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How to Play Carrom

Close up on showing how to play a game of carrom

Carrom is a tabletop game which originates from India. The game has grown progressively over time meaning there are now many clubs which hold tournaments and competitions.
Carrom can also be enjoyed in a more relaxed setting. It is commonly played in a group, often with family, at a social event or with friends.

Synco Boards are one of the most popular Carrom Board brands in the world. Their boards are made using premium wood and have a superior smooth playing surface.

You can view a range of Synco Boards here

Below is a detailed guide on how to play the game of Carrom.

> What is the aim of Carrom?

> How to set up your Carrom Board

> How to correctly break in Carrom

> Carrom Men / Coins

> How to successfully cover the Queen

> Using your Striker in Carrom

> What is a foul in Carrom?

> Scoring in a game of Carrom

Three men enjoying a game of carrom

What is the aim of Carrom?

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

If you are yet to get set up with a Carrom board, view our range here or click on the product below.

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How to set up your Carrom Board

Sit your Carrom Board on a level surface 60cm - 70cm from the floor. If you don't have a suitable table, you could use one of our specialised Carrom Stands like the one below.

Lightly dust the Board with Carrom Powder and place the Queen in the centre circle in the middle of the Board.
Arrange the Carrom Men / Coins around the Queen, alternating the dark and light pieces in a circle.
Determine which player is going first. To do this you could toss a coin or guess which hand your opponent is holding their striker.

Showing how to lay out the carrom men when setting up your game

The First Move: How to Break in Carrom

Breaking refers to the first shot of the game. In a similar way to 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.

Make sure you use a high quality Carrom Powder to ensure your striker is gliding across the board smoothy.

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

close up on a carrom board in a lounge setting

Carrom Men

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

Carrom Men that are not touching the player's baseline, or that are behind the baseline can be hit directly by the Striker. If the Carrom Men are touching the baseline or are in front of it, they can only be hit with a Striker that has rebounded off the side of the Carrom Board or another Carrom piece. 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 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 centre 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 they strike their last Carrom man on the board before the Queen (see 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 striking information below.)

How to Successfully Cover 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 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.

A couple playing carrom together

Using your Striker

Players must use their Striker to take each shot. The Striker 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.

What is a foul in Carrom?

The following actions all classed as a foul:
  • Pocketing the Striker
  • If a player pockets an opponent's piece
  • If a piece leaves the board
  • If a player's 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

People playing a game of carrom

Scoring in a game of Carrom

At the end of the game the points are added up; the player with the most points wins. Each Carrom Coin is worth one point.

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.

If you are looking for a new board or a different size Carrom board, you can view our full range by clicking on the image below.

synco carrom range - view now