This article originally appeared in the November 2000 issue of GammOnLine.
Thank you to Kit Woolsey for his kind permission to reproduce it here.

A History of Backgammon

By Mark Driver

From Genesis to Revelation:
The Evolution of Backgammon and the Factors Influencing Its Popularity and Longevity.

Abstract: Backgammon, a Global Cultural Phenomenon

The ancient game of backgammon is an inveterate recreational pursuit for millions of people throughout the Four Corners of the globe. The fundamental format of the game, is essentially a contest between two opponents who each race 15 checkers around a prescribed track of twenty-four pips, framed within a rectangular board. The first contestant to remove all their pieces from the board secures victory. The movement of the checkers is governed by chance engendered by the numbers generated by a roll of two die.

The game enjoys no political or linguistic boundaries: from the deserts of Arabia to the rainforests of the Amazon the game's popularity encompasses every continent. Indeed, it is not uncommon to find scientists based in Antarctica ensconced in a backgammon battle against geographically distant opponents thanks to the advent of the Internet game servers. This article attempts to provide a concise overview of the evolution of the game from its nebulous origins in the Middle East to the virtual gaming arenas of the 3rd millennium A.D. In addition, the piece will attempt to assess the historic socio-dramatic factors, which have influenced the popularity of this fascinating game.

"We go out in the world and take our chances
Fate is just the weight of circumstances
That's the way that lady luck dances
Roll the bones"

The Genesis of Backgammon

Recreational board-games employing skill and/or chance are an almost universal feature throughout the panoply of global civilization. The existence of such games can be traced back thousands of millennia B.C. to the ancient cultures of the Middle East and Asia. However, the specific origins and the dates of their invention remains shrouded in the mists of time. The answer to the question 'why were board games originally invented?' has proven to be an even more elusive 'Grail' quest for many historians.

Various commentators2 have suggested that the concept of board-games was originally derived from other games of chance, which in turn had their origins in the divinatory use of the arrow head. Other historians perceive their origin to lie in the realm of the occult.3 In general, commentators attribute the origins of backgammon to the ancient board-games played by the Egyptians, Sumerians, Romans and Persians.

A number of wall-paintings discovered within various Egyptian temples and tombs contain illustrations of persons playing board-games. The illustrations have been typically dated at around 2500 B.C. One such game with similarities to the modern physical format of backgammon is the game of Sen't or Senat. Actual game-boards and assorted gaming paraphernalia were discovered in a number of Egyptian tombs dating from the First Dynasty to the Twelfth Dynasty (3000-1788 B.C.).4

Though the physical design of the games varied, they invariably fell into the classification of race board-games. The format of the boards typically comprised of a matrix of square cells, some of which bore distinctive insignia. Relics of playing pieces accompanied some boards though the number of pieces comprising a full set is unknown. The original rules of Senet remain a mystery as no documentary record of authentic rules has been discovered to date. Despite the impossibility of reconstructing the games from incomplete relics and two-dimensional images from tomb walls, a number of enthusiasts have attempted to complete the arcane jigsaw.5 It should be noted however, that no evidence exists that the game involved the use of dice.

In 1926 a joint expedition between the British Museum and the University of Pennsylvania Museum, led by the British archaeologist Sir Leonard Woolley discovered four wooden game-boards amongst the treasure troves of Ur al Chaldees, the ancient cultural centre of Sumer. Two of the board-games consisting of a matrix of twelve squares have been dated at around 2600 B.C. Sets of checkers and two sets of three tetrahedral die were also discovered at the site.6 These Royal Games of Ur are regarded as strong candidates as the harbingers of modern backgammon though the precise rules of the game remain unknown.7

Lacta Alea Est—The Die is Cast

The legacy of the Roman Empire contains artifacts of the board-game Ludus Duodecim Scriptorum, now popularly known as the game of the twelve lines. Examples of leather game-boards8 have been found dating from around the second century A.D., though literary references provide evidence of the game's popularity prior to this period.9 Interestingly, some boards were discovered with sets of 30 checkers consisting of 15 ivory, and 15 ebony pieces10. Evidence suggests that checker movement was governed by roll of three die, and examples of game-boards dated around 600 A.D. have been found accompanied by a set of six cubic die.11

The game was possibly derived from the Egyptian Senat possessing a similar matrix of 3 x 12 points, and Murray12 is of the opinion that the game is a replica of the Greek Kubeia, which Plato assigns to Egyptian origin.

