The Game Called Backgammon
People have been enjoying the game called backgammon, or its predecessors, since the days of the earliest civilizations in Egypt, Iran, Rome and Greece. It was loved even by the nobility, and was even dubbed the Royal Game of Ur. Backgammon has obviously always been a source of much fun.
The word backgammon is said to have been coined in England. It came from the English words "back" and "gammon" which meant "to play." This was appropriate to the game's rule of putting a hit checker on the bar and requiring a roll for it to reenter the game.
Backgammon never disappeared totally at any time in history, even despite some periods of prohibition in certain cultures. There was a sudden resurgence the popularity of the game in the 1990s, though, when the emergence of the Internet brought the development of online backgammon.
Backgammon is a game of luck because every move depends on the roll of the dice. You never know what number combinations will come up.
Backgammon is also a game of skill because strategies and tactics are necessary in order to make the most of each number combination rolled, with the unique board play situation being taken into consideration. Because of this characteristic of the game, it is often regarded as a valuable tool for sharpening the mind and preventing or reducing mental deterioration. It is a good game for two that can be used to keep both young and old mentally healthy.
A basic backgammon game set is required, made up of the backgammon board, 30 checkers divided into two sets of contrasting colors and a pair of dice. A dice cup is optional. The doubling cube is needed only by more advanced players. In online backgammon, all game implements are provided by the software and shown on the screen.
The backgammon board has triangles called points, numbered from 1 on the player's rightmost end going left and up and to the right until the 24 point. There is a predetermined setting up pattern for the checkers on the board. The player throws the dice and moves according to the numbers shown. The object of the game is to move checkers to the lowest end of the board to be able to bear them off the board. The first one to achieve this wins.
There are many free resources with detailed instructions on playing backgammon, as well as tips on strategies and tactics to win, on the Internet. Anyone can learn and, like our ancestors, have fun with the game.