Backgammon is a board game with a long, rich history of play. One of the oldest board games in the world, countless people across all kinds of cultures have hunched over backgammon boards, rolled dice, and pushed chips through the ages.
Chances are good you know somebody in your life that loves Backgammon. Maybe that person is you!
Personally, I have fond memories of my dad teaching me to play when I was a kid. If you’re looking for something special for that kind of person, the backgammon sets in this list should pique your interest.
Ranging from affordable to indulgent, this article is going to go through some of the best backgammon sets available to buy online.
We’ll also provide a full overview of board features to consider, so keep reading to learn more about how to select the best board for you.
Ready to take a look at some sets? Let’s get started!
QUICK OVERVIEW: Best Backgammon Sets
Here’s a quick summary of a few of our favorites. Keep reading to learn more.
1. Middleton Games 15-inch Leatherette Travel Backgammon Set
Looking for a nice, compact set for a well-traveled backgammon enthusiast?
This lovely set has a plush inlaid velvet playing field, allowing the chips to slide smoothly across it during a game. The dice cups use the same velvet as the playing surface. Ad there is a single durable nickel latch to allow the set to fold up for easy travel.
The contrasting black and white coloring gives the set a high aesthetic appeal – it’s pretty to look at! The chips are similarly accented, with a mother-of-pearl design in both black and white.
2. Silverman & Co. 13 Inch. Premium Backgammon Set
This is another great option for a travel backgammon set.
The pieces are made to fit especially snugly in their places when this set is folded up, with a mind in the design toward keeping things organized through the rigors of travel.
The dice cups are made to fit comfortably in your hand when used, and the felt lining keeps noise to a minimum while the tournament-grade trip lip ensures a random and fair roll every time.
If you like this look of this set but don’t need a travel set, it is also available in larger dimensions.
3. Orion Craft Walnut Wood Backgammon Set
How about a change of pace from leatherette sets?
This set is made completely from wood materials for a simple, understated design.
As a bonus, the wood material makes this set easy to keep clean. You can expect that, with proper care, this backgammon set will look just the way it did the day you bought it years down the line.
The best part? A very reasonable price tag for the size and quality!
4. Dal Negro Wood Tabletop Backgammon Set
Here’s another wood set, this one with a much fancier design than the last – and a higher price tag to match it.
Made to be a tabletop set, this isn’t a set you buy with an eye for storage. It is meant to be displayed, and with a set this beautiful you’re going to want to display it anyway!
The crisp red and blue accents are set against a tulip wood playing surface to stunning effect. The board is absolutely gorgeous.
The chips are equally beautiful, in those same red and blue colors with a mother of pearl design that really stands out against the board.
5. Manopoulos 19-inch Wood Backgammon Set – Walnut with Printed Field
This is another beautiful, minimalistic wooden set on the more affordable side.
The case is hand-made walnut, and very understated when folded up for players that want to let their game do all the talking. The interior features a diamond design in the middle of each side on the playing field, giving the board a little extra visual appeal when laid out.
The chips are marbleized plastic, with small indentations for your fingers to make sliding them across the game board smooth.
This is a high quality set, made with durable materials, for a fantastic price.
6. Wycliffe Brothers 21-inch Tournament Backgammon Set
Impressive isn’t enough to describe the look of this set.
The black, red, and white color scheme of the board and pieces presents a clean and professional looking picture when the components are all arranged. The exterior of the case, a simple textured black material, further enforces that aesthetic.
The marbleized chips are designed to glide effortlessly across the playing surface, but also hold their position remarkably well if the board is bumped or disturbed. The doubling cube for this set is especially large, making it easy to see what number it is currently resting on.
All together, what you get is a professional quality backgammon set for a price that puts similar quality sets to shame.
7. Zaza & Sacci Leather Backgammon Set
If price is not an issue, this next set is by far most eye-catching on the list.
You can already tell you have something special here at just a glance at the exterior of the case; it’s made with red leather and accented by 24-karat gold plated clasps. This set is nothing if not decadent!
The playing field is rich black inlaid leather, which serves as the perfect contrasting backdrop for the red and green points and pieces. The dice are similarly striking, coming in emerald green and ruby red (and, of course, perfectly balanced and tournament ready).
A set like this is sure to make an impression in all the best ways. It is well-designed and the high quality of the materials shines through every aspect of the set.
The price tag is high, but this one is well worth the investment!
8. Hector Saxe Epi Leatherette Backgammon Set
It’s hard to say what the best quality of this set is.
It could be the attractive clasp and textured exterior, which gives a great first impression before you even crack the case.
Opening the set reveals an even more incredible interior, with smooth green felt and cleanly printed black and white points. The high gloss mother of pearl pieces are stunning, standing in rich contrast against that backdrop.
This set is the real deal! The price point might be high, but you are paying for the quality you get with a set like this.
