Backgammon: One of the Original Boardgames

Backgammon was originally called Alquerque in good old Mesopotamia. That is, 5,000 years ago, anyways. Backgammon has been around so long that it was actually mentioned in Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey from approximately 800 BC. That’s old.

In the Iliad and the Odyssey, Nestor advises his son to play games with Achilles. That game was backgammon. Game pieces from backgammon have been found among Egyptian remains dating all the way back to 1900 BC. Pharaohs apparently issued edicts against playing this decad “game of chance.” However, we’re pretty sure they didn’t understand it very well.

Backgammon was discovered in Mesopotamia and has been around ever since, but the Mesopotamians called it Alquerque. Backgammon became popular among the Romans, who spread it to Egypt. Backgammon was then passed on through trade routes until medieval chancellor Edward I banned it in England because he thought that Backgammon encouraged gambling and brought chaos to monasteries.

I’m sensing a theme here…

The Growth of Backgammon

Backgammon was spread further through the Crusades, to Persia. Backgammon had initially been played with dice, but by the time it reached Persia, Backgammon boards were being used so that Backgammon could be enjoyed even when there were no dice around. Backgammon thrived in Persian culture for centuries before moving on to other countries, such as Turkey and Russia. By the early 20th century it was estimated that between 50-100 million people across the world were playing backgammon at any given moment!

That’s a popular game!

Backgammon also shares a name with an ancient Greek gambling game, but they are completely unrelated! Backgammon just happens to have the same name, that’s all.

The Growth of Backgammon in America

Back in the States, Backgammon was originally played by traveling carnival workers in the South – it is believed that Backgammon became popular among them because Backgammon boards were easily transportable and Backgammon could be enjoyed without dice (which were expensive). Back in 2010, there was even a Backgammon World Championship held in Las Vegas. That’s a fun fact.

The precursor to modern Backgammon began when two friends at Dartmouth College got together and simplified Backgammon into its current form with Dice.

So what about today? These days, Backgammon is enjoyed by both veterans and newcomers alike. Backgammon is a fun game that can be played with friends or on Backgammon apps, so it’s always easy to find Backgammon boards at your local gaming store! (Shameless plug for Fantastic Games) Back

gammon is a fun game that can be played with friends or on Backgammon apps, so it’s always easy to find Backgammon boards at your local gaming store!

The Backgammon community has also seen several world champions, including Bill Robertie and Jake Jacobs. Backgammon is an extremely popular board game for gambling. Back in 2015, Backgammon was estimated to have a nine billion dollar per year market in the United States alone!


Fantastic Games isn’t here to give you a history lesson, though. Some background is nice, but, is backgammon fun? Yes, yes it is. It’s been around for so long because it’s an addictive game. Backgammon is enjoyed by people all over the world, young and old alike because Backgammon is one of the more popular games that ever existed.

So what are you waiting for? Buy Backgammon today from Fantastic Games and start playing.

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