Over the past few years, many traditional games have become very popular through the accessibility and ease of use of the internet. Euchre, poker, board games, and even backgammon, have become a favorite pastime of many. Finding a partner or partners to play you in any game wasn’t always easy, but through the World Wide Web, you can play anyone from the to
, from one player to many.
Not only the fact that there is always a game running somewhere, you now have to option to play for money and enter into tournaments. Backgammon has tournaments consistently on a plethora of sites, and even has a Million Dollar Backgammon tournament. Many sites allow you to play for free, but most at least offer the option of betting your money. It’s another growing industry, and has even found its way to ancient games such as backgammon.
The promotion of backgammon has even gone so far as to have their own Miss Gammon contest! There are many software programs that give tutorials to improve your backgammon skills, as well as a variety of books available. Learning and teaching the basic techniques of backgammon has almost become as big as the game itself.
Many of the tournament sites offer a registration fee ranging from $2 to $100 or even more. There are also “freeroll” tournaments where entry is free, and sometimes the places paid out are seats at real cash games. So sometimes, if you’re good, you don’t even have to bet to win!
It’s no wonder that the market for learning to play backgammon is almost as big as the game play itself. If you are able to win money without spending any, relying only on your skill, why not get good at it?
These same options apply to several other games offered through the internet, Texas Hold ‘Em being one of the biggest ones. In the case of
thought, it has become so large that it widely televised all the time. Even spelling bees are now on TV. There really is no way to predict what the next “big thing” is going to be at this point because the interest and focus of the population changes so frequently. At this point, however, backgammon is still on the rise and who knows where it will end up!
Key Terms to Know when Playing Backgammon
Cube– The doubling cube which starts in the center of the backgammon board and can be used by either player to raise the stakes of the game.
Backgammon– When a player gets a win that is three times the amount on the cube and the opponent still has one or more checkers in your home board or the bar, and they have not yet been able to borne off a checker.
Point– Any one of the triangle shapes on the backgammon board on which the checkers are placed
Blot– Any single open checker sitting on any point and of either color
Bar– The center of the backgammon board where the hit checkers are placed
Barpoint– One of the player’s seven point
Checker (man) – One of the 15 markers used by both players while playing backgammon. Usually colored red and white.
Hit– When you move one of your checkers to a point that is occupied only by one of your opponent’s checkers, sending it to the bar
Hit Loose– When you hit a blot on your own home board, and give your opponent a chance to hit the same checker from their place in the bar
Anchor– When a point in the opposite players home board or bar point is in use by two or more of your checkers
Bear off– During the closing stages, which is when one or both players has succeeded in getting all their checkers to their home board, bearing off is the removal of a checker during this stage
Blockade– When there is any series of points, whether or not they are consecutive, and prevents your opponent from being able to play certain numbers
Run– When you are able to move a back checker into the outer board
Your five point
Prime– When at least four consecutive points are occupied by two or more checkers of the same color
For those who are interested in playing backgammon face to face, the internet has also made that much easier to achieve. Many tournaments and games are organized and announced through the internet, giving the game a whole new group of players. Finding a live game in your area has never been easier, and testing your backgammon strategy has never been more fun.
There are even tournaments and some sites where playing backgammon is accompanied with betting and monetary prizes.