Carrom is amongst the most common tabletop game worldwide. There are numerous rules when it comes to playing carrom. The striker in a carrom game refers to the white, circular disc used to hit other carrom pieces: Master how to play carrom and the striker rules in this blog.
Basic Setup Rules
- The game of carrom has a specific set of rules that every player has to abide by. Carrom setup means how the tokens (carrom men) will be placed before the game begins. There are 19 carrom men and one striker. The carrom boards game is set up on a moderately high surface- e.g., a stool or a lower surface like the floor. Place the red carrom man or queen in the middle of the carrom board where the disc lines are drawn.
- After that, place six black and white carrom men alternatively enclosing the queen in the disc drawn on the carrom board. The remaining twelve carrom men have to be placed alternatively so that the white carrom men form a Y shape. The upper part of the Y should point towards two pockets on one side. Players have to sit opposite each other.
- The use of striker is to shoot so that a player pockets the carrom men.
- In carrom, you’ll notice that two parallel lines cover all four sides of the board. Place the striker in such a way that both the parallel lines touch every time the striker is placed to shoot a carrom man.
- There are four circles at four corners of the carrom board, near the pockets. While placing the striker, do not touch the circles or place the striker on the circle. Do not place the striker in such a way that it touches the parallel lines.
- Use only the index fingers, middle, and thumbs of both hands while playing. Use the thumbs must be used for backward shots.
- To decide who will strike first, you can do the ‘toss,’ and the one who wins the toss will get the chance to strike first.
- The teams strike in succession in the middle of the carrom men disc unless one of the teams strikes any one colour of the carrom men. For instance, if a player pockets a white carrom man, he will have to protect all the white carrom men to win the match. The player must protect the queen as early as possible to win the match.
- Every player will get only one chance to strike.
- If a player pockets the carrom man, he will get another chance to pot another carrom man of the same colour till he misses the shot. Once you miss the shot, the turn will automatically pass to another player.
- One cannot pot the queen in the beginning of the game without potting a white or black carrom coin.
- Once the queen is pocketed, the player has to cover the queen by pocketing another carrom man. The queen is returned to the board if that player cannot pocket that.
What is The Striker?
- To hit the other carrom coins and queen on a carrom board, use the striker. The carrom striker is primarily white in colour and round in shape. It is made of hard plastic and is the heaviest of all carrom coins. During the game, players use it to push the carrom pieces into the pockets.
How do you hit a carrom striker?
- Keep the base of your palm facing upwards after keeping your hand on the board.
- Bend your fingers and let the tips rest on the board.
- Keep your index finger on the middle edge of the striker and or touch the striker with your fingernails.
- Keep the downward pressure on your index finger.
- Strike the index finger forward to play carrom. This motion will fling the striker forward.
Rules of the Striker in Carrom
There are a few general rules when it comes to the striker:
- The striker will be flicked with the fingers only
- Use the thumb for both the front and the backshot.
Rules of the Striker in Different Situations
Here, we will see the rules of striker in carrom game at different points of the game.
The first shot in the carrom board is called breaking. After winning the toss, the first player has to take the first shot with the striker to break the circle in the middle.
- When the striker touches any of the coins, a break is made.
- While breaking, you will lose your turn if you play an improper stroke or pockets the striker without touching any of the coins. However, there will not be any penalty.
During the game
- While playing, if the striker rests on any coin, you must remove the striker without disturbing the coins.
- While releasing the striker, if the coin, including the Queen is balanced at the edge of the pocket and falls into the pocket, it will be considered pocketed.
- If any coin rests on the striker, then remove the striker by lifting the coin. You must replace the coin in the original position to the extent possible.
- If the striker is balanced at the edge of the pocket and while removing the striker, if it falls into the pocket, it will be considered pocketed. The player has to incur a due.
Rules Of Striker in Carrom Dues
Due usually means pocketing the striker with or without coins. ‘Due’ is a penalty term, when the player commits a foul and has to give up a coin for placing in the center. The coin given up is called the ‘Due’ coin.
Regarding the foul for a striker, it happens in the following situations:
- Pocketing the Striker.
- You incorrectly positioned the striker before taking a shot.
- The striker or any other piece of the game leaves the board.
- A player breaching the rules of striking.
- A player touches any piece in play other than the striker.
- The first player to strike fails to break the counters in three attempts.
A foul is more severe than a due. The coin given up in case of a foul is called a ‘penalty’ coin.
When Can You Get a Due in Striker?
There are several conditions in which the striker can get a due. The two main situations are pocketing the stiker with or without a coin, and the other is when a player pockets the queen along with the striker. Let us see what happens in both the situations.
Pocketing the striker
- If you pocket the striker only, you shall lose your turn. Also, one of your coins will be taken out as due in carrom by your opponent for placing.
