The official rules can be applied at official tournaments and the like, but the game is flexible enough to suit a casual event as well.
The terrain also plays a part in these varying rules, and if played in a right way, the game can get extremely competitive and exciting. A lot of tact and strategy is necessary to win, and knowledge of the basic rules will obviously be an advantage for everyone involved. Before delving into the rules, let's understand the setup and the objective of the game.
It sounds elementary enough, but it takes a lot of practice and skill to actually get the hang of it.
The order of the wickets is decided beforehand, and this depends from game to game. Rules are flexible in this regard, and there is a lot of scope for alterations in the course and the sequence of the wickets.
If a player passes the ball through the right wicket in the right order, he scores one point. The player or the team that has the most points at the end of the game is the winner. A player's game ends when he passes the ball through the final wicket, and hits the stake that is planted beyond that.
The standard setup is known as double diamond setup, as the 9 wickets are set in a diamond shaped formation. It can be played between 2 - 6 players, and they either play individually or are divided in 2 teams. Each player plays on his turn c, and if it is being played between 2 teams, then each team plays alternately with each player taking turns to play.
A coin toss also helps determine who gets to pick the color first. There are no known advantages of going first, so it ultimately does not make much of a difference.
The first player now has to pass through the first 2 wickets in front of him in his first shot, and if he manages to do that, he gets 2 extra shots. Normally, an extra can be taken immediately, but it can be used at any point of the game.
Other circumstances where an extra shot can be earned are, when the ball goes through a wicket, when it hits a stake, and for hitting other balls in play. The act of hitting another ball is also known as roqueting.
The rules state that roqueting gives a player 4 options, viz. to take the 2 extra turns from wherever his ball has stopped, to place his ball at a length of one mallet head away from the ball that he hit (in any direction), to place his ball next to the ball hit and move it further, or to place his ball side by side with the ball he is going to hit.
The rules can get very complicated, and can even be simplified at the same time. If you are playing at a family reunion, you can change some of the rules for kids, so that they have a good time. The overall purpose of the game is to have a nice time, unless you are playing at an official croquet tournament.