Croquet Rules | How to Play, a Detailed Players Guide

Croquet is an outdoor game that is played on a grassy lawn like golf. As in this players Guide, we have focused on Croquet rules, how to play the game, Scoring System, Faults, Strategies, Skills & Tips for playing a beginner to advanced level Croquet Game.

If you are overly competitive and looking for an outlet, you might be tempted to try Croquet. This  19th-century historical game of croquet is based upon outwitting, outsourcing, and outsmarting your opponents.

Croquet Rules | Scoring System, Faults & Strategies, Grip Types | How to Players Guide 2020


In this game, two or four players have to hit a grounded ball with wooden square or round-headed mallets, so that the ball must cross through the iron hoops fixed firmly on the ground.

While Croquet was once most likely to be associated with prim and proper grandmothers, it’s fast becoming popular with players of all ages.

More and more people are getting outdoors as part of the fitness boom, and many are recognizing that Croquet is an enjoyable game of sophistication and strategy.

In Croquet, strength isn’t a deciding factor; it is a strategy that is important.

Unlike golf, there is a limited playing space, which makes the social aspects of Croquet so enjoyable. It brings family and friends of all ages together.

Croquet Rules, How to Play Croquet

Most Croquet is now played at home with informal rules.

Each player usually plays one ball counter-clockwise around, a nine-wicket, two-stake course, the layout of which vaguely resembles a double diamond.

Rules of Croquet Game | How to Play

The rules of Croquet are fairly tricky to learn in the beginning. However, once you do know them, it all comes down to tactics.

1.  Duration of Game

The golf croquet is currently the most popular type of croquet played. A game usually lasts less than one hour, and it is very intense.

2. Formats of Playing

It has two formats; singles and doubles. In singles, one player competes against his opponent.

Here one player has two balls at his disposal. Whereas, in doubles, two teams, each team has two players playing against each other. Here, each player has only one ball in his use.

3. Court Dimension

The court of Croquet is similar to that of golf. This is a grassy rectangular court of 100 feet length and 50 feet in width.

From one end to the other end of the court, you find two stakes and nine wickets fixed, in a double-diamond shape, at certain distances on the court.

Each stake is fixed, in the middle, at each end, just 6 feet near the boundary of the court. Then there is the first wicket at 6 feet distance from the stake, and then there is another wicket fixed exactly 6 feet away from the first wicket.

Both these wickets are parallel to the stake.

After these two wickets, there are two other wickets that are fixed at the side of the court at a distance of 16 feet from the second wicket and 6 feet adjacent to the side of the court.

Then there is the middle wicket, which is fixed in the center of the court, and it is at 32 feet distance from the second wicket. The other side of the court is exactly the same as mentioned above.

3.  Starting the Match

In order to start the game, a coin will be tossed, and the winner decides who starts playing with the blue ball.

4.  Step by Step Guide on How to Play & Score in Croquet?

Step 1:

First of all, you and your opponent have to go for a toss. The winner of the toss strikes first. The first striker has to choose the blue ball.

Step 2:

After picking the blue ball, the first striker has to stand in the line of hoops, place his ball on the grass of the lawn in the correct direction so that it must go through the hoops, and hold his mallet in his hand and attempt his first shot.

Step 3:

To get points in Croquet, a player has to make the ball pass through the iron hoops with the help of his mallet. If he succeeds in doing so, he gets the point.

If the player makes his ball pass through the hoops and hits his opponent’s ball (that his opponent has played and passed before him), he wins a roquet (two bonus strokes).

Step 4:

The player, who, after hitting his shot and bagging a point, gets additional shots for each time he scores a point. That’s what makes this game fun.

However, it should be borne in mind that for getting the first point, you get only one shot to hit your ball. So, hit the ball as hard or soft as you deem appropriate.

You may only hit the ball with the striking end of the mallet.

Step 5:

You can avail of 2 bonus shots in only one shot if you manage to pass the ball through hoops and simultaneously hit the ball of your opponent that comes in your ball’s way, just after crossing the hoops.

Step 6:

You can get bonus strokes if you hit your opponent’s ball. Bonus rounds give you the chance to play more shots and thus bag more points.

Step 7:

When you run out of shots, your turn is over. All the balls start the game from a spot halfway between the finishing stake and the finishing wicket.

Step 8:

The order of play is indicated by the colored stripes on the finishing stake going from the top to the bottom. You have to pick a player order and assign players’ colors based on the order.

Step 9:

After all, the balls have started, the gameplay continues in the same order until a ball makes it all the way around the court and hits the finishing stake.

Step 10:

To win the match, a player has to reach 14 points before his opponent. To make this possible, he has to manage his two balls successfully past the seven wickets, including the center peg, and hit the stakes that lie at starting and ending points of the courts.

5. Scoring System

The score relies on players passing their ball through the hoops. Each time a player passes his ball through the hoop, with the help of his mallet, scores a point.

To win a match, a player has to score 14 points before his opponent.

For scoring 14 points, the player has to advance his two balls through 6 hoops and a center peg. Each ball, when crossed through 7 hoops (including the center peg), gets 7 points.

So, the two balls, if crossed successfully, will make 14 winning points.

6. General Rules of the Game

The following rules are applicable to the game of Croquet. Every player has to know and obey these rules for playing the majestic game of Croquet.

