Version Française The Origin of Backgammon English Version

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Academy of Armory - Holme, Randle 1682


The Usuall games within the tables

Irish, it is an ingenious game and requires a great deale of skill to play it well, especially the after game ; it is not to be learned otherwise then by observation and practice. It consists most, of the safe bringing home of your scattered men and the speedy filling of your owne table, and then in bearing them without blotting : termes which we shall explain afterwards.

Back-Gammon, it is the same to Irish, and the men soe placed, only differ in this, that doubletts in this game is fourfould, which make a quicker dispach of the game.

Tick-Tack. In this game all your men are set on the Ace point, and so plaid forward to fill your tables, but with this care, that an vnbound man be not hit in the way by one of the Adversaries men: which if he doe not, but that you fill all the points of your second table with our owne men uyou haue won two. Much more might be said as to the craft of the play, which cannot be discouered but from observation.

Dubblets. This is an easie and childish play and performed by haueing all the 15 men set double on the six points, the 6. 5. 4. haueing three apeece: what is throwne is layd downe, and if one throws and hath it not, the other lays downe for him, and thus they do till all be downe: and then they beare: now dubblets in this game, is as many to be layd downe and borne as the dubblets are.

Sice-Ace. It is played with six or more men apeece, where the one load the other with Aces, and sices beares onely, and dubbletts throws againe; and he that hath first borne his men wins.

Ketch-dolt and seuerall other games there are which were a superfluity to mention.

Gamesters Lawes for Tables

1. He that throws most with a single die, hath the benefite of the first throw for any game he plays at.

2. Dubblets or doublets in Irish are noe more then they are, but in Back-Gammon are to be played foure tymes over : and in the Game of doublets they are as many to laye downe and beare up, as they are.

3. If both beare togather in Back-Gammon he that is first off without doublets wins one of the game. If he that beares goes off with doublets he wins two.

4. If your tables be clear and you hath borne all your men off, before the other hath brought in all his men, that is a Back-Gammon, which is three : and if you thus goe off with doublets it is foure casts or Hits.

5. A hit is not to passe, though you throw such a cast that some of your men may reach one of your adversaries unbound man : because of a stop in the way, and then it is nothing.

6. If you fill up all the points of your second table with your owne men, you win two hits of the game in Tick-Tack.

7. If you touch a man you must play him though to your losse, from whence it is Tick-Tack, that is touch and take.

8. If you hit your adverserie and neglect the advantage, you are taken your selfe with a Why not, which is the losse of one cast.

9. If you are in and your cast be such as you may take your adversaries eleventh point by two other men, and you se it not, either by carlessnesse, or eager prosecution of a hit which is apparent before your eyes, you losse two casts irrecoverably.

10 It is lawfull for any Gamester to stop the runing of his adversaries dice at his pleasure : causing him to cast a new.

Termes used by Gamesters at tables

A cast, is the throwing of the dice.

A chance of a die.

An after game.

A Blott or blotting : when a man lies open to his adversarie ; or is not bound.

To Beare the men, is to take him up out the tables.

Makeing, is when you have not a man in it due place or point to be borne, but must be shifted from an other point.

Doublets, is two of a sort as two Aces, 2 duces, 2 treys &c.

A Hit, is when 5.7. or 9 is the game, then a hit is on of the set, or number in that game, towards getting up.

A hit in Tick-Tack is when you can upon a cast take an unbound man : which is one.

A Passe, is for the man to be removed from on point to an other without a stop of the men of the contrary party.

A nonpasse, is when the adverse men are so set that you cannot passe with your man, or men till he give you liberty.

An entering of a man, is to place him in the takes againe after his takeing up by a hit, it being not bound.

A Binding of a man, is to hath two togather upon one point of the tables.

A Man unbound, is a single man upon a point. Se blott.

To play at length, to set a man as fare on the points at the cast of the dice were.

To play at home, or close at home.

A double game, is when two hits is gotten instid of one, and in some playes 3 or 4 hits may be gotten at a tyme, towards the number fixed upon to make the Game up.


Why not, is the neglect of the takeing of a man which you may, which is the loss of an hit.

Toots, is when you fill your table at home, and goe not over into your adversaries.

Boveries, is when you have a man in your owne tables ; and an other in the eleventh and same point of your adversaries directly answering.

Flyers, is when you bring a man round the tables before your adversarie hath got over his first table.

Nap or Knap, or cog a die, is the slurring it out of ones fingers.

Palming, a cuning way of casting a die for the players advantage.

Top or toping a die.