The game of crokinole appears to have developed in rural Canada in the 1860s. A unique blend of several older English, French, German and East Indian games, crokinole has been an enduring family favourite for close to 140 years. And while many rules and variant playing methods have developed throughout North America, it appears that one basic set or pattern of acceptable rules has emerged from it all. The following, then, is the distillation of what seems to be the most common, popularized, ‘settle-the-squabble’ rules for fair, enjoyable crokinole play. (For dozens of other regional variations, manufacturer’s specific rule choices, tournament rules and unique games to play on the crokinole board, please consult The Crokinole Book by Wayne Kelly)
The object of the game is to position shooting discs on the playing surface in such manner that they remain within the highest scoring circles by the end of the round. A crokinole shot is accomplished by firmly holding the end of your index or middle finger against the thumb and then flicking or snapping it against the disc in order to propel the disc across the playing surface. Each player seeks to make a “20" (centre hole) score whenever possible. At the same time, each player - in turn - will attempt to make such scoring opportunities difficult for his opponent. The game is played to 50, 100, or more points, as determined by all players in advance.
FOR 2 - 4 PLAYERS
When two players are playing, each player will have 12 discs (of the same colour) to shoot. They will oppose each other. When four players are playing, each player will have 6 discs to shoot. The players sitting opposite each other will constitute a team (shooting the same colour) and will oppose the other team.
- To start the game, one player will take two discs (one of each colour) in his hands, shake them, leaving one disc in each hand, and then hold closed fists out to a member of the opposing team. That player will choose one of the hands. The colour in that hand will indicate which team begins the play.
- Play proceeds in a clockwise fashion. The player to the left of the previous shooter always plays next.
- Neither the board, nor the seats of the players may be moved during the game.
- All players must keep their fingers, hands, and discs off the board unless it is their turn to shoot.
- To shoot, place the disc on the board with any portion of it touching the “starting line.” (See diagram) Each player will shoot discs only from within his particular quadrant of the board. A disc placed on a “quadrant line” must not be more than half way over that line.
- The first player will try to shoot his disc into the centre “20" hole. If it successfully lands completely within the hole the disc is removed and set aside to count as 20 points at the end of the round. If it does not land in the “20" hole, and yet is still on the playing surface, the next player must shoot at that opposing disc in an effort to knock it into the “ditch.” If she misses or does not in any way touch that opposing disc, her disc must come off the playing surface and be put in the ditch. Caroms - bouncing off a post or other disc - or combination shots are allowed. In a caroms shot, if the opponents disc is not touched, both the played disc and any of the shooter’s same colour discs that have been moved, will be place in the ditch. A shot that goes off the playing surface and bounces back on is considered out of play. It is removed to the ditch. Any other discs it may have touched will remain where they are.
- A disc that touches the “shooting line” (after it is played, or has been hit) does not count and will be removed to the “ditch.”
- When that particular round is finished (all discs having been played), the person sitting to the left of the player who started the previous round will begin the new round, and so on with each round.
At the end of each round, each player (or team) will take count of their discs within each circle.
Inner (or pin) circle counts 15 points for each disc. Middle circle counts 10 points for each disc.
Outer circle counts 5 points for each disc. Discs that are touching the lines separating each circle will be counted at the value of the lesser circle. Discs touching the “starting line” will not count.
Add the “twenties” that may have been made during the game and which were set aside. The difference of the count between the players or teams, is the score for that round. (Example: The team or player with the black discs has a total score of 65. The team or player with the tan discs has a score of 25. Subtract the lesser from the greater. Therefore the black team has 40 points for that round.) Begin the next round.