Ever since discovering the Carrom Board Game, I have been totally fascinated by everything about it. If you like billiards and have always wanted a pool table, but just didn’t have the space, the carrom board game may be a perfect compromise. The origins of the carrom board game are not really certain, but it is believed to have been created in India or Sri Lanka. It has grown in popularity around the world, to the point of the creation of the ICF (International Carrom Federation) in 1988. Sounds pretty official. With the creation of the ICF also came the publishing of the official carrom board game rules.
However, just as there are many different names for carrom, including carrum, Karom, and my personal favorite….”finger billiards”. There are also various different rules.
Below is my best overview of the game and “how to”, as I understand it.
This particular Carrom Board Game Board is an Official Tournament Carrom Board. The playing surface is 29” x 29”, the outer edge measures 32” x 32”.It comes with everything you need to play including all accessories, which I will discuss below under the “How To Play” section.
How To Play The Carrom Board Game:
The carrom board itself does not require much assembly, as it is just a square board, usually made of wood. However, the nets are hand tied to create the corner pockets. You can place the carrom board on a tabletop, or a special carrom board game stand which can be purchased sparately. It is advised that you spread a light layer of “carrom powder” over the surface of the playing area on the board. This helps the pieces slide around better. In my search online, I found some suggestions that baby powder does the trick.
The game pieces are described as follows:
There are several pieces known as coins, pucks, or men, depending who you ask. If you are familiar with billiards, think of these pieces as the billiard balls. There are 18 regular coins. 9 of each color (usually black and white). This would be kind of like solids and stripes in the game of pool.
The queen coin would be similar to the 8-ball in billiards. It is worth 5 points.
The striker would be kinda like the cue ball. This is the coin you use to “strike” the other coins. Striking is done by flicking the striker coin with your finger, or in some versions of the game, they use sticks or cues, just like regular billiards.
The game begins with all the coins in a group in the center of the board, with the queen coin in the middle. The player going first will “break” the group by slamming the striker into them. If a coin is sunk, they get to take another turn. Your turn continues until you fail to sink one of your coins.
Objective of the game is to sink all of your coins as well as the queen coin, before your opponent. The queen coin is worth 5 points, and any of the loser’s coins remaining on the table are each worth 1 point to the winner. The game repeats until someone reaches 28 points. The first to 28 points is the winner overall.
The Carrom Board Game is ideal for most ages, and is played either 1 on 1, or teams of 2. (2-4 players)
The rules are much more extensive than this, and are included with both the boards described above. They can also be found all over the place online.
Keep in mind, the rules vary around the world, so it does not really matter how you play exactly, as long as you and your opponent are on the same page. The last thing you need is someone getting angry and throwing the board in rage. This is not some flimsy Monopoly board game. I imagine the Carrom Board would hurt!