Back in the day, people had no internet, online gambling, World of Warcraft, PlayStation consoles, or similar entertainment methods. They would simply gather around and have fun playing different types of society games while sipping from a glass of wine and eating various snacks. Why shouldn’t you also experience such moments?
Of course, some of you out there have other preferences. For example, a great number of people still love to squeeze their brains in a game of chess
. Others prefer more interactive games and have procured themselves a pool table
to show off their skills and train every day. Other people, however, prefer to carry a folding table
and a backgammon set to challenge their friends, relatives, or acquaintances during vacations or business trips.
Which category do you fall in? If you’re a backgammon enthusiast or know someone who is, you’ve come to the right place. This guide will help you learn everything you need to know about backgammon boards and how to buy one according to your preferences and needs. Still, if you don’t know how to play the game, you can ask someone to teach you.
We want to make it clear right from the start that the market is filled with cheap backgammon sets which tend to fall apart after a couple of uses, or come without accessories and playing pieces. In most cases, products under $15 – $20 fall into this category. If you don’t want to be disappointed (especially if you’re offering the backgammon set as a gift), steer clear of these products.
On the other hand, if you want to buy a sturdy, high-quality backgammon set which boasts premium features, you'll likely need to pay between $20 – $25, or even up to $140. Keep in mind that such sets are made by professional brands which specialize in board games, include the necessary accessories, and are made from eye-catching and luxurious materials such as velvet, velour, and leatherette.
It’s worth spending a bit of time to talk about why some sets cost more than others, despite having relatively the same accessories included in the package. You probably have a car right now and you use it to go places, comfortably and safely. Well, if you were offered a Porsche by a close friend, you wouldn’t say no to it, would you? It’s the same story with backgammon sets.
Most of them are great for playing casual games, but if you want to spice up your experience a little bit or use the set on a special occasion, a luxurious, premium backgammon board is most appropriate. It will make your day! It’ll even take your experience to a whole new level. That's why some sets cost more than others—because they’re made with more attractive materials, built with utmost attention to details, and radiate that "premium" feel. By the way, if you have friends who offer Porsches as gifts, we want to befriend them as well!
Let's go ahead and look at the actual features you need to keep an eye on when buying backgammon sets.
A high-quality backgammon set is usually characterized by these few factors:
- Size - some boards can be 19 inches long, while others are much smaller and compact.
- Materials - premium sets include leatherette exteriors and metal clasps for a safe and secure closure.
- Color scheme - most games incorporate a traditional color scheme, but you shouldn’t be surprised if you also find sets boasting more vibrant and bold chromatics.
- Accessories - be on the lookout for backgammon sets which include playing pieces, dice, and preferably dice cups; you don’t want to go out and buy them separately, do you?
These are the basics of backgammon sets. Some of them might come with more bells and whistles, but these 4 factors will be your foundation before buying.
Construction and Design
Today's backgammon sets are usually built from wood, and that’s okay in most cases. However, some manufacturers use high-quality leatherette for the interior and exterior of the board. Similarly, certain brands use velour or velvet for the playing surface, giving you a premium sensation each time you play.
The design of a backgammon set can also vary greatly. Some of them fold in half and come with a built-in handle, incorporated in the structure of the board. Others come with a regular handle, made from durable materials, and replicate the appearance of a travel case. It’s up to you to decide what's best for you or for the backgammon enthusiast you’ll gift with this item.
Performance and Ease of Use
You might also be happy to find out that high-quality backgammon sets come with various accessories such as the required playing pieces, 2 sets of dice, dice cups, and even a doubling cube for when you feel really lucky. These pieces can be placed inside the board when you're done playing, waiting for you and your next game.
Even better yet, some manufacturers offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can return your board game if you feel something isn’t right. When it comes to maintenance, just use a damp cloth and basic cleaning products to rub the board and the playing pieces, and you're done—no rubbing and scrubbing.
There isn’t much to think of when buying a backgammon set, but it is wise to take these factors into account. Now that you know more about this board game, let's have a look at the actual products we’ve chosen for this review.
Mainstreet Classics is a subsidiary of GLD Products and specializes in board games. Among its products we can find foosball games, billiard sets, chess sets, and domino games. What makes these games special is that they’re small in size, lightweight, and totally portable. You can take them with you wherever you go—on vacations, on business trips, and so on. And all of these features come at a reasonable price, too!
Let's focus on the Mainstreet Classics 18-inch Backgammon Set now and explore its features. It features a leatherette storage case, which gives this board game a beautiful and luxurious feel. The closing mechanism is metallic, so it can take a lot of wear and tear—and when you open the case, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find an attractive velvet and leatherette interior. This backgammon set will make you become addicted to this game, whether you like it or not!
