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Backgammon: A History

Backgammon is one of the oldest board games still around today, and to be able to appreciate this game more it certainly wont hurt you get to know a bit of backgammon history.

Backgammon's origins were traced to Mesopotamia, now the present-day Iran-Iraq-Syria region. The game was played using sticks or bones for pieces, and the boards that the game was played on were made of wood.

Back then the game was a favorite of kings and noblemen, and numerous excavations have revealed the popularity of the game among the upper social classes in Rome, Greece, and the Far East. An excavation in Iran revealed a play set that was thought to be older than another excavated game relic unearthed in Mesopotamia.

Backgammon was brought to Britain by the Romans, who called it the game of 'Tables'. The game's modern name probably came from the English word 'back' and 'gamen', which means 'play'. It became so popular in France and established a notoriety as being a favorite game of gamblers that Louis IX banned the game from being played.

The game reached such a popularity that an Englishman, Edmund Hoyle, decided to create standard game rules, which he published in a complete backgammon guide book entitled "A Short Treatise on the Game of Back-gammon'.

This move solidified the popularity of the game even further, in particular in online gambling and in virtual gaming; it also increased the spread of the game's influence over the continent.

The rules established by Hoyle prevailed until 1931, when revisions were made to the rules that have now become today's standard.

The most recent change done to the game was the incorporation of the doubling cube. This cube is marked with a series of even numbers on each side. With the use of the doubling cube the players must make the best move in a position, as well as calculate the chances of winning from that position.

Today many variations of the game exist. For example "Tric-Trac" played by the French and "Puff" created by the Germans, as well as "Jioul" played by the Arabs and "Plakot" of the Greeks, However, these variations still followed the rules set out by Hoyle.Despite the differences in culture and regions, these games were played with the same set-up and number of pieces.

Even until now, backgammon is steadily gaining its popularity back. more people are rediscovering the excitement of the game , and the game is still enjoyed by those who love to play it.

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