The Backgammon Game Conquers the USA

Who ever thought that the backgammon game is only popular in Europe was very wrong. The USA has probably the most backgammon game clubs there are with almost each and every state and region having one of these backgammon clubs. But how did the backgammon game get to the USA in the first place?

There are several predecessors which could have contributed to the backgammon game we have now. These predecessors involve the countries of Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Iran. In each of these countries, a form of backgammon game has been found. In ancient Egypt this game was called "Senet"; while in Mesopotamia the game was called "Royal Game of Ur."

The backgammon game traveled all across Europe. It went through ancient Rome, France, Germany, Holland, and even Sweden. Throughout its journey, the appearance of the backgammon game was constantly altered or improved as well as the game play itself was constantly altered and improved. The game was prohibited in England in the 18th century and thus the other European countries still continued playing it and also continued to modify it.

How exactly the backgammon game got to the USA is still unclear, but the general theory is that a traveler might have introduced the game in the USA. However, backgammon has been played in the USA since the seventeenth century. The most famous player in those times was probably Thomas Jefferson who played backgammon very often, even when he was writing the Declaration of Independence.

In the 1920s the first modification of the backgammon has taken place in New York City. This modification was the "doubling cube," which serves as betting instrument. This doubling cube can be used when a player thinks that the backgammon game will end in his favor and doubles the stakes. If the opponent accepts, he can double again, but if he declines, he loses the round but not necessarily the money at stake.

Another milestone in backgammon history that was introduced in the USA was the modified backgammon rules. This happened in the 1930s and made the rules that are still used today. In the 1970s backgammon tournaments were introduced and the popularity of the backgammon game soared high into the sky. It was also during that time when backgammon books were published, majorly by writers from the USA. With the advent of internet and online games, backgammon experienced another rush of popularity, which still can be seen in "Top Board Online Games" lists. Even though many prefer the online version, as the numbers show, there are still numerous clubs and backgammon tournaments out there, especially in the USA, and this just proves how popular backgammon still is.