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Where Did Backgammon Come From Your Answer VideoThe five basic strategies of backgammon
Perhaps, you have already played some of the popular ones such as chess, scrabble and checkers. However, have you tried playing the popular board game in most casinos?
Two players compete in a backgammon match. Each of them throws a dice to find out who will go first and to determine how many counters or "men" will be moved as the game progresses.
The use of the dice is believed to be the reason why backgammon is considered to be a form of gambling. According to historians, the earliest account of backgammon dated back as early as the Mesopotamian Civilization.
Boards, dice and counters were dug at Babylon and elsewhere; a board was also found at Ur, the city conquered by the Chaldeans.
From Mesopotamia, backgammon reached the other cradles of civilization particularly in Greece, Rome and Persia, which is now Iran.
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Emperor Claudius supposedly had a set installed in his chariot so he could play it on the road. Marc Antony was reported to have played it with Cleopatra.
And the infamous Caligula? Archaeologists found backgammon tables in the courtyards of just about every villa in Pompeii. Over this period of time, Arabs had adopted the proto-backgammon from their Persian neighbors.
So, when European crusaders came to the Middle East for holy war in the 12th century, they were exposed to the game, too.
It was so popular with soldiers in the Christian army that playing it for money became subject to strict rules—betting was only allowed for the knightly class and above, and even they had restrictions.
King John liked to play tables with some of his court, and they even placed some modest bets. Unlike Caligula, King John seems to have played nice and fair, noting his payouts in his book of daily expenses when he lost.
Although 64 is the highest number depicted on the doubling cube, the stakes may rise to , , and so on.
In money games, a player is often permitted to "beaver" when offered the cube, doubling the value of the game again, while retaining possession of the cube.
A variant of the doubling cube "beaver" is the "raccoon". Players who doubled their opponent, seeing the opponent beaver the cube, may in turn then double the stakes once again "raccoon" as part of that cube phase before any dice are rolled.
The opponent retains the doubling cube. An example of a "raccoon" is the following: White doubles Black to 2 points, Black accepts then beavers the cube to 4 points; White, confident of a win, raccoons the cube to 8 points, while Black retains the cube.
Such a move adds greatly to the risk of having to face the doubling cube coming back at 8 times its original value when first doubling the opponent offered at 2 points, counter offered at 16 points should the luck of the dice change.
Some players may opt to invoke the "Murphy rule" or the "automatic double rule". If both opponents roll the same opening number, the doubling cube is incremented on each occasion yet remains in the middle of the board, available to either player.
The Murphy rule may be invoked with a maximum number of automatic doubles allowed and that limit is agreed to prior to a game or match commencing.
When a player decides to double the opponent, the value is then a double of whatever face value is shown e.
The Murphy rule is not an official rule in backgammon and is rarely, if ever, seen in use at officially sanctioned tournaments.
The "Jacoby rule", named after Oswald Jacoby , allows gammons and backgammons to count for their respective double and triple values only if the cube has already been offered and accepted.
This encourages a player with a large lead to double, possibly ending the game, rather than to play it to conclusion hoping for a gammon or backgammon.
The Jacoby rule is widely used in money play but is not used in match play. The "Crawford rule", named after John R.
Crawford , is designed to make match play more equitable for the player in the lead. If a player is one point away from winning a match, that player's opponent will always want to double as early as possible in order to catch up.
Whether the game is worth one point or two, the trailing player must win to continue the match. To balance the situation, the Crawford rule requires that when a player first reaches a score one point short of winning, neither player may use the doubling cube for the following game, called the "Crawford game".
After the Crawford game, normal use of the doubling cube resumes. The Crawford rule is routinely used in tournament match play. If the Crawford rule is in effect, then another option is the "Holland rule", named after Tim Holland , which stipulates that after the Crawford game, a player cannot double until after at least two rolls have been played by each side.
It was common in tournament play in the s, but is now rarely used. There are many variants of standard backgammon rules. Some are played primarily throughout one geographic region, and others add new tactical elements to the game.
Variants commonly alter the starting position, restrict certain moves, or assign special value to certain dice rolls, but in some geographic regions even the rules and directions of the checkers' movement change, rendering the game fundamentally different.
Acey-deucey is a variant of backgammon in which players start with no checkers on the board, and must bear them on at the beginning of the game.
The roll of is given special consideration, allowing the player, after moving the 1 and the 2, to select any desired doubles move.
A player also receives an extra turn after a roll of or of doubles. Hypergammon is a variant of backgammon in which players have only three checkers on the board, starting with one each on the 24, 23 and 22 points.
The game has been strongly solved , meaning that exact equities are available for all 32 million possible positions.
