7 Interesting Facts about Backgammon

Backgammon is one of the oldest board games that is still being played in various regions of the world. Now, backgammon is also popular in online gambling. However, not many people are aware of some interesting facts about this board game. Read on to quench your curiosity about this centuries old game.

1.     The Ancestor of Backgammon

Backgammon is an ancient game and it is believed that it may have been evolved from the Egyptian game called “Senet” —a board game with 30×10 squares. There is ambiguity related to Senet, which was played in 3000 BC with the roll of dice, it is assumed that many of the backgammon rules and principles were followed back then. According to some historians, the ancestor of backgammon could be “the Royal Game of Ur”, which originated in Mesopotamia in 2600 BC.

2.     The Oldest Version of Backgammon Unearthed to Reveal That It Was Played 5000 Years Ago

More than a decade ago, archaeologists discovered an ebony board with markers and ancient dice from the excavations of the Shahre-Sukhtehin in Iran. It was then discovered that that the game could indeed be older than the Royal Game of Ur and a variant of backgammon was played 5000 years ago during 3000 BC. The slots of this ancient board game are composed of a coiling serpent that coils around twenty times. The modern backgammon boards have 24 slots.

3.     Egyptians, Romans and the Greeks Played the Game

Boards belonging to 1500 BC resembling backgammon were found from the Egyptian tomb of King Tutankhamen. The Egyptians played the game for money and in order to avoid cheating they had developed a mechanical device for throwing the dice. Crossing the waters of the Mediterranean Sea, this variant of backgammon was also adopted by the Greeks and the Romans.

4.     The Catholic Church Banned Backgammon

During the sixteenth century, the Catholic Church banned backgammon and gave orders for the boards to be burned. However, the people resisted and started manufacturing foldable boards that resembled books. This is the time when backgammon started gaining popularity in the Great Britain. The hinged backgammon sets that you see today designed like briefcases and the foldable boards are an improved version of the sixteenth century boards.

5.     The Painters Documented Backgammon through Their Strokes

The painters from sixteenth century onwards started to capture the board game in their paintings. “The Triumph of Death” and “Game of Backgammon” are two of the most popular paintings of the sixteenth and seventeenth century respectively. Bosch also captured backgammon in his famous painting, “The Garden of Earthly Delights”.

6.     The Doubling Cube Made the Game Popular in the USA

The doubling cube was invented in the USA during 1920s by an anonymous backgammon enthusiast. The basic idea was that the stakes on the game could be doubled by any one of the two players. It was the doubling cube that suddenly increased the popularity of backgammon in the USA during the 1930s.

7.     The First International Backgammon Tournament

The first tournament of backgammon was organized in 1964. It was arranged by the Imperial Prince Alexis Obolensky. He was also the president of the Manhattan-based World backgammon Club.

Now that you know about the interesting facts about backgammon, you can boast about your backgammon knowledge. You can buy one of these amazing backgammon sets by Chess Baron and test your strategies and luck with the roll of dice.

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