How to Play Croquet

Croquet Rules

There are different variations of croquet as a game, and therefore you may come across different types of croquet rules. This page explains the rules that are commonly used in garden croquet for family and home use.

These rules for croquet have been written to provide an easy-to-digest guide for the most popular version of croquet.

The aim of the game is to win points by moving your own and your opponents croquet balls through the hoops in an arranged circuit. The circuit has to be completed twice, with each hoop being passed through twice by each ball, and the peg hit at the end of the second circuits in order to win.

There is a lot of skill and accuracy involved in croquet, as well as tactical scheming, in order to win points as well as preventing your opponents from hitting the balls through the hoops and scoring points themselves.

To play croquet, these croquet rules suggest that you use 4 balls - traditionally with Black and Blue versus Yellow and Red.

Rules for Croquet

How to Score in Croquet

The croquet rules state that in order to score a point, your ball needs to pass right through the hoop, ensuring that each hoop is passed through in the correct direction and order. The point can be scored if it is hit with the mallet directly or with another ball. When the ball passes through the hoop (running the hoop), the striker achieves another stroke (also known as a 'continuation stroke').

During the stroke, it is possible that the strikers' ball will hit another ball and cause this other ball to run its next hoop. If this occurs, the player gains a point but the striker is not allowed a continuation stroke.

To win, once each of the players' balls has been manoeuvred around the circuit twice and the peg has been hit at the end of the second circuit by each of these balls, 26 points will be acquired. This consists of 12 points from running the hoops and 1 peg point for each ball.

Points are kept track of by attaching a clip to the hoop each time the intended ball passes through. The clip is colour coordinated in relation to the colour of the ball so that your progress is visible and easy to follow. During the first circuit the clip is attached to the top of the hoop, and during the second circuit the clip is attached to the side.

Starting the Croquet Game

Firstly, to decide how the game will begin, simply toss a coin. The winner can choose whether their team take their turn first, OR which pair of balls they wish to play with. If they choose to take their turn first, the opponent has the choice of the balls.

The sides now take alternate turns and each player needs to begin by playing their balls into the court. Once all four balls are on the court, the sides choose which of their balls they will play in each turn.

Earning Extra Strikes in Croquet

Each turn involves one stroke per player, however further strokes can be gained via two ways. A player can gain a further stroke by running a hoop in the correct direction and order, or they can also gain a further stroke if their ball hits another ball (this is referred to as a roquet). If this occurs, the player places their own ball in contact with the affected ball and then strikes their own ball in order to move the other ball. (This is referred to as 'taking croquet').

The player may roquet and take croquet once from each of the other balls, and for every ball that runs its next hoop, the player may roquet the other balls again. This allows the croquet player to run a series of hoops within one turn, also known as 'making a break'.

Once a player has taken all of the strokes he is entitled to, the turn is then ended. A turn also ends when a ball is inadvertantly knocked off of the playing court during the player's croquet turn, or if a player faults.

How to Win the Croquet Game...

Once a ball has scored its last hoop point, which is also known as 'becoming a rover', the ball is ready to score its peg point in order to complete its circuit. The peg point can be scored in either of two ways; the player hits the ball directly into the peg OR the player hits another rover ball which in turn hits the ball in question, and this ball in question then hits the peg.

The ball which has now scored its peg point is removed from the court. Once the player has 'pegged out' for both balls (scored the peg point for each ball), the player wins!

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