Around the first century A.D., a new variant of Ludus Duodecim Scriptorum appeared in Rome in which the 3rd row of 12 points was omitted. The generic term of Alea, which originally meant the art of gambling with dice, became attached to the new variant. Documentary evidence illustrates that Alea had become a popular pastime by the First century AD, at which time it was the favored game of Emperor Claudius who is reputed to have written a manuscript on the game.13

As the game increased in popularity the generic term of Tabula, meaning Board, became common currency, though the two names coexisted long into the new millennium. The reformation of the game-board to 24 points makes Alea a strong candidate as the first true precursor of backgammon. Documentary evidence14 demonstrates that the game originally commenced by the players casting dice to enter their checkers on to the board, a characteristic featured in the rules of many contemporary backgammon variants including Acey-Deucy, and Puff.

However, following diffusion of the game throughout Asia and Europe, variations in the initial starting positions of the game were manifest.

In Persia, the game of Nard was played on a board of similar design to Alea, the significant difference being the use of 2 die to govern the movement of checkers. Set up of the modern game is identical to backgammon with play commencing from a fixed arrangement of the checkers on the board.

References to Nard are found in the Babylonian Talmud which was compiled around 500 A.D. Murray15 notes that popular etymology ascribed the invention of the game to Ardeshir (aka Artaxerxes), the founder of the Sassanian dynasty in 224 A.D. The game also became known as Nardshir throughout the Middle East (aka Nardeshir, and Nard-i-Shir). Nard was a generic Persian name for wood or wooden products, whilst shir means lion. Murray considers that the suffix shir is attributable to the fact that the checkers of Nard were often carved in the shape of lion heads, though an alternative interpretation is that the suffix acquired common currency through the association of Ardeshir with the game.

Within twenty years, Ardeshir (224-241) created a vast empire that stretched as far as the Indus, which may account for a reference by Al-Ya Qubi16 that, professes Nard to be an Indian invention.17 Al-Ya Qubi attributes a cosmological symbolism to the design of the board and its appurtenances:

"The board represents a year; each side contains 12 points for the months of the year; the twenty-four points represent the hours in a day; the 30 checkers represent days of the month; the sum of opposing sides of the die represent the 7 days of the week; the contrasting colors of each set of checkers represent day and night."

Ardeshir's son Shapur I (241-272) continued the expansion of the Sassanian Empire, which lead to several military campaigns against Rome around 259 A.D. The contact between the two cultures may have provided an opportunity for the introduction of the rules of Nard into the Roman game of Alea. However, the tangled web of inter-cultural relations set in the distant past precludes an accurate assignment of credit for the original invention of backgammon's immeadiate ancestor.

Dissemination, Diffusion and Metamorphosis

The renowned historian Sir John Myers noted that much of our written history concerns the documentation of change.18 The history of board-games clearly illustrates a distinct paradigm whereby a parochially successful game is rapidly disseminated from its source of invention to neighboring centres of culture.19

The opportunities for dissemination increase with the enhanced mobility of the populace, for example through developing trade routes and political empire building. As board-games become entrenched in the social fabric of neighboring cultures the opportunities for further dissemination on an increasingly wider geographic scale accrue.

Developments in transport and military technology, such as the utilization of horses and horse drawn vehicles by the various militaristic dynasties of Asia and the Levant, facilitated the rapid promulgation of social paradigms across disparate political and theological ideologies.

The dissemination of secular concepts was generally confined to the oral tradition prior to the invention of the printing press. As board games became distributed far and wide from their original source, so the opportunities for modification increased. It is highly likely that the inherent complexities in the translation of the spoken word, from one language to another, facilitated a diffusion of the oral rules of games. In the cultural melting pots of the Medieval Middle East, the intricate nuances of myriad languages and dialects engendered significant opportunities for disparity in the interpretation of the rules. Further incremental changes in the minutiae of the rules would be inevitable as the traditions were passed down intergenerationally by word of mouth.

