Internet backgammon has become this year's most popular online game and has even piqued the interest of thousands of poker fans. However, backgammon is anything but new and has been handed down through the centuries in various formats right up to the present day.
In fact, some historians believe that the backgammon board game was even played in ancient Egypt. The remains of boards bearing a striking resemblance to the backgammon board have been unearthed at several archaeological sites. Known as Senat, the game is thought to have been popular with the aristocracy in this ancient civilization.
Another earlier form of the backgammon game was known as Ludus Duodecim Scriptorum and held a popular place in Roman society. It gave way to an updated variation of backgammon in the 6th century which was when the use of dice became a popular addition to the game.
The Crusaders are most commonly credited with introducing the game of backgammon into the British Isles. It was first played in Britain in 1025, having been brought there by soldiers returning from the Crusades in Asia and the Middle East. Once backgammon arrived on England's shores, it was soon championed by the common man and gained popularity as a common tavern pastime. Early attempts to create backgammon gambling developed and were moderately successful but were quashed by the Elizabethans in the 16th century.
Modern backgammon as we know it today became a worldwide phenomenon in the 1970's. From that point on, the game was played steadily up until the late 1990's when the first online versions began to appear on the internet. Today, most reputable skill gaming sites offer some form of backgammon online, which has helped to breathe new life into one of the world's oldest board games. Along with standard versions, games offering variations on backgammon rules such as Acey-Deucey and Turkish backgammon or Tavla have become popular with backgammon fans.
Along with offering several advantages associated with online backgammon, internet gaming sites can be credited with raising the quality of the game around the world. A strong emphasis on learning backgammon strategy has developed and many websites have sprung up almost overnight, dedicated to offering tips, advice and encouragement for new players.
Amongst the advice on strategy commonly found on backgammon sites is the recommendation for players to obtain as much information as possible on their opponents’ game plans. Once a new player gains an understanding of his opponent's strengths and weaknesses, along with the way in which he uses the board and the opening rolls of the die to his advantage, he is in a much better position to counteract his opponent's game plan.
Common tips that are easy to remember and simple to incorporate into a backgammon game can also be found online. An example of a useful backgammon tip is to ensure that checkers traverse the board in pairs. This makes them less vulnerable to the hits and obstructions an opponent can use to slow the pace of the game.
Expert backgammon writer Gene Marshall is commissioned by several recognized online backgammon magazines. The author writes commentaries about backgammon setup and advanced backgammon strategy . More info and articles by Gene Marshall on the topic of backgammon are obtainable on line.