Which Game is Best: Carrom or Chess?

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Both carrom and chess have been able to hold the spot of one of the most favored indoor games of many people across the world. Both of these games have gained enough popularity in the world (especially in India and other South Asian countries). Now, some like to play carrom more than chess while others like chess more than carrom. So a conflict occurs between carrom and chess lovers, right? You might think which game is best, carrom or chess?

Considering the fun aspect, carrom is the best game because you can play with many people together. But chess offers more quality than carrom. It sharpens memory, helps improve cognitive skills and logical reasoning, and many more. So considering the benefits, chess is the best game.

Here is a quick comparison table highlighting which game is better between carrom and chess.

Many people can play togetherOnly two people can play at a time
Improves hand-eye coordinationImproves critical thinking
Less future optionsMore future options
Improves concentrationImproves concentration and memory

Now, this was a short comparison between both games. Continue reading because a depth comparison is given below along with the pros and cons of both the games. I can bet, you’ll really enjoy reading this post. So without further ado, let’s dig in!

Carrom: Pros

  • Many People can play together

Carrom is really fun to play. You really enjoy playing this game with your family members and friends. Basically, you can make a team with your friends and beat the opposite team and enjoy it a lot. Carrom helps to cultivate a sense of bonding between the players in this way.

Whereas in chess, the whole game is played in mind. It is a very silent game. Only two players can play. So will not have great fun as carrom unless you love to play chess like me 🙂

  • Improves hand-eye coordination

In carrom, you have to aim the coins you want to strike with your striker. So the player who has good hand-eye coordination can only play better. The whole carrom game is based on the hand-eye coordination principle. Playing more and more carrom, this skill improves.

In chess, there is no such importance or use of hand-eye coordination. However, chess has many other benefits which we are going to discuss later in this post.

  • Improves concentration

When you can focus your mind, body and soul on one thing for a long time then that is concentration.

This was the definition of concentration in simple words and carrom definitely helps to improve it. When you play carrom, you get very much involved in the game (provided you love to play it!). Focusing on the game, on each turn your only motive is to win. Therefore you concentrate on the game.

Thus, knowingly or unknowingly you improve your concentration playing the game of carrom. However, in the case of chess, more concentration is required. You have to calculate each of the possible moves of your opponent and then only you make your move. You have to think of possible situations and act accordingly in chess. Thus great mental work is required while playing chess compared to carrom. Hence chess win in this criteria.

Carrom: Cons

  • Less future options

Although carrom playing has some pros, there are some cons as well. I know that for a carrom lover it is hard to listen to this. But basically, there are not those options available considering that you can build your future on carrom.

You can become a professional carrom player and compete in tournaments. But actually, popularity is very less in carrom. So it is very hard to build up your future in carrom. On the other hand, chess has wider options than this.

  • Sometimes can take you off track

Carrom doesn’t offer you quality as chess. Have you ever heard of any school including carrom in their school curriculum? But chess is included. Because chess is very crucial, especially for brain development and overall academic improvement.

Apart from hand-eye coordination, fun and improving concentration, I don’t see much importance in playing carrom. Rather carrom can take you off track.

What I mean to say is, if you play solely for entertainment purposes then it is good. But if you get addicted then you will eventually tend to skip your academics. You might get in touch with bad friends while playing the game. This bad friend can spoil you and divert you. Probably the time when you need to focus on your studies, you might get off track and end up in misery.

So far we discussed carrom, now let’s have some talk about chess.

Chess: Pros

  • Improves memory

Chess improves and sharpens your memory. Here is an article where I wrote the importance and worthiness of learning chess. You can check that out.

Chess is beneficial in improving memory. Even mental patients are suggested to play chess. In fact, it is proven that chess can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and anxiety. You can check this post to see the health benefits of playing chess.

  • Improves concentration

Chess improves concentration and takes it to the next level. Since your mind is involved a lot your brain is constantly tested on each move you make. Actually, you can’t even win the game unless you concentrate properly.

One interesting thing to note is that by playing chess you burn a lot of calories. So you can imagine the level of brain activity that is going on when you are playing chess.

  • Improves logical thinking

You start thinking logically as you play more and more chess. If you haven’t played any chess games yet, you can test this by playing some. You will definitely notice the improvement in your logical thinking.

This logical improvement happens because by playing chess you learn to think of every chess move logically. While making any move you decide and reason yourself whether you should make that move or not. Thus you train and improve your reasoning skill.

  • Improves problem-solving ability

Each move you make while playing chess becomes a challenge for you. After thinking properly and anticipating each and every possible move you make your move accordingly to solve this challenge. As you play chess naturally you face a lot of challenges and problems. Thus, this increases your problem-solving skills.

Also, these logical thinking and problem-solving ability improvements make many chess players good at maths as well.

  • Increases imagination power

You will easily be able to imagine things in 3D. This will help you to get an extra edge in learning geometry and physics where spatial imagination skill is required.

When you play chess the game is going on in your mind. When you calculate the moves you actually imagine them in your mind. Moreover, you continue to play chess for a long time and get success in achieving mastery in it. Then you can even play blindfold chess. Many GMs like Magnus Carlsen can play blindfold chess.

  • Improves confidence

Chess is being played by intellectual people. So when you play chess and become good at it you gain a different kind of confidence from the inside. You start thinking yourself smart. Chess actually makes you smarter.

It is not that people who don’t play chess are not smarter. Actually, chess helps you in achieving that and gives you an extra edge. When you win any chess game you gain confidence. But even if you lose you learn a lot from it. You then correct your mistakes and improve as a better chess player. This goes on in the cycle.

  • More future options

There are many options available to build your future in chess. You can become a professional chess player, a chess coach, an arbiter, a chess programmer, a chess journalist, and much more…

Chess: Cons

  • If you don’t like it- you might find it boring

You can enjoy any game only if you like it!

Basically, if you don’t love playing chess then you will definitely get bored. You will definitely get frustrated just looking at those 64 squares and 32 chess pieces on the chessboard.

In carrom, you are physically involved playing the game. You strike the coins with the striker. You hear the striking sounds of the coins. Thus these subtle things make you more connected with the game as soon as you start.

Moreover, other team members keep on commenting and passing jokes while playing. So that really keeps you engaged and intrigued in the game. But in chess, only two players play that too in a silent atmosphere and it might bore you. Other than this, I don’t find any other con to playing chess.

Final Verdict

Chess is no doubt the best game. Carrom is a source of entertainment and time pass is good. But considering the benefits chess offers it is the clear winner.

It is important to note that which game is best is a very subjective choice. I considered chess the best considering all the criteria discussed above. Ultimately which game is best depends on which one you like the most. So that’s it!

Hope you enjoyed reading this article 🙂 Please do share if you found this helpful!

Also Read: A Helpful Step-By-Step Guide On How To Teach Kids To Play Chess


Do people outside India play carrom?

According to Wikipedia carrom originated in India. This game is played worldwide. But it is most popular in India and its neighboring countries along with some other South Asian countries. However, it has gained some popularity in Europe, Australia, and North America where it has been introduced by people of Indian origins.

Is carrom more popular or chess?

Chess is more popular than carrom. According to YOUGOV, about 70% of the adult population of the UK, US, Germany, Russia, and India, played chess at some point of time in their life.

Which game originated first carrom or chess?

As per Wikipedia, chess first originated in the 6th century in India. While there is very little information about when exactly carrom originated. Some say 18th century or some say older than that. But there is no exact evidence.