The material format of the games, however was less prone to accidental modification as gaming boards tended to be constructed of durable and easily replicated materials such as stone, wood or leather. It is likely that these factors account for the rich diversity in backgammon variants which share the common physical format of a board divided into four quadrants each containing 6 pips, and two sets of 15 distinctly colored checkers.

The evolution and metamorphosis of recreational games is a common cultural phenomena; for example the contemporary game of chess is significantly different to the modern game of Japanese chess yet both variants share the same ancestral underpinnings in the ancient game of Chinese chess.20

Exodus of Backgammon

The exact origins of a particular game and the historic passage from its source to distant communities may be obscured by the filter of time. However, the name adopted by the subsequent players for the game may provide a valuable clue to assist in determining the game's immediate cultural source.

The legacies left by ancient civilizations of the Old World have proved a veritable treasure trove of information. Artifacts discovered at various sites throughout Asia illustrate that board games formed a significant cultural component of life during those times. Far beyond the geographical boundaries of Egypt, Sumer, Persia and Rome, examples of similar boards provide solid evidence of the gradual progression of theie board-games northerly into Europe and eastwards through Asia.

Conquering Roman legionaries transported Alea to the farthest frontiers of the Roman Empire where the game's fascinating allure was not lost on the local populace. Murray argues that the adoption of the generic Roman name of Tablula (aka Tables), by local cultures provides evidence that the existence of these games was unfamiliar in Northern Europe prior to the Roman invasion. Tabula also reached Arabia by Roman expansion into the Middle East during the first century A.D.

By a similar modus operandi, board-games popular within the Muslim cultures of Arabia were disseminated to the local populace under the aegis of the Muslim empire. However, the Arabs had probably first come into contact with the game of Nard after their conquest of Persia in 631 A.D. Through trade routes and military campaigns, the game of Nard spread Northwards into Georgia and Easterly to arrive in Northern India during Sassanian rule in Persia.(21) In turn the game spread from India to China where it had become known as Shwan-liu (meaning double six),22 by 700 A.D.

A major distinction between Tabula and Nard was the latter's use of two die. The period of the European Crusades around the 12th century facilitated further cultural interchange and following the Crusaders return to Europe, the use of 2 die for playing Tablula became increasingly common. According to Murray, the modern version of backgammon (as opposed to Tables) can be traced to the mid-17th Century. Murray notes that Backgammon was distinguished from Tables by virtue of the introduction of the contemporary norm of playing doubles twice.23

It has been suggested that the modern term of Backgammon was coined from the Welsh words bac (aka bach), and gammon (aka cammaun) which translate to little battle. However, Jacoby and Crawford24 note that the name could be derived from the Olde English words baec and gamen meaning back game.

An equally plausible explanation could be the historic tradition whereby backgammon boards were found on the reverse side of Chess boards, hence the game on the back (of the chessboard).

Evolution and Standardization

Johann Gutenberg's invention of the printing press in 1436 marked a revolution in media communications. The printing press greatly facilitated the accurate communication of ideas and concepts both within and between temporally and spatially distant communities.

As the printed word became accessible to a progressively wider audience, the opportunity for accidental change diminished. Furthermore, the dissemination of the written word was no longer a monopoly held by the ecclesiastical sector.

As the dissemination of ideas became progressively easier and cheaper, authors were able to cater to the growing secular interests of the populace. A raft of publications devoted to recreational games started to appear in Europe from the 15th century onwards.25 The historic social commentaries on backgammon authored by James Balmford;26 and Daniel Bellamy;27 and the more technical works of Edmond Hoyle28 provide ample documentary evidence of the popularity of the game in Britain from the Middle Ages to the era of the Industrial Revolution29.

A sound argument can be made that the periodic publication of new texts devoted to specific recreational games provides a fairly accurate indicator of their sustained popularity. From this premise, it can be demonstrated that backgammon sustained a reputation as one of the most popular parlor games of the British literate classes from the Middle Ages until the latter half of the 19th century. Other popular games in Britain during this period included Chess, Draughts, (aka Checkers), Dominoes and Whist.

Despite the close proximity of Britain to mainland Europe, documentary evidence suggests that distinct backgammon variants—each possessing an idiosyncratic body of rules—remained a parochial favorite pastime from the Mediterranean to Scandinavia.

