Carrom, a table game similar to table shuffleboard, is a popular game throughout South Asia, where it can be seen played within families or circles of gambling friends or children in the streets and also regular tournaments are held.
The objective of play is to use a striker disk with a flick of the finger to propel an ordinary disc called “carrom men” into one of the corner pockets. The aim is to be the first of two or four players who pockets his own nine carrom men and a shared special red disc called “Queen”. Pocketing this Queen adds 3 points to the player's total score instead of 1 point for a players own carrom men.
The game’s origins are obscure: some say that it was invented under British colonial rule in India, allowing poor people to imitate pool billard, others claim that it was introduced by Maharajas. Indeed, games similar to Carrom which were known in Asian countries already before the arrival of the British. Egypt and Ethiopia in Africa are also touted as possible sources.
A plywood carrom board may be a nice souvenir from Sri Lanka, but be aware, most boards are produced in India.
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