Carrom is most easily described as "finger pool". On a 29" x 29" wooden board, players flick a large weighted disc (the striker) at smaller wooden discs (the carrom-men). The goal is to sink your 9 carrom-men (black or white), as well as the red Queen, in the four corner pockets. The first player or team to accomplish this collects points for the round (commonly called a "board"). A standard game of Carrom continues until one player has 25 points or 8 boards have been completed.
Carrom is typically played with powder, and some variations of the game use cues. The most widely played form of 'proper' Carrom is supported by a world wide set of rules known as The Laws of Carrom, and are available from the International Carrom Federation.
Carrom bears similarities to Pool and Crokinole, but is a fascinating game in its own right with varied strategies and techniques. No one knows exactly where the game originated. It could have come from Bangladesh, Burma, Egypt, or Ethiopia, but most believe it originated in India.
American Carrom is a derivative game attributed to American Sunday school teacher Henry Haskell. American Carrom differs from Carrom in the board construction, particularly the size of the board and the size of the pockets. American Carrom is often played with a cue, and the board is patterned with checkers, chess or other board motifs, allowing a variety of other games to be played. Many American Carrom boards also double as Crokinole boards.
Carrom has small, perfectly round holes in the corners, playing pieces that are discs not rings, and a double base line from where to take each shot. Carrom boards rarely have another game to be played on them. Carrom preceded American Carrom.