Basic Carrom Board Rules For Beginners

Basic Carrom Board Rules For Beginners
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Do you want to play carrom? Are you a beginner? You want to join your friends in a carrom game but don’t know the carrom board rules?
Not to worry! Read this to learn all about carrom board rules and how many players are in carrom.

GetMega has carrom games for all levels of experience. In this article, we will explain how to play carrom and the basic carom board game rules for beginners.

As you know, carom board game is a popular indoor tabletop game. It is commonly played in a group in India often at social events with family or with friends.

The game is also known by many other names around the globe such as carrom, couronne, carum, Karam, karom, karum, and finger billiards. Most casual players start the carrom board game with the simplified rules of carrom board. However, seasoned players and tournaments follow the formal professional Laws of carom board game by the International Carrom Federation.

What is the History & origin of carrom board game?

Although the exact origin of carrom, like many modern games, is unknown, it is widely believed that the game originated in the Indian subcontinent sometime in the 18th century. Many say that it was designed by the Maharaja, but, it is more likely to be a game that was adapted from similar street games from this period. Evidence that the game was being played in the Maharaja's palaces comes from the carrom board with a beautiful glass top held in the palaces of Patiala during this period.

The wonderful family game of carom board game shares a family tree with billiards and shuffleboard and some believe that the game was invented by the Maharaja to influence the British colonies. It is possible that the sport shares much of its ancestry with popular British games of the time, but there is no direct evidence of this.

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6 Different Types of carom board game:

  • Total Point Carrom
  • Point Carrom
  • Family Point Carrom
  • Duboo
  • Professional Carrom
  • Tokyu-Ban

Number of Players in Carrom board game

  • Carrom board game is generally played in singles or doubles.
  • There are two players in the singles game. The two players sit opposite each other.
  • In doubles, four players play in 2 teams. The partners of the same team sit opposite each other.
  • In casual social gaming, you can also play with three players against each other.

Equipment of Carrom Board Game

Before starting the game, you must understand the various parts of the board and the carrom pieces. We will explain them one by one.

Parts of carrom

  1. Carrom board
  2. Carrom coins or pieces
  3. Strikers
  4. Powder
  5. Toss
  6. Shooting
  7. Point

Carrom board

Carrom is played on a polished square wooden board (usually plywood). The playing area is usually 74 cm x 74 cm i.e. it is a 29″ square. The playing surface is highly polished with a hard-wearing finish for a smooth game with less friction. Boards with thicker and heavier border frames are more expensive as the rebound effect is better.

Carrom board game

With a well-polished surface and good quality wood, a single strike can rebound the striker 6-7 times between 2 opposite sides before it comes to rest.

The surface is polished with French chalk or talcum powder. Do not use oil to polish. Before playing, apply powder to your fingers if you tend to sweat.

There are netted pockets, one in each corner. The nets hold the pocketed carrom pieces.

Carrom coins

Carrom board game is played with the following pieces-

  • 9 white pieces and 9 black pieces. Each color is assigned to a player. These are smooth, wooden discs. They are called carrom men or coins.
  • The red piece is the queen. It is a very important coin in carrom.
  • There is a heavier striker made of hard plastic

Carrom points

  • Black carrom coins - 10 points each
  • White carrom coins - 12 points each
  • Queen or red carrom coin - 50 points

Carrom Board Design

We will now explain the carrom board design.

  • The board has a circle in the center
  • There are 4 diagonal arrows pointing towards the pockets at the four corners.
  • There are baselines on four sides with red circles (base circles) at the end of every baseline.
  • The coins are arranged inside the circle at the center and struck by the striker.

How to arrange the coins on the carrom board?

At the beginning of the game, the carrom men are always arranged in the center circle. The red queen is in the center. The coins must surround the queen in such a way that the white coins form a “Y” shape. Two arms of the “Y” aim directly towards the corner pockets.

Objective Of The Carrom Board Game

In each round, the players use the striker to knock these pieces into the board's pockets. The objective of the carrom game is to sink all of your carrom men, using the striker, in any of the pockets (called pocketing) before your opponent. Your turn continues for as long as you are pocketing your carrom men.

How to shoot the striker in carrom?

As you know, the striker is used to hit the coins.
But you cannot place the striker anywhere on the board. Incorrectly placing either the striker or your arm will be considered a foul in the carrom game and you have to pay a penalty.

The next section deals with the basic carrom board rules placing the striker and your arm correctly.

How to place the striker on the carrom board game?

  • You can place the striker only on the baselines closest to you. You cannot place any striker on the left and right baselines.
  • When you are placing the striker on the board to shoot, it must touch both baselines.
  • The striker should either cover the end circle completely or not touch it at all.
  • The striker cannot touch the diagonal arrow line.
How to play the carrom board

How to place your arm on the carrom board?

