Backgammon Throughout the Ages

by Gene Marshall

The origins of backgammon are traced back thousands of millennia to the Middle East. It is believed that backgammon was derived from board games played by the ancient cultures of Egypt, Rome, Sumer and Persia. Backgammon, however, is a board game that has survived long past the fall of the ancient civilizations that contributed to its early evolution. From Ancient Egypt to Ancient Persia, kings, soldiers and the people alike spent many hours of recreation playing this age-old game that combines the excitement of race games determined by the roll of dice, and clever strategies that have been sharpened and added to, over time.

Although backgammon has Middle Eastern origins, scholars and anthropologists theorize that the game's modern-day name comes from the region of today's United Kingdom. One theory for the name is that it comes from two Welsh words - bach and cammaun, which translate as "little battle." Another suggestion is that backgammon comes from the Olde English words baec and gamen, or backgame, because the game was found on the backside of the chessboard.

Throughout the 20th century, backgammon's popularity rose and fell depending on the changing game-fashions. Notably, in the 1920s and 1930s, backgammon gambling became all the rage in the exclusive social clubs of New York. While these elitist venues are no longer in fashion as a place in which enthusiasts play backgammon, a strong backgammon culture persists. Certainly, in several parts of the world, particularly in the Middle East one will find heads bent over a backgammon board in parks and street-side cafes. However, in the past twenty years or so, with the ever-increasing accessibility of the Internet to more and more people, an online backgammon culture has developed. As a result, the presence of backgammon in the virtual world has reinvigorated the game's reaches to the far corners of the earth.

Playing internet backgammon is very similar to enjoying a game in real life because opponents are competing to win in real time but in most cases across the world from each other! The backgammon rules in real life apply to the wide array of backgammon game software and downloads available on the Internet. Online, backgammon remains as a game played between two players who receive fifteen checkers each, which are initially and specifically placed on a total of eight points throughout the board. The object of the game is to be the first player to "bear off," or to remove the checkers from the board before the opponent has the opportunity to do the same thing. More points can be scored in the game depending on who bears off first, and where the loser's checkers are located at the time the winner is determined.

There are a great many benefits to playing backgammon online. In doing so, it is possible to learn millions of tips and facts about a game that has lasted for centuries upon centuries and to become a part of this rich history, without ever having to even purchase a backgammon set.

Internet backgammon authority Gene Marshall is commissioned by a few different recognized online backgammon web sites. Supplementary information and articles that were written by Gene Marshall on the matter of backgammon can be accessed on line. The writer focuses on articles about online backgammon and backgammon download software.

About the Author

Backgammon gamer Gene Marshall writes for a few different well-known backgammon sites. The author contributes articles about online backgammon and where to buy backgammon sets. Extra commentaries by Gene Marshall about online backgammon are offered on the net.