Version Française The Origin of Backgammon English Version

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Early Backgammon

Time & Place



1635 - Familiar Letters - Howell, James

1665 - Volume of Plaies - Willughby, Francis

1671 - The English Rogue - Head, Richard - Part 4, Chapter XVI

1674 - The Compleat Gamester - Cotton, Charles

1682 - Academy of Armory - Holme, Randle


    Backgammon board
    2 x 15 Pawns (men)
    2 x 2 Dice


Initial Position Identical
Start of the Game Each player throws 1 die and the best starts.
Moves Identical
Bearing Off Yes
Bet No
Doublets Played 4 times
If you bear off your 15 men before your opponent has brought all his men in his home board, you win a "Backgammon". "Backgammon" is similar to present "Gammon" (the equivalent of present "Backgammon" does not exist) except a little difference: your opponent does not need to bear 1 man to avoid "Backgammon" contrary to present "Gammon".
According to Willughby, Backgammon is a double game and a triple game if the last throw is a doublet.
According to Cotton and Holme, Backgammon is a triple game and a fourfold game if the last throw is a doublet.
Backgammon No
Special Rules
If you win by bearing off the last men with a doublet, you win a double game.
Variants Can be played with 4 players (Willughby)