Mike and I came up with our own rules for two different games of carrom. This post covers the most traditional carrom-like game. It doesn’t have a name. When playing, the rules feel really nicely fleshed out and we think it’s a lot more fun than traditional carrom. I’ve probably missed some notes that cover odd corner cases here – I’ll add them as I remember them.
Aim and rules
The aim is to pot all pieces of your colour, followed by the red.
Set the pieces up in the standard layout. The player who breaks is always white. Two pieces must fully exit the centre circle or it is a foul.
You play most shots from your baseline, with the striker touching both lines and within the bounds of the diagonals. Unlike some Carrom rules, there is no foul for parts of your body being out with the bounds of the diagonals.
You can strike a piece of any colour at any time. However, you can only play up the table. Specifically, you cannot directly strike a piece that is touching or behind your own baseline. Potting a piece of your own colour means that you play again. Potting the red too early, means that you lose the game.
When all of the pieces of your own colour are down, you play every shot (unless your opponent fouls) from where your opponent’s striker comes to rest.
If a player commits a foul, the opponent is always awarded a vortex. A vortex gives you the option of playing a shot from either your own baseline or one of the four circles on the board (the vortexes). If playing from a vortex, the striker must fit entirely inside the vortex and you can play in any direction.
Missing all pieces on the board is a soft foul, meaning that only a vortex is awarded. All other fouls are hard fouls where a vortex is awarded and your opponent also gets to place one of your potted pieces anywhere in the centre circle. If, while committing a foul, you also potted one of your pieces, it is also removed and placed by your opponent in the centre circle. Hard fouls:
- Potting a piece of the wrong colour
- Potting the striker (other than the bonus below)
- Playing backwards
When striking the red piece first, some bonuses are available:
- Potting a piece of your own colour (via planting, cannons…) earns a vortex
- Potting the striker earns a vortex and allows you to remove a piece from the board