9. Hector Saxe Faux Snake Backgammon Set – Light Blue
Here’s another offering from Hector Saxe, this one a highly stylized set for a player that wants to make a statement before the game even begins.
The blue faux snakeskin exterior gives the case a very unique look, which becomes even more striking when you reveal the game board inside.
Dark blue and white high gloss mother of pearl chips nicely complement the light blues and whites of the interior design. The dice cups are lined with the same faux snake material as the exterior of the set and ergonomically designed to fit perfect in your palm when rolling.
This is the perfect set for a player that wants to show off their personality along with their backgammon skills!
Searching for the Best Backgammon Set? Here’s What to Consider.
Either way, if you’re in the market for a backgammon set and want to know how to find the best one for your situation, here are some of the things to consider.
Unless you’re looking for a dedicated game table, most backgammon sets come in cases. Depending on your budget, you’ll find cases made from leatherette (common in mid-level boards), natural and premium leather, and wood.
In the wood category, many cases are made from natural hardwoods and finished with beautiful veneers. You’ll see sets made from walnut, burlwood, beechwood, poplar, oak, maple and more. Basically, many of the same hardwoods you can make fine cabinetry, furniture or even instruments from.
Often handmade, these boards exhibit fine craftsmanship.
Leatherette, on the other hand, is very common (see above list) and results in a more affordable, lighter and travel friendly option.
And leather – well leather means the set will be more expensive.
Traditional backgammon sets come with a latch for closing the case and securing all the game pieces, including stones (aka checkers) and dice, in one place. Many models use a nickel or brushed nickel plated latch that is both durable and classic. Travel sets may come with a zipper or button closure to make the boards even more secure and travel proof.
High end and expensive sets, which usually stay at home, may have gold plated latches.
Most importantly, you want a sturdy latch that will hold up to many games over the long run. All of the boards on this list are made by quality manufacturers who recognize the importance durability and workmanship in these details.
The playing surface of your backgammon set will be designed twenty-four narrow triangles (called points), grouped into four quadrants of six triangles. These triangles alternate in color. That’s the basic configuration for any backgammon board. But the designs and materials can make a big difference in how much you like playing on your own set.
For one, backgammon boards come in a wide variety of color combinations. The points can be pretty much any color combination; often a darker and lighter color (i.e. classic black and white), but any two contrasting colors will do. The third color is the board color, which will be different than the point colors.
The goal is to simply find a color pattern you like.
Wood sets will feature inlays with different woods, or painted points with a natural surface. Again, check out different patterns and see what appeals to you.
The board surface will usually be velour, felt, or velvet. Often with additional padding. This ensures a smooth and quiet playing experience for rolling your dice and moving stones. Wood sets will usually have a natural hardwood or coated playing surface.
Professional and tournament level boards often come with special fabrics (i.e. V-Fiber™) that create a plush playing surface with added friction to control dice rolls and enhance precision.
The Stones (aka Checkers)
A game of backgammon uses 30 stones as playing pieces, also known as checkers. Each player gets 15 stones in a game. The stones come in a variety of weights, sizes, and materials, which largely depends on the size and quality of the board.
Many mid-level boards and travel sets will come with a set of marbleized plastic checkers, while high end boards may include heavier stones (i.e. 20 grams each). Wood boards often include a set of wooden checkers.
One feature that some players like is having grooves on the top of the checkers. The bottoms are flat of course, but the grooved top adds a nice feel and look to the game pieces. While other players prefer the smooth, marble, thick and classic design. Much of this is a matter of personal preference.
In our opinion, as long as they have decent weight to them (anywhere from 10 – 20 grams) and come with a complete set, that should work just fine.
Backgammon sets come with two sets of 2 dice of different colors and a doubling cube. And yes, the design of the dice and the cube is important to the game. Basically, the dice and cube should have rounded edges. Also called “balled” or “beveled” dice, the machine-rounded corners allow for more randomized dice rolls.
Also, with high end tournament backgammon sets, each die will have a smooth surface, rather than a pitted surface, for better tumbling and spin.
Of course, a standard set of dice works fine for most of us, but if you’re investing in a nice set, you should make sure the dice are designed specifically for the game of backgammon. Aside from the rounded corners, backgammon dice are usually made from plastic but you can also find metal and wood dice in certain sets.
The Dice Cups
Finally, the dice cup is integral to the game of backgammon. A good backgammon set should come with two dice cups that are lined with felt, velour, or another coating or material that will dampen the sound of the dice and deliver a smooth roll.
There are two common cup shapes: the oval cup and the round cup. Many players like an oval cup, as these are more comfortable and ergonomic over the course of several games. However, professional sets often come with round cups with an added “trip lip”, designed to ensure fair and random rolls each time.
You’ll find that most classic sets come with leatherette cups. Many wooden sets that come with beautiful wooden dice cups, while even more expensive sets may come with authentic leather dice cups.
Now that you have a good idea of what to look for in a backgammon set, it’s time to find the board that suits your playing level, budget, and aesthetics.