The Popularity of Backgammon

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Games similar to Backgammon have been traced back to circa 3500 BC, where the Senet (a game very similar that is possible the origin of today’s backgammon) was played in Egypt. The games’ true origin is impossible to know and when it started to be played will forever remain a mystery, but the popularity of the game has allowed us to trace back to find similar variations of the game, the expansion of the game, and a little bit of history surrounding the games popularity in various parts of the world.

It is believed by many and stated by H.J. Murray that the backgammon game [] has two main predecessors: the game Tabulae (originating in Rome), and the game Nard (an Arabic game). What may be the oldest backgammon board found yet was found in 2004, in a city that was called Shahr-i Sokhta and is now Southeast Iran. From that time, many variations of the game have been found, such as the The Royal Game of Ur, Tabulae, Jeux de Tables, and Tric-Trac. Throughout time, it has been found to expand slowly through Europe and later through America, and has also been found to have been banned in many different countries at many different times, mainly for the reason that gambling was banned. In 1526 in England, the game was banned by English Cardinal Wosley, so boards were created in the disguise of books to prevent all boards from being burned.

With time, backgammon was soon found to be documented and referred to in several places, including its appearance in the Oxford Universal Dictionary in 1645. The first set of rules were written finally in 1743, the 1920’s sees the development of the doubling cube, and sports clubs in America meet in 1931 to establish formal laws for backgammon. The first international tournament takes place in the Bahamas in 1964 (organized by Prince Alexis Obolonsky), and Las Vegas hosts the very first World Champoinships of Backgammon in 1967. We can tell that backgammon becomes increasingly popular by 1973, when cardinal industries sell, in one year, the same number of boards that were sold altogether in the last 20 years. And finally, a book known as “the bible of backgammon,” by Paul Magriel, is published.

Backgammon today has taken a significant turn, not just in popularity but also in advancement of the game. Online backgammon has made the game popular worldwide, and backgammon gambling is possible through internet backgammon. Many sites are designed to allow players to play free backgammon, to download backgammon software, and find information easily regarding backgammon rules, backgammon strategy, and even information as simple as backgammon set up. The introduction of software using neural nets has clearly advanced the best tournament players skill, as these programs are designed to beat and still teach the best players around the world. Check out the different possibilities online if you are interested in playing the game, because it is online that you can find the most resources for every aspect of the game.
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