Backgammon is an “easy-to-learn” game you’ll be grappling with for years. While it appears simple on the surface, the deeper you go into the strategy and concepts of the game, the deeper you dive, the more layers you find underneath. It’s a game that you can spend a lifetime with and still have more to learn. But, you’ve got to start somewhere, and this is as good a place as any.
Let’s start with the basics…
Backgammon is old. Like, really old. The Origin of Backgammon: The 5,000-Year-Old Board Game
But it’s easy to learn. Backgammon Basics – And How to Play
The best mobile app and online playing…
Extreme Gammon (XG) is pretty much the “industry standard” for super-smart tutorial and backgammon play. Available for Android, iOS, and desktop (Windows only, unfortunately), all serious players use it. http://www.extremegammon.com/
Use a Mac but want to analyze your games like XG’s Windows-only desktop version? BGBlitz is absolutely the way to go. Bonus: one software license will work on Mac, Windows and Linux operating systems. http://www.bgblitz.com/index.html
Backgammon NJ is another excellent opponent for mobile devices, based on one of the earliest backgammon neural networks, SNOWIE. Available for Android and iOS devices. https://www.njsoftware.com/index.html
Want to play live people in tournament-style play, but at your own pace? Try the best turn-based backgammon website around (and also one of the earliest websites on the World Wide Web), Daily Gammon. http://www.dailygammon.com/
Ready to try serious, on-the-clock-style tournament action? Backgammon Galaxy is for you. A slick interface meets an Extreme Gammon analytics package, allowing you to learn just how awful you really are. https://backgammongalaxy.com/
You’ll want to buy a board…
Boards, and the various components that accompany them, from dice and stones to clocks and baffle boxes, are a matter of personal preference and aesthetics. Everyone has their favorite, and many have more than one. You can find them most anywhere, from garage sales to Amazon and eBay, but here are a few specialty sources for boards of every budget.
Gammon Village: https://www.gammonvillage.com/backgammon-shop/
Gammon Guys: http://gammonguys.com/
Gammoner US: https://www.gammoner.us/
P-40 Backgammon: https://p40bg.com/
Geoffrey Parker: https://www.geoffreyparker.com/
While the Dallas Backgammon League is North Texas-specific, we realize there’s a wider world out there, and some people move from place to place and want to find a game while on the road. Here’s a good list to find action all across the U.S.
Federations, Tours, and Tournaments…
The United States Backgammon Federation helps govern much of the play in the U.S. http://usbgf.org/
The USBGF sponsors the American Backgammon Tour. https://usbgf.org/usbgf-events/abt-events/
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Texas’ own premier backgammon tournament, the Texas Backgammon Championships, held every year in late January on San Antonio’s River Walk. It’s not only tops in Texas, it’s one of the best, most prestigious tournaments in the world. https://www.texasbackgammon.com/
For everything else, from advanced strategy, tips-and-tricks, history of the game, and a repository of all things backgammon, it’s hard to do better than visiting Backgammon Galore! It’s all there. Seriously. All of it. https://bkgm.com/
Forests of books have been written on the subject of the game, everything from “Backgammon for Dummies” to insights on esoteric strategies devoured by world class players the world over. Really, there are too many to mention, but the widely-regarded Bible of Backgammon, the cleverly-named “Backgammon,” by the late, great Paul Magriel, eventually finds its way on to the bookshelf of all serious players.
Need a score sheet? Try ours! http://dallasbackgammonleague.org/docs/dbl-score-sheet.pdf