit one, two, or three sides of the billiards table which are referred to as cushions. Therefore, cushion caroms signify the rails that the cue ball needs to make contact with before it rebounds.

The idea is to strike the cue ball at an angular trajectory such that it bounces off one or more of the railing, depending on whether you’re playing 1-cushion or 3 cushion billiards. Once it has made the required number of contacts with the rails, it should touch the red object ball.

Of course, there are no pockets on a billiards table so unless you’re playing 3 cushion pool on a pool table, the red ball doesn’t have a destination as such. The objective is to simply improve your accuracy and sense of angular motions in order to score ‘counts’.

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What is the 3 cushion caroms game?

As the name suggests, three-cushion billiards or 3 cushion carom is a variant of cushion billiards wherein the cue ball needs to ricochet off of three rails of the billiards table.

Here’s the simple breakdown of the process used in 3 cushion billiards:

  • The player strikes the cue ball with the cue stick. The cue ball is usually the white ball although, in classic billiards play, players can use another white ball with small markings as an object ball as well. It can be a bit confusing therefore in modern times, cushion carom games use one white cue ball and a yellow object ball.
  • The cue ball hits the first object ball, preferably the yellow ball or the second white ball with markings. It can also hit the red ball based on the leniency of the gameplay.
  • While the first object ball slithers away from its position, the cue ball must travel further and ricochet off the first railing.
  • It follows a path to make contact with another railing and then a third before hitting the red object ball (preferably, if you hit the yellow ball first).

A player can line his shot such that the cue ball touches the cushions before it hits the first object ball. Secondly, it does not necessarily need to make contact with three different railings. If it bounces off two parallel railings repeatedly while touching the second object ball after the third rebound, then it’s fine.

The most important thing to remember is that it should make contact with the railings three times and hit both the object balls all in one single shot.

What is 1 cushion carom?

This is a much simpler variant of cushion billiards where the player aims to ricochet the cue ball against one cushion on the table before it hits the second object ball. Much like the carom 3 cushion, the player must make contact with both object balls in a single shot but the rules are a lot easier here:

  • The player strikes the cue ball with the cue stick such that it comes in contact with the first object ball (preferably the yellow one.)
  • Then the cue ball cushion caroms, which means it touches one cushion or railing on the table and rebounds.
  • On its route back from rebounding off the cushion, the cue ball must make contact with the second object ball, which in this case is the red ball.

Although not easy gameplay, compared to 3 cushion billiards, 1 cushion is practically child’s play.

Advantages of playing pool on Carom

In theory, it is quite simple but cushion caroms require a keen eye and understanding of geometry in order to make legal shots and earn counts. Since the tables have no pockets, players assume a relaxed disposition. However, determining the perfect shot that bounces off the cushions and hits the object balls accurately takes a lot of time and practice.

Here are a few advantages of playing pool on carom:

  1. It improves your levels of concentration.
  2. It prepares you to look at different angles and possibilities to accomplish a given task.
  3. It helps program your brain for strategic thinking and long-term planning.
  4. It enhances your visual mathematical abilities.
  5. It exercises the analytical hemisphere of your brain.
  6. It helps prepare for trick shots in other variations of billiard games such as 8-ball pool, snooker, 9-ball pool, etc.
  7. It is a highly-regarded social activity that subliminally proves your strategic abilities among accomplished individuals.

Cushion carom in practice can prove quite challenging. However, if a player masters the skills required for these games, especially 3 cushion billiards, then their minds not only sharpen but are optimally prepared for strategic thinking and planning in business too.

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