How To Play: Crokinole – Setup, rule summary and strategy

Quick Summary

Crokinole is a captivating board game that combines flicking skills, strategic decision-making, and social interaction. The game offers engaging gameplay mechanics, remarkable components and design, deep strategic elements, and overall enjoyment for players of all ages. Throughout this guide, we have explored various strategies and tactics to give you a winning edge in Crokinole. From shot selection and technique to positioning and board control, defensive strategies, risk assessment, and advanced maneuvers, this guide has covered all the essential aspects of gameplay. By mastering these techniques, you can navigate the board with confidence, outmaneuver your opponents, score high, and emerge victorious. Remember to assess risks, calculate probabilities, and adapt your game plan accordingly. Utilize defensive tactics to block opponents' scoring attempts, deploy strategic sacrifices to create opportunities, and apply advanced maneuvers to control the flow of the game. By incorporating these strategies into your gameplay, you will enhance your skills and have a greater chance of winning. Whether you're a seasoned player or a beginner, the strategies outlined in this guide will help you understand the game better, improve your decision-making, and boost your chances of success. So, gather your friends, set up the board, and embark on a thrilling Crokinole adventure. Get ready to flick those discs and experience the joy of this amazing board game!


Welcome to our comprehensive strategy guide for Crokinole! Whether you’re new to the game or an experienced player looking to improve your skills, this guide is packed with valuable insights and tips to help you dominate the board. From an outline of the game rules to advanced strategies, we’ve got you covered.

Crokinole is a captivating board game that combines dexterity, strategy, and friendly competition. It’s played on a wooden board where players flick small discs in an attempt to score points by landing them in the center hole or knocking opponents’ discs out of play. The game offers a wide range of tactical possibilities, making it an enjoyable and engaging experience for players of all levels.

In this guide, we will take you through the fundamental aspects of gameplay, including shot selection and technique, positioning and board control, defensive strategies, risk assessment, and advanced maneuvers. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of the game mechanics, learning how to make calculated moves, negate your opponents’ strategies, and apply effective countermeasures.

Whether your goal is to elevate your gameplay, refine your strategies, or simply have the upper hand in friendly matches, this guide will equip you with valuable knowledge to achieve your objectives. So, strap in, flick those discs, and let’s dive into the exciting world of Crokinole strategy!

What’s in the box

  • 1 Wooden playing board
  • 14 Discs
  • 2 Red center pegs
  • 2 Blue center pegs
  • 4 Scoring pegs

How To Play Crokinole: Rules Summary

Are you ready to dive into the exciting world of Crokinole? This section will guide you through the rules of the game, ensuring that you understand how to play and enjoy this captivating board game. Let’s get started!

Setting Up

To begin, set up the Crokinole board on a flat surface. Each player places their discs on the outer edge of the board, alternating between colors (e.g., red and black). The center hole is left empty in the starting position.


The gameplay revolves around flicking the discs to score points and manipulate the board. The player with the first turn is determined randomly, and gameplay proceeds in clockwise order. On your turn, perform the following steps:

  1. Place one finger from your dominant hand touching any point on the edge of the board.
  2. Flick one of your discs with your other hand, aiming to either score points by landing it in the center hole or knocking opponents’ discs off the board.
  3. Continue taking turns flicking until all discs have been played.


Scoring in Crokinole is calculated as follows:

  1. Any discs fully within the center hole score 20 points each.
  2. Discs touching the line of the center hole score 15 points each.
  3. Discs that are knocked off the board do not score any points.

Ending the Game

The game ends once all discs have been played. Each player calculates their total score by adding up the points from their scored discs. However, here’s the twist – subtract your lower score from your higher score.

A positive difference between your scores is your final score for the game. The player with the highest final score is declared the winner!

Crokinole is a game of skill, strategy, and friendly competition. With these rules in mind, you are now ready to embark on your Crokinole journey. Gather some friends, flick those discs, and enjoy the thrill of this fantastic board game!

Best Crokinole Strategies

Shot Selection and Technique

Shot selection and technique play a vital role in mastering the game of Crokinole. Each shot you take has the potential to score points or set up future opportunities. By understanding different strategies and employing proper techniques, you can greatly increase your chances of success and outmaneuver your opponents.

Straight Shots

One of the simplest and most effective techniques in Crokinole is the straight shot. This involves flicking your disc in a straight line towards the desired target area. Straight shots are great for scoring quick points and knocking your opponents’ discs out of scoring positions. When taking a straight shot, aim precisely and apply consistent force to maximize accuracy.

  1. Assess the positions of the discs on the board before selecting your shot.
  2. Aim for the center hole or opponents’ high-scoring discs when the opportunity arises.
  3. Consider your opponents’ disc placement and potential defensive moves before executing a straight shot.

Bank Shots

Bank shots involve rebounding your disc off the cushioned bumpers to change its trajectory and achieve a desired outcome. These shots allow you to navigate around obstacles or make calculated positional plays. Practice the angle and force required to achieve consistent and successful bank shots.

