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A game so popular that it was played by kings and slaves; there is much speculation as to where the game of Backgammon actually originated from.
Backgammon is enjoyed by commoners and Kings alike, early game versions – the likely predecessors of the modern game of Backgammon as we know it – were played in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Rome and Iran. Moving on to more recent times, the ‘Game of Tables’ – jeux de tables – is a more modern predecessor of the backgammon game, surfaced in France during the 11th century and was popular among seasoned gamblers of the time, so popular in fact that Louis IX issued a decree in 1254 prohibiting court officials and subjects from playing the game. The Oxford dictionary first documents the existence of the game in 1650 and it is likely that the name itself derives from a combination of the two words ‘back’ and ‘gamen’ -meaning to play or game.
The object of Backgammon is for each player to bring all his men into his home board, and then to bear them off the board. The movement of checkers or ‘men’ as they are also known is governed by a pair of dice which are thrown from a cup to maintain random throws.
Before a game begins, either of the players may request to roll for dice or checkers – the choice of seats.
Backgammon games are relatively short compared to others so that matches are usually played in a series based on a predetermined number.
A player can ask to mix the dice at any point during a match, in which case all four dice are put in the cup and rolled. Where the dice are concerned, when they are rolled, they must come to rest on a flat area of the board to the right of the player.
When rolled, the dice must come to rest flat on the section of the board to the player's right. The movement of checkers around the board is dictated by the numbers shown on the dice – aka pips. You may move a checker to any point occupied by your own checkers or to a point with 1 or none of your opponents checkers on it. If a player rolls doubles (where the same number comes up on both dice), they may move double the amount shown. Entering a checker from the bar which has been hit by an opponent (See Checker Movement Rule 3) the number of points shown on either die, to an open point in the opponent's home board. Bearing off of a checker in the player's home board, only once all of that player's checkers have been moved into this quadrant.
A player may move his checker to any point on which there are no other checkers, or to a point which is occupied by another of the player's checkers. A checker which has been hit and placed on the bar may re-enter through his opponent's home board, providing the player rolls a number which permits his checker to be moved to an open point. Once all of a player's checkers are moved into that player's home board, he may begin removing them from the board, or bearing them off.
Once in position to bear off, a player may do so from a point corresponding to the number on a single die, or from the highest occupied point which is lower than the number indicated by the die.


If the number for an unoccupied point is thrown, no checker can be borne off if there are any checkers on a higher number. You are not obliged to bear off a checker if you can move another checker forward from another, higher point. Whether it was Egypt, Mesopotamia, Rome or Egypt, we know a game resembling modern day Backgammon involving two dice and 60 checkers was definitely being played. In ancient Egypt, it was the game of ‘Senet’ that resembled modern day backgammon as the moves of game were controlled by the roll of the dice.
Ludus duodecim scriptorium – literally meaning the game of twelve lines, was played on a board comprising 3 rows totalling 12 points each and checkers were moved across these lines based on the roll of the dice. Not only was backgammon played in France, it was also popular in Germany throughout the 12th century and had reached as far as Iceland by the following century. Originating from New York City’s Lower East Side in the 1920’s, the cube necessitated players not only choose the best move in given position, it also required then to estimate the probability of winning from that particular position. The introduction and fast progression of the internet has seen backgammon secure a popular place among players of the online gaming community.
Different variations of the game call for boards A standard game of Backgammon has the following arrangement of checkers at the beginning of a game. If the player only uses one die, the opponent can insist the player uses both to complete the play. It is possible to move one checker for the total amount as shown on both dice, or to split the numbers and move both the dice. For example, if 5,3 is rolled, the player may move the first checker 5 points forward, and another checker 3 points forward. For example, when a player rolls 6-6, he must move one or more of his checkers a total of 24 pips (6 X 2 + 6 X 2 = 24). Also, if there is only one opposing checker on a point, a player may move his checker here, called a hit.
If a player has more than one checker on the bar, he may not move any other checkers until all checkers on the bar are back in play.
For example, a rolled 5 may be used to bear off a checker on the 4-point only if there are no other checkers occupying the 5-, or 6-point. For example, if a player rolls a 3, he must move forward any checker that occupies the 4-, 5-, or 6-point, rather than bearing off one on the 1- or 2-points. In Mesopotamia, the royal game of ‘Ur’ is said to be the ancestor of many contemporary table games, backgammon to name just one. The connection to contemporary backgammon lies in the aim of the game – to be the first to do away with one’s checkers. Not only is the game of backgammon popular in the traditional sense when played face to face by opponents, it is now by and large one of the fast paced and exciting games in a line up of online casino games popular the world over.


Remember there are several variants of the game in which the starting setup for the checkers is different. The opponent then selects a second die and is followed by the roller again, who takes the fourth and final die. If the numbers rolled are the same, the players must roll again until one rolls higher and establishes the order of play. Once a player has picked up the dice, they can not put them back on the board and resume the turn.
For example: If a double 2 is rolled, the player may move two points four times, in any possible combination. Also, one checker may be moved twice, so long as each move is independent of the other, i.e.
The opponent's hit checker is then returned to the start of the game and placed on the bar to await re-entry. To find out how the game is played today, take a look at our step by step guide and get accustomed to set up of the board, movement of the checkers and course of the game. Traces of the game date back to circa 3000 BC in Iran where archaeologists discovered two dice and 60 checkers - the oldest set ever discovered. The essential premise is that 2 players compete against each other with 15 checkers each over a board with 24 positions, also known as points. Beyond the initial opening roll, the roll of the dice and moving of checkers alternates between the two players. The player is then able to one checker a total of 8 spaces, or move one checker 6 spaces and the other two.
A player may not move his checker to a point on which there are 2 or more of the opponent's checkers. Finish up your Backgammon course of discovery by finding out where best to play Backgammon online. Movement of the checkers is determined by the throw of a pair of dice, which alternates between players. If either of these scenarios occurs, the dice roll must be repeated according to the rules.



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