The History of Backgammon
The origins of backgammon are traced back to the period between the 8th and the 11th century, when the loser’s claim to the land was being contested by the winners. The loser was to be ‘ honourably’ disposed of, ‘so that there would be no dispute over the prize’ (the words ‘so that there would be no dispute’ are words that were later adapted to the context of poker, where the phrase ‘no bluffing’ is common). Backgammon was brought to the UK from Germany by theAngelo, who introduced the game to Breton territory. According to the historical record, the game was virtually unheard of outside Italy after Breton King Baldwin II heard of it and ordered its introduction to the country.
The game was an instant hit, and it soon became one of the most popular pastimes in the court of the young King Edward III, as recorded in the historical novel ‘The histories of the times’:
‘In a fits of lasting rage, he turned his allowance of dice into a heavy tax, which taxed the community heavily and had even more effects than tax collectors.
‘Many hundreds of pages were written about the rules and691 were still available when the reign was ended in 1660.
‘The times was when, as a rule, the dice were thrown before the pulling of thearaay from thecase, as it was commonly done.
‘But, when the Duke of Marmalard began to be very much interested in the games of dice, and especially in the making of dice, he contrived to have die-cutters sent to all the leading cities, so that there should be no crude mistakes in the disposal of the dice.
‘There was only one exception to this rule, and that was New Orleans; where the arrangement was to have the dice carried in ‘canals.’
‘Canals! – Yes, our fretsmen still talk of canals as though they still had the profitable businesses along the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. But canals were originally thought of as grand casinos that were to cost a fortune to build and mange. Besides they were an inexpensive means of transport and could easily bemarred in every direction.
‘Agriculture was the great untold story of the new world. It was not till the middle of the 19th century that the great majority of the world’s population became acquainted with the fact that you can build a wall around the town, behind your house and even at the water’s edge to keep out the worst elements of the weather. fences were thus built at the edges of fields to keep in bounds menageries that were to become the basis of our modern lotteries.
It was not until thebeginning of the 20th century that backgammon, the most popular part of the game in those days, was introduced in the United States. When the game was initially introduced backgammon was much Better, it had a moreNorth American feel, morePrivacy and the people played looser. The introduction of the doubling cube in the 1920’s made an important difference to the game. People started to really pay attention to what the game had to offer and developed an eye for machines that offered a better, faster game than the old classic backgammon.
The doubling cube was a serious attempt to make the game more exciting and played more like a gambling game as opposed to a game of luck. During the 20th century, afapoker, the game that had been virtually synonymous with gambling during the 15th to 19th centuries became a staple at almost all casinos, clubs and other venues. If you play the game any time, whether in a casino or while in a house, you will find people still playing the traditional way, only now in a slightly different context.
The introduction of computers to the average home introduced a whole new aspect to the game. Now, instead of children helping to build the backgammon set, the children could help to build the backgammon software used to play backgammon. This allowed the children to read a backgammon instructions, play backgammon and even take part in the computerized version of the game.
Like the board game, the equipment needed to play backgammon is basic. You will need a backgammon board, checkers, dice and a set of dice. You will also need a standard deck of playing cards. Card decks are available at most book stores, including Amazon.com.
Backgammon is easy to learn and if you can learn to add and subtract, you can play backgammon. The rules for the game are the same for children as adults and the kid’s version of backgammon is also available on the Internet.