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Pichenotte is a French Canadian tabletop game, played on a board with round game pieces. Used more broadly, the term is a general name for tabletop games played with small (usually wooden) pieces that are flicked using the thumb and index (or middle) finger, including such games as carrom, sharing a similarity in that their mechanics lie somewhere between pocket billiards and table shuffleboard. The term is also used in parts of Canada and the United States synonymously with crokinole. Commercially produced boards are available from numerous manufacturers.


In Quebec, the flicking action used in the game is called a "pichenotte" (standard French "pichenette"), from which the game name is derived. While the specifics are uncertain, pichenotte may have originated from the Indian game carrom. In the mid-19th century, carrom was likely brought to Canada by Indian or British immigrants.

Round pichenotte board from Santa Fe, NM
Round pichenotte board from Santa Fe, NM


A pichenotte board from Sainte-Edwidge-de-Clifton, Quebec

The game is played on either a square board of lacquered plywood, normally 28 inches (710 mm) square; or a round board of lacquered plywood, usually 26" ( 660 mm) in diameter, though a 24" ( 610 mm) variant is also used.

- On the square board, the edges of the playing surface are bounded by raised wooden sides. The object of the game is to strike a wooden disc such that it contacts lighter discs and propels them into one of four corner pockets. These pockets are usually larger than those on Indian carrom boards. The playing pieces come in two colours denoting the two players (or teams, in doubles play). An additional piece is coloured red (or other unique colour) and called the "queen" or "king".

- On the round board, the playing surface is raised above the floor of the board and is surrounded by a ditch enclosed with an octagonal or round wall. The board is divided into four quadrants with three scoring zones made up of three concentric circles and one center hole. Eight posts, positioned equally around the innermost scoring circle line, surround the center hole. The object of the game is to knock your opponent's pucks from the board while keeping your own on the board.


- The aim of the square game is to sink one's eleven pieces before the opponent sinks theirs. However before sinking one's final piece, the queen must be pocketed and "covered" by pocketing one of one's own pieces on the same or a subsequent shot. Fouls, such as crossing the diagonal lines on the board with any part of one's body, or scratching (pocketing the striker or sending it off the board), lead to one of one's pieces being returned to the board.

- The aim of the round game is to score as many points as possible, while limiting those of your opponent. At the end of play, all pucks left on the board are counted (according to their position in each of the three scoring zones) and added to any pucks that came to rest in the center hole (these are removed from the board). For a detailed description of the rules see crokinole. However, numerous variants of tournament crokinole rules have developed. See Pichenotte tournament rules in New Mexico for an example.  


A pichenotte board from St. Andre, Kamouraska, Quebec

Another variant of the game called pitchnut has four screws or pegs 4 inches (10 cm) from the centre of the board, and two screws or pegs in front of each pocket. It also has 2-inch (5-cm) recessed alleys along each side.

Round Pichenotte Board 1
Round Pichenotte Board 1

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