One of the oldest board games (almost 5,000 years old) combines strategy and luck. Most scholars agree that the word comes from the Middle English baec (back) and gamen (game). The game is represented in art, such as “The Triumph of Death” by Pieter Brueghel.

The two player game consists in a board, 15 checkers for each player (two different colors) and one pair of dice. The players have to move their checkers between the 24 triangles one the board towards their “home” and then off the board. One player moves his checkers clockwise, another counterclockwise.

The players roll one dice and the player with the higher number starts the game. The checkers are moved according to the dice. A roll of double (e.g. 3-3) doubles the moves, meaning four moves of three spaces each. If a checker lands on a space occupied by an opposing checker it can send him outside the board and has to be placed according to the dice on a space from the opponent’s home. After all the checkers have been moved to a player’s home, he begins to remove them (to bear them off), according to the die numbers. The first to remove all checkers wins the game.


  • Creator: Unknown
  • Place of creation: Mesopotamia
  • Date of creation: cc 3000 BC
  • Type of game: Board game
  • Players: 2
  • Age: 7+
Backgammon set