  • Players must wear white in competitions.
  • It can be played in singles (2 players competing against each other) or in double (two pairs competing with each other).
  • First and foremost, there are 4 balls in Croquet. They are each colored differently: blue, red, black, and yellow, and they must be played in the exact same order.
  • In singles, one player will use the blue and the black ball, and the opponent will use the red and the yellow ball.
  • In doubles, each person will have their own ball, but the person using the blue ball will be partnered with the person using the black ball.
  • The one whose turn is to play is the striker, and a turn will consist of only one strike.
  • One cannot move the hoops (wickets) and the pad during the game. The game commences within one yard from a corner. Afterward, the ball will be played from where it is positioned.
  • The players need to pass the balls through the hoops in their correct order. Once hoop 1 is completed, they go to hoop two and then hoop 3. The first player to run 7 (out of 13) hoops wins the game.
  • If another ball runs through the hoop, then the point is counted towards that ball, no matter if the striker’s ball also passed through the hoop.
  • A ball can be hit only once; if by mistake you hit a ball twice with your mallet, it is considered to be a fault.
  • If a fault happens, the opponent may choose to continue the game from where it is or to rearrange the balls in the way they were prior to the fault, just like in snooker.
  • Also, you cannot touch a ball while it is not your turn. This may happen accidentally, so beware not to stand in a ball’s course.
  • When a ball leaves the court, it is positioned on the spot where it left the field.
  • After a point is scored, any ball that is halfway to another hoop can be declared offside. A ball can be halfway to another hoop and not be offside if no point is scored.

Few Exceptions;

But if a point is scored by your opponent or partner and your ball is halfway through another hoop, it is in an offside position. There are some exceptions to this rule.

The ball would not be in an offside position if it was knocked there by an opponent strike subsequently to the stroke just played.

If a player is on the lawn, the other player must stand off-court.

When a player puts a ball back in the play, he must do it with his back to the court.

It is considered unsporting to walk past a player’s line of sight or make a noise when he is hitting the ball.

The game can be played all year round and in the rain

7. Faults Rules in Croquet

Players, while playing Croquet, might commit some faults. Those faults are given below:

  • When a player touches his opponent’s ball with his hand or his mallet.
  • When he hits his ball twice or more than that. He is supposed to hit his ball once.
  • When he fails to move his ball in a croquet stroke.
  • When the striker, instead of hitting his own ball, hits his opponent’s ball.
  • If the striker runs to the wrong wickets or hoop.
  • If the striker misses his ball.

7. Different Grips in Croquet

It is important to hold your mallet properly before you go for a stroke. Let’s check out the three most common grips in Croquet.

1. Standard Grip

The most reliable and basic swing that looks like a pendulum swing comes from the shoulders with the hands together.

In that right-handed grip, the left hand has to be on the top knuckles and the right hand just below it. It’s one of the most common grips you will see around.

2. Solomon Grip

This grip starts with the knuckles pointing forward with both hands.

This grip is very good if you need to get a lot of distance for your ball.

3. Irish Grip

Many golfers who take up this game instinctively grip them out in their own style. While the Irish grip is very stable.

It is difficult to get much back swing if you need to hit your ball at a great distance and on long grass.

We recommend trying each one of these grips to see what is the most comfortable but, as importantly, the most effective for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can I earn extra shots?

Basically, there are two ways to earn extra shots or bonus shots. Firstly, when you strike the ball, and it passes through the hoops, you get one bonus shot.

Secondly, when you attempt your strike and make the ball pass through the hoops, the ball hits another ball that comes in its way. You get two extra shots for hitting another ball with your shot.

2. What is a Roquet in Croquet?

When a player manages to hit his ball to that of his opponent’s, it becomes a Roquet.

In simple words, a Roquet takes place when a ball, after being struck by the player, collides with another ball that comes in its way.

3. How can I get bonus strokes in Croquet?

To get bonus strokes, you must win a roquet. A roquet offers two bonus strokes to the player.

4. What is a croquet stroke?

When you win a roquet, you get two bonus strokes. The first bonus stroke is known as the croquet stroke, and the other stroke is just a simple stroke.

5. What is a peg in Croquet?

The peg is the middle wicket that is fixed in the center of the lawn. This wicket comes at the fifth position from both sides of the court.

Each player has to cross his ball through this middle wicket to ensure his win.

6. What is a dead ball in Croquet?

A dead ball is called when it has been hit by another ball once. When a ball is hit by another ball, the striker gets 2 bonus shots.

The ball being hit once may stand dead and cannot be hit twice until the striker plays his bonus strokes. Once the striker plays his bonus stroke, the ball will turn alive.

7. What is difference between hoops and wickets in Croquet?

There is no difference between them.One entity has two names.

8. What happens if I swing and miss?

Your turn ends when you attempt to hit the ball, but you miss it. However, you can hit the ball again only if you have strokes left.

9. What is a double diamond pattern in Croquet?

This pattern is followed when a player passes his balls through hoops and advances toward the other end of the court. It goes like 1st wicket, 2nd wicket, 3rd wicket, etc.

10. Can I get 3 bonus shots in on hit?

No, you can get either 1 or 2 bonus shots. There is no provision of 3 bonus strokes.

11. What happens if my ball goes out of the playing area?

It results in no harm. You don’t lose your shot in such a situation. You can simply replay your stroke by placing your ball at the length of the head of your mallet from the boundary line. That’s really generous.


The croquet game resembles golf in terms of its court. It is played on a grassy court that is rectangular in shape. All you need is a wooden mallet, four composite balls, and nine iron wickets to play with.

To score in Croquet, a player has to make the ball pass through the hoops or wickets.

Whereas to win the match, a player has to score 14 points before his opponent.

This game is played in singles and doubles. In singles, each player has to use two balls. While in doubles, each player has to use only one ball.

This game follows certain rules that make the game interesting.

We have thoroughly covered the rules of the game and hope that this article will offer you everything that you might be in want of knowledge about the Croquet.