The handicap form of the game, whether Association Croquet or Golf Croquet, is an attempt to allow weaker players to play against stronger ones on an equal basis. The range of handicaps can be between -6 (the best players) to +19.
If two players play each other in a “handicap game” the two players would compare their handicaps and the weaker player would gain extra shots equal to the difference of the handicaps, which could be used at the discretion of the weaker players subject to some restrictions.
A player’s handicap then changes as they win or lose to other players and pass certain “trigger points” depending on the extent to which this happens.
In Association Croquet (AC) most games are played this way, but in Golf Croquet (GC) many games take place as “level play” where handicaps are not taken into account, although handicap games are also played widely.
The Advantage GC Handicap System
in recent years there has been some dissatisfaction with this form of handicap play in GC and a new system has been devised whereby weaker (respectively stronger) players need to gain fewer (respectively more) hoops than the normal 7 to win the game.
The full details may be viewed at the World Croquet Federation web site here.