Croquet Rules

Croquet is a game of precision and strategy played outdoors. It consists in making the ball complete a course as quickly as possible by hitting it with a mallet. Croquet is played solo or in teams of 2 to 8 players.


  • 10 hoops,
  • 6 balls and 6 mallets of different colors,
  • 2 stakes.

Set up

  • The croquet court is 10 to 15 meters long and 6 to 8 meters wide.
  • The distance between a stake and a hoop is about 1 meter.
  • The distance between the first and second hoops, as well as the distance between the sixth and seventh hoops, is also one meter.
  • You are free to arrange the hoops and stakes as you wish, but a course generally looks like the image above.
  • The black dots represent the two stakes.
  • The half circles represent the hoops.
  • Each player chooses a ball and the corresponding colored mallet.
  • The turn order is determined by the order of the colors on the peg, starting from the top and working down.

How do you play?

  • At the beginning of the game, the player places his ball between the first peg and the first hoop.
  • The player must hit the ball so that it passes under the first hoop.
    – If the player fails, the ball is removed and the hand passes to the next player.
    – If the player succeeds, the player plays once more.
  • Caution! As long as the ball does not pass through the first hoop, it must be removed and started over.
  • When a player goes through an arch or hits a peg, he/she is allowed to replay once.
  • When a player goes through two hoops, he/she is allowed to replay twice.
  • If the ball fails to pass through any of the hoops 2 through 14, it is not moved and the turn goes to the next player.

Change of player

  • The turn passes to the next player when :
    – The ball does not go through the hoop.
    – He misses the ball.

Hitting an opponent’s ball

  • When a ball hits an opponent’s ball, the player has a choice of 2 actions:
    – He plays twice.
  • He crunches the opponent’s ball. This involves putting the two balls side by side, stopping the ball with one foot and hitting it with the mallet in such a way as to send the opposing ball as far as possible.
  • Be careful! If the player’s foot moves while hitting the opponent’s ball, the action is null and void and the player passes his turn.

End of the outward journey and beginning of the return journey

  • When the ball passes through the 7-ring, the player has finished the outward journey.
  • To start the return route, he must hit the peg with the ball.

Winning the game

  • A player wins the game when :
    – He goes around the course,
    He returns to the first stake,
    He touches the first stake.

Privateer variation

  • After going around the course, the player waits before touching the first peg.
  • His role will now be to prevent the opponent’s balls from passing by crunching them.
  • Be careful! It is advisable not to go too far from the post in order to hit it at the right moment.
  • This variation is mostly used in team games in order to make it easier for your teammates to play.