Throughout the diversity of European culture, specific variants were adopted by the locals as their favored game of choice. Murray30 notes that around 25 distinct versions of the game were evident throughout Europe during the Middle Ages. Around the Mediterranean for example, variants in which the game commenced by bearing in checkers, or in which the game begins with all checkers stacked on the respective ace-points, became firmly entrenched in the local culture.

In France, the cognoscenti preferred the comparatively complex rules of the backgammon variant Tric Trac. From the 17th century onwards, the literary works of numerous French authors provided a veritable wealth of information on this significant variant.31

At the turn of the 3rd millennium, the phenomena of standardization permeates almost every aspect of our daily lives. The printing revolution facilitated an incremental adoption of standardized rules throughout societies. As the rules of games became accurately enshrined in print, the opportunity for accidental modification of the rules diminished.

The profusion of printed matter on backgammon served to market the game to an ever increasing, and more widely distributed audience. A larger, and increasingly more affluent and literate population provided a strong potential readership base to further motivate the nascent publishing industry.

Dynamism and Popularity

Human nature is not entirely adverse to change. The deliberate modification and evolution of recreational games, to improve upon the status quo (or merely change for change sake), has remained a healthy phenomena to the present day.

Certainly, slight or even radical changes to the rules of a game can act as an invigorating tonic to revive interest where a game has become stale through stasis. For example, it is debatable whether backgammon would enjoy its present popularity in the Western world were it not for the innovative introduction of the doubling cube during the 1920's.

Perhaps it is no coincidence that around a decade earlier Holzhausen32 professed that the popular longevity of a board game was dependent on the element of skill involved. For Holzhausen, a strategy game whose outcome was dependent on the skill of the players would only survive if the skill level necessary for an opponent to prevail was such that only slight errors could lead to the loss of the game. It is arguable that the introduction of the doubling cube significantly enhanced the element of skill in the game so increasing its marketability in an increasingly competitive leisure market.

A further factor, which impacts upon the popularity of a particular game, is the competition posed by similar recreational pursuits. A game that is dull or has become stale overtime will inevitably suffer once a more interesting competitor is introduced to the market.

Newly introduced games may provide a greater challenge, for example requiring a player to master a broader range of skills to prevail over their opponent. New games might also offer a novel sensory stimulus, provide greater thrills through increased opportunities for gambling, or facilitate increased social interaction by enabling more players to participate in the proceedings.

From a historical perspective, the popularity of backgammon in the West has clearly waxed and waned in tune to both national and international developments in recreational pursuits.

In 1930, Boyden33 reflected that backgammon was one of the most fashionable games of England at the end of the 19th Century, attributing its popularity to the extant prejudice against card games of that era.

The early years of the 20th Century witnessed significant social change in Western Europe, and during this period the social stigma attached to card games were quickly eroded. With the increased competition from card games (particularly Bridge which was rapidly eclipsing the popularity of Whist due to the increased skill factor), the popularity of backgammon waned significantly. The introduction of the popular oriental parlor game of Mahjong to Britain around this period also impacted negatively upon the popularity of backgammon34.

Boyden's book is but one example of a swarm of texts published around 1930 by publishing houses hungry to capitalize on the surge in demand for information on backgammon after its return to popularity in both the USA and Britain. The number of backgammon texts (around 20 titles),35 published from the late 1920's to the early 1930's almost rivals the halcyon decade of the 1970's in prolificacy. Perhaps it is no coincidence that renewed enthusiasm for the game was immediately preceded by the changes in rules concomitant with the anonymous introduction of the doubling cube to the game.

Table 1: Historic Distribution of English Language Backgammon Publications.
(Note that the non-mass media titles such as the self published texts of inter alia Danny Kleinman are not included.)

A New World Order

The global political turmoil of the 1940's marked an end to the Western backgammon renaissance of the previous decade. The number of new publications gradually trickled to a halt in the decade following the Second World War. In 1960, Robert Charles Bell commented that:

"Pamphlets of rules can be bought in the better games shops in England, but few sell boards or pieces; occasionally they can be found in antique shops. The seller may be unaware of their purpose!".36

It is significant to note that 1947 marked the birth of the modern Pinball machine (a derivative of the 18th century French game of Bagatelle) following the addition of the flipper by the Gottlieb company.37 The 1950's and 60's witnessed a massive surge in popularity of the Pinball game particularly among the younger generations hungry for new sensory stimuli. Backgammon had clearly become stale and largely ignored pastime in the eyes of the young.

