What is Carrom?

Garry Crystal

Carrom is one of the world’s favorite indoor board games. The game is believed to have originated hundreds of years ago. Although the precise region where carrom originated is unknown, it is thought that it was first played in either India or Asia. Carrom is a game that requires skill, practice and determination. It can be played at all ages and its popularity is steadily growing.

Carrom is a game that can be played at all ages and requires elements of physical and mental skill.
Carrom is a game that can be played at all ages and requires elements of physical and mental skill.

Although carrom is classified as an indoor game, it requires elements of both physical and mental skill. It is more similar to marbles or air hockey than it is to other board games such as Monopoly. It is a portable game, and because of its size, it can be played almost anywhere. Carrom’s popularity has grown so much that there are tournaments held by federations all over the world.

Carrom may be played with up to four players.
Carrom may be played with up to four players.

Carrom can be played by two, three or four players. If there are two players, then they sit opposite each other. In a game with four players, the players form teams. If there are three players, they are able to play against each other.

Carrom is played on a wooden board with four pockets. The board has a rectangular line around the perimeter, which is the base line from which players make their shots. The game pieces involved, coins, are flicked by the striker, similar to the cue ball that is shot in pool. The object of the game is to sink all of your pieces before your opponent manages to sink theirs. Your turn to shoot continues as long as you keep sinking your pieces.

All combinations of shots count in the game. Points are counted at the end of each round. Both skill and luck are big elements of this game. A game consists of eight boards or 25 points, whichever comes first.

There are a few basic guidelines to remember when playing carrom. Sinking your striker will cost you your turn and one piece, and if a piece jumps off of the board it is placed on the center spot. If a piece lands on its end or overlaps, it is left that way. If you sink your opponent’s piece, you lose your turn, and if you sink their last piece, you lose the board and three points. There are many more rules and laws to carrom, as adopted by the International Carrom Federation. Once you have learned the rules and practiced enough, you will find the game easy to play and a lot of fun.

Carrom may have originated in India.
Carrom may have originated in India.

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Discussion Comments


I have never heard of this board game, but it seems like a lot of fun! I like to play pool, and so do a lot of my friends, so this seems like a fun small get-together game to play!

I am going to see if I can find a cheap carrom board game set! I would much rather go pick this game up and have friends come over and play it, than spending all kinds of money and gas going to a pool hall!


There several carrom boards that are sold where you can play more than one game. For example, we have a carrom board that is also set up so you can play a game of checkers and quite a few other games as well.

My kids first played this game at a friends house and were all excited about it. I found several online sites where I could buy one. I always take advantage of those sites that offer free shipping.

This is a very simple game to play and there aren't a lot of carrom rules to remember. Of course there are always different variations to the traditional game, but my kids will be entertained with this game for quite awhile.


I have heard carrom described as 'finger pool' because it is similar to playing a game of pool, but on a much smaller scale.

I think there are many advantages to playing carrom. My kids love it because it is so portable. While it isn't easy to play in the car, we will take our carrom board with us when we visit grandparents.

Another great thing about playing carrom is that it is fun for all age ranges. My kids love playing this with their grandparents, and everybody has a good time.

It takes quite a while for kids to be tall enough to play pool and even longer for their hand and eye coordination to work very well. Playing a game of carrom is similar to playing pool, but my kids are playing this as young as five years old.

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