Version Française The Origin of Backgammon English Version

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Irish

Time & Place

1508
England (Irish was the most played variant of table games)

References

1508 - Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer of Scotland
1509 - The Shyp of Folys of the Worlde (The Ship of Fools) - Barclay, Alexander
1514 - The Interlude of Youth - Anonym
1665 - Volume of Plaies - Willughby, Francis
1671 - The English Rogue - Part 4, Chapter XVI - Head, Richard
1674 - The Compleat Gamester - Cotton, Charles
1682 - Academy of Armory - Holme, Randle

Equipment

    Tables
    2 x 15 Men
    2 x 2 Dice
 

Rules

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
Gammon No
Backgammon No
Special Rules
"Binding the table" (Willughby): if you close your home board (at least 2 men on each point of the home board). In this case, if your opponent has at least 1 man on the bar, he cannot continue. You have to free 1 point that means that you have to let only 1 man on it. This action is called "to break the table". All the men but 1, are born off  from a point of the home board and put on the bar. They must be re-entered in the opponent's home board as if they were hit. To decide which point is "broken", each player throws 2 dice. The one that obtains the best roll decides.
Of course if the opponent does not have any man on the bar, it is not necessary to break the table. 
Variants Can be played with 4 players (Willughby)