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A tabletop game similar to billiards and shuffleboard.

Carrom is a family of tabletop games sharing a similarity in that their mechanics lie somewhere between billiards and shuffleboard.

"Carrom" is also the name of a games company in the United States which produces a specific variant of a Carrom board (as well as NokHockey and other games). Generally speaking, the variant of Carrom played on Carrom brand boards is called "American Carrom". For the remainder of this article, this distinction will be used.


The origins of Carrom are uncertain. Western sources suggest that the game is of Indian origin while some Indian sources claim the game is of British origin. Yemen, Ethiopia and North Africa are also suggested as potential regions of origin.


The game is played on a board of lacquered plywood roughly two feet square. The edges of the playing surface are bounded by bumpers of wood. The object of the game is to strike a heavy disk called a "striker" such that it contacts lighter disks called "carrommen" and propels them into one of four corner pockets. The carrommen come in two colors denoting the two players (or, in doubles play, teams). Traditionally, these colors are white (or unfinished) and black. The breaker always plays white. An additional carromman is colored red and called the "queen".

The aim of the game is to pot your nine carrommen before your opponent pots his. However before sinking your final carromman, the queen must be pocketed and then "covered" by pocketing one of your carromman on the same or subsequent strike. Fouls, such as crossing the diagonal lines on the board with any part of your body, or potting the striker, lead to carrommen being returned to the board.

American Carrom

American Carrom is a variant on Carrom brought to America from the East by a missionary. Believing that the game required restructuring for Western tastes, the missionary altered the game. Much of the game is the same, but the striker's weight is reduced and the carrommen are smaller. Generally, instead of disks of solid wood, ivory, or acrylic, carommen (including the striker) are rings of light plastic in the American variety. In addition, rather than using the fingers to strike the striker, American Carrom uses short cue sticks. American Carrom boards also have pockets built into the corners to make pocketing easier. Generally speaking American Carrom boards are printed with checkerboard and backgammon patterns and are sold with checkers, chess pieces, skittles, etc to allow for some limited variant of many traditional games to be played on them. Often, these boards are also built to play Crokinole. Generally speaking, the Carrom community considers American Carrom to be an inferior version of the game.

Source: Wikipedia

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