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Backgammon History - How the Backgammon Board Game Started

Backgammon was formed in Mesopotamia in the Persian Empire, what is now called Iraq. Backgammon history reaches farther than any other game history. The origin of the backgammon board can be tracked to thousands of years ago, at the time of the ancient Egyptian rule.

Excavations have shown again and again that the game was closely affiliated with aristocracy throughout backgammon history. The previous version of backgammon was called Senat, as found in Egypt excavations. These ancient boards go back as far as 3,000 BC. Wooden boards were found in the royal tomb of Ur al Chaldees, and this is related to another version in backgammon history called the royal games of Ur.

Roman Backgammon

During roman times another game similar to backgammon was played, called the Ludus Duodecim Scriptorum, or The Game of 12 Lines. This game was later changed into another game called Tabula. Instead of 3X12 lines the game had 2X12. This was a major development in the direction of backgammon, as the game started to resemble the modern version of backgammon.

This game was popular among royal Romans, and was a favorite fame of emperor Claudius. In 50 AD, he wrote a history of the Tabula game which has not survived, unfortunately for backgammon history experts. Tabula is the main game that started the roman gambling craze, before it was forbidden. By the 6th Century the game again changed its name to Alea, meaning the art of gambling with dice. In backgammon history Alea is marked as the first predecessor of modern backgammon.

Backgammon Asian History

The Asian version of backgammon was called nard, and appeared before 800 AD. Nard was the Persian name that was used for the wood board on which the game was played. The Chinese name for nard was T'shu-p'u, and it arrived in China from India at the time of the Wei dynasty, around 220 AD. The Japanese version of the game was named Sugoroku.

Modern Backgammon History

The doubling cube - The addition of the doubling cube was done in the 1920's in New York. This addition is said to have change the backgammon gambling history, as the doubling cube is still played today in online gambling casinos. The game was considered popular for the upper class, and was played mainly in private clubs as a pastime.

Backgammon rules were changed in 1931 in the U.S. to the backgammon game we play today. After this change the game remained unpopular for about 3 decades, until the 1960's.

The first official world championship of backgammon was made possible by the efforts of prince Oby of the Bahamas during the 60's. This championship has remained popular in backgammon history until today.

Computer and Online Backgammon History

The first computer revolution occurred in backgammon history when IBM's Gerald Tesauro wrote a software that could teach itself to play backgammon using Neural Networking.

During 1993 Andreas Schneider introduced FIBS, the First u Server, which was played on a university computer in Sweden. Over 100 online backgammon players could play at one time. This was the first mark of the later online gambling backgammon casino games that would appears just a few years later.

Jellyfish was the first commercial neural network backgammon software, created by Norwegian Frederic Dahl. This software could assign equity values to various backgammon positions.

Snowie is another backgammon software development that included a user-friendly interface and the ability to analyze matches.

The GNU backgammon is the latest development in backgammon history. This is based on Open Source technology, making it free for download and improvement by programmers.

Today backgammon is played around the world through online gambling, and it's popularity keeps rising.

This is the history of backgammon, and there is much more to explore with other histories of online gambling games.

Article Submitted by:
Josh Gabbins, Gambling Editor.

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