  1. Visualize the trajectory and ideal rebound point before attempting a bank shot.
  2. Use the bumper to your advantage to create angles that can catch your opponents off guard.
  3. Master the balance between the angle and force applied to execute accurate and controlled bank shots.

Combo Shots

Combo shots are advanced techniques that involve striking one or more of your own discs to redirect their path and create scoring opportunities. These shots require good timing, precise aiming, and a clear understanding of the disc interactions on the board.

  1. Look for situations where combo shots can yield favorable outcomes.
  2. Utilize your opponent’s discs to facilitate combo shots and turn the tide in your favor.
  3. Practice the delicate balance between striking your own discs and the intended target to maximize scoring potential.

By mastering shot selection and technique, you gain an edge in the game of Crokinole. Incorporate straight shots, bank shots, and combo shots into your repertoire. Remember to evaluate the board, analyze potential moves, and adapt your strategies as the game progresses. With practice and keen observation, you can elevate your gameplay and increase your chances of emerging victorious in every match.

Positioning and Board Control

Positioning and board control are crucial aspects of strategic gameplay in Crokinole. By understanding how to position your discs effectively and control the board, you can gain significant advantages over your opponents and increase your chances of securing high-scoring opportunities.

Center Control

Take control of the center area by placing your discs strategically. This allows you to have the upper hand in scoring potential and can make it more challenging for opponents to knock your discs away.

  1. Start the game by aiming for the center hole.
  2. Place discs in positions that block direct access to the center hole for your opponents.
  3. Reposition discs strategically throughout the game to maintain control of the center area.

Defensive Blocking

Strategically position your discs to block your opponents’ scoring opportunities and hinder their shots.

  1. Study your opponents’ position and potential shots before executing your moves.
  2. Create barriers or hurdles to make it challenging for your opponents to reach the center hole.
  3. Place discs strategically to disrupt scoring patterns and force opponents into less-than-ideal shot selections.

Forcing Difficult Shots

Manipulate the positioning of your opponents’ discs to force them into difficult or risky shots that may result in lower scoring.

  1. Knock opponents’ high-scoring discs out of position.
  2. Place your discs in positions that make it challenging for your opponents to execute their desired shots.
  3. Anticipate your opponents’ moves and proactively position your discs to limit their options.

Adapting to Changing Positions

Be adaptable and responsive to the changing state of the board. Adjust your positioning strategy based on the movements of your opponents’ discs and the scoring opportunities that arise.

  1. Continuously evaluate the board and reassess your positioning throughout the game.
  2. React strategically to your opponents’ moves and adjust your placement accordingly.
  3. Identify openings and take advantage of unguarded scoring positions when they become available.

Positioning and board control are key elements in gaining an advantageous position and maximizing your scoring potential in Crokinole. By carefully considering and implementing strategies such as center control, defensive blocking, forcing difficult shots, and adapting to changing positions, you can achieve a significant edge over your opponents. Remember to remain observant, anticipate your opponents’ moves, and constantly reassess your positioning strategies to ensure a solid foundation for victory.

Defensive Strategies

Utilizing defensive strategies in Crokinole can greatly impact the outcome of the game. By focusing on defensive moves, you can frustrate your opponents’ scoring attempts and enhance your chances of securing victory. Here are some key defensive strategies to consider:

Disc Placement

Strategically position your own discs to serve as obstacles for your opponents, preventing them from scoring easily.

  1. Place discs strategically to block opponents’ access to the center hole or high-scoring positions.
  2. Consider potential angles and aim to position your discs in spaces that restrict your opponents’ shot options.
  3. Reposition your discs throughout the game to disrupt scoring patterns and maintain control over defensive positions.

Bumping Technique

Master the subtle art of bumping to knock opponents’ discs out of scoring positions or divert their shots off target.

  1. Accuracy and timing are crucial. Aim to bump opponent discs precisely to gain maximum strategic advantage.
  2. Apply controlled force to achieve the desired effect without sacrificing your own positioning.
  3. Anticipate the potential consequences of bumping, weighing the risks and rewards before making your move.

Avoiding High-Risk Shots

Opt for safer shot selections that minimize the risk of inadvertently creating scoring opportunities for your opponents.

  1. Assess the current game situation and choose shots that reduce the possibility of giving your opponents advantageous rebounds or shots.
  2. Consider defensive disc placement to protect yourself against counterattacks resulting from aggressive shots.

Guarding Your Highest-Scoring Discs

When facing a particularly skilled opponent, allocate resources to protecting your highest-scoring discs, reducing the impact of potential point loss.

  1. Keep a close eye on your opponents’ possible scoring targets and position your discs accordingly.
  2. Strategically place your discs to act as defensive shields for your highest-scoring discs.
  3. When necessary, use discs of lower value to block access to your precious high-scoring discs

Implementing effective defensive strategies in Crokinole can significantly increase your chances of emerging victorious. By concentrating on disc placement, precise bumping techniques, avoiding high-risk shots, and safeguarding your highest-scoring discs, you will frustrate your opponents and establish a solid defense. Keep in mind that defensive play must be balanced with offensive opportunities. Strive for a well-rounded approach that maximizes both defensive and scoring potential, enabling you to claim triumph in every game.

