Western (Modern) vs. Persian (Traditional) Backgammon

Backgammon, with more than 5,000 years of history, is now making fundamental progress with the innovations of modern life and the Internet, as with all other aspects of human life.

In general, in the current situation, two groups of backgammon players in the world play this old game.

Two backgammon player types

There are generally two types of backgammon players. The first type consists of players who play a mix of right and wrong checker moves, and in competition with players in the same category, they sometimes win and sometimes lose. Most players generally fall into this group by learning backgammon at the family level and playing limited games with friends and family only. The lack of an online backgammon system that fully complies with Persian regulations has also been another reason for the inability of prominent Persian players to develop their game strategy in competition with a wider range of experienced players throughout the history of the Internet. 

The second group consists of players who are mostly more familiar with the computer tools and Internet to learn and play backgammon in a scientific way and, with specific backgammon strategies, compete unlimitedly with global opponents. This group of players, regardless of whether they play Persian or Western matches, are often winning against the first group’s players. This discourages first-type players from turning to western or modern backgammon or even participating in online tournaments by isolating themselves. Over the course of a hundred years of Western backgammon, its remarkable development dates back to the thirties of the Internet age. The differences mentioned between the above two group types of experienced players, which are clearly related to the impossibility of using online backgammon, have caused a deep rift and division between Persian and Western backgammon players.

Differences between Persian and Western backgammon

In summary, the following are the main differences between the Persian and Western backgammon styles:

  • Impossibility of doubling, no doubling cube
  • Impossibility to hit the opponent’s checker in your home board and escape on an anchor and stay there to be safe
  • In the first game, the first dice roll goes randomly to any of the players but from the second game, it goes to the winner of the last game
  • If you move a checker, it can’t be returned back you have to play it
  • Each match is always only 5 points 

What can be done to eliminate this dichotomy?

For the first time ever in the world of online backgammon, with the impressive presence and unparalleled support of the members and players familiar with both Persian and Western backgammon styles, the Canada Backgammon Institute has developed a new style of online backgammon in which due to the current limitations and lack of having Persian online backgammon, using authentic online backgammon designed in the Western style, holds Western-style world tournament competitions for its members but without the use of doubling cube. This innovative method has attracted a lot of attention and interest from both groups of players above and has led to the removal of the thick and high separating wall that prevented the opponents of both groups from facing each other for a century since the innovation of western backgammon. 

Online Persian Match Backgammon

One of the most important goals of the Canada Backgammon Institute is to focus on the newly available tools and technology to design and develop the first Persian online backgammon system. At the time of writing, with the unparalleled support of the active members of the institute, and also with the cooperation of the online backgammon development and design team of the online Studio Heroes, the first Persian online backgammon Persian Match has been designed and tested on the Backgammon Studio website, is now available to everyone around the world. This version will soon be used as the only server for Persian online backgammon competitions in the Canada Backgammon Institute for all interested players.


Khashayar Naghshineh

Founder and one of the organizers

Canada Backgammon Institute