How to Play Carrom

Setting up the Game ready to play

To set up the game of Carrom you will need to :

  1. Lay your carrom board on a flat, stable and level surface off the ground.
  2. Lightly dust the board with carrom powder (if required)
  3. Place the queen in the centre of the board
  4. placing the Carrom Queen on the carrom board ready to play
  5. Place the carrom men/ coins around the queen
  6. correct set up on carrom men around the queen

Your carrom board is now set up and ready for your first game of carrom.

Aim of the game

The aim of the carrom of carrom is to flick your Striker disk with your finger into the carrom men/ coins forcing them to fall into the corner pockets. The winner is the player or team who pocketss all their own colour carrom men and the queen first but, there are other variations of the game that can played too such as Duboo, Japanese carrom, point carrom and family point carrom to name a few.

How to Play

For this guide we are using the standardised rules or Laws of Carrom which can be played either by teams, as doubles or one on one.

Picking who shoots first

Once you have set up your carrom board you will need to determine which player or team shoots first.

The traditional way to do this is with the calling of the carrom men or the toss.Traditionally this is where the umpire holds a dark and light carrom coin in each hand behind their backs. Players then try to guess which colour is in which hand. If the player guesses correctly they get to choose who shoots first (If playing at home it is very unlikely that you will have an Umpire so best just to decide amongst yourselves who gets to go first.
Though you can always toss a coin and go with a simple heads or tails)

The person or team who takes the first strike is allocated to the Light coins but, can choose to forgo the first strike and take the dark coins.


Breaking refers to the first shot of the game, in a similar way to the game of billiards. The aim of the shot is to disperse the carrom men around the board and away from the queen.

The shot must be taken by flicking the striker from the base lines or base circles. the striker must touch both base lines or sit fully with in the base circle. The striker must not touch the diagonal lines.

When breaking if the player fails to make the striker leave both base lines they can try again three times before the turn passes to the opposition.
This is the first shot of the game and if the play pots his own coin in the break can, as in pool, shoot again. Each pot of a player's coin entitles the player to another shot.

  It is possible to win the game without giving your opponent a single shot.

Failing to pot a coin in a shot

If a player fails to pot his colour coin in his shot the player passes control of the striker to the opposite team of player

Carrom Men

  • Potting the carrom men is governed by the following rules or as they are better carrom laws

  • Carrom men, who are not touching the players baseline or behind the baseline, can be struck directly by the striker. If the carrom men are touching the base line or behind it they can only be hit with a striker that has rebounded off the carrom board wall or another carrom piece, However if you strike your last piece directly before the queen you will have to pay a penalty.

  • If, during a players turn a carrom piece is knocked out off the board, it is returned to the centre of the board. Any overlapping or pieces that stay on their edge are left as is. If there is already a piece in the centre of the board the piece should be returned to touch as much of the red central circle as possible. If however the centre circle is covered completely then the piece is place opposite the player who will strike next behind the red circle

  • A player will have to pay a penalty if you strike your last carrom man on the board before the queen (see penalties and fouls below)

  • If a player pots their opponents colour carrom piece the player loses their turn. If the player sinks their opponents last piece they lose the board and have 3 points deducted from their score.

  • If a player pots their last carrom piece before the queen that player loses the board and has three points deducted from their total score.

  • If correctly pocketed the carrom men remain in the pocket unless they are owed to the opposite player (see the striker information below)

Covering the queen

The queen can only be pocketed after a player has pocketed at least one of his own colour carrom men but, in order for the queen to remain in the pocket the queen must be covered.

To cover the queen a player must pocket one of his own colour coins into a different pocket on the board. If the player fails to cover the queen or covers the queen with the opponents colour coin, the queen is returned to the centre of the board again.
After a player has pocketed and correctly covered the queen the board will be won by the player who sinks all their own coins.


Each player must shoot every turn with the striker placed within the base lines/ circles directly in front of them.  If the sticker fails to leave both lines the player can try again up to three times before losing their turn.
The stricker should be hit with one finger so that is crossed the front baseline forwards you are not allowed to flick backwards or horizontally.
Should the striker be accidentally pocketed during a turn, the player then owes the opposition a carrom piece and has to return one of their own colour carrom men to the centre circle of the board
If the player has not yet pocketed any carrom men in the game, they will then owe the other player a piece and must pay this back as soon as they have pocketed any of their own carrom men.

Fouls and penalties

During a players turn if they commits any of the following Pocketing the stricker
If an opponents piece is pocketed
If a piece leaves the board
If the players final piece is pocketed before the queen has been covered
The player incorrectly positions the striker before taking a shot
Players arm crosses the diagonal foul line on the board

carrom board diagonal foul line

The player directly touches any other piece on the board (does not include returning owed pieces or lost pieces) other than the striker
If a player fails to break correctly on their three attempts then the player is deemed to have committed a foul and is subject to a penalty. Penalties are normally paid in loss of turn and or the return of one carrom piece back to the centre of the board. If no carrom men have been pocketed then the carrom men are owed to the other player and repaid once pocketed later on in the game.


At the end of the game the points are added up and the player with the most points wins.

Each carrom piece is worth one point each. The player who has won the board is also awarded an additional point for each of their opponents pieces left on the board. The player who correctly covered the queen gains an additional 5 points.

Games are played to a total of 29 points.

Cookies at Big Game Hunters

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website, if you are happy with this please continue.