Risk Assessment and Mitigation

Risk assessment and mitigation are critical skills in the game of Crokinole. Understanding the potential risks of your shots and taking proactive measures to reduce those risks can significantly impact your success rate. Here are some key strategies to help you assess and mitigate risks:

Calculating Shot Likelihood

Carefully calculate the probability of successful shots and potential consequences before committing to your strategy.

  1. Assess the likelihood of hitting your intended target or desired area based on the position of your discs.
  2. Consider the potential for collisions or rebounds that may either benefit or harm your position on the board.
  3. Weigh the potential for rewards against the possibility of negative outcomes, such as giving your opponents an opportunity to score.

Adapting Shot Strength

Adjust the level of force applied when flicking your discs to mitigate potential risks.

  1. Vary the force based on the distance to your target and the level of precision required to achieve your intended outcome.
  2. Apply lighter force when aiming for scoring positions near the edge of the board to avoid overshooting or knocking your own discs off.
  3. Exert more force when attempting to displace opponent discs or execute defensive maneuvers.

Contingency Planning

Anticipate potential risks and develop backup plans to minimize their impact and exploit new opportunities.

  1. Create alternative shot possibilities in case your initial plan doesn’t pan out as intended.
  2. Consider multiple potential outcomes before deciding on the best course of action.
  3. Identify opportunities to disrupt opponents’ advantageous positions while minimizing potential risks to your own score.

Mitigating Opponents’ Strategies

Evaluate opponents’ strengths, weaknesses, and shot patterns to mitigate their strategies effectively.

  1. Observe opponents’ preferred shot types and develop defensive techniques to counter their game plan.
  2. Position your discs strategically to block or interfere with opponents’ scoring opportunities.
  3. Disrupt their plans by analyzing their preferred disc positioning and targets, anticipating their next moves.

By applying effective risk assessment and mitigation strategies, you can navigate the game of Crokinole with calculated precision. Evaluate shot likelihoods, adapt shot strength, create contingency plans, and mitigate the effectiveness of opponents’ strategies. With careful consideration and proactive decision-making, you can minimize potential risks and greatly increase your chances of achieving victory.

Advanced Tactics and Maneuvers

In Crokinole, advanced tactics and maneuvers can elevate your gameplay to new heights. Mastering these techniques will enable you to outmaneuver your opponents and increase your chances of securing victory. Here are some key strategies to consider:

Positional Sacrifice

Make strategic sacrifices by intentionally putting your discs in vulnerable positions to open up scoring opportunities.

  1. Identify situations where sacrificing a lower-value disc can create chances for higher-scoring plays.
  2. Anticipate opponents’ counterattacking moves and prioritize minimizing potential risks while maximizing potential rewards.
  3. Execute the sacrifice at the most opportune moment during the game to catch opponents off guard.

Rebound Mastery

Utilize rebound shots effectively to redirect your own discs or launch counterattacks against opponents.

  1. Study the angles and rebound patterns of the bumpers in order to anticipate and capitalize on potential rebounds.
  2. Use angled shots to your advantage, effectively exploiting the bumper’s configuration and rebound behavior.
  3. Combine rebound shots with strategic positioning to disrupt opponents’ placements while maximizing your own scoring potential.

Forcing Mistakes

Employ tactics that force opponents into making mistakes or taking suboptimal shots.

  1. Create defensive barriers or obstacles that limit opponents’ choices and reduce their chances of executing ideal moves.
  2. Apply subtle pressure through intentional disc placements that make opponents feel compelled to take risks.
  3. Exploit opponents’ uncertainty or lack of options by positioning your own discs strategically to force errors.

Mind Games

Psychological warfare can influence opponents’ decision-making and disrupt their concentration.

  1. Confuse opponents by adopting unconventional shot techniques or employing unexpected strategies.
  2. Exude confidence and composure to discourage opponents from attempting high-risk shots.
  3. Master the art of timing to create distractions or disrupt opponents’ rhythm during their turns.

By mastering advanced tactics and maneuvers, you can leap ahead strategically in Crokinole. Employ positional sacrifices, utilize rebound mastery, force opponents into mistakes, and apply mind games. These advanced strategies will enable you to gain a competitive edge, leaving opponents in awe of your tactical prowess. Remember to adapt these tactics as the game progresses and experiment with new combinations to further enhance your gameplay. With skillful execution and a thorough understanding of these maneuvers, your journey to become the Crokinole champion begins!

Want to know what we think of Crokinole? Read our detailed review of Crokinole here

Jamie in his proper element: With all of his board games
Jamie Hopkins

With years of dice-rolling, card-flipping, and strategic planning under my belt, I've transformed my passion into expertise. I thrive on dissecting the mechanics and social dynamics of board games, sharing insights from countless game nights with friends. I dive deep into gameplay mechanics, while emphasizing the social joys of gaming. While I appreciate themes and visuals, it's the strategy and camaraderie that truly capture my heart.