Throughout the ages backgammon has consistently proven to be a fascinating recreational pastime capable of captivating the hearts and minds of generations of casual and serious game enthusiasts. In the New World Order of the post-war 20th century the power of marketing fueled by ever increasing developments in media communications, facilitated a resurgence of interest in the game from the mid-1960's.

The initial resurgence in the popularity of backgammon in the post-war years has been traced to the efforts of Prince Alexis Obolensky during the 1960's. Prince Obolensky promoted the concept of invitational tournaments and was instrumental in establishing an official formal World Championships for the game in 1964.

Competitiveness has long remained a strong and compelling force in both the human and non-human kingdoms. The kudos attached to an individual's high performance in such events combined with the attendant allure of big prize money proved to be a fine recipe for success.

From the mid-1960's, participation in International and national backgammon tournaments steadily grew. By the 1970's the social status of the participants had broadened from the privileged elite to include a more diverse range of individuals from the lesser privileged classes. The 1970's renaissance was marked by a further boom in backgammon publishing. The 1969 publication of Prince Oblensky's and Ted James's, Backgammon, the Action Game sparked an enfilade of backgammon texts by the major publishing houses of the United States and Britain.

In contemporary times, commentators have come to regard the 1970's decade as the "heyday of backgammon".38 The subsequent demise in the game's popularity in the West may have been partly due to the new competition for our leisure time posed by the nascent video games industry, which offered another new sensory stimuli with Atari's release of the first commercially successful39 video arcade game Pong40 in 1973.

Subsequent whirlwind developments in video technology facilitated an onslaught of progressively more popular video arcade games spearheaded by the phenomenally popular Space Invaders41 and Pac Man42 (the most successful video arcade game of all time) in 1978 and 1980 respectively. Capitalizing upon its success in the arcades, Home Pong,43 (and boosted by a drop in price of microchips), exploded into the living rooms of millions of baby boomer consumers in 1974.44

The Revelation of Backgammon

The 1980's witnessed a rapid end to the gammonmania of the preceding decade. Bower45 notes that the game suffered the demise typically associated with a fad, as the rapid attrition of players was not replenished with new blood and the mass media publicity disappeared. It is highly likely that backgammon had become a stale game in the eyes of X generation teenagers whose leisure time was often spent entrenched in the Video arcades or sat transfixed before their home-video game consoles. Despite backgammon's fall from the limelight, a steady stream of academic texts46 catered to a niche market of hardcore backgammon enthusiasts throughout the decade and into the 1990's.

Despite the negative impact of the video games on the popularity of backgammon, developments in the video games industry were largely responsible for the widespread acceptance of computers by the public. The computer age would prove to be a blessing in disguise for the popularity of backgammon in the West. Progressively more powerful home computers at increasingly affordable prices engendered a computer literate consumer base for the burgeoning Information Technology industry. Through the maelstrom of new computer games, (most of which passed in and out of vogue in the flash of an eye), traditional board-games found their way into the new market place to establish a firm foothold in the virtual landscape.

Advances in computing technology such as the development of Artificial Intelligence paid unexpected dividends to the backgammon community47 as a succession of Robot players and software products were released into a global market place and on to the Internet. The release of hi-tech backgammon software48 opened the door to the previously elusive and hallowed realm of theoretically expert play to all those willing to pay the modest price for admission. Meanwhile, the media revolution of the Internet dissolved spatial barriers enabling scientists in Antarctica to pitch their skill against Bedouins in Arabia within the virtual gaming colloseums of cyberspace. Perhaps more importantly, the silicon chip had enabled backgammon to branch out from its inveterate physical format to find a home in the hearts and minds of the children of the new revolution.

Copyright Mark Driver 2000.