Nard is a traditional variant from Persia in which basic rules are almost the same except that even a single piece is "safe".
All 15 pieces start on the 24th wedge. Nackgammon is a variant of backgammon invented by Nick "Nack" Ballard  in which players start with one less checker on the 6-point and midpoint and two checkers on the point.
Russian backgammon is a variant described in as: " In this variant, doubles are more powerful: four moves are played as in standard backgammon, followed by four moves according to the difference of the dice value from 7, and then the player has another turn with the caveat that the turn ends if any portion of it cannot be completed.
Gul bara and Tapa are also variants of the game popular in southeastern Europe and Turkey. The play will iterate among Backgammon, Gul Bara, and Tapa until one of the players reaches a score of 7 or 5.
Coan ki is an ancient Chinese board game that is very similar. Plakoto , Fevga and Portes are three versions of backgammon played in Greece.
Together, the three are referred to as Tavli. Misere backgammon to lose is a variant of backgammon in which the objective is to lose the game.
Tabla is a Bulgarian variant of Backgammon, played without the doubling cube. Other minor variants to the standard game are common among casual players in certain regions.
For instance, only allowing a maximum of five checkers on any point Britain  or disallowing "hit-and-run" in the home board Middle East. Backgammon has an established opening theory , although it is less detailed than that of chess.
The tree of positions expands rapidly because of the number of possible dice rolls and the moves available on each turn. Recent computer analysis has offered more insight on opening plays, but the midgame is reached quickly.
After the opening, backgammon players frequently rely on some established general strategies, combining and switching among them to adapt to the changing conditions of a game.
A blot has the highest probability of being hit when it is 6 points away from an opponent's checker see picture.
Strategies can derive from that. The most direct one is simply to avoid being hit, trapped, or held in a stand-off.
A "running game" describes a strategy of moving as quickly as possible around the board, and is most successful when a player is already ahead in the race.
As the game progresses, this player may gain an advantage by hitting an opponent's blot from the anchor, or by rolling large doubles that allow the checkers to escape into a running game.
The "priming game" involves building a wall of checkers, called a prime, covering a number of consecutive points.
This obstructs opposing checkers that are behind the prime. A checker trapped behind a six-point prime cannot escape until the prime is broken.
Because the opponent has difficulty re-entering from the bar or escaping, a player can quickly gain a running advantage and win the game, often with a gammon.
A "backgame" is a strategy that involves holding two or more anchors in an opponent's home board while being substantially behind in the race.
The backgame is generally used only to salvage a game wherein a player is already significantly behind.
Using a backgame as an initial strategy is usually unsuccessful. For example, players may position all of their blots in such a way that the opponent must roll a 2 in order to hit any of them, reducing the probability of being hit more than once.
Many positions require a measurement of a player's standing in the race, for example, in making a doubling cube decision, or in determining whether to run home and begin bearing off.
The minimum total of pips needed to move a player's checkers around and off the board is called the "pip count". The difference between the two players' pip counts is frequently used as a measure of the leader's racing advantage.
Players often use mental calculation techniques to determine pip counts in live play. Backgammon is played in two principal variations, "money" and "match" play.
Money play means that every point counts evenly and every game stands alone, whether money is actually being wagered or not. The format has a significant effect on strategy.
In a match, the objective is not to win the maximum possible number of points, but rather to simply reach the score needed to win the match.
For example, a player leading a 9-point match by a score of 7—5 would be very reluctant to turn the doubling cube, as their opponent could take and make a costless redouble to 4, placing the entire outcome of the match on the current game.
Conversely, the trailing player would double very aggressively, particularly if they have chances to win a gammon in the current game.
In money play, the theoretically correct checker play and cube action would never vary based on the score. The Latin word Tabula refers to any board game, but was often used to mean the most popular Roman board game of Alea.
The Emperor Claudius is said to have been so fond of the game he had a board incorporated into his carriage so he could play wherever he went.
He is also known to have written on the subject of Backgammon but none of his writings have survived. In Asia, the game was first noted as Nard prior to at least AD in South West Asia or Persia Modern day Iran, Iraq and Syria and has constantly remained an extremely popular game in the region to this day.
Also known as Nardshir , Nardeeshir , and Nard-i-shir. Nard was the Persian name for wood productland is thought to refer to the wooden board. The game was sometimes also called "Takhteh Nard" which translates as "battle on wood".
Chinese history relates that T'Shu-P'u , the Chinese name for Nard , was first developed in Western India and was imported into China during the Wei dynasty - AD becoming very popular from to AD.
In Japan the game was known as Sugoroko. The Japanese declared it illegal during the reign of Empress Jito - AD due to problems arising from gambling which have accompanied the game wherever it has been played.