Understanding Backgammon

To better understand the game of backgammon it is important to know a little bit about its history from ancient times.

Backgammon is among the oldest game known that was recorded in the history of games. The origins of backgammon go back to Mesopotamian in the Persian Empire. Backgammon was being played by people back then by using a wooden board, small rocks or stone as men or checkers, and numbered diced were made from a wide range of odd materials from stone to bone to ivory as well as other items.

Across its history, the game of backgammon has been a game of nobility and royalty. Archeologists from the past have uncovered many old backgammon artifacts that show the popularity of game amongst aristocrats and noblesse of Persia, Greece, Rome and even the Far East.

Gaming boards were found with 3x6, 3x10 and 3x12 squares in Egypt and it was called as the Game of Thirty Squares or Senat. These found artifacts date way back to 3000-7800 BC, the exact rules of the game is unknown. The oldest wooden boards were uncovered from the royal tomb of the Ur al Chaldees. Dated around 2600BC with the wooden board was a tetrahedral dice also known as The Royal Games of Ur.

During the 1st century AD, Romans brought backgammon to the British Isles. Romans first called the game "Tables" and introduced it to the locals. Many historians believed that the word "Backgammon" came from two English words: Backgamen which means "Back Game", and refers to either the men from the "bar" or re-entry of checkers or referring to a more advanced strategy of playing the game of backgammon that is commonly referred to as "Back Game".

Edmond Hoyle, an English man from England, was the first person to write a standard set of rules for the game of backgammon and publish a full guide to backgammon. This made backgammon more popular and it greatly contributed the rapid spread of the game all over European Continent.

There are a few variations of backgammon that emerged at that time such as "Puff", which is known in Germany as "Tric-Trac". In the rest of Europe though, backgammon made its way across the nation with the same set of rules made by Hoyle.

The basic rules of the game stayed unaltered until about the year 1931 when the set of rules of backgammon were amended to the rules that we use to play today.

Now, there are a lot of different variations of backgammon but they all still use the same number of checkers and board like: "Tabard", "Acey-Deucey", "Kotra", "Sixy-Acey", the Arabic "Jioul", the Greek "Plakot" and the multi-player "Chouette".