The Secret On How To Play Croquet Quick And Easy



Outdoor Games Croquet

The Absolute 11 Best Croquet Sets – 11 Best Croquet Sets []

How To Play Croquet

The history of Croquet is hard to nail down as there’s been someone hitting a ball with a mallet for entertainment and fun almost forever.

One of the earliest known recorded histories of French Pale-maille or “Ball and Mallet” was recorded around 1685. That’s right 1685. But again, people have been puttering around with a mallet and ball for quite a while even before that. It wasn’t until around 1860 in England that it really took off as a fun game to play socially. It eventually moved around the world at that time and landed in America and we’ve been playing this fun game ever since.

Croquet is a very fun game to play with family and friends. It’s easy to set up and take down. 

Our how-to-play article includes the “Simple Backyard Rules” game that we’re advocating here is simple and intuitive to play. It’s the way most Americans have been playing Croquet since I can remember.

It doesn’t follow the United States Croquet Association rules but instead follows a very simple way to set up and play. An easy game of Croquet is better than a boring USCA version any day.

Not to say the USCA isn’t a great organization and keeps really important games in check. We’re just saying that in our how-to-play croquet “Simple Backyard Rules” play is so much easier for anyone to learn to play quickly.

Remember when you play a game but have to read a bunch of rules to play. Most of the other players get bored and wander off. Play with our rules and you’ll be setting up and playing in no time.

So, follow along and get to know the “Simple Backyard Rules” version of Croquet and tell us what you think. We want to see if you add any house rules that I’m not familiar with.

Keep reading and you’ll be up and running in no time. Enjoy the article.

Set Up Time 12 minutes

Step 1: Buy A Croquet Set

how to play croquet simple backyard rules

To learn how to play croquet, you need a formal but fairly inexpensive Croquet set that you can buy on Amazon, a sporting goods store, or possibly even from Walmart. They start at approximately $40 but the game set should last you an entire lifetime.

Croquet Sets are fairly expensive because they’re made of solid wood on the mallet sticks and face and also the posts plus they’re brightly painted to look pretty. It’s not cheap to make a good Croquet set.

I would suggest buying the best set that you can afford. Again, a set can last you a lifetime, so why skimp on a good set.

Here’s our choice for an inexpensive Croquet set that is built to last:

Best Choice Products 6-Player 32in Wood Croquet Game Set

We actually reviewed the 11 Best Croquet Sets For 2022 and man we’ve got some really great options for you. Don’t hesitate to check out the link.

Here are a couple more choices from the article:

Franklin Sports Classic Croquet Set
Toyvian Kids Mini Croquet Set with Animal Wickets 8 Player Deluxe Croquet Set with Wooden Stand

To play a game of Croquet, you need:

– Four (or six) Mallets fully assembled painted in four (six) different colors
– Four (or six) balls painted in four (six) different colors
– Two Posts with the four (six) colors going up and down the posts
– Nine Wickets
– A bag or container to hold the complete Croquet set

Step 2: Setup Your Croquet Set

Backyard Croquet Stakes Setup Graphic

In our how-to-play croquet guide using our very simple “Simple Backyard Rules” game, you start with a space 18 feet by 10 feet. Now really, if you don’t have that big of an area to play then try to make it the size of as large of a rectangle as possible. I’ve played in a much smaller space and had a blast. Again, we’re not playing by United States Croquet Association rules. Just a fun and simple backyard game of Croquet.

If you’re playing in 18 feet by 10 feet play area, then you place both Posts (the stake with the four colors going up it) opposite each other 18 feet away from each other. You can either choose to use a rubber mallet that you might have or can buy, or you can use a Croquet mallet to hammer the posts into the ground. I’d recommend the rubber mallet. You can pick it up when you buy the croquet game.

Choose which is the Starting Post and which is the Turning Post.

