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The pleasure of playing backgammon and more..

10 March 2009 / 11:03:53  GRReporter
6407 reads



Marina Nikolova

Except for archeological sights, the notion of Greece is connected with the party side of life, because Greeks are loud and fun to be with. They cannot focus on anything else for hours, when the backgammon board is in front of them and they have a cold frappe in hand.

It is a very common view to see people spending their free time playing backgammon and talking lively, while drinking their favorite frappe. The backgammon is from those type of board games, which is played in all coffee shops but we can hear rolling dice also from people’s balconies and yards.

Backgammon is tightly connected to Greeks everyday living – it is a favorite game for generations and texts are written about it from ancient times until today. The board game is part of the Greek culture in all of its aspects.

We play backgammon at home, in coffee shops, mostly where students go, on the beach…everywhere! With every opportunity we get in an afternoon, when we are visiting friends or we are on vacation, we can “hit” the backgammon board. It is a fast game and you need experience, knowledge and quick reactions.

Game of luck and strategy

The game starts with the typical sound of the dice. Together with the initial wish “Let’s go masters” the game starts accompanied with the inevitable pecking, jokes, arguments, in which to whole group of friends is involved. Backgammon is usually played on a point system and winner is whoever gets 3, 5, 7, or 11 points first. The most widely spread point system is 7. For the first point, the players play the three sets of the main games – backgammon, gul bara, and plakoto, one after the other and the winner of the last game throws the dice and says “Let’s go masters!”

When the game is played, the players makes towers—in other words two or more checkers one over the other—stable places, which can help checkers either move forward or “threaten” the checkers of the opponent. Backgammon is a strategic game – you play defense and attack at the same time, the moves are always forward and the goal is to move all checkers as quickly as possible to the opposite side of the board and to collect them out of the game.

Backgammon is not only a strategic game but also a game of luck and risk. This factor is vital for the game and increases the interest. A good player can show his/her value during the game. But when fewer games are played, then the luck is determinant and the dice can win the game for a weaker player.

Backgammon around the world

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