Compare Our Carrom Boards
Carrom is believed to have originated hundreds of years ago in India. It is one of the world’s most popular indoor games, played by people of all ages throughout South Asia. This indoor board game, which requires skill and practice, is now popular around the world with International Carrom Federation (ICF) and US Carrom Association tournaments being held regularly. While playing you can include two, three or four players in either singles, doubles, or open play.
What is a Carrom Board?
A carrom board has a 29″ x 29″ polished playing surface surrounded by a hardwood frame with four corner pockets. The game uses coins, that look like checkers, and a striker, used like the cue ball in pool, to sink coins in the pockets. It is a challenging game of skill and finesse, very addictive once you develop the skills needed to play well.
Whether you’re new to the game of Carrom or you’ve been playing for many years, you will notice there is a wide variety of boards you can find online. It can be overwhelming to know which is the right one to choose so here are a few suggestions to help you make a decision.
Tips on Selecting the Right Carrom Board
There are different types of carrom boards available through online and offline stores at a wide variety of prices. The Americanized version of “Carrom,” first manufactured in 1896, is a two-sided game board with chess, checkers, backgammon and up to 100 different board games included. These boards, with their thin playing surface, narrow frame,and large pockets, are very inexpensive and do not have the same playing characteristics as the “ICF International Standard” game played worldwide.
Billiboards offers only the finest ICF approved carrom boards available. Each of our boards is inspected for flatness prior to shipping to insure that you’re receiving the best possible product.
That said, every board is made by hand in India so blemishes, dings, scratches, dents, stains and imperfections in the paint or finish are common and considered normal. Severe imperfections result in a boards being reclassified as “second-quality,” sold at a discount.
Price: An essential factor to consider when buying a carrom board is the price. Be aware that there are hundreds of carrom board manufacturers in India, most of which make products for the Indian market where quality control is very lax. Our boards are more expensive because we supply products only from the top three manufacturers in the world: Synco, Precise, and Surco, with whom we have a twenty-five year relationship. These companies have been supplying the international and ICF competition market for years and better understand the needs of Western consumers.
Size: The size of the carrom board is another important factor to consider while purchasing a board, especially from online stores where you cannot physically inspect the product. With the exception of the Synco Youth board, measuring 24″ x 24,” Billiboards carries only ICF Standard 29″ x 29″ boards with a variety of frame and playing surface thicknesses. Larger boards, like the 36″ variety or the Pakistani “dabbu” boards are generally not available in the US.
Level of Game: There are boards for beginners, intermediate and expert players, and each variety has it’s own material requirement. In general, the heavier the board, the higher the level of play. The thickness of the playing surface affects the level and smoothness of the striker’s travel and the massiveness of the frame determines the number of rebounds one can expect. You can often tell just by the weight of the board what level of play can be anticipated.
Material: Our carrom board frames are all made of solid wood and most of them have a layer of Formica inlaid into the frame to negate deformation from the striker, increasing rebound and the accuracy of deflection. Many of our boards feature Baltic Birch playing surfaces, the traditional wood of choice for tournament boards, but Indian ply as well as MDF/Birch veneer boards are increasingly popular.
Before the use of modern sealing techniques, making the boards waterproof and scratch-resistant, Baltic Birch was preferred since the tight yet open grain would allow boric powder to work its way down into the grain, resulting in a very silky smooth surface. Now the game is being played on a sealed surface, with no direct contact with the wood grain, so the preference for Baltic Birch is primarily aesthetic rather than functional. A sealed Indian plywood surface is every bit as good as Baltic Birch.
Another important innovation in playing surface technology is the particle board / Birch Ply “sandwich” pioneered by Synco in their Signature series. Since particle board is inherently more stable than plywood, this balanced hybrid alleviates the need for the back-bracing (chakri) common with “old-school” boards made by all other manufacturers. The back-bracing is important to keep inexpensive, thin boards flat but thicker plywoods can be pulled off level as the wood used for the back-bracing dries at a different rater than the plywood. Plus, the back-bracing is commonly made of very rough, unfinished wood, with exposed nail heads and splinters that can damage furniture and hands.