Artwork of Senet, Royal Game of Ur and Tabulae, copyright Dean Kezan 2000. Dean's Active Backgammon Desktop Theme honourware can be viewed and downloaded from the following link: [link no longer active]

Reproduction of this article in whole or in part, is not permitted without prior written permission from the author.

Appendix 1: Substantive Backgammon Variants

Although the physical format of the game is common throughout the world, a multitude of backgammon variants is extant. Such variations include major differences in the initial set up of the checkers (either on or off the board) and the movement and action of the checkers throughout their journey to the bear off. Other minor disparities include the rules governing the physical etiquette for casting of the dice and the movement of checkers on the board.

A comprehensive description of the full panoply of backgammon variants would fill an entire book and was certainly beyond the scope of this article. However a brief and select overview of significant variants is provided below:


A further variant from the German Gegenpuf,49 popular with the United States Navy,50 In which the game commences by bearing in checkers into the respective home boards of each opponent. Checker movement follows an opposing path as in regular backgammon and blots may be hit after which they must enter from the bar. Distinct rules apply to the movement of checkers, and the roll of 2-1 receives special treatment whereby the player is entitled to a complex series of combination moves and a further throw of the dice.


A variant popular amongst the Levantine. The initial set of the board differs significantly from other variants in that each side's inner boards are diagonally opposite. All checkers start on the board stacked on the respective ace-points for each player, and are raced around 24 pips to bear off in the respective home-boards for each side. Significant variations to the rules of standard backgammon include: blots can not be hit and taken to the bar; initial progression of the checkers is restricted until the first checker has passed the opponent's ace-point; and primes are restricted to four points in each player's outer table.51


A further variant popular in the Levant. Play commences with all 15 checkers stacked opposite each other on the respective ace-points of each player; i.e. both columns will appear either to the right or the left of each player depending upon their perspective). The flow of the checker around the board is similar to regular backgammon, however after a hit, blots are not captured and taken to the bar, rather they remained in a state of paralysis until the opponent has removed the attacking checker from the point occupied by the blot.52

Tric Trac

Invented in France around 1500.53 Play commences with 15 checkers stacked on each opponent's ace-point. Though similar to backgammon, Tric Trac is not fundamentally a racing game, as points are scored for making prescribed plays and achieving specific positions from the possible combinations permitted by the throws of the dice. However, the end game is similar to backgammon in the bear off stage. Checker movement is governed by a number of specialized rules;54 for example a checker may not move to or pass over a point occupied by one or more of the opponent's checkers. Games are won by the first player to attain a score of 12 points. A Tric Trac match typically consists of twelve games of twelve points.

Other Variants

Other noteworthy backgammon variants include inter alia; Domino Gammon; Misere Backgammon (aka Anti-backgammon); Nackgammon; and hypergammon.

Appendix 2: Select Bibliography and Further Reading

Articles Published on the Internet

Chuck Bower, "(20th Century) History of Backgammon," published on GammOnline, August 1999 edition,

Michael Crane, "Tavla in Turkey," (first published in Bibafax No 35, July 1996) reproduced on the Mind Sports Olympiad Mindzine at

Mark Driver, "Historic Origins of Backgammon in Britain, including a Review of Edmond Hoyle's 'A Short Treatise On the Game of Back-Gammon," published at,

Dean Kezan, "Backgammon Game Or ...," published on Kezan Design homepage at [link no longer active]

David Levy, "History of Tric Trac" and Rules of Tric Trac, published on the Tric Trac Homepage at

James Masters, "Backgammon—History and Useful Information," published at The Online Guide to Traditional Games,

Catherine Soubeyrand, "The Royal Game of Ur," published at,

Catherine Soubeyrand, "The Game of Senet," published at,

Michael Strato, "History of Backgammon," published at,

Kit Woolsey, "Computers and Rollouts," published on GammOnline, January 2000 edition, at


