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Croquet Strategy – The Ultimate Tactics Guide

Croquet Strategy

Croquet is one of the oldest outdoor recreational games, dating back to the 1850s. Even though it’s easy to play, to perfect your swing, you’ll need to utilize an effective croquet strategy that works best for you. You can compete against either adults or teens because there is a “handicap system” that ensures each person plays at their own level and can still win regardless of who they play against.

There are several types of croquet: golf croquet, which is simple to learn, and association croquet, which requires more skills and strategic play. Whichever you choose, you can employ the same golf croquet tactics that will help you win in this backyard game.

Croquet Strategy And Tactics

Employing the right golf croquet tactics and following a good strategy can help you be better and win.

Strategic Objective Of The Game

The objective of the game is to hit two balls through the hoops in the correct order in each direction, finishing by hitting them against the center peg. The winning team is the one that successfully passes both their balls through all the hoops before hitting the peg. Here are some basic tactics you can use to accomplish this:

  • Knock the opponent’s balls away.
  • Put your ball between the opponent’s ball and the hoop.
  • Protect your other ball if it is in a good position by getting between your ball and the opponent’s ball.
  • If you’re on the non-playing side, run the hoop in the wrong direction to finish just in front of the hoop on the playing side.
  • Next time you play, position yourself to run the hoop.

Starting The Game

Starting The Game Of Croquet

Before you begin a croquet game, you need to decide on the number of teams, the number of players and who’ll be the first player. You toss a coin before the game and the winner plays with blue balls. After that, the games begin. Your teams will take turns based on the color of the ball. Blue and black balls compete against red and yellow. You’ll start playing by placing one ball between the first stake and the first wicket. The first ball is blue, then the red, black, yellow, green and orange one. See the best croquet sets here. 

Trying Difficult Hoops

It is important to understand when to attempt a hoop and when to back out.

1. If your partner’s ball is close to the hoop and your opponent’s balls are far away, it would be wise to run the hoop.

Unless you have a 50% chance of making hoops, it is better to set up and make it next time.

2. It is possible to make your next hoop with an angle of up to 45 degrees, but the greater the angle and the further you are, the more accurate you need to be.

You can only use the jump shot between 45 and 50 degrees and it is very difficult to achieve it.

3. You’ll have a problem if your partner’s ball is close to the other opponent’s ball. Whatever you do, the opponent will most likely roquet and begin a break.

Sometimes retreating to a corner is the best option.

Ending Your Turn

Knowing where to put your balls at the end of your turn is one of the most important aspects of the game. One of the best golf croquet tactics is to keep your balls together while separating your opponent’s balls. The goal is to arrange the balls so that the opponent’s only options are difficult or risky shots. When they miss, you can begin a multi-hoop break play.

To read about the croquet rules in detail, click here.

Develop A Tactical Way Of Thinking

Develop A Tactical Way Of Thinking

You should learn more about tactics and even develop your own which will help you run the hoop and win the game.

Tactical Play

  1. Examine all of the other balls in the game.
  2. Examine and learn from the strategies employed against you.
  3. Remember the tactic used if your opponent does something you did not anticipate.
  4. Seek out tactical opportunities.

Create Opportunities

  • Drive away an opponent’s ball while putting your own in front of the hoop.
  • Wire an opponent’s ball from your ball in front of the hoop.
  • Promote your ball so that you have two balls in front of the hoop.

Maintain Control Of A Hoop

Maintain Control Of A Hoop

Move your balls so that they are either in a hoop running position or close to it and they can either block or remove an opponent’s ball.

How many hoops are used in a game of croquet? Click the link to find out.

Promote Partner Ball

Promote partner ball into a hoop running position while getting your striker ball into a hoop running position as well.

Clearing Opponent’s Balls

Focus on where you want your ball to land, ideally near the hoop, while attempting to deflect the opponents’ ball away from you or the hoop.

Wiring Your Ball From Opponent’s Ball

You can gain a strategic advantage by positioning your ball so that your opponent cannot hit it.

Blocking Opponent’s Ball

Blocking Opponent’s Ball

When blocking an opponent’s ball, you usually block with the first and hit away with the second ball, but this can vary depending on the situation.

  • The greater the distance, the more difficult it is for you to block.
  • Always approach the ball at an angle other than 90 degrees.
  • Getting close to the opponent’s ball helps you prevent jumps.

Look For Opportunities To Achieve Two Aims With The One Shot

Achieving two aims with the one shot is certainly a great way to dominate the game.

  • You can use a split shot, where your balls will go in different directions, so you will either achieve two aims at once or at least get closer to achieving them.
  • Run the hoop with a striker ball and send it up to a hoop running position at the next hoop in the same shot.
  • Run the hoop and block the opponent’s ball from a clear shot to the next hoop.
  • A shot sequence called a break allows you to move from one hoop to the next and thus complete an entire series of hoops in a single turn.

When attempting to get two goals with a single shot, keep in mind that you need to achieve the primary goal of the stroke.

What Will Give You An Advantage In A Game Of Croquet

Advantage In A Game Of Croquet

Knowing and trying a few bonus shots will give you an advantage and help you win.

Jump Shots

The ball is slammed downwards, causing it to jump, typically over other balls in a hoop.

Stun Shots

Stun shots allow you to keep your ball near the rim while striking an opponent’s ball far away.


When three or more balls come into contact, you create a cannon.

In Offs

There may be times when you cannot run the hoop, but if you hit another ball near the hoop at a certain angle, your ball can go through it.

Stop Shot

A stop shot is a shot in which the striker’s ball travels a shorter distance than the other ball.


Blocking shots can be very handy. They stop or hinder your opponent.


When there are no “open” balls for the ball to hit and it has been placed in that position by an opponent, the ball is wired.

Being Accurate

No matter how far away you need to put your ball, always aim for a certain spot on the lawn.

Read about the traditional croquet attire here. 

Top Winning Tips For The Croquet Game

Top Winning Tips For The Croquet Game

Run the hoop to win the game, but also use these tips to make it easier.

  1. Select the mallet with the longest shaft and the heaviest head weight.
  2. Use a grip that is comfortable for you. Before you start playing, try to hit a few other balls around to see what kind of a grip seems natural.
  3. Your feet should be slightly more than a foot (30 cm) apart and parallel to your target line.
  4. Never leave your ball close to an opponent’s ball to end a turn. 
  5. The more you practice, the better you will get.
  6. Relax, make a plan and play the mental game

Frequently Asked Questions

You can master croquet by perfecting your swing and by shooting with accuracy. It doesn’t matter how strong you are but it is crucial to use your forward thinking skills and get a general understanding of the opponent’s game. Plan how to knock your opponent balls out of the way while also scoring more hoops.

The proper way to play croquet is on a 100’ x 50’ (30 x 15 m) field with two, four or six players. You can play modern association croquet as a singles or doubles game in which two teams compete to hit the balls through a series of 12 hoops.

You can win at golf croquet if your team scores six hoop points for each ball and then hits the peg with both balls. You can usually do this with the same shot, during a croquet shot and a continuation stroke. The game usually lasts between 30 and 50 minutes.

You aim in croquet by aligning the mallet with the ball and looking in the direction you intend to hit the ball. As you swing, keep your head down and your eyes on the ball. Your shoulders and hips should be parallel to the direction you’re aiming for when using the swing.


The croquet game requires exercise, physical skill and the ability to develop and employ a croquet strategy for scoring and winning games. Whether you’re a skilled player or not, you can play croquet just for fun or in a competition. It is truly a game for all occasions. We hope that you found the perfect strategy that you can use when playing croquet.

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