- You will lose your turn if this happens due to an improper stroke. The opponent will take two of your coins out as a ‘penalty’ for placing.
Pocketing striker and your coin
- If you pocket the Striker with your own coin, you have to return the coin to your pocket. You also have to place one more due coin in the center. This placing will be done by you. However, you don’t lose your turn
- If this happens due to an improper strike, you must give the coins pocketed along with one due coin and 1 Penalty coin and lose your turn.
Pocketing striker and your opponent’s coin
- If you pocket the Striker and your opponent’s coin, you get to keep the coin. You have to place one due coin and shall lose your turn. So, the number of coins remains the same.
- If the above happens by an improper stroke, the coin pocketed will be yours. But the due coin taken out is called a penalty. You will lose your turn.
The pocketing striker, your coin, and the opponent’s coin
If you pocket the Striker, your coin, and the opponent’s coin, you must return your coins pocketed. Also, you have to give a due coin, but you can continue your turn. You don’t have to return your opponent’s coins.
Pocketing the Coins Along With The Queen In Carrom
This section deals with the situation if you, by chance, pocket the striker and the queen with/without other coins.
First, we will cover situations where the coin you have pocketed is not your or your opponent’s last coin.
- Pocketing the queen, your coin, and the striker together
If you pocketed these coins by a proper stroke, then the queen and the coin so pocketed shall be taken out for placing. You can continue with your turn; however, there will be due.
But if you pocket the queen, your coin, and the striker together by an improper stroke, then you have two penalties, and 2 of your coins will be due. The queen and the pocketed coin shall be taken out for placing, and you will lose your turn.
- Pocketing the striker while covering the queen
While trying to cover the queen, if you pocket only the striker by a proper stroke, then the queen shall be removed and placed back. You will also lose one coin, which your opponent shall place, and you will lose your turn.
However, in case of an improper stroke, you will lose two coins. Like above, the queen shall be taken out for placing, and you will lose your turn.
The following section deals with carrom rules for strikers in situations of the last coin.
- Pocketing your own last coin along with striker when the queen is on the board
When you pocket your last coin along with the striker, but the queen is still on the carrom board, then you will lose by 3 points (1 point if the opponent’s score is 22 or above)
In case of an improper stroke, the opponent can demand two additional points.
- Pocketing the last coin of the opponent, your own coin, the queen and the striker
If you pocket your opponent’s last coin, your own coin, the queen, and the striker, you will lose by 3 points. (1 point when the opponent’s score is 22 or more). The opponent can demand one additional point for the striker.
If the stroke was improper, he could demand two additional points for the striker.
- Pocketing the opponent’s last coin, your own coin, and the striker, but the queen was covered earlier
- If you had earlier covered the red coin- In such a case, you will lose only one point. Your opponent can demand one additional point for the striker (2 points if it is an improper stroke)
- If your opponent had earlier covered the red coin
In such a case, you will lose 3 points. Your opponent can demand one additional point for the striker (2 points if it is an improper stroke)
- Pocketing your opponent’s last coin and the striker, but the queen is on the board
Then you will lose the round by the number of your coins on the board and the queen’s value. If the score is 22 or above, only the number of coins will be deducted.
The opponent can demand one additional point for the striker. He could demand two additional points for the striker if the stroke was improper.
Carrom board rules are the primary thing one must know before starting a game or before indulging oneself in a challenge. A single different rule can land a player into disqualification. So, here are some fundamental carrom rules for a better understanding of the sport. One must memorize the carrom rules as this would make the game easier for them.
- If the striker is pocketed by a player anyhow, this will be taken as a foul shot, and he has to put back one of his won carrom man in the center of the board. He also loses a chance.
- If a carrom man along with the striker gets pocketed anyhow, the player will have to put back two of his won carrom men in the center of the carrom board. But he will get a chance to shoot the shot in this case.
- While shooting for the respective carrom men, the player should not stand up or move from the chair.
- If a carrom man falls out of the carrom board, the carrom man has to be placed in the center of the carrom board.
- While playing carrom, the player’s wrist can touch the carrom board. Any other body part touching the carrom board will be considered disqualified.
- It is recommended that the players choose their sides before starting the match as they cannot shift their positions once the match begins.
- If the striker does not move in a single strike, the player earns three more strikes before he loses his turn.
- Rebound strikes touching the player’s baseline can also be used to pocket a carrom man.
What happens when the striker goes with the red coin?
If this is your first coin pocketed along with the striker, then the pocketed coin will be kept inside the board by your opponent, and you’re up for one due. The due will be kept by your opponent immediately when you pocket your next coin. But you will be allowed to continue your strike.
What happens if the queen and the Striker are pocketed together?
a) If the Queen and the Striker are pocketed together by a proper stroke, the Queen shall be taken out for placing by the Umpire. The player shall take out an additional carrom piece for setting by the opponent, and the player shall continue his turn.