A simple form of croquet is played in some areas of the western United States, different from the traditional competitive forms of croquet. This type of croquet is often called Poison and is a favorite of amateur or casual croquet players. Poison croquet is played using the standard nine-wicket croquet set. It can be played by 2,3,4,5 or 6 players. It has similar rules to American backyard croquet; however, it differs from other styles of croquet in that points are not scored. All players start at the same end of the nine-wicket croquet playing field, rather than having the same number of players start on opposite sides. The order of play follows the order of the colors on the croquet mallet with each player’s corresponding ball color. Rather than compete for points, or which “team” can complete the course first, with all of their croquet balls, players compete to see who can get poisoned first and eliminate all other players. A player becomes poison by hitting their ball through all nine wickets and hitting the stick at the end. Once a player’s ball becomes poison, any balls hit by their “poison” ball are removed from the game. The goal is to eliminate all other players from the game by hitting them with the poison ball. The last player left in the game wins.
Other traditional rules of American or backyard croquet still apply. The ball must be hit forward through each wicket, rather than coming from the back end or from the opposite direction. An extra hit is gained for each wicket, through which a ball is hit; only one additional hit can be gained from each wicket. An extra hit is also gained by hitting another player’s ball. After the other player’s ball is struck, the player striking the other player’s ball has two options: he may place his ball next to the other player’s ball, put his foot on his own ball, and put the ball out of play. the other player’s ball. hit his own ball; or you can just take another hit towards the next wicket.
Once a player has turned into poison, the other players can still turn into poison and win the game, although it is much more difficult. The other players still have to finish the course and hit the stake at the end with their ball, but they must do so without allowing the currently poisoned player to hit their ball with theirs. If two or more players are poisoned, the player who hits their ball into the other’s first wins (similar to marbles); or at least that player who was hit by a poison ball is out of the game. Once all but one player is eliminated, the game is over and the last remaining player wins the game.
Poison croquet is popular with amateur croquet and yard game players due to its informal play and simple rules. An advantage of poison croquet is that it can be played on almost any type of ground. Like backyard or American croquet, poison croquet is traditionally played on any field of grass, long or tall, thick or thin. However, poison croquet can also be played on other grounds to make it more interesting or just to change things up. It can be played on more rugged terrain or on a playing field with obstacles rather than being confined to a professional or well-groomed playing field.