History of Backgammon

The origins of backgammon date back more than 5,000 years, making it one of the world's oldest games. In the early years it was a game of the elite, enjoyed by Egyptian pharaohs, including King Tut (board games from 1500 B.C. were found in his famous tomb). Many Egyptian tombs portray people playing the game, indicating it later was popular among commoners as well.

In 500 B.C., backgammon was also popular among the Greeks, with Homer, Sophocles and Plato mentioning the game in their works. History books say the earliest version of the backgammon board was found in 3000 B.C. in the royal cemetery in southern Mesopotamia, (now known as Iraq), the birthplace of Abraham.

Backgammon has long been popular among the British, who introduced the game to the United States in the 17th century. An anonymous player introduced the doubling cube used in modern backgammon to the game in the United States in the early 1920s.

Backgammon's popularity peaked in the 1960s “World Championships of Backgammon” was launched in the Bahamas, becoming a premiere event with payout's in tournaments surpassing six figures. Its popularity continued in the 1970s and early 1980s, but has waned in recent years among young people who turned to video and computer games.

Yet even today, backgammon remains popular among enthusiasts intrigued by the challenge of the game.

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