How to play carom 3-cushion billiard game


Table of Contents:

In which countries is 3-cushion played?

It is also known as billiards, French billiards, it consists of three balls and a table without holes.

In Europe, it predominates in France, Spain, Germany, Austia, Holland, Italy, Belgium, Greece, Sweden, among others and Asia, in China, Japan and Korea, Turkey, Iran, among others, are the continents where 3 cushion carom is played the most.

In countries such as Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Dominican Republic, 3-Cushion Carom is also played a lot.

How to play the carom game?

It is played with 3 balls, a white ball, a yellow ball and a red ball.

Or with two white balls, one of them with a red circle and one red ball.

The tee shot defines who is going to start the game.

You must hit the ball to the front short rail and try to leave it as close to the opposite short rail as possible.

The winner of the tee shot is the one who starts the game with the cue ball.

Position of carom balls on three cushions

Your opponent uses the yellow ball, you use the cue ball and the red ball is neutral.

You must keep the cue ball for the whole game.

At the start of the game you define up to how many caroms you play to win.

The starting position is the only position in which the player cannot choose between playing one ball or the other, but must play the red ball.

As long as you do not miss and make cannons you continue to play, and when you miss then your opponent plays, until he/she misses.

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How to apply backspin and topspin in 3-cushion?

The first thing is the position in which you place your hands when hitting any billiard ball, click here to download my free guide (although the guides are for 8-ball billiards, it is also applicable to three cushion carom).

Once you know how to position your hands, the next step is:

Draw shot

The balls start at the initial position (1 and A). Then you hit the cue ball with backspin and it slides forward but with backward rotation (2) and when it hits the yellow ball in (A), the cue ball by the rotation goes backward in (3) and the yellow ball continues forward until it hits the cue ball with the rail and back.

Running English

The balls start at the initial position (1 and A). Then you hit the cue ball with running english and it slides forward (2) and when it hits the yellow ball at (A), it goes forward (B) and when it hits the rail it comes back again (C). The cue ball continues forward (3).

Techniques to improve the three-cushion game

If you want to improve your three cushion billiards game you must be practicing constantly on a daily basis or at least 3 times a week.

This is how elite professional players maintain their high level, there is no other easy way, as it is a sport that requires dedication and determination.

If you are new to carom, there are 3 methods or techniques that can help you improve your game.

Besides knowing how to pick up the cue stick, the first thing you must master is the diamond system.

The diamond system is explained in my free guide that you can download right now by clicking here. 

Although I explain it for American pool, the methodology is the same.

Second method is, keep your brain in shape. 

Elite professionals practice every day, they don’t have days off. Many of them play different games to stay active and intuitive.

It is ideal for the days when you can’t go to the pool hall to play because you are still training the mental part.

Elite players have other hobbies such as playing Sudoku, playing poker or playing chess, this gives them a mental agility that will make them overcome any adversity that comes their way.

The third method is, watch or play with professional players or better than you.

You should study the pros in how they play, how they position themselves, how they make shots, what effects they use, etc.

That can help you both live and spend watching videos on YouTube daily and study patterns of how the pros approach each game in major events.

It is normal to feel frustrated the first few years, at the beginning when you start playing pool or carom, however, it is 100% recommended that hard work always pays off.

This is a sport that requires a lot of effort and hours of practice, but it is very rewarding when you manage to perfect it.

How much does a Carom Ball weigh?

The diameter of the balls is 61.5 mm and their weight is between 205 and 220 grams, with no difference of more than 2 grams between the heaviest and the lightest ball.

Modalities of the Carambola

The carom has several modalities, the most known are the free carom, 3 cushions and 5 quilles.

The carom consists of making caramboles regardless of whether you hit the rails.

3-cushion, consists of hitting the red ball, three cushions and the yellow ball or vice versa and also making three cushions and hitting the two balls.

The 5-quilles game or 5 Pins, is played with white quilles (pawns) as shown in the picture and in the middle there is a red quille.

The white quille if knocked down are two points, if the red quille is knocked down and a white quille falls it is 4 points, but if only the red quille falls without the white quille it is ten points.

cinco quillas
Instagram: @romain.f83

Carom 3-Cushion cues

How much does a carom cue measure and weigh?

Typical cues are 137 to 142 cm or 54 to 56 inches long and 470 to 530 grams, 16.5 to 18.5 ounces lighter weight for free carom and heavier weight for 3 cushion carom with a tip of 11 to 12 mm, about 0.43 to 0.47 inches in diameter.

This specialization makes the cue stiffer, which helps control carom balls that are larger and heavier compared to billiard balls.

This specialization makes the cue stiffer, which helps control carom balls that are larger and heavier compared to billiard balls.

What is Squirt?

Don’t confuse it with something else 🙊🤣.

It acts to reduce deflection, sometimes referred to as “squirt”, which describes the stroke of the cue ball, whereby it is accidentally knocked off course by hitting it too hard.

This is caused by using too much right or left spin, which deflects on impact, it may look like a curve but squirt and curve shots are quite different.

Here is a video explanation:

How much does a carom cue cost?

The wood used in carom cues can vary and most of the higher quality cues are handmade.

It is important to choose the right carom cue that will serve as your life companion for many years to come.

That’s why choosing just any cue is not worth it, those cues are best left to beginners.

However, if you have been playing carom for a long time, the ideal is to have a top quality cue that you know will last forever.

It can even be a valuable piece to pass down from generation to generation.

What makes a cue of supreme quality compared to others of the bunch, is the type of wood it is made of or the type of design or inlays it has.

The more designs it has, the more exclusive it will be.

Click here to see all the selection of carom cues of different categories and qualities.

Carom Table

Carom Table Measurements

The dimensions of the surface are 1.42 x 2.84 m.

Why are the carom tables plugged into the power supply?

It is preferable to use a fast cloth on the carom table and plug it in as it has electric heating that serves to eliminate the humidity of the slate and the cloth.

It works through thermostats, ensuring better behavior of the balls during the game.

Carom Rules


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