  • As you know, there is a diagonal arrow on the carrom board. Now imagine it is stretching outside the board.
  • Your arm cannot cross this imaginary line.
  • Make sure that your elbow is within the imaginary line
  • You cannot get up from your seat while striking. Also, feet and knees must be kept only in your quadrant.

How to shoot the striker?

Because of these restrictions, your shooting style becomes the most important in the carrom game. How well you play carrom depends on how you shoot or flick the striker.

You can start the exciting game of carrom with the following 2 shots.

1) Simple shot

  • This is the commonest shot in the game.
  • The coin is in front of the baseline.
  • You put the striker on the baseline so that the striker, coin, and pocket are in one straight line.
  • You hit the coin straight and it falls in the pocket.
  • With this shot, if you hit the striker too hard, both the coin and striker can fall in the pocket- which is a foul.

2) Side shot

  • It is one of the most popular carrom trick shots. The side shot is played to be on a safer side.
  • In this shot, the striker is hit in such a way that it pushes the coin in the opposite direction.
  • For example, in a side shot, if you flick the striker towards the right, the coin will go towards the left after it is struck.
  • Another way you can play the side shot is so that the coin directly goes to the pocket. Even if your coin does not fall into the pocket, it may block the pocket in such a way that the opponent cannot score any coin into that pocket.

There are various techniques for flicking the striker. Which technique you want to apply, depends on the placement of the coins and your level of skill.

So it is advisable to learn at least a few shots so that you can apply the best one based on the placement of the coins.

GetMega has listed the best carrom tricks ranging from easy for beginners to difficult for pros. Please click here to read more about these shots.

What are the rules of carrom?

  1. There will be a game of 29 points.
  2. The queen will be counted as 5 points and the other pieces as 1 point.
  3. Every time you take a queen you have to take cover.
  4. There will be 8 breaks in a game in which the person who wins the toss starts the break. (Then after the optional brake system).
  5. The person who reaches 29 points first will win or a higher score after 8 breaks will be considered as winner.
  6. If the points remain the same after 8 breaks, the 9th break will be to decide the winner.

What are the carrom rules to decide the winner?

A turn may have one or more strikes for a player. The winner of the game is one who pockets all the coins of his chosen color along with the queen first. To pocket the queen, the player must pocket one of his chosen coins immediately after pocketing the queen. If the queen is pocketed without any cover, it will be returned to the board again. More on this is discussed below.

Rules of Playing The Carrom Game

In this section, we will cover the basic rules of carrom board.


Breaking is the first shot of the carrom board game. The first player always plays white. The player playing first breaks the circle in the middle by taking the first shot with the striker.

  • If a player gets a piece in the pocket on the first shot, he will continue to take turns until he fails to pocket a piece.
  • The player must always return the striker to the rectangle before taking a new shot.


  • You and your opponent take turns shooting the striker.
  • If you pocket a piece, you continue to play and shoot your striker again. You can continue to shoot your striker until you fail to pocket a piece.
  • In a doubles game, the turns go anti-clockwise from right to left.

Covering the Queen

  • You can pocket and cover the Queen if you have already pocketed at least one piece of your color.
  • If you pocket the Queen before pocketing your color first, your turn continues. But you must sink one of your coins to keep the queen. This is called covering the Queen. If you cannot pocket your color piece at the end of the turn then the Queen is returned to the center by the opponent.
  • You can pot the queen any time after potting your first coin. However, the queen must be pocketed before your last coin.

To learn more about the basic carrom rules, Read our article here.

Fouls Of Carrom Board Game

While playing carrom, if you are not careful, you might commit fouls which will incur a penalty. To avoid this, learn the fouls in carrom board rules.

After a foul, your turn ends immediately and a penalty is incurred. As a penalty, one of your pocketed coins is returned to the board and placed by the opponent anywhere within the main circle. Your opponent will always position the carrom men in such a way so as to have an advantage.

A foul happens in the following situations:

  • Pocketing the Striker
  • If you pocket an opponent's piece
  • If a piece leaves the board
  • If your final piece has been pocketed before covering the Queen
  • You have incorrectly positioned the striker before taking a shot
  • If your arm crosses the diagonal line on the board
  • If you fail to break correctly on three attempts

Click here to read in detail about the fouls and dues in a carrom game by GetMega!

Scoring In The Carrom Board Game

In this section, you will learn all about the carrom rules and how to score and win the carrom board game.

At each board

  • A round is called a board in a carrom game
  • Once the queen is covered, the player potting all their coins first wins the round.
  • The winner of a board gets one point for each of the opponent’s coins left and three points for the queen if covered by the winner. After your score reaches 22, no more points are given for the queen.

At the end of the game

  • There is no fixed number of rounds in the carrom board game.
  • Scores from each round are added up.
  • When someone hit 29 points or higher the game ends and the highest scorer is the winner
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