Shuanglu (Backgammon set) was an ancient dice game that has been lost. As a game similar to the flying chess, Shuanglu should have been a popular game in ancient China according to records in literary works and cultural relics handed down.
Shuanglu might have been an exotic game integrated into our national culture, thus becoming an ancient game of China. Ever since its introduction to China, it became popular in Wei during the Three Kingdoms Period, and thrived in the Southern and Northern Dynasties, Sui, Tang, and Song until the Yuan Dynasty. Records about the game increased in the Tang Dynasty, while in Song, it became more prevalent everywhere. During the time, the Shuanglu set was provided in wine and tea shops in the north, so that people could play the game while drinking tea. In the Yuan Dynasty, the game was much loved by men of letters and gifted scholars, for which we could find evidences in the excellent literary works on Shuanglu by the poet Liu Guan, Yuan verse composer Zhou Deqing and playwright Guan Hanqing. Up until the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the game was found declining in popularity; however, it was still mentioned in the novels and plays such as the Plum in the Golden Vase, Marriage of the Flowers in the Mirror and A Wrong Kite. Probably it was because of the prevalence of Chinese chess that Shuanglu, the dice game with a proven history of over 2000 years in China, was gradually washed out of time, until it became totally lost.