How to Play Croquet

Here's a "wicket" way to spend a summer afternoon. Anyone for croquet?

You will need

  • A croquet set including nine wickets and two stakes
  • An open field
  • Two to six players
  • String
  • Stakes

Step 1 Set up the course Plant seven wickets in the ground at the points of two imaginary end-to-end diamonds in a figure-eight pattern, and an eighth and ninth wicket near the top and bottom wickets. Plant stakes just beyond the top and bottom wickets.

Step 2 Choose a color Choose the color of the ball you wish to play. Order of play is determined by the colors on the stakes. The top color goes first.

Step 3 Begin play Place your ball between the first stake and the first wicket. Strike the ball with the face of the mallet aiming it to go through the wicket.

Step 4 Advance through the course Receive a bonus stroke each time your ball goes through a wicket, and move counter-clockwise to the next wicket. If a player’s ball does not go through a wicket, it is the next player’s turn.

Step 5 Earn bonus points Earn two bonus strokes by hitting another player’s ball with your ball. This is called roqueting. With your bonus strokes you can hit your ball, hit both balls, or – with your ball touching the other ball, and holding your ball down with your foot – knock the other one away.

Step 6 Win the game The first player to pass through all wickets in proper order and hit the turning stake and finishing stake is the winner. Other players may continue playing to determine who finishes second, third, and so on.