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Rules for How to Play Carombolette

Rules for How to Play Carombolette

Does anyone know where I can locate Carombolette rules?

This question relates to the following billiard rules:

Rules for How to Play Carombolette

Replies & Comments

  1. user1674585060billiardsforum on 2/13/2023 6:13:56 PM

    Carombolette was originally just the name for the combination bagatelle and pigeon hole table, on which it's users can play either bagatelle or pigeon hole.

    This is confirmed in the patent filed for the invention of this style table in 1881 (see far below).

    After describing how to adjust the table to play one game or the other, there is a vague paragraph explaining how "other games can be played":

    By placing the balls in the pigeon-holes, and then raising the transverse board (E), so as to allow the balls to run down upon the inclined bed (C), other games can be played, the result of which will depend wholly upon the number of points counted by the rolling balls. (again, see the full document below).

    This is further supported by the fact that the two rule books in which I've found "Carombolette" in (from 1909 and 1910), show the rules for carombolette to be simply the rules for "pool" and "bagatelle". (again, see below).

    Since this game table is used for a combination of several games (Pigeon Hole, Bagatelle, and Pool), you likely won't find any rules titled "Carombolette Rules".

    The Books listing Carombolette Rules

    I have two old books with rules for various cue sport games, one from 1909 and the other from 1910. Both list Carombolette rules under the category "American Games", and both read identically, as shown in the screenshots below.

    Note that the "bagatelle" and "pool" sections are simply sub-headings under the main "Carombolette" heading.

    "A History and Description of Billiards"

    Published in 1909 by Samuel May & Co., Billiard Table Manufacturers, Toronto.



    "A Complete Hand-Book of Standard Rules of All the Prominent Games of Billiards and Pool"

    Published in 1910 by Brunswick Balke-Collender & Co., Billiard Table Manufacturers.


    1883 Brunswick Catalog Depicting the Carombolette Table

    For anyone wondering, the Brunswick Balke-Collender Co. and other manufacturers sold Carombolette tables. The J.M. Brunswick & Balke Co. (the predecessor of the Brunswick Balke-Collender Co.) had two pages dedicated to this game in their 1883 Billiard Supplies catalog.



    1881 Carombolette Table Patent #US242584

    In the first of the two catalog pages above, we can see that the Carombolette table sold by J.M. Brunswick was patented in 1881 by Moses Bensinger, the President of the Brunswick Balke-Collender Co from 1890-1904.

    This patent was filed on May 2, 1881, and granted on June 7, 1881.

    Here are the details of his Carombolette table patent #US242584, which also holds some clues as to how the game was played. You can click that link to view the full text of the patent.



    Modern References to Carombolette

    The only modern reference to Carombolette I could find was in the Illustrated Encyclopedia of Billiards. There were two related entries, one for Carombolette and one for "Pool Stop", which is a part of the Carombolette table.



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Rules for How to Play Carombolette

  • Title: Rules for How to Play Carombolette
  • Author:
  • Published: 1/24/2023 1:31:01 PM
  • Last Updated: 2/13/2023 4:39:39 PM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum (Billiards Forum)