Carrom is a tabletop board game that originated in Asia. This is a prevalent game played in every household. Moreover, whenever there is a family gathering or a party, this game never misses to accompany them. Even clubs have this game, and tournaments happen locally and internationally. This is a famous indoor game. In the western world, carrom is called ‘strike and pocket’ or ‘finger pool.’


History of Carrom

The exact origin of this game is said to be in India. It was viral in India during the 19th century. But there are also different opinions on the origin of the game. Later it took routes to its neighboring country Sri Lanka. India and Sri Lanka held official tournaments around the 20th century. After that, both countries formed their carrom federation to host and conduct the game tournaments.

The official regulating body of carrom is International Carrom Federation (ICF), located in Chennai, India.

The game became very popular among south Asian countries like India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives, and Bangladesh. Then the game was spread out to Arabian countries as well. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Bahrain were the first to adopt this. Carrom was introduced here through the eastern sailors and the traders.

Later, it became popular among European countries like the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, and Northern America. Do you wonder how carrom took its roots here? It was through the Indian Diaspora.

With the years passing, countries like USA and UK formed their federations too. They hold championships and tournaments through the organization.

The board and its accessories are imported from India to western countries.

What are the Components of the Game?

  • A board – this is where the carrom is played on. This square-shaped board has four pockets on its four corners. There are various sizes of boards and different structures, some with more oversized pockets too. But the standard board size suggested by the carrom federation is 29 x 29 inches. The edges are with a bumper, and the pockets are covered with nets.
  • Carrom Men – The small disks or pieces used to play carrom are known as ‘carrom men.’ There are nineteen carrom men in a set. Nine of them are in black, and another nine are in white. The other one is red, which is known as the queen.

The black and white pieces are for the players.

Queen is the most valuable piece in the game with higher points. This is placed in the center of the board while setting up.

  • Striker – this is a smooth circle piece usually made of plastic. This piece is used to striking black and white pieces. This is a little bigger than the pieces.
  • Powder – a fine powder is spread on the board to make the moves smoother.

How Many People Can Play Carrom?

Carrom is played on either side of the board. It can be played by two individual players, in doubles or groups.

What is the Purpose of the Game?

The objective of carrom stands as this. Each player has nine men of theirs, one color. You need to strike the pieces to the pocket and collect more points than the opponent. And also, you need to get hold of the queen, who bears more points.

How to Play

Carrom usually begins with a toss. Whoever wins the toss can choose the color they want and the side they prefer to play. A circle is formed with black and white carrom men alternatively, and the queen is laid in the middle. The one who won the toss gets to strike first. If they pocket their color, then they get another chance. If they miss pocketing, then the chance is given to the opponent. Likewise, the process happens in a rotation.

In the end, the person who has struck more of their men and has more points wins the game.

Queen can be pocketed after the player pockets one of their pieces. Also, after they pocket the queen, they need to pocket another of their piece to cover it up. If this fails again, the queen will be placed in the middle.

What are the Foul Instances in Carrom?

These instances can be considered foul while playing the game.

  • If the striker and the piece men fall at the pocket together, it is considered a foul.
  • If there is a piece and queen left on the board, it is foul play if the player strikes the men before the queen.
  • It is considered a foul if the player pockets the opponent’s piece after the queen. Queen needs to be returned to the board. Also, as a penalty, the player must bring back one of his men to the board.


Carrom, a family board game, gives lots of entertainment to everyone and brings people together. There are more variants of this game played differently depending on their region. Nowadays, we can see this game on mobile applications, web platforms, and online modes. It has become prevalent among all generations.

We have also got you a few other exciting games such as backgammon, monopoly, and chess. Do you wish to read about the history of board games? Then click here.


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