The game of backgammon is 1000s of years old with it’s early form found in the middle east and it’s still a popular game throughout the world today. I have fond memories of playing Backgammon with my Grandfather, sat in the garden on a summer’s day. Of course, you don’t need to wait for a summer’s day to play Backgammon, you can play it in your man cave, living room, on the dining table or even a folding table, to name but a few. To play this game you will require a backgammon board set and below are some of the best backgammon board sets we can find.
Our Top Pick Backgammon Board Set
Before we start, you need to understand that you have many options when choosing a backgammon board. There are portable options (think of mini suitcases), wood surfaces, leather surfaces, felt surfaces, budget versions, tournament versions and expensive handmade options. These are some of the things you need to consider when looking for the best backgammon set for the money. Let’s begin with Leather…
Best Leather Backgammon Game Sets
There are numerous leather backgammon sets available with prices ranging from $20+ to $1,000s. Below are a couple of choices that we feel are great for the budget, mid-price and luxury range.
Budget Leather and Felt Backgammon Board Set Review
This is our favourite budget backgammon board game. It is a very nice leather encased backgammon set that comes with a lovely felt internal playing surface and is perfect for someone new to backgammon or if you want a great started board. It’s a suitcase style design with handles so this is portable and easy to carry – you can be set-up and throwing the dice in seconds. It comes with everything you require – Dice, Shakers, Doubling Cube, Chips and a great backgammon strategy book to get you started. This would make a perfect present for someone who is interested in taking up this great game.
Another good thing about this leather and felt backgammon board is that it comes in a choice of three sizes. 15″ x 11″, 19″ x 14.75″ or 22.5″ x 18″. Need a small carry case backgammon game that can be played on planes or packed tightly away for holidays – choose the 15″ x 11″. Want a bigger set? – Choose one of the larger versions.
If you want the best leather backgammon game set money can buy, this is not the set to purchase however if you are looking for a well-made budget game that will provide you with everything you need to start enjoying backgammon without breaking the bank to do it – this fits the bill perfectly.
Best Mid Price Leather Game Set
There are many great mid-price leather sets, but we have gone for the Silverman & Co range. If you are looking for a board that has a feel of being built by masters in their field the silverman & co range fall into this bracket at a really surprising price. We expected the cost to be much higher.
Silverman & Co Backgammon Set, 19-Inch, Large, Dark or Light Brown Board Review
This is our top recommendation based on quality v price. When you open the premium leatherette case you will find the Dice, Dice holders and stones neatly and securely packed in their correct position waiting to be used. The Dice cups are lined with felt – which is a very nice touch. The playing surface itself, is covered in a seemless felt adding to the luxurious feel for board. This also acts a sound buffer when the dice is rolled on the board. You are purchasing a handsome table that has been made with love and care.
This a carry case version which makes it easy for you to carry making it extremely portable for when you want to take it to friends homes, clubs, tournaments or on holidays – You can pack it up and carry it like a suitcase. You also have a choice of color schemes to choose from.
If you’re looking for a tournament quality table without paying $200+ Silverman & Co will have an option to choose from their range. To see the one featured above follow the link below.
To see the full range of Silverman & Co range follow the link below:
Best Luxury Leather Game Set
There are several top quality handmade luxury board makers and one of the great names in Backgammon table sets is Zara and Sacci. Their backgammon range is hand-made in Italy and are sold in top stores around the world. Below is a 20″ luxury leather game set.
Zaza & Sacci Luxury Leather Backgammon Game Set Review
Zaza & Sacci have many different backgammon sets to choose from. They come in different sizes, materials and colors. What they all have in common is hand-made Italian quality and craftmanship.
This 20″ black leather game set is made from premium Dollaro leather and come with two 24kt gold-plated clasps and key locks. The stones / checkers are made from high gloss mother of pearl and the cups to shake the tournament precision dice are also coated in premium leather with beautiful felt interior. This model also has a double leather handle – this product oozes quality.
Yes this range is expensive. Yes there are far cheaper options. However, if you are after a luxury leather backgammon set that will provide tournament quality game play and hand crafted Italian style – Zaza & Sacci is here.
If you want to see many more of their range including tournament size tables, click below.
Best Wood Backgammon Game Sets
Many lovers of Backgammon insist on playing on a wooden table. Now it would be easy to just list the really expensive hand-made wooden boards but that wouldn’t be fair on those of us who want a value for money wood option. Therefore we have provided backgammon board game set reviews of what we consider to be a really good budget, mid-price and luxury option for your consideration. so below are a mixture of wooden boards that range in price.
