Tavli (Backgammon) is a famous traditional game played by Turkish Cypriots of all ages.
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North Cyprus > North Cyprus Guide > North Cyprus Culture > Tavli Backgammon
Father And Son After Hunting
Father And Son After Hunting
photo by: Izzet Zorlu
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North Cyprus Tavli (Tavla)

photo by: Ersin Taser
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Turkish Cypriots love a good game of tavli, or Northern Cyprus backgammon, and a game can draw a little crowd, as the two players battle to get their pieces home and off the board before their opponent.

Tavli, a traditional Cyprus game

Tavli is so popular that you’ll be sure to spot a game in progress outside a café or in a coffee house! The rules are very similar to European backgammon, except that both types of gammon are scored the same and there is no doubling dice. Tavli has interesting set of rules. Anyone who thinks this is a gentle game for old men need only stand and watch in amazement as the players slap their pieces down with vigour, racing around the board with skill and determination.

North Cyprus Tavli, a modern game too!

Nowadays, Northern Cyprus tavli is shedding its rather old-fashioned image and more and more younger people are enjoying this traditional pastime. So, whatever your age, be prepared that if you look interested in a game, you might be invited to join in! Such is the enthusiasm for the game that there are even internet sites where you can play online. Problem is, who is going to serve your Turkish coffee and baklava at your computer? For the authentic experience, simply follow the excited shouts and tell-tale tapping of wooden play pieces on the board for plenty of excitement in the North Cyprus sunshine – and that coffee too!