carrom-basics   carrom-rules   redball
Carrom is a very old game of unclear origin, and it is most popular in the Indian subcontinent. It is played on a square board with pockets in each corner. The game resembles snooker or pocket billiards. Nine black, nine white, and one red disc (also called "piecess", "carrom men" or "dogs") are "racked" in the center. One player breaks by flicking a larger and heavier disc called the "striker" into the pack. Thereafter players take turns shooting the striker and trying to carrom their discs into the pockets. The object is to pocket all of your colored discs before your opponents pocket theirs. Unlike pocket billiards where you play the cue ball from where it lies, in carrom you aways place the striker on your base lines before each shot.
|The Carrom Company introduced an easier version of carrom to the United States over 100 years ago. The pockets are bigger, and it is sometimes played with rings instead of discs. The board almost always has both its top and bottom decorated with checkers and backgammon designs, so one can play many diffent games besides carrom. Many people fondly remember this game growing up.|
|The "serious" carrom game is a difficult one to master. The board is huge (29" square playing surface), and players often place it on a small table or a stand so that the board forms a tabletop in itself. It takes a bit of practice to even make simple shots, but it is a rewarding game if mastered even a little. We have made a few regulation-sized boards, and Carl and I each have one of our own.|
|We also make a junior size board, which is a nice compromise between "real" carrom and the Carrom Company version. Our junior boards are around 23" square, and the lines (but not the center circle) are proportionally spaced. The smaller version is easier for novices, and some experienced players prefer it because it is easier to transport. Our carrom gallery shows pictures of some of the boards that we have made, both large and small.|
There are other internet resources that you may find useful, and I suggest you do a general search on "carrom" for more information. Besides us, you can buy carrom boards and supplies (strikers, discs, etc), which we don't sell, at Billiboard and Amber Sports. Billiboard is especially interesting. You should also see www.carromuk.co.uk for a nice introduction on how to play the game.
There are three different sets of official rules for carrom. We use the rules provided by the International Carrom Association (ICF) because they are more forgiving for novices and because the complete rules are online. The United Kingdom Carrom Association (UKCA) and the International Carrom Association each have a different set of rules too. The UKCA web site lists the differences. If you are new to carrom, I suggest you start with the ICF rules.
We present the rules to two games, but first, you should understand the carrom basics, which apply to all games. If you want an quick and easy game that is modeled after "eight ball", you can try our Redball. Or you can jump right in and try the real thing: our quick rules for the real game.