A popular board game in India, there’s no way that a person may not have got their hands on this Carrom or heard of the game. Carrom used to be an indispensable part of summer holidays, family gatherings, and social functions for years. With passing years and technological advancements, the carrom game is now widely played on online gaming platforms and has several carrom game variations. While the rules and gameplay vary slightly in online carrom, the games still promise entertainment.
Carrom or Karrom is also quite popular in Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan, and many players participate in carrom tournaments. Despite the popularity of carrom, many of you may have never heard of the carrom game variations. Interestingly, our childhood favorite board game has six exciting carrom game variations.
Carrom Game Variations
While there are standard rules and regulations set by the ICF (the governing body of carrom), some regions don’t follow all the rules and laws of carrom set by ICF, which gave rise to different variants. Here are some interesting variations of the game.
Also Read: History of the Carrom Game
Total Point Carrom
When you play carrom in India on a physical board, you are playing the total point carrom game variation. Total point is widely used for amusement and recreation purposes where the players are allowed to pocket any pucks/carrommen. The black carrommen carry 5 points each while the white ones carry 10 points each. The red queen carries 50 points, and it needs to be covered by a carromman right after pocketing the queen.
At the start of the game, all the nine white and black carrommen are piled up at the center of the board, with the queen at the top. A player continues to strike the carrommen as long as he pockets them. Once a player fails to pocket a carromman, the turn is passed to the next player.
The player with the scores the maximum points based on the carrommen he/she has potted wins the round. The player with the least carrommen has to put all the carrommen on the board in the next round. The other players have to match the score of the carromen on the board and put an equivalent amount of carromen on the board. The players continue to play more rounds until one player wins all the carromman on the board.
Family Point Carrom
Also known as the Simple-Point Carrom, the Family-Point Carrom is a carrom game variation widely popular amongst the young and old or while playing with an odd number of players. This variant is quite popular in many regions of South Asia. In this variant as well, a player can pocket any carrommen, irrespective of the color. The game’s objective is similar to the classic carrom: flicking the striker and pocketing the carrommen in any one of the four pockets. While most rules are similar to the classic carrom, these are some of the other rules followed in this variation:
- The black carrommen carry 5 points each, the white carrommen carry 10 points each, and the queen carries 25 points.
- The player needs to pocket a carrommen of any color after pocketing the queen to get the points of the queen. If the player fails to cover the queen, the queen is returned to the board,
- The player with the highest points at the end of the game wins the game.
Also Read: 6 Best Carrom Players of all time
The Point Carrom variant is popular amongst children and is commonly played in areas of East Asia. While the gameplay is similar to family-point carrom, below are some of the rules followed in this carrom game variation:
- Players can pocket pucks of any color.
- The black pucks carry 1 point each, the white pucks also carry 1 point each, and the queen carries 3 points.
- If a player pockets a queen, he/she must pocket a puck in the subsequent strike to cover the queen.
- The first player that scores 21 points wins the game.
- If none of the players can score 21 points, the player with the highest points is declared the winner. However, if the score is tied, the players have to play a tie-breaker round, where the players whose score is tied select a color and pocket carrommen of an alternate color.
Duboo is a carrom variant that is mainly played in the largest city of Pakistan, Karachi. The only differences in this type of variant are that the board is usually larger than the usual size of the carrom board, and the players slide the striker instead of flicking it to hit the pucks.
In the Professional Carrom variant, each player is assigned a color, and the player can pocket pucks of that color only. The rules of this variant are mostly followed in UK and India, and some of the rules are similar to the online carrom game on MPL. Here are some of the rules followed in this variant:
- The game consists of 29 points, but a player cannot score more points for covering the queen if the player’s score is already 21.
- The queen can be pocketed at any time of the game but must be pocketed before the last puck. However, the queen and cover cannot be pocketed in the same pocket.
- The winner of the game gets one point each for the opponent’s pucks on the board and three points if the winner covers the queen.
- Players can choose any striking style to pocket the pucks.
- Pocketing a striker costs the player one puck.
- If a queen and assigned puck are pocketed in the same shot, the queen is automatically covered.
- If a player touches the last puck directly before the queen, he/she has to pay a penalty.
In Japan, carrom was introduced in the early 20th century. The game became popular in the Showa period by the name of Tokyu-ban. Tokyu-ban implies a throw ball board or a fight ball board. However, carrom is hasn’t lost its popularity in Hikone, Shiga.
The above variations are the carrom game variations widely played in different countries and regions. The online carrom game on MPL has rules relatively similar to Professional Carrom variation. However, on the MPL app, you will be playing against one opponent.