Carrom, also known as Karom, has been played in India and South East Asia for ages now. However, in recent years, it has gained a lot of popularity in many countries across the globe. Interestingly, now you can play it online and even download a carrom app. That said, despite an international regulatory body and several major national bodies in place, the game comes with a different set of rules.
To play the game, players take turns. A turn can include one or more strikes. You win if you manage to pocket all the pieces of your chosen colour. Do note neither player can win until your or the other player has pocketed the Queen. It is often known as “covering the Queen” which means you must pocket one of the pieces immediately after pocketing the Queen. In case you pocket the Queen but are not covered, the Queen has to be returned to the board. Typically, both the players try to cover the Queen and the winner with the Queen receives bonus points.
Whether you are playing carrom on a real table or using a carrom app, you need to follow a few rules.
- The very first turn, a player is allowed three attempts to “break” the counters.
- The striker can either hit or not hit any of the pieces in these three attempts.
- If you “cover the Queen” and/or pocket one or more pieces of your own colour, you are allowed to take another strike.
- If the player is not able to pocket any pieces or commits a foul, he/she does not get another strike.
- Whether you are playing on the board or using a carrom app, for each strike, you must ensure that the striker is within the baseline. It can also be on one of the two circles at either end of the baseline.
- The striker must touch both the front and rear of the baseline.
- The striker should not be placed partially within the baseline and partially within the circle known as “cut the moon”.
- The striker must be flicked with one finger in such a way that it crosses the front baseline. Flicking it backwards or horizontally will result in a foul.
- You can’t strike a piece that is on or behind the front baseline until the striker has crossed the front baseline.
- The player must ensure that his/her arm does not cross the diagonal foul lines at either end of the baseline.
Rules To Cover The Queen
- Firstly, you can pocket the Queen only if you have pocketed at least one piece of your colour.
- If a player pockets the Queen before being permitted to cover it, the Queen is placed back at the centre at the end of the turn.
- If a player pockets the Queen and one of their own pieces in the same turn, it counts and the player gets the Queen. However, the player must ensure to pocket at least one piece before pocketing the Queen.
- If a player pockets the Queen but fails to cover it, then the Queen is placed near the centre circle by the opponent.
Other Important Rules
- Any piece returned to the center can be placed on top of other pieces within the main circle.
- In case, a piece comes to rest standing on its edge or overlaps another piece, they are left just like that until moved again in the course of the play.
- If the striker comes to rest under a piece, it should be removed with little disturbance to the covering piece.
- At the end of the game, the winner scores one point for each piece left on the board by the opponent. If the winner has covered the Queen then he/she get additional five points. The maximum you can score in one game is 14 points.
- Typically, a match is played to 29 points and for matchplay, in case the winner has a score of 24 or more, five bonus points are not added for covering the Queen.
Following situations will result in a foul;
- Striker is pocketed
- The striker or any piece leaves the board
- A player pockets the final piece without covering the Queen
- A player breaks the rule for striking
- A player touches any piece other than the striker during the play
- The player to strike first fails to break the counters in the three attempts
While carrom is fun when played by four people, it can be played by two people as well. So, if you are a huge fan of carrom but are pressed for time, you can download carrom app on your mobile and play at your convenience.
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