A Game That Has Survived for Thousands of Years

By Skullbox686 May2,2024

Backgammon is a game that many people have heard of, but in my experience not many people have played. Why is that? I think so many people know about it because the game dates back nearly 5,000 years (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backgammon#:~:text=It%20is%20the%20most%20widespread,16th%2Dcentury%20game%20of%20Irish Reference for historical data). I believe it has been around so long because it’s a simple game to teach, has the element of luck, and also has strategy that takes years to master.

In my mind I always imagined the game would have a complex set of rules, and a steep learning curve so I stayed away from it. It wasn’t until later in life that I noticed my father-in-law had the game, and one day I asked if he would teach me. After the first game I was hooked.

One aspect of the game I’ve yet to explore is the competitive side. In this arena you can start small by seeing if there are clubs in your area, or you can sign up for a tournament. Tournaments run all over the US and Europe and the world championship takes place every year in Monte Carlo (see: https://www.backgammonworldchampionship.com/ ).

For people that like to collect there are also many styles and variations of backgammon boards. The layout will always be the same, but the material used, the quality, and price will differ.

My Boards

Small / Travel board

Medium board (The first board I picked up.)

Large board (My nicest board which I received on Father’s Day. This is a board that can be passed down)

If you haven’t yet had the chance to play backgammon I would highly recommend it. I would also recommend disconnecting from the digital world to play on a real board if possible. Try to be in the present moment and enjoy the conversation with the person across the table. Focus on the sound of the dice shaking and finally hitting the board to see what your next move will be. Backgammon is a great game, and I’m sure it will be around for many more years to come and will also create countless enjoyable memories for those bold enough to roll the dice.

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6 thoughts on “A Game That Has Survived for Thousands of Years”
  1. Haven’t played in years. Need to relearn the game. Did have a set many years ago.

    1. The first board I purchased for myself was probably 5 years ago. It’s the brown one in the pictures. The blue travel board I found at a Goodwill for $5, which is a steal, especially in the condition it’s in. The yellow and green board was a gift from the family. It’s a large tournament size board and is my go to when I play now. It is close to $400. It is very expensive, but with care it will last my lifefime, and will be something to leave my kids, and we have had some great memories with it already.

  2. HI Skull!

    I don’t know BackGammon at all, are there any digital versions of this game you’d recommend that we can play online together with, would be interesting.

    1. Clubhouse 51 games on the Nintendo Switch is one way to play. Another is through a site called Board Game Arena.

  3. Thanks for the article submission and sharing one of your gaming passions. Polo, maybe if time permitting, we should check out Backgammon on the BGA (Board Games Arena) on one of the HIgh Noon Shows?

    What’s the average length of time of a Backgammon game, Skull?

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