Must-know Carrom rules to avoid mistakes | Carrom Board Rules

Don’t get fooled by the made-up Carrom rules! Knowing Carrom board rules are the most critical aspect of the game. If you don’t know them, you might not be able to play well, or worst case scenario – the opponent can easily take advantage of you not knowing the rules. This article highlights Carrom game rules and fouls to you must know!

Carrom Rules – Basic Rules for Beginners

Carrom is played between 2 or 4 players (divided into two teams, also known as a doubles game). If you are new to the Carrom game, here are a set of rules that can come in handy:

Carrom Rules to ‘Break’

  • The player who goes first is allowed three attempts to break the central group of Carrommen. The break is considered to be made when the striker touches any Carrommen placed in the centre of the board
  • If the player in his attempt to break plays an improper stroke or pockets his striker without touching any of the carrommen, they lose their turn  
  • If the player is not able to break after three attempts, the turn to break is passed to the opponent

Carrom board rules to ‘Cover the Queen’

To cover the Queen, the player has to pocket one or more carrommen of their own color after pocketing the Queen.

  • If the player covers the queen successfully, the player gets another chance to strike
  • A player can only pocket and cover the queen if they have already pocked at least one carrommen of their color. If the player pockets the Queen first before pocketing any other carrommen, the Queen returns to the centre of the board
  • If while shooting for the queen, the player also sink one of their carrommen in the same shot, the queen is automatically covered, no matter which went first
  • The player earns 3 points for successfully pocketing and covering the queen
  • If the winner of the board has not covered the Queen, no one gets 3 points that are awarded for the Queen
  • No points are awarded for the queen after the player score reaches 22

Other Rules

  • For every carrommen pocketed, the player gets an extra turn
  • If the player pockets no carrommen or commits a foul, their turn finishes
  • The player can place the penalty carrommen on top of other carrommen within the main circle
  • If the carrommen overlaps with another carrommen or land on end, leave them as it is until moved again in the normal course of play
  • If the Striker comes to rest under another carrommen, remove the sticker with little disturbance to the covering carrommen as possible

Fouls in Carrom – When can Fouls in Carrom Game happen?

While playing Carrom, if the player is not careful, they might commit fouls which will incur a penalty. Generally, the player loses their turn and has to return one pocketed carrommen as a penalty to the board if they commit the following fouls:

  • The player pockets the striker
  • If the striker or any other carrommen leaves the board
  • If the player pockets an opponent carrommen or the final opponent carrommen. In such a case, the player needs to return opponent carrommen to the centre of the board
  • If the player pockets the final carrommen before covering the Queen. In such a case, both the pocketed carrommen and a penalty carrommen are returned to the centre
  • If the player touches any piece in the Carrom board other than the striker
  • If the first player fails to break the central group of carrommen in three attempts

Note: If a player commits a foul while pocketing any carrommen (including Queen), they must give back the carrommen pocked, an additional carrommen as a penalty, and lose their next turn.

Don’t have any pocketed Carrommen for paying the penalty?

The penalty is “owed” if the player does not have any pocketed carrommen to return. Once the carrommen becomes available, it is returned to the centre. However, the opponent should not forget to charge a penalty before the start of the next turn; otherwise, any owed penalties are lost.

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