Best Budget Wood Game Set
17” Backgammon Game Set Wood Inlay Board Set Review
This is a mid-size , easy to carry, easy to store wooded backgammon game set. At 15 inches it’s not a full size set but it is big enough to still have a great game using it. This looks pretty luxurious for the price and both the inside and outside looks really nice. Although it doesn’t have a carry handle, it comes with internal magnets to keep the board closed when not in use.
If you want a set that has to be wooden but at a budget price, a set that is portable and would be perfect for holidays or playing at home – this is a great choice.
Best Mid-Price Wooden Game Set
For the mid-price option we have chosen the range by orion woodcraft. They make and supply a number of different sized and priced wood backgammon sets that should have a board to fit most styles and tastes.
Orion Woodcraft – 18″ Zebra Wood Review
The orion woodcraft boards can come in a variety of woods. The one above uses black / Zebra color wood veneer for the exterior whilst the interior is built using oak. The Dice holders are also made from wood to match the board. If this color is not to your taste there are a number of wood finished options to choose from in their range.
This model comes with a very stylish handle option with two latches to ensure the game is firmly shut when not in use or when carrying it to play at a different location. This a good-looking game set that will provide hours of backgammon fun.
If you want to look at other wood and color finishes for this game set, click the link below.
Best Luxury Wooden Game Set
You really can spend $1000s on a luxury wooden backgammon table however we wanted to provide you with a luxury option that doesn’t cost anywhere near that.
Christopher Street Deluxe Lacquered Backgammon Set
This is made by Bello Games from New York who have years of experience of making and supplying luxury board games. Made from walnut, maple and ebony, this wooden set looks stunning with its high sheen lacquered finish. You can really see the detail of the lacquered wood grains when it’s open and closed. It’s definitely not an eye sore if you wanted to keep this game out on display.
The stones / checkers are made from polished Uria stone to add to the feeling of quality and the dice holders are stitched leather with a nice felt inlay that match the colors of board set. This is an 18″ board set which provides a large playing surface so the pieces doesn’t feel cramped. This doesn’t come with handles but has an internal magnet locking system to keep the game securely closed when not in use.
Backgammon Board Buying Guide
To help you with your decision when reading backgammon board game reviews we have provided a number of points for you to consider that will help you choose the best backgammon board game for the money (your available budget).
You will have several material choices when purchasing a board.
- Wood – is a common board material and can look fantastic. The are louder than other materials when the dice are rolled onto the playing surface and this may annoy you over time. Most if not all tournaments do not use wood backgammon boards because of the noise. However some people prefer the noise of the dice hitting table surface.
- Felt / Leather – The majority of the leather boards will have a leather or felt surface. This dampens the noise when you roll the dice and it’s these surfaces that are used in tournaments. Leather / Felts or other similar materials also provide a little friction for the checkers / stones so they do not slide about on the table when hit or moving them.
That being said, for occasional use or home use, wood, leather or felt boards are great and it comes down to personal choice.
2. Size of boards
Boards come in a variety of sizes depending on their purpose. For example, travel boards can be quite small. The most common sizes are:
- Small Boards – up to 15 inch backgammon boards
- Medium Boards – 17 inch backgammon boards /18 inch backgammon boards
- Large Boards – 19 inch backgammon boards /21 inch backgammon boards (Tournament Size)
Unless you require a small board for travel and storage, I would go for a medium or large board because you will have more space to roll the dice and move the checkers.
You can have great fun playing on a budget backgammon table with standard dice. However, if you can afford it, use precision dice. They will have little to no defects and ensure a true role. Another point to consider is that the better backgammon dice have rounded corners so that the dice rolls more.
The cups are used to roll the dice. Again they are usually wood, leather with felt or a man-made material such as plastic. They need to be large enough so that dice can be shaken before throwing. Remember that wood cups will make more noise than felt / leather which may or may not be what you want.
5. Checkers / Stones
The material the checkers or stones are made of will depend on a few factors, especially budget. The cheaper boards will come with either wood, plastic or other man-made materials. The mid, luxury and tournament boards can come with shaped natural stone pieces. What I will say is whatever your budget can afford, heavier checkers are better (in my opinion) so that they do not easily slide about the table, which can happen with light checkers.