The History of Backgammon

Backgammon history dates far back to the ancient times, when the Sumerian culture also placed an emphasis on amusement and gaming. Board games dated as far as 3000 BC, when archaeologists excavated a site with backgammon boards that look similarly to those of today. Hence, this signifies that the game is the oldest recorded board game in history.

The Royal Games of Ur, a Sumerian popular game, has a tetrahedral dice, an indication that the basic rules are similar with today's backgammon boards. Rules that govern the game are written in cuneiform, an indication that the game was taken seriously during the Sumerian times of 2600 BC.

Backgammon history was also traced during the domination of the Roman Empire in the west. Backgammon was in the form of a board game called "Ludus Duodecim Scriptorum", meaning "The Game of Twelve Lines". The board is made up of leather, and houses thirty markers. Markers were divided into two - fifteen in ebony and the other fifteen in pure ivory.

The game, during the Roman era, drew closer to the appearance of today's boards. The Ludus Duoudecim used to have a 3 by 12 measurement, and it gradually reduced to a 2 by 12 measurement. The board game was brought to Britain during the Roman conquest of the 1st century. From then on, the game was called as Tabula. The Tabula was said to be a favorite of the Roman Emperor Claudius, who even saw to it that the Tabula board was attached to his chariot so he could play while traveling.

Meanwhile, backgammon history stretched as far as the continent of Asia. Because of backgammon's Persian roots, the game remained in Asia, and spread eastward towards India. The game eventually arrived in China during the Wei Dynasty of the second century AD. Backgammon also reached towards Japan, where it was known as "Sugukoru". In short, backgammon history was also significant in Asia, where the game was rampant even without Western influence. The spread of the game was mainly due to Arab travelers.

During the slow decline of the Roman Empire in the first millennium, the backgammon history of standardization began. However, due to its intensified gambling atmosphere, it was banned and was replaced by chess when it comes to popularity. But during the reign of Elizabeth I, backgammon was again legitimized, given the backgammon meaning "back gaming", and was even codified by Edmond Hoyle during 1743.

Thus began the modern backgammon history during the 20th century. The doubling cube was introduced in New York, although the concept was said to be initiated by some unknown gambler. The rules of the game where finalized in 1931, the same rules that govern the boards of today. During the 1960's, after a decrease in popularity, backgammon's appeal has resurfaced and so the first World Championships began.

Today, backgammon has become increasingly popular in the gaming industry. Players can now avail of the games through real-life and online tournaments alike. Such is the popularity of the backgammon board game.