Tag Archives: backgammon

An Admirer of Backgammon

The following letter appeared in the Times of London on 20 October 1789.


Mr. Editor,

When you have a corner to ſpare in your entertaining paper,be kind enough to inſert the following, by which you will much oblige

Somerſet Place, 16th October 1789

A. has bore all his men but five, which are thuſ ſituated ;- on his duce point two, on his trois point two, and on his quatre point one. B. has on A.’s ace point two men. A. throws quatre ace ;- how is he obliged by the Laws of Backgammon to play it?

Continue reading

Though his skill was good, his luck was bad

This is a lovely little poem about backgammon (tables) that was first published in 1640. I am not clear on what the game would have involved as the rules have changed but the message is as true today as it was then.


165. Upon John Crop, who dyed by taking a vomit.

Mans life’s a game at Tables, and he may
Mend his bad fortune by his wiser play ;
Death playes against us, each disease and sore
Are blots. if hit, the danger is the more
To lose the game ; but an old stander by
Binds up the blots, and cures the malady,
And so prolongs the game ; John Crop was he
Death in a rage did challenge for to see
His play. the dice are thrown. when first he drinks,
Casts, makes a blot, death hits him with a Sinque :
He casts again, but all in vain, for death
By th’after game did win the prize, his breath.
What though his skill was good, his luck was bad,
For never mortall man worse casting had.
But did not death play false to win from such
As he? No doubt, he bare a man too much. Continue reading