Backgammon is one of the oldest games known and has been played in a form or another for more than 5000 years. But why has this seemingly simple game has fascinated countless generations of players since the dawn of civilization? What makes backgammon so special? Well, I think one of the main reasons is that backgammon is a wonderful brain game and it always keeps the player challenged. You can never get bored playing backgammon because there will always be a situation that you have never encountered before. Let me give you a tour of the reasons why backgammon is such a great brain game.
Backgammon is a great brain game because it requires constant adjusting
In many ways backgammon is a metaphor for life. Each player starts with the same chances, but they have to deal with what the dice are giving them. While playing a game of backgammon, you constantly have to reevaluate the situation and adjust to it. The blitz you are planning on this roll could be an obsolete strategy the next one, the cube that you want to offer now might be too good in a roll or two. You need a plan, but you shouldn’t be afraid to change it when the situation evolves. The adaptation skill you will gain playing backgammon will help you in a tremendous number of situations in real life.
Backgammon is a great brain game because it makes you use math in a fun way
Do you remember struggling in school to understand probabilities and percentages during the math class? You thought that this will never be of any use in your everyday life, but actually you were wrong. Backgammon is a highly mathematical game and you must master some of it if you want to reach success. Knowing the probability of being hit while moving a checker can make the difference between victory or defeat. Understand what’s your winning percentage when an opponent offers you the doubling cube can stop him from trying to bluff you out of the game. I personally think backgammon should be used to teach probability and percentages to kids at school. I already saw many initiatives in this sense and every time the feedback is great. The kids love the game and understand quicker because they can relate to real problems instead of some abstract one in their school books. Don’t be afraid of math, playing backgammon will help you develop your math skill without even you noticing it. And once again, it is knowledge you will not be using only in backgammon but in your everyday life.
Backgammon is a great brain game because it makes you mentally tough
Backgammon is often referred to as « the cruelest game .» This is a strong statement but it is, in my opinion, completely accurate . After playing for a while, you will have numerous stories about how you lost that game by an incredible streak of bad luck or how you dance five times in a row on your two points opponent’s inner board. Trust me, you are not alone. A winning position can deteriorate in a few rolls and become a losing one in front of you and there is nothing you can do about it. One more time, we can see some parallels with real life here. How many times something you thought sure and secure completely collapsed without warning? The difference between an average and a good player is the faculty to deal with those unpredictable events and to get the best of it. You have to be mentally tough to play backgammon at a high level. You have to be ready to sustain severe losses while playing at your best level and not be rewarded for all the effort you put in it. I don’t want to sound discouraging, but to prepare you for what every backgammon player has to face at some point. But if you put enough effort in it, you will overcome the odds and on a long streak, the good result will be yours to show.
It is clear that backgammon is a complex game that needs a long time to be mastered. But the good news is you don’t need to be a master to enjoy it. Enjoy the journey as much as the results. Backgammon will help you develop skills that you don’t suspect. Your mind will get sharper and you will face situations in life with a different eye, the eye of a backgammon player. Together, let’s make backgammon famous around the world because everybody needs a great brain game in their life!