1. Neil Peart, Core Music Publishing, 1991.
2. See for example, Stewart Culin, 'Chess and Playing Cards', (Washington, 1898).
3. See for example, Nigel Pennick, 'Games of the Gods: The Origin of Board Games in Magic and Divination', (Rider, London, 1988).
4. For a detailed description and illustrations of these games see for example, Catherine Soubeyrand, 'The Game of Senet', published at
5. Conjectural rules for the game of Senat have been published by: Timothy Kendall, published in Jean Marie Lhote, 'Historie des Juex de Societe', (Flammarion, 1994); and Robert Charles Bell, published in R. C. Bell, 'Board and Table Games from Many Civilizations', (Oxford University Press, London, 1960). A summary of the work of Kendall and Bell is reproduced in Soubeyrand, note 4 above.
6. Sir Leonard Wooley, 'Ur, the first Phase', (Penguin books, London, 1946), at 35.
7. Conjectural rules for the Royal Game of Ur have been published by Robert Charles Bell, in R. C. Bell, 'Board and Table Games', (Oxford University Publishing, 1969).
8. A leather board dating from the mid-second century is housed in the National Museum of Wales.
9. See for example H. J. R., Murray, 'A History of Board-Games other than Chess', (Oxford University, Clarendon Press, 1952), at 29.
10. W. B. Emery, 'Nubian Treasure' (London 1948), at 20.
11. W. B., Emery, note 10 above, at 46.
12. H. J. R. Murray, note 9 above at 24-30.
13. H. J. R., Murray, note 9 above, at 31.
14. The Epigrams of Agathias of Myrne in the Platine Anthology.
15. H. J. R., Murray, note 9 above, at 114.
16. Al-Ya Qubi, 'Manuscript contained in the British Museum, Brit. Mus., Arab. Add. 7515
17. H. J. R. Murray, note 9 above at 115.
18. John L. Myres, 'The Dawn of History', (Henry Holt Co., New York, 1911)
19. See for example H. J. R. Murray, note 9 above, especially Chapter 9, 'The Distribution and Origin of Board Games'.
20. H. J. R. Murray, 'History of Chess', (Oxford, 1913).
21. See H. J. R. Murray note 9 above at 115.
22. Stewart Culin, 'Chinese Games with Dice and Dominoes', (Washington 1895), at 80.
23. H. J. R., Murray, note 9 above at 122.
24. Oswald Jacoby and John R Crawford, 'The Backgammon Book', (Viking Press, New York, 1970, reissued in paperback by Bantam Books, New York, 1973).
25. See for examples Jessel, Frederic, 'A Bibliography of Works in English on Playing Cards and Gaming', (Longmans, Green, and Co., London, 1905).
26. James Balmford, 'A Short and Plain Dialogue concerning the unlawfulness of Playing at Cards or Tables. (London, 1593);
27. Daniel Bellamy, 'Backgammon: or the Battle of the Friars, a Tragic-comic Tale in Verse, to which is added a Short Essay on the Folly of Gaming, by Way of Application', (J. Wilford, London, 1734).
28. Edmond Hoyle, 'A Short Treatise On the Game of Back-Gammon', (Published in Great Britain, printed for: T. Osborne, in Gray's Inn; J. Hilyard, at York; M. Bryson at Newcastle; and J. Leake, at Bath 1745).
29. Further titles published during the era of the Industrial Revolution include; William Green, 'The Backgammon Teacher: A Treatise New and Original throughout; to which is added a familiar exposition of the manner of calculating chances, with a new table of Odds and a new Code of Laws', (Baldwin and Craddock, London 1819); Frederic Hardy, 'Handbook of Draughts and Backgammon, With Illustrative Diagrams', (Frederick Warne, London, 1867); George F. Pardon, 'Backgammon: Its History and Practice', (D. Bogue, London, 1844); George F. Pardon (writing under the pseudonym 'Captain Rawdon Crawley'), 'A Handbook of Draughts: With a Chapter on Backgammon', (Routledge, 1863); Roy Reuben, 'Roy's Game of Backgammon, wherein the Principles of the Game are explained, and the Directions of the best Players and Authorities have been compared and revised', (H. K. Causton, London 1848); H.D. Symonds, 'Backgammon: Rules and Directions for Playing the Game of Backgammon, Illustrated with Calculations, Critical Cases, and Games', (Lee & Hurst London, 1798);
