Whoever plays first, or breaks, is always white. The object of the game is to sink all of your pieces, using the heavier ‘striker’, in any of the pockets before your opponent. Your turn continues as long as you keep sinking your pieces – luck shots count and all combinations are permitted.
When placing the striker on the board to shoot, the striker must touch both ‘base lines’, either covering the red circle completely, or not touching it at all. The striker may not touch the diagonal arrow line.
Shooting styles are very personal – whichever ‘grip’ works for you is fine as long as you ‘flick’ the striker and don’t push it.
Before shooting, try touching the striker with your fingernail, to be sure that it’s really on line. This will improve your accuracy and prevent you from hurting your finger.
For ‘back-shots’ you may only use your thumb or the scissors technique.
Sinking the striker costs you one piece and your turn. But, if you sink a piece in the same shot, then two come up and you shoot again.
The red piece, or ‘queen,’ can be pocketed at any time after sinking your first piece but must be sunk before your last one.
After pocketing the queen, you must sink one of your pieces, thereby ‘covering’ it, into any pocket in the next shot, or she is returned to the center spot.
Once the queen is covered, whoever clears their pieces first wins the ‘board’.
The winner of a board collects one point for each of the opponent’s pieces left at the finish and three points for the queen if covered by the winner (if covered by the loser, no-one gets those points).
No more points are collected for the queen after your score reaches 22.
If you sink your opponent’s piece, you lose your turn. If you sink their last piece, you lose the board and three points.
If you sink your last piece before the queen, you lose the board, three points and one point for each of your opponent’s pieces left.
A game consists of 25 points or eight boards, whichever comes first.
For complete rules see www.carrom.org.