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The Rules of Crokinole

Crokinole Rules Crokinole is a disk flicking game that was probably invented in Canada before 1870.


A Crokinole board's playing surface is circular with a central hole just slightly larger than a disk and 3 concentric rings. The outer section between the 2 outer rings is divided into 4 quarters while the innermost ring has 8 equally spaced little posts surrounded with rubber or some other material to make them bouncy. The playing surface is located in the middle of a larger playing board giving a ditch around the outside for the disks to fall into. Traditionally, the outer board is often Octagonal in shape.


Crokinole is for 2 players or for 4 players playing as partners sitting opposite each other. One side plays one colour disks, the other side plays with a different coloured disks. For 2 players, each player begins with 12 disks, for 4 players, each player starts with 6 disks. Going clockwise, players take turns to place a disk on the outer circle line within their quadrant and then flick it into the playing area. The disk must cause (not necessarily directly), the last disk played to move. If the disk that was last played is no longer in play (i.e. in the surrounding ditch), then no restrictions apply and the player is free to aim for the central hole directly. If the player is required to move the last disk played and does not, his disk is removed from play and does not score even if it finished in the central hole Additionally, any other disks of the same colour that moved during this turn are also removed from play and do not score. A disk from either side that legally ends in the central hole scores 20 points and is removed from the board and put to one side for the remainder of the game.


At the end of the game, any disk in the central circle scores 15 points, within the circle outside that 10 points and in the outer circle 5 points. If a disk touches a circle line, it is deemed to be in the lower-scoring section. This means that if a disk is touching the outer circle line at the end of the game it scores zero points. To determine the score, all disks still on the playing surface are counted up and added to the 20 point disks that have been set to one side. The side with the greatest score wins the game by the difference in scores. As it is only the difference that matters, to speed things up, it is common to repeatedly remove pairs of opposing disks that score the same amount before totting up the final scores.


Play an agreed number of games ensuring that each player plays first an equal number of times. The winning side can either be the side that wins the most games or the side with the most points after the final game.


  • Some people play that any disk that finishes touching the outer circle line is immediately removed from play into the ditch.
  • Some people play that the last disk played must be moved by directly striking it i.e. moving the disk indirectly by knocking another disk into it is not sufficient.
  • By contrast, a more forgiving variation says that a disk is played legally if any of the opponent's disks move, not specifically the one last played.
  • In competitions, it is usually stipulated that any 'free' shot (where a disk is not required to cause another disk to move), must finish within the central circle or otherwise it is immediately removed from play. This prevents a player leaving a disk behind a post where their opponent will find it extremely difficult to move it.



These rules are provided by Masters Traditional Games, an Internet shop selling quality traditional games, pub games and unusual games. For information on copying and copyright, see our disclaimer.

Our rules are comprehensive instructions for friendly play. If in doubt, always abide by locally-played or house rules.

Copyright Masters Traditional Games © 2018. All rights reserved.

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