Boards and pieces: the Backgammon game set
A standard backgammon game set includes a backgammon board, fifteen black playing
pieces, fifteen white playing pieces, and two dice. An ancient backgammon set included
sixty pieces altogether, double that of the modern sets. Each player's pieces are
distributed evenly throughout the board and it is the objective of the game to collect all
of a player's fifteen pieces onto one side of the board. Once this is accomplished, the
goal is to take them all out before the opponent has a chance to do the same. A
backgammon set may sometimes include a doubling cube as well as the standard two dice.
This cube is used to speed up the game and to add a further dimension to the game's
strategy. It is a recent development to the game, only appearing in the mid-1920s.
Top players typically prefer a leather backgammon game set since this material creates
a "quiet" game, muffling the noise of the throw of the dice and the movement of the
pieces. Some boards may be covered with felt to create a quiet board and are a
less-expensive alternative to the leather sets. The board of a traditional backgammon game
set is made of inlaid wood, usually of two colors and may be folded in half. This creates
a compact box for the pieces belonging to the game to act as a container when stored. The
board for the game as we know it today, has been around since the 17th century.
Whatever a player's preference in board size or sound, the backgammon game set remains
simple and timeless. The game itself is as old as the ancient cities of Mesopotamia and
has continued through the ages to challenge the players of today.