How to Play Carrom

Setting up the board

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

  1. Sit your Carrom Board on a level surface 60cm - 70cm from the floor.
  2. Lightly dust the Board with Carrom Powder and place the Queen in the small circle in the centre of the Board.
  3. Arrange the Carrom Men / Coins around the Queen, alternating the dark and light pieces in a circle.
  4. To determine which player goes first, you could toss a coin or guess which hand your opponent is holding a playing piece.

Aim of the game

The aim of Carrom is to flick your Striker with your finger at the Carrom Men / Coins; forcing them to fall into the corner pockets. The winner is the first player or team to pocket all their own Coins and sometimes the Queen.

Other game variations can be played; such as Duboo, Japanese Carrom, Point Carrom and Family Point Carrom.

For this guide we are using the standardised rules (Laws of Carrom) which can be played either 1 on 1 or in teams.


Breaking refers to the first shot of the game. In a similar way to the game of Billiards, the aim is to disperse the Carrom Men around the Board and away from the Queen.

The break shot must be taken by flicking your Striker from between the rectangular base lines. The Striker must touch both base lines but not touch any of the diagonal lines.

When breaking, if the player fails to make the Striker leave both base lines, they can try again up to three times before the turn passes to the opposition.

If the player pots a Coin in the break, they can continue playing for that colour and take another shot. Each pot of a player's Coin entitles them to another shot.

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

If a player fails to pot their colour coin in a shot, the player passes control of the Striker to the opposite player / team.

Carrom Men

Potting the Carrom Men is governed by the following rules or as they are better known, Carrom Laws.

Carrom Men who are not touching the players baseline or who are 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 placed 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

To pocket and cover the Queen, a player must first pocket their own colour Coin. Then on their subsequent go, pocket the Queen.

If a Queen is pocketed on a players first turn, the Queen gets returned to the centre of the board.

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 shot must be taken using the Striker which must sit between the base lines directly in front of the player. If the Striker fails to leave both lines, the player can try again up to three times before losing their turn.

The Striker should cross 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 Coin and has to return one of their own colour to the centre of the board.

If the player has not yet pocketed any Carrom Coins in the game, they will then owe the other player a Coin and must pay this back as soon as they have pocketed it.


The following actions all class as a foul:

  • Pocketing the Striker
  • If a player pockets an opponent's piece
  • If a piece leaves the board
  • If a players final piece is pocketed before the Queen has been covered
  • The player incorrectly positions the striker before taking a shot
  • A Players arm crosses the diagonal foul line on the board
  • If a player fails to break correctly on their three attempts


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