Backgammon is a board or table game in which players move counters around while racing to score points. The movement of the counters is determined by the results of two dice throws. Backgammon’s combination of chance and skill makes it so that both are typically necessary for success. In the latter half of the 20th century, the game gained tremendous global acclaim.
Backgammon’s ancestors are among the oldest games ever invented, possibly dating back to 3000 BC. The ancient Romans engaged in a game known as Ludus Duodecim Scriptorum, or “Twelve-lined Game,” that was essentially identical to contemporary backgammon. The eastern Mediterranean nations continue to be where the game is most frequently played.
Backgammon is a two-player game. The board is divided into four pieces, or tables, each of which is marked with six little points in two contrasting colors. The “inner” and “outer” tables are separated by a vertical line known as the bar that splits the board in half. The stones are divided into 15 white and 15 black pieces. The precise amount of points shown on the dice is used to move opposing stones from point to point in opposite directions around the board. The two numbers might be put sequentially to one stone or separately to two different stones. Doublets (same numbers on both dice) are added twice; for example, two 6s are added twice to make four 6s.
A player “makes” a point when two or more stones of the same color are placed there; the opponent cannot occupy that point. A single stone on a point called a “blot,” and it is susceptible to being “struck” by an opposing stone that lands on the point. A blot is picked up and placed on the bar if it is hit, and the owner is prohibited from moving again until it is reentered. Reentry is required on an open point of the same number as is cast with either die in the opposing inner table.
A player may start “bearing off” after placing all 15 of his stones in his own home (inner) table by transferring his stones to a hypothetical position outside the board. The game is won by the player who removes all 15 stones first. The game is a single if the loser has removed at least one stone; a gammon and double points are awarded if he has removed none; and a backgammon and triple points are awarded if he has removed any stones from the winner’s inner table.
Contrary to common opinion, neither backgammon nor any of its derivatives are the oldest board games in the world. In reality, backgammon was first mentioned in a letter dated 1635, when it was beginning to take on the characteristics of the well-liked medieval Anglo-Scottish game of Irish, which was deemed to be a superior game. But by the 19th century, backgammon had expanded to both America, where the doubling cube was invented, and Europe, where it quickly surpassed other table games like Trictrac in popularity. Different table games, including Nard or Nardy, are more well-known in other countries.
The vast family of table games that have roots in antiquity now includes backgammon as a more recent addition. The development of these games up until the introduction of backgammon is summarized in the section below.
With the discovery of the world’s oldest gaming set there, which included a dumbbell-shaped board, counters, and dice, board games may be traced back about 5,000 years to the Jiroft civilisation, which was present in modern-day Iran. The Game of 20 Squares has been referred to even though its exact rules are unclear, and Irving Finkel has proposed a potential reconstruction. The oldest game for which rules have been passed down dates back to 2600 BC and may be an ancestor or intermediary of contemporary table games like backgammon. Tetrahedral dice were used. Other board games from the tenth to the seventh centuries BC have been discovered in the modern-day nations of Iraq, Syria, Israel, Egypt, and western Iran.
Along with Go and Chess, backgammon is one of the oldest games still played today. It presumably dates back around 5,000 years and may have started in Mesopotamia, which is now Iraq. When these very old dice—made of human bones—were found nearby, it provided fresh proof of this.
Backgammon has not always been known by that name, despite the fact that the board with its twenty-four points and thirty checkers (or pieces or men) has been around for a very long period. Senet and Mancala were two other games that played on the same board. The Duodecum Scripta et Tabulae, or simply “Tables,” was the variant used by the Romans, who were the first to really popularize it.
Many Roman villas have frescoes that show the game being played (the players weren’t necessarily fully clad)! Here is an illustration from Pompeii that is dressed:
In order to break up the monotony of long voyages, the Emperor Claudius, who was an avid player, had an unique board constructed for the rear of his chariot. The Roman emperor Nero was an avid gambler. He received $10,000 in today’s money for each game. What happened to his opponents if they fell short is not documented in history!
Depending on one’s social standing, there were various restrictions for many years—this was true of many hobbies. While the officers bet substantial sums, the game grew so well-liked during the Crusades that men of lower ranks were prohibited from participating.
Any game’s history can be discovered by looking for allusions in both art and literature. Early literature makes reference to it, including in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales:
and in Love’s Labor’s Lost by Shakespeare.
Backgammon was first mentioned in print in 1645. Although the exact origin of the term is unknown, most academics concur that it most likely derives from the Middle English words baec, which means back, and gamen, which means game.
Throughout the second millennium, backgammon frequently appears in works of art, most notably in Pieter Brueghel’s “The Triumph of Death” and Hieronymus Bosch’s “The Garden of Earthly Delights.” It commonly shows up in bar situations, and frequently there is fighting going on—I wonder why that is. In Steen’s “Backgammon Fight,” it is as follows:
The game was still played in the latter half of the previous millennium, but it was constantly at odds with the church and authorities who wanted to outlaw it due to its gambling component. This is not too dissimilar from some regions of the world today, especially since America implemented its crude and absurd Internet gambling laws (surely they are not long for this world??).
It was highly popular at country house weekend parties and its appeal persisted into the Victorian era (see the serene image below).
However, the game started to lose its popularity in the early 1920s. In New York City during the Roaring Twenties, it was challenging to wager (and therefore win) huge sums of money since the games just took too long to play. What should we do?
6 Little-Known Facts About Backgammon
•Backgammon Has Been Played For Over 5,000 Years.
•The First Backgammon Competition.
•The best material for backgammon is bakelite.
•Online backgammon is becoming more popular.
•Backgammon is forbidden by the Catholic Church.
•Backgammon Was Popular Among the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians.
What is the best strategy for backgammon?
Top Backgammon Tips
- Start running when you are in the lead. Don’t compete if you are behind in the race.
- Avoid stacking.
- Strike blots to earn points.
- 4.Choose the play that will allow you to score your opponent’s 5-point conversion if you have the option.
- 5.Although five primes are fine, six primes are superior.
- 6.Always use the 5-point system.
- The 9-point builder is incredibly powerful
- 8.You should double if you’re unsure whether your opponent has a take.
- 9.Keep a level head when avoiding impact.
- 10.A miracle can occur.
The World Backgammon Federation, which established the rules of play for international competitions, has been in charge of governing backgammon internationally since 2018.
The playing pieces used in the game of backgammon are also known as checkers, draughts, stones, men, counters, pawns, discs, pips, chips, or nips. The word “checkers” comes from the word “draughts,” which is known as “checkers” in American English.
Players must remove all of their checkers from the board before their rivals can do the same. Due to the brief playing period for each game, it is frequently played in competitions where the winner is determined by who scores the most points first.
When playing backgammon for money, the most typical setup is to give each point a monetary value and play until one player reaches a specified score or until both players decide to quit. Gammon, backgammon, and the usage of the doubling cube all boost the stakes. There are occasions when backgammon is offered at casinos. Backgammon players and gamblers frequently placed proposition bets on particular situations prior to the widespread adoption of artificial neural network software. As with most gambling games, winning needs a combination of skill and luck because a single roll of the dice can occasionally drastically alter the result of the game.
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