Backgammon is a game that is simple to pick up for all and is not rife with gambling.
The board game backgammon is the oldest known board game and is still played to this day. The ancient Egyptians were known to play as were the Romans. The Roman military played the game frequently, often too much as it had been documented soldiers were disciplined for tardiness due to finishing off a match.
A huge stereotype backgammon faces is that it is solely played by shady men in bars who have gambling addictions. This could not be further from the truth. Many women play the game and at the Norwich Backgammon club a third of members were female. Of all those players very few play for money and when they do stakes are minuscule. In Britain alone there are over 2000 competitive players and thousands more casuals.
Sue Metcalf a backgammon player of 30 years said: “Backgammon can be a great, fun game for couples.” Sue and her husband Brian
(pictured above) learned to play together back in the seventies and have loved every second.
Matches are usually played to eleven points at higher level, but are in shorter format at intermediate and beginner level. This has helped backgammon be accessible to all.
For a more in depth look here is our reporter Innes Enslin.