On top of that, you’ll also find two pairs of dice in the package as well as dice cups featuring decorative stitches. The set also comes with playing pieces and a doubling cube—and all of this weighs only 5 pounds and has dimensions of 18.5 x 11.7 x 2.5 inches, which makes it portable and lightweight. This set is the perfect gift for your dad!
As you would imagine, Trademark Games strives to provide its customers with a multitude of attractive and entertaining board games such as chess, backgammon, checkers, dominoes, foosball, and many others. The game sets made by this brand preserve a classic, traditional-style design and are made to be practical and versatile. We were really impressed by the products made by Trademark Games, and obviously, they awaken beautiful childhood memories for us. It might do it for you too!
We picked the Deluxe Wooden Chess, Checker and Backgammon Set from Trademark Games as our Best Value option because it allows you to enjoy 3 classic games in one beautiful and convenient box. For example, open up the box and there you go, you have a neat backgammon board. Flip it and you have a chess board. Flip it again and you’ll have a checkers board. When you're done playing, just close the board and take it with you wherever you go or store it conveniently in your living room, as the board doesn’t occupy a lot of space.
Another big advantage is that this set comes with all the accessories you need for playing your favorite games. You’ll get 32 chess pieces, 30 backgammon pieces (which can also be used for checkers), 5 dice, and 2 dice cups. The board is also made from solid wood and gives you an authentic, vintage feel whenever you play. Best of all, it has convenient dimensions of 15.5 x 15.8 x 1 inches, so carrying it won’t be too much of a hassle!
We couldn’t ignore the offerings of the Silverman & Co brand, which specializes in backgammon sets and currently sells dozens of such board games in different color options. This company has a solid reputation for making backgammon sets of different sizes as well as various color schemes, to appeal to the preferences of almost every customer. Best of all, the larger sets (over 13 inches) come with a sturdy handle, so you can easily carry them around.
We were particularly impressed by the 19-inch Premium Backgammon Set from Silverman & Co, but this is really just one set among the many this brand produces. What makes this model special is the attention to details: it features a smooth playing surface, leatherette exterior, and strong frame—and the handle makes it easy to carry to and from tournaments and parties—it’s dimensions of 19 x 12.6 x 2.8 inches helps too! Obviously, the playing stones are included as well as 2 pairs of dice and 2 dice cups.
This model features black and white pieces, and a blue and white color scheme. Silverman & Co makes other backgammon sets in other colors such as red, yellow, brown, green, and even purple. Therefore, if you’re sure this is the set you want to buy, make sure you check out the brand's entire line of backgammon sets to decide on the color.
Yellow Mountain Imports sells a wide variety of board games and accessories for them. We were actually amazed to find out how many interesting products this brand offers. For example, if you’re out of dice, you can buy a complete set of 100 multicolored dice which will last you a lifetime! Similarly, this company specializes in dominoes boards, game score sheets, travel bags for board games, and even card holders.
On a similar note, we greatly appreciated the 17” Classic Leatherette Backgammon Game Set from this brand because of its simplicity and versatility. On the outside, this backgammon set looks like a slim, business-like travel case—you can even take it with you on an airplane, and everyone will think you're a lawyer! When you open it, however, you’ll find a genuine backgammon board full of accessories such as playing stones, dice sets, and dice cups.
The beauty of this board is that it includes a velour surface and leatherette inlays, not to mention that the exterior is made from carefully stitched leatherette. The board is closed using sturdy metal clasps and when you're done playing, just grab the board by its handle and you're good to go! It’s also easy to store with dimensions of 17.1 x 11.4 x 2.6 inches while closed.
Finally, we reached our 5th product which is from CHH, a company whose name doesn’t say much, but which offers hundreds of board games and accessories. For example, did you know that you can buy a card shuffler from CHH? This brand also makes card holders, Mahjong sets, and a plethora of other exciting and entertaining games.
The reason we included the Recreational Vinyl Backgammon Set from CHH in our review is that it features a more eye-catching color scheme. The brown and white design is cleverly made to entice you to open the board and start playing! Yes, the board is foldable and thanks to its sturdy handle, it’s also portable and easy to carry. And don’t forget its handy dimensions of 10 x 1.9 x 14.8 inches!
Inside, there’s business as usual: the manufacturer provides you with 2 sets of dice, 2 dice cups, and playing stones. You bring a good-natured partner, a handful of walnuts, and entertainment is guaranteed! You’ll also find a doubling cube for when you feel extra lucky.
Whether you’re playing competitively or just for fun, it’s better to invest in a genuine, eye-catching backgammon board and challenge your friends instead of playing it online, don’t you think? Pick one from these 5 and you'll be making a good decision!