Place the wickets as follows beginning with the Starting Post:

– Wicket #1 goes 18 inches in front of the Starting Post
– Wicket #2 goes 18 inches in front of wicket #1
– Wicket #3 goes 1 foot in front and 5 feet to the right of wicket #2
– Wicket #4 goes in the middle and 5 feet in front of wicket #3
– Wicket #5 goes 5 feet in front of #4 and 5 feet to the right
– Wicket #6 goes 1 foot in front of #5 and goes in the middle
– Wicket #7 goes centered between #6 and Turning Stake
– Wicket #8 goes opposite #5 approximately 10 feet away
– Wicket #9 goes opposite #3 approximately 10 feet away

That’s the general setup of the Posts and the Wickets!

Roquet/Croquet Or Just Roquet?

Croquet Balls Touching Choose Either Croquet Or Roquet

At the beginning of the game, choose whether you will use both roquet and croquet or just roquet as a house rule.

During play if you hit your ball and it touches another player’s ball during play, you can choose between Croquet or Roquet (or you can just play Roquet with no Croquet). It might be best to set a house rule before you begin the game and choose whether you’re going to use Croquet or Roquet.

If your ball touches another player’s ball during play, then you can choose roquet and take two extra turns or play the namesake tactic of Croquet, which means placing your foot on your ball and hitting the other player’s ball in any direction you want. (Be fair and don’t send it in to the river or to the neighbor’s house – just hit it hard enough to get it out of play of their upcoming Wicket)

If you chose Roquet, you get two extra turns after touching the other player’s ball with your ball. The first hit away from the touching balls is the first turn and then you get another turn to go even farther. So, it’s advantageous to sometimes try to touch another player’s ball with your ball. It can get you around the course faster. Advantage!

Who Goes First?

The real United States Croquet Association rules are very complicated but Croquet is fairly intuitive to play. The easy and fun way to play is using our version of “Simple Backyard Rules”. Plus, you can create your own house rules to keep it more fun.

I’ve always played that you choose a color from blue, red, black, and yellow but the game can include green and orange if you’ve got a 6 ball set. Whoever chooses blue starts the game, next red, next black, and then finally yellow. (then Green and then Yellow if 6 ball set is played). To make it easy too know who goes in what order, the starting order is actually marked on both Posts.

First Player Goes

The starter puts their blue ball in front of the Starting Post but behind Wicket #1. You want to line your ball up so that you can easily hit the ball with your mallet and go through Wicket #1 and maybe even Wicket #2. You must hit the ball with the face of the mallet only. No other part of the mallet may be used.

If you make it through a Wicket, then you get an extra turn. If you make it through two Wickets, then you get two extra turns.

Other Players Follow The Same Pattern Above

When the first player has hit the ball successfully and also taken their potential extra turns, then the next player takes their turn, and so on.

Croquet Scoring System

The first one to make it through all the wickets legally wins the game. They’re still the winner even if no one else got a turn. Start a new game and don’t let that person play again. lol

Some Croquet Rules

– There is an out-of-bounds boundary that is actually outside the 18 foot by 10-foot gameplay area. If you hit the ball out of bounds then you stop play until your next turn and place your ball back inbounds at the place that it went out of bounds. You lose all extra turns as well.

– You can’t hit the ball through a Wicket backward. In other words, you can only go one direction through a Wicket.

– You can’t block a Wicket with your ball for more than one turn.
House rules might include hitting the ball over another ball blocking a Wicket.

Croquet Game Strategies

If house rules allow both croquet and roquet, then don’t hesitate to send your opponent’s ball flying if you can with a Croquet (See Above). This is a sure way for you to win!

Estimated Cost: 44.99 $ USD


  • A Croquet set


  • A tape measure for measuring distance between wickets
  • A rubber mallet to drive the wooden stakes into the ground

Materials: No extra materials needed

Need Rules For Games?
If you want to play more games. We probably have the rules for the game. 
Game Rules & Instructions