Table of contents

Carrom Rules

Carrom is a traditional board game - one of the most commonly played leisure games in South East Asia, especially in India. The game rules keep varying situationally even with the existence of an international regulatory body and several national bodies. They also hold tournaments from time to time.
Now, you also have the option to play carrom online on MPL, which allows players to avoid setting up the necessary infrastructure (such as the carrom board, the striker, or the coins). It also offers a chance at competing with others and winning some exciting cash prizes.
We recommend you download the MPL app and spend a little time understanding the rules before you start playing. Very often, the rules laid out by the UK Carrom Club are what players refer to. However, let's have a look at the top carrom rules that a player must know before diving deep into the world of online carrom.

Understanding the Board

In the traditional form of carrom, the carrom board is a squared plywood board with a hole in its four corners. There are baselines on the four sides, which constitutes the striking area for the player. There is an area in the centre with two concentric circles where the coins are arranged. The game comprises a minimum of two players who sit opposite each other.

The professional format of carrom is played mostly between two opponents, with the queen coin positioned in the centre of the carrom board, surrounded by six pieces forming a circle. Each of these carrom men touches the Queen and the carrom men next to them, such that every outer piece is in contact with the inner circle.

The coloured carrom men in the two circles should be alternative. The two circles are formed in a specific way wherein two white pieces from the outer and inner circle form a straight line pointing to a side of the board where the player sits and makes the break.

With an online carrom app like MPL, you need not worry about getting this carrom board formation right since it is automatically made available to you once you begin the game.

The Carrom Men, Their Arrangement, and The Scoring System

There are nine black and white coins each in carrom. There is one red coin, which is called the Queen. The arrangement of carrom men remains the same every time you start a new game. The 19 coins (nine each of black & white, and one Queen) will all be arranged – in the larger centre circle – in such a manner that the Queen is placed in the middle with the other coins placed around it in an alternate arrangement.

The player has to pocket all the assigned carrom men (either all the black pieces or all the white pieces) and then pocket the Queen, followed by the final piece for cover in professional matches. If it's a freestyle match, you should score higher than your opponent by the time no coins are left on the board.

A player fails against his opponent if his pocketed pieces are of lesser point value. According to carrom laws for freestyle gameplay, a black carrom piece will give you 10 points, a white carrom piece gives 20 points, and with the red coin (Queen), you get 50 points in a game of carrom.

You can pocket the queen piece any time after sinking your first piece, but it has to be sunk before your final one. After you pocket the Queen, you must sink one of your carrom men, thus ‘covering’ it, into any pocket in the following shot, or return her to the centre circle if the player fails. After covering the Queen, whoever clears all their carrom men first wins the board.

The Striker's Power and Positioning

The striker is circular and slightly larger than the pieces on the board. It is used to drive coins into player pockets. For every strike, the player must position the striker within the baseline (two straight lines in a rectangular fashion) or on either of the two circles at the ends of the baseline.

A striker must be placed between the two lines, i.e. it must touch both the front line and the rear line. On an actual physical carrom board, chalk dust is applied for seamless movement. However, that doesn't apply to an online game.

The striker should not be placed partially within the baseline and partially within the circle, i.e., it shouldn't cut the moon. The player is expected to flick the striker with one finger so that it traverses the front baseline - it is forbidden to flick horizontally or backwards.

The striker must not hit a piece on or behind the front baseline until it has crossed the front baseline. Also, while striking, the player's arm must not cross the diagonal foul lines at either end of the baseline. For better understanding, the foul lines run along the diagonals. This, however, may not apply to online carrom.

For additional information on essential terms used in the game of carrom, click here.

Learn How to Play Carrom

There are two variations of online carrom available on the MPL App – Professional and Freestyle. The general objective of flicking the striker to pocket coins remains the same for both variants. However, each game of carrom is governed by a different set of rules. Primarily, the online version of carrom is played using either the middle finger or the index finger. The following is a gist for easy reference:
Each player receives a turn to strike carrom men with the striker into one of the corner pockets.
The player is required to pot all his respective carrom men (either black or white).
Each time a player pockets the assigned coin, he gets another turn to play.
When a player pockets the Queen, he needs to cover the Queen by potting another coin.
If the player does not cover the Queen, it will be placed back at the centre of the board.

What are the Applicable Fouls When You Play Carrom Online?

In the following situations, a foul is said to be applicable:
Each player receives a turn to strike carrom men with the striker into one of the corner pockets.
A player pots the striker.
A player pots an opponent's piece. If he also covered the Queen during the same turn, the opponent player and the penalty piece are repositioned at the centre. If the player pockets any other pieces in the same shot, they remain pocketed.
A player happens to pocket the final opponent's piece. Despite whether he covered the Queen, the opponent's piece is returned to the centre along with the penalty piece.
A player sinks the last piece before covering the Queen. In this case, both the pocketed piece and one of the player's own pieces are put back on the centre.
A player violates the rules for striking. This wouldn't necessarily apply to online carrom as automatic turns dictate it.

You may want to avoid these mistakes as well while playing carrom online.

Additional Rules Applicable to the Carrom Board

If you sink the striker, it will cost you a previously pocketed piece plus your turn. However, if you sink a piece in the same shot, both come up, and you strike again.
After the striker is sunk, your opponent places the due piece(s) within the center circle. If you haven’t sunk one so far, you owe one.
A player pots an opponent's piece. If he also covered the Queen during the same turn, the opponent player and the penalty piece are repositioned at the centre. If the player pockets any other pieces in the same shot, they remain pocketed.
While you shoot for the Queen and simultaneously sink one of your carrom men in the same strike, you have automatically covered the Queen, and it does not matter which goes inside the corner pockets first.
If a piece runs off the board, it is placed back on the central spot. If pieces land on end or overlap each other, they are left that way.
If you sink your opponent’s piece (in a professional game), you lose your turn. If you sink their last piece, you also lose the board as well as three points.
If your last piece sinks before the Queen, you end up losing the board, three points, and also one point for each of your opponent’s pieces left.
The player loses the game if they pocket all their coins without scoring the Queen. In this case, the opponent is declared as the winner, even though they have not pocketed all their coins.


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