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5 Hidden Rules of Crokinole You Must Know To Be an Expert Player

5 Hidden Rules of Crokinole You Must Know To Be an Expert Player

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Crokinole is a fun Canadian board game that tests the dexterity of its players. To be a good Crokinole player, you need to be strategic and dexterous so you can make all of your shots count and earn as many points as possible. It's also important to understand the rules for playing Crokinole. If you want to be an expert Crokinole player, you need to know these five hidden rules.

1. All Discs Must Start Out of Bounds

Crokinole boards have a thin band around the edge that marks the boundary of the game. When you take a shot, you must place your disc in this thin out-of-boundary area. If your disc crosses the line, it is automatically an invalid shot. It doesn't matter if most of the disc is behind the line; if any part of your disc is over the line, your shot is invalid and you lose out on points.

2. You Can Shoot From Anywhere Within Your Quadrant

It's common knowledge that you make a shot from your assigned quadrant of the board. What you may not know is that any shot made from your quadrant, even those made touching the outside lines of your quadrant, is valid.

This is vital information when you're strategizing. Avoiding the pegs that surround the middle circle of the game board is challenging, and you need to position your discs carefully if you want to make every shot. Being able to move your disc to different spots within your quadrant is essential for making good shots. If you don't have a good shot from within the confines of your quadrant, you are free to go outside of your quadrant as long as the disc is touching the lines of your boundary.

The key element here, however, is that the disc must touch your quadrant boundary. You can't shoot from another player's quadrant if your disc isn't touching the boundary line.

3. You Have a Free Shot If No Opponent Discs Are On the Board

If your opponent has any discs on the board during your turn, you must hit at least one of them for the shot to be valid. This rule makes it difficult for you to dominate another player in terms of points because you have to hit a disc that is already on the board if you want to earn points.

So when you have a free shot without any opposing discs on the board, you want to take advantage of the moment. You can aim for the notch in the center of the board that gives you an automatic twenty points, or you can use your skills to try to lodge your disc behind one of the pegs in the middle of the board. The discs are notoriously hard to hit when behind a peg, so you can keep your opponent's shots from scoring if you can make this difficult move.

4. You Must Discount All Discs Involved in a Foul Shot

The main rules of Crokinole are pretty simple, but there is one that often confuses even the most seasoned players. For a shot to be valid, you must place at least one of your discs within the 15-point circle on the board. Any shot that does not result in a disc landing in this area must be discredited, and all discs involved in the shot must be removed from the board.

It's a common misconception that you only have to remove the shooter disc if you fail to send one of your game pieces to the middle of the board. The truth is, according to the rules set in place by the National Crokinole Association, you must discount every disc your shooter piece touches if none of your discs land in the middle of the board. It doesn't matter whether your shooter disc or one of your other pieces lands in the 15-point circle. As long as one of your game pieces ends up in the middle of the board, you have a valid shot. For anything else, you must remove every disc that was touched by the shooter if none of your pieces land in the right place.

This rule has a direct effect on your strategy. If you don't think you are capable of making a shot and sending your shooter to the center of the board, you are better off sending it to a random spot on the board so that you will only lose one piece. If your shooter bounces off of three other discs and none of them land in the middle of the board, you lose the points associated with all four of your pieces. It is best to strategize accordingly so that you know how to minimize point loss.

5. You Can Choose How To Score

Traditionally, Crokinole uses cancellation scoring. However many points the second player earns cancel out that many points from the first player. The first player to reach 100 points wins. This type of scoring makes the game fun and competitive, but it can also slow play and make it take numerous rounds for a player to win.

If you want to enjoy a quick game of Crokinole, you can use an alternate scoring system. Each game consists of four rounds, and each player/team earns two points for each round won. In the event of a tie, each player/team wins one point for that round,  Whoever has the most points at the end of four rounds wins the game.

Remember that choosing how you keep score can affect how you play the game. If you pick cancellation scoring, you may choose to focus on knocking your opponent's discs into lower-scoring circles. For match scoring, you probably want to focus on earning as many points as possible.

Whether you prefer to face off with a single opponent or pair up with a friend as a team when you play Crokinole, knowing the most important game rules is essential. Understanding the five Crokinole rules of play can make you an expert in this fun and exciting game. Mayday Games has a vast assortment of fun games, including Crokinole, so browse our selection today to find your new favorite!


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