30. H J R Murray, note 9 above, at 117-127.
31. Examples include; Jollivet, Euverte de, sieur de Votilley, 'L'excellent jeu du triquetrac, tres-doux esbat es nobles compagnies', (Guillemot, Paris, 1634); M. j. M. Falavel, 'Le jeu du Trictrac, ou les Principes de ce Jeu' (Nyon, Paris, 1776); and N., Guiton, 'Traite Complet du Jeu de Trictrac', (L. G. Michaud, Paris, 1816). For a comprehensive bibliography of Tric Trac, see David Levy's 'Tric Trac Home Page'.
32. Freiherr von Holzhausen, 'Handbuch des Schachspiels', (Leipzig 1912).
33. Elizabeth Boyden, 'The New Backgammon', (Frederick Warne and Co Ltd, London, 1930).
34. See for example Boyden note 4 above.
35. See for example; Ralph A. Bond, 'Beginner's Book of Modern Backgammon', (Sears Publishing Company, New York, 1930); Frank Elmer Bruelheide, 'Winning Backgammon at Sight', (Bruce-Roberts, Chicago, 1930); W. D. Eyre, 'Taking Some of the Luck Out of Backgammon', (Ramapo Publishing Co, 1931); Bar Point, 'Backgammon Up To Date: with Thumb Index and 27 Diagrams; An Ideal Reference for Novice or Expert' (de la Rue, 1931); Peter Nicholas Gatsos, 'Modern Backgammon in a Nutshell: Backgammon as a Military Conflict', (J. Poly & Sons, Cleveland, 1930); Lelia Hattersley, 'How to Play the New Backgammon', (Doubleday, Doran & Company, New York 1930); R. Hoyle, 'How to Play Backgammon', (Laurie, 1931); John Longacre, 'Backgammon of Today', (The John C. Winston Company, Philadelphia, 1930); Georges Mabardi and Clare Boothe Brokaw, 'Vanity Fair's Backgammon to Win', (Horace Liveright, New York, 1930); Grosvenor Nicholas, 'Modern Backgammon', (Henry Holt and Company, New York, 1928); Grosvenor Nicholas and C. Wheaton Vaughan, 'Winning Backgammon: Problems and Answers', (D. Appleton and Company, New York, 1930); Walter L. Richard, 'Complete Backgammon', (Cosmopolitan Book Corporation, New York, 1931); Oh Tee, 'Backgammon as Played in Hollywood', (E. Hays Press, Hollywood, 1930); Harold Thorne, 'Backgammon in 20 Minutes', (E. P. Dutton & Co., New York, 1930); Harold Thorne, 'Backgammon Tactics: Containing 50 Backgammon Problems with Answers & Authorized Laws for 1931', (E. P. Dutton & Co., New York, 1931); William H. Walling and William J. Hiss, 'Backgammon Standards: How to Win at Backgammon', (Simon and Schuster, New York, 1930).
36. R. C. Bell, 'Board and Table Games', Volume 1, (Oxford University Press, London, 1960) at 43.
37. Harry Mabs invented Gottlieb's 'Flipper Bumpers' in 1947.
38. See for example, Chuck Bower, 'History of Backgammon' in Kit Woolsey (ed.) GammOnline (August 1999).
39. The first commercial video arcade game was 'Computer Space', produced by Nutting Associates in 1971, however the project was not commercially successful.
40. Invented by Nolan Bushnell in 1972.
41. Taito/Bailey/Midway, 1978.
42. Baily/Midway, 1980.
43. Atari 1974.
44. For a comprehensive overview of the history of Video Games, see for example; 'The Dot Eaters: Video Game History 101', at
45. Bower, note 33 above.
46. See for example the works of Danny Kleinman, Kent Goulding and Bill Robertie.
47. For more detailed information on the history of backgammon computing see for example; Bower note 37 above; and Kit Woolsey, 'Computers and Rollouts', published on GammOnline January 2000 issue.
48. For example, JellyFish, and Snowie.
49. See H. J. R. Murray note 4 above at 129.
50. Boyden, note 33 above, at 93.
51. For further information on Moultezem, see for example; Oswald Jacoby, and John R. Crawford, note 24 above at 223-225.
52. For further information on Plakoto, see for example Jacoby and Crawford, note 24 above, at 226 to 227.
53. See H. J. R. Murray, note 4 above at 124.
54. A comprehensive set of rules for Tric Trac is available at David Levy's Tric Trac Homepage.

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