If you’ve never heard of crokinole, you’re not alone. The game may have been around for over a century, but it’s fairly underrated. Yet if you love playing games like carom, shuffleboard, or pitchnut, you’ll love this dexterity-based board game. We bring you a review of the best corkinole boards as well as a quick intro to the rules of the game.
Intro to Crokinole
The crokinole game involves two teams of players taking turns to shoot checker-sized discs across a circular playing surface called the crokinole board. This board is approximately 25 inches or 660 mm in diameter and typically made of polished wood or laminate. There are three concentric rings on this board with point values increasing as you move in closer to the center.
Players will “shoot” the disc by flicking it with a finger, although some people even use small cue sticks for this. If there are any opponent discs on the board, players must aim to make contact. If they fail, they “foul” and have their disc removed from the board. If they moved any of their team’s discs during a “foul” shot, those get removed as well.
If there aren’t any opponent discs on the board, the player needs to shoot for the center of the board. This shot disc should make it to the 15-point guarded ring line either completely or partially, although it’s also acceptable if it only touches the line. After each team plays all 12 of their pieces, you count their score and calculate the difference between the two teams’ scores. This difference is the point that the higher-scoring team gains for that round, and the game continues until they reach a winning score.
Best Crokinole Boards to Try
Now that you know how the game works, you might want to give it a try. Even those who are already familiar with the game may want to know which boards they should invest in. Let’s take a look at some of the best crokinole boards you should check out.
1. Gameland 26.8″ Crokinole Tournament Checker Board Game Table Top
With a 22-inch playing surface, this board from Gameland may not have the regulation size board dimensions but it’s an excellent choice for casual players. It doesn’t cost as much as high-end crokinole boards, yet it still has a smooth, premium finish.
What We Like
Made of birch plywood, this crokinhole board from Gameland
has a high-end finish with a moderate price tag. This makes it an excellent
investment even for beginners, especially since it has a backing board that
doubles up as a checkerboard. So you get two board games for the price of one.
The playing surface has a polished wax coating that lets your discs move freely across the board, ensuring fluid gameplay. Even in terms of durability, this board meets expectations and will last for years with proper maintenance.
The main issue with this option is that the board dimensions
do not meet regulation size standards, making it unsuitable for professional
For those who need a pocket-friendly alternative to the first two options, this 3-in-1 crokinole board from Kroeger makes a great pick. With a 22-inch playing surface, it doesn’t meet the requirements of a regulation size crokinole board. However, it only costs half as much as the first option so it’s an excellent choice for beginners and casual players alike.
What We Like
The low price is the biggest highlight of this crokinole board. Yet even with an affordable price tag, you won’t be sacrificing quality . This board is made of solid maple wood and will provide you with decent performance and durability.
On top of this, you can even use this board to play other
games like checkers and backgammon. It comes complete with 30 wooden playing
discs along with backgammon dice to play these games.
As you can expect from something within this price range, the
board construction could do with a bit of improvement. The edges are prone to
coming off because the glue doesn’t hold them together that well. In addition,
the board isn’t regulation size so professionals might want to consider other
This crokinole board from Rustik is comparable in price and quality to the previous option. Like the Kroeger, this one has a playing surface of 22 inches so it doesn’t meet the NCA standards for board dimensions. However, this should be an excellent entry-level option for those who are just getting acquainted with the game.
What We Like
Handmade in Canada, this crockinole board from Rustik has a decent build quality that should be good enough for beginners and casual players. The main highlight is the price, as it costs about half as much as our top pick. So if cost is your biggest concern, this is something to consider. In addition, it doubles up as a checkerboard if you flip it over, giving you two games for the price of one.
Besides the fact that it doesn’t meet the NCA standards for board dimensions, this Rustik crockinole board has some drawbacks. The center hole is much shallower than that of high-end regulation boards, so this might affect gameplay. In addition, the crockinole discs don’t have uniform finishing, so the play speed can be inconsistent.
4. Tournament Size Crokinole Board by Heritage Products
For professional crokinole players, Heritage Woodwork has an exquisite tournament size board that will prepare you for your next tournament. As you can expect from high-end crokinole boards, this will set you back a couple of hundred dollars but it’s well worth the price considering the build quality and performance.
What We Like
With a 26 inches playing surface, this crokinole board meets the NCA board dimension standards and is perfect for tournament use and professional play. It has a smooth finish and a perfectly flat playing surface that allows fluid gameplay. It even comes with 13 black and white crokinole discs, so you have an extra piece in case you lose one.
Good things come with a price, and this crokinole board is no exception. It’s a bit pricey, which may be a big concern for those who are just getting started with the game.
Another alternative to the regulation size boards listed above, this red tournament board from Crokinole Canada is handcrafted to meet the NCA standards. It’s comparable to the other two options in every aspect – whether it’s build quality, performance, or price point. The only difference is in the way it looks, as this one comes with an eye-catching red finished gutter.
What We Like
Besides the attractive red finished gutter, this crokinole board has a lot to offer. The playing surface is made of premium maple to ensure a sturdy build that will last for years, which makes it a perfect investment piece. The smooth finish provides consistent speed and fluid gameplay – something that every professional player looks for.
This crokinole board comes with 13 black and 13 wood playing discs, so you have an extra piece in case you ever lose one.
Like with all the other high-end crokinole boards on our list, this one is slightly pricey. It might not be a good choice for beginners and casual players looking for an entry-level board for casual play.
6. Real Hardwood Tournament Size Crokinole Board by Cape Fear Board Co.
Among the high-end options, this tournament-size board from Cape Fear Board Co. gets our vote. With a 26 inches playing surface made of maple, this is as good as it gets for professional crokinole players. The board is handcrafted in the USA and comes with 12 pieces each of black and white crokinole discs and a drawstring bag to hold all the pieces together.
What We Like
This crokinole board boasts of a buttery smooth playing surface that allows fluid gameplay and sends your crokinole discs flying across the board. With a real hardboard frame and maple playing surface, this is one of the sturdiest and most well-made crokinole boards on our list. Plus, its playing surface is tournament size, which makes it an excellent investment for professional players.
The price is one of the biggest considerations that might
hold you back from getting this board, especially if you’re new to the game.
Other than that, there aren’t any major problems with this board.
The best crokinole boards come with a higher price tag, which might hold you back from getting one. However, they also boast sturdy builds and premium materials, so they make for good investments that’ll last for years down the line. Even if price is a major concern, you still have a few budget board options that beginners and casual players can enjoy.
Jacqueline Zote is a professional content writer with a focus area on lifestyle, recreational games, and all things fun. In her free time, she likes to go on food adventures and explore new recreational activities in the city.