The Best Game Ever? Backgammon has a 5,000-year History as Rich as the Game Itself

I laugh when I come across people who have just come across backgammon and act as if it is a new game.

Fact is, it’s an ancient game. And one of the most popular games ever.

But now it’s becoming popular online and in casinos.

The game’s history dates back five thousand years ago but it is uncertain to whom the invention of the game can be attributed.

I’ve written about this before because I find it so fascinating. Particularly since I fell in love with the game years ago and had no awareness of how popular it was…even in ancient biblical times.

Since no written records of the rules of backgammon had not yet been found, it is hard to tell if the rules of playing backgammon during the ancient times are similar to the way it is being played in modern times.

But the fact that the basic layout of the board, consisting of twenty four points, fifteen checkers, and the dice, were integral elements of ancient backgammon proves that there is a resemblance between the original game and the backgammon being played today.

The popularity of backgammon was boosted by the Romans and was a favorite of Emperor Claudius.

In fact, the fate of an opponent who allows the emperor to lose is quite unimaginable. Tabula, the Roman variation of backgammon, was believed to be the first to incorporate gambling in backgammon. During that time, playing backgammon for entertainment was not a part of the culture of that era.

During the fall of the Roman Empire, backgammon continued to spread to other parts of the world.

However, it was only until the 1740s that backgammon rules were introduced. Likewise, the availability of backgammon sets at an affordable price paved the way for the game to become accessible to people from different parts of the world.

Now, the boom of online backgammon has brought on huge interest in the game, and led to an awareness of the game among the younger generation.

Now, of course, you don’t have to go out and buy a board, you can just download one.

Now, you can  compete against a backgammon computer and against other players from around the world.

Ain’t the internet wonderful?

1 thought on “The Best Game Ever? Backgammon has a 5,000-year History as Rich as the Game Itself

  1. Great article, I think that the majority of people do understand that the game is old, but I dont think anyone realises that its 5000 years!! Wow, pretty incredible.
    And amazing too how much it has changed in the last 5 – 10 years with the internet keeping it alive

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