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How to Play Croquet

Learn how to play croquet with help from Blain’s Farm & Fleet.

Learning croquet can be a bit confusing. With our help, you’ll be a master of the wickets in no time. Follow these easy steps to get started.

Object of the Game & Setup

How to Play Croquet
Learn how to set up, score and win a fun game of croquet.

The object of the game is to race your opponents around the course of wickets (wire gates) and hit the finishing stake first. You can play with two to six people in an area that is large enough to make two diamond shapes out of the wickets.

You’ll need an area that’s about 100 feet by 50 feet for an ideal croquet field. Set up one wicket on each end of the field, with the stakes behind the wickets. Set up the remaining seven wickets in two diamond shapes (four to form the diamonds and one in the middle).

Croquet Rules and Scoring

You can play singles, doubles or cut throat (three or more people playing for themselves). Each player (no matter if you’re on a team or not) plays with their own ball and mallet. Each ball in the game can score 16 points for its team. One point is earned for every wicket that is passed through in the right position and right order. You also receive a point for each stake you hit (totaling two points).

A player’s turn is over if the ball does not go through a wicket, hit a stake or another ball. All balls must be played from where the ball comes to rest.

Any balls that go out of bounds should be placed 36″ inside the boundary line at the point of exit. If the player has an additional stroke accumulated, they may play it. If another player (either partner or opponent) puts your ball through a wicket or hits the turning stake, your side gets the point, but no bonus stroke.

Faults result in all balls being placed as they were before the current turn and the player’s turn ends.

There are three ways a fault can happen:

1. If you push the ball with the mallet instead of striking it squarely.
2. If your mallet strikes another ball instead of the ball you are playing.
3. If your mallet hits a wicket or stake.

How to Play Croquet

The order of play is decided by the colors on the stakes. The player with the ball color that is at the top of the stake goes first and then down the post. After the first player goes, teams take alternating turns. For example, the first person will be on a team with the third and fifth person. The second player is teamed up with the fourth and sixth person.

Start all the balls one half-distance between the starting stake and first wicket. Try to hit your ball through the wicket. Each person continues through the croquet course, trying to hit their ball through each correct wicket in the correct order. If you overshoot a wicket, you can backtrack. However, you must hit the ball through the wicket in the direction the game is going. You can’t hit the ball backwards through a wicket.

When you get through the seventh wicket, you have to hit the turn-around stake. Continue back down the field, hitting your ball through the correct wicket in the correct direction. To end the game, you must hit the final stake.

For complete rules and regulations, follow the instruction manual with your croquet set.

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