The Basic Rules
Each player has two coloured balls, black and blue versus red and yellow. It is also possible to play with different coloured balls (pink and white versus green and brown) so that two games can be played simultaneously. The aim is to make each of your balls pass through each of the hoops in order and then hit the peg in the centre of the lawn, 26 points in total. Clips which match the colours of the balls are used to indicate the next hoop to be "made" by each ball. The game starts by each ball being played from either of the baulk lines. When it is your turn, you may play either of your two balls, however you cannot swap and use the other ball during that particular turn. If you can make your ball hit (roquet) any of the other three balls, you earn yourself two further shots. For the first of these extra shots, your ball is picked up and placed against the ball which it hit. It is this two ball shot which gives the game its name. In the two ball (croquet) shot, both balls must remain inside the boundary, otherwise your turn ends and all further shots are forfeited. With any other shot, a ball which crosses the boundary is 'measured' (yarded) back onto the lawn and the turn continues. You also earn one extra shot when your ball goes through its correct hoop and you can then use all the balls again. In this way it is possible to make a break running a number of hoops in a single turn. Because your opponent can gain extra shots by making his or her ball hit yours, it is important that at the end of your turn you leave your balls where the opponent cannot easily use them.
Some basic techniques
Single ball stroke
grasp the mallet firmly with the grip you mean to use for the stroke - don't tighten the grip as you stroke the ball as this may cause the mallet to twist slightly.
walk toward the ball along the line joining it with the target
keep a balanced and relaxed stance with the feet parallel to the direction of the swing; the swing must be smooth and from the shoulders which should remain still - let the mallet do the work;
stroke smoothly through the ball rather than hitting at it; hit the ball at the bottom of the swing with a long and low follow through;
keep your eyes fixed on the back of the ball you are to hit and do not lift your head during the stroke.
Two ball strokes
There are three basic strokes which affect the distance traveled by each of the balls.
(ratio of about 1:3)
hands near the top of the mallet
normal follow through
(ratio of about 1:7)
hands at the top of the mallet
the foot position should be slightly back from the normal stance
no follow through
(ratio of 1:2 or 1:1)
hands about half way down the mallet shaft
front foot by the side of the ball
hit the ball on the down swing
accentuate the follow through
The Split Shot
When you want the two balls to go in different directions you play a split shot.
The point of aim is the mid point between the positions you want both balls to end up.
Be careful to avoid trying to 'guide' the ball with your mallet during the stroke; keep your head down and concentrate on the aiming point.
You may also need to tilt the mallet and control the follow through in order to achieve the desired distance ratio
So they left the subject and played croquet, which is a very good game for people who are annoyed with one another, giving many opportunities for venting rancor.