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Chess or Backgammon - Which is Faster to Learn and More Fun to Play Win

Updated on January 14, 2015

Introduction to Chess and Backgammon

Chess and backgammon are very old games. It is estimated that chess has been around for 1400 - 1500 years. Backgammon has been around 4,000 - 5,000 years.

Both chess and backgammon have been written about extensively. Over the centuries there have been thousands of books and articles written about both games. One book that comes to mind "Backgammon" by Paul Magriel, a former backgammon world champion, is largely considered a masterpiece and is somewhat difficult to find (I was able to buy on Ebay after some aggressive bidding).

They are played on virtually all continents.

These games are truly part of mankind's intellectual heritage. A well known part of our history as a people.

This article gives a little insight into which is faster to learn and more fun to play and win.

Which is Easier to Learn Chess or Backgammon?

Backgammon is way easier to learn. Anyone can learn backgammon with about 10 minutes of instruction and a few practice games. All of the pieces on the board are of equal importance and move around the board in the same direction. The most confusing part of backgammon to first-time players is how the dice are used. Dice in backgammon, unlike any other dice game, do not necessarily get totalled together as they would in a monopoly game for example. Each die is viewed independently. If you roll a 4 on one die and 3 on another, you can move one piece 4 spaces and another piece 3 spaces, or combine them to move the same piece 4 spaces, then another 3. Rolls of doubles can get a little confusing to a novice as well. More on that when you learn the game on your own.

Chess, on the other hand, is very complicated. Each piece (king, queen, bishops, knights, rooks (castle) and pawn) all have their own unique moves. The way each piece moves must be memorized by the new chess player. There are also extensive strategies and tactics to learn in chess.

For first time players, backgammon is way easier to start playing right away than chess.

Which Game Takes More Time to Play?

Chess! A typical game between two casual players I'd suggest will last about a half hour. You can play time limit games but most casual players just set up the board and play with no time limit. A game can last 20 minutes, two hours, two weeks or months. Some chess games are long drawn out battles, others are quick and fast (usually when one player is simply dominated by another)

Backgammon games last about 10 minutes. Even world championship matches I see on YouTube last this long.

Is Backgammon all Luck? Which Game has More Strategy?

Backgammon is not, not all luck. The dice do present an element of luck but backgammon greats know how to respond to 'bad' rolls and use the odds to their advantage.

Backgammon is a game loaded with strategy and mental fortitude. 'Hitting' opponents checkers at the right time, understanding how far ahead or behind you are (harder to do than you think), and employing various strategies and counter strategies based on your rolls are just the tip of the iceberg.

That said, there is no comparison, chess involves way, way more strategy. In terms of board games, chess is war. There are strategies that involve tactics, attacks, checks, interference, sacrifices, etc. You are constantly trying to out think (and often break down) your opponent mentally in chess. There is no luck in chess. No roll of the dice

Which Game is More Fun? Backgammon or Chess?

This is a hard question to answer. Both are great fun. Each game can be enjoyed by chess enthusiasts and backgammon lovers alike. That said, there are some differences.

Backgammon is More Fun than Chess if:

You are looking for a game that is fast to learn

You want to play a game that takes 10 minutes

You want to play a game where you, as a novice, has a chance of beating an expert.

You want the option of learning of lifetime of strategies but it is not required.

You like the joy and heartbreak of the roll of the dice.

You like learning percentages and odds (for the advanced player)

Some Backgammon Strategies

To give you an idea of some backgammon strategies you should learn when you become familiar with the game, here is one of many.... learn the best opening (first) move when you throw double (the same number on both dice)

See Below.....

Chess is More Fun than Backgammon if:

You don't mind a game that takes a longer time to learn

You have time to play longer more drawn out games

You prefer games that do not involve luck.

You are willing to learn multiple tactics and at least some strategies (or, trust me, you'll never win)

So What Do You Think?

I personally enjoy backgammon to chess because it seems so many people play it and it is something you can play real quick. There is no time commitment.

That said, the mystery and complexities of chess are wonderful.

If you have tried either of these games, please try to learn them. There are lots of resources that will help you learn to play chess and backgammon.

Guestbook Comments

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    • TurtleDog70 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Thanks for the comment Sylvestermouse! Yeah I think once you learn chess, you never forget it. There's no game like it. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      6 years ago from United States

      I have played both games. Would you believe I pulled out my backgammon board this past summer to teach my son how to play and I could not remember. ugh! Chess, I have never forgotten :)

    • TurtleDog70 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Thanks DannyStaple! I added the Dual Module.. Thanks for the feedback!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Nto a bad lens - I play both chess & backgammon. You could probably add some pizzaz to this with a duel module (what does the reader think is easier). Some backgammon/chess sets throughout, and more pictures. I'd also suggest pushing the Gold/mind reading links below the comments box as they're off the topic, but I can see you want to benefit from the links.


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