I’ve played backgammon for more than a decade. Until recently, I had always played on these cheap plastic boards.
Not only are they uncomfortable to play on. They are also ugly and non-environmentally friend.
I’ve grown up. And after getting myself a quite decent job, I was finally able to invest in a wooden backgammon set. I did spend probably 3-4 hours on research before buying a wooden backgammon set. That’s probably about 3,5 hours more than most people would spend on it.
And I figured that I wouldn’t want this information to be wasted. So I created this article – and I hope you’ll enjoy it.
The historical feeling of playing this 5000-year-old game slightly vanishes if you play on a small, terrible board. That is the thing with backgammon. To enjoy the game, you would need a proper backgammon set that is both portable and made from high-quality materials.
I have played backgammon A LOT – and will therefore guide you through the jungle of backgammon sets to feature 7 of them that I would strongly recommend.
In a hurry? Here’s my top 3 picks of Wooden backgammon sets
1. “Magic Star Backgammon Set from Turkey” – My absolute favorite
This backgammon set is just…stunning! If you ever wanted something unique and exotic, you’ve already found it.
One thing is the brilliant design. I’m a huge fan of West-Asian culture, which makes me feel “at home” while playing. But the pieces are also in the exact right size.
- Size: 19” x 12” x 2.8”
- High quality materials
- Fits best at home (not so easy to pack for traveling)
If you find the design a bit annoying and “glossy”: don’t worry.
You get used to it.
The elegant turkish premium backgammon set comes in a wide range of colors. However, the colors do create a contrast to each other – so you will never be confused by any of the colors.
One of the things I did not pay attention to before buying it was the size of the board. As I am European, I will give these measurements in centimeters: 48 * 48,7 cm. That’s huge.
It also requires that you have a big enough table to actually use this wooden set on.
One important thing when you write these “review articles” is to look at what other customers have said.
After browsing through almost all of the 300+++ reviews on Amazon, I can confidentally say that:
Yep. Most people agree with me. This is a brilliant wooden backgammon set. 🙂
|Included||Backgammon set, 2 * 15 Checkers + 2 dices.|
|Size||48 * 48,7 centimeter when it’s fully opened|
2. “Get the Games Out” – Comes in an amazing case
Are you looking for a small-sized backgammon set? A medium-sized one? Ohh…you want a large one?
This company got it all.
I actually bought the medium-sized set, which is more than big enough for “normal play”. I mean, I would be surprised if anyone really “need” the large one. That being said, I was quite impressed by the high quality of the interior. The only thing that annoyed me was the the brown “arrows” inside were a bit hard to see because they almost matched the brown color of the actual mat.
- Comes in three different sizes.
- Has an interesting design
- The briefcase styled package makes it easy to bring this wooden backgammon set wherever you want to go
Loads of stuff included
This isn’t just a normal backgammon set that got all the essentials.
In fact: they got a lot more than that.
This is a list of what you will find included in the box:
- Spare dices and spare stones/checkers (I love this!!!)
- Backgammon board
- Stones/checkers (15 white, 15 black)
- The infamous doubling cube
- Dice shaker
- And also a nice small book that will introduce you to Backgammon and give you some tips on how to play
One of the things I love when I buy stuff on Amazon is videos. You can make every single produt look good in pictures.
Also, 90 % of Amazon is more or less cheap China products.
However: “Get The Games Out” have created a video introduction where they explain more about this wooden backgammon set. This was super helpful in order to understand how the board would look and feel.
|Size (medium)||19 * 14,75 inches|
|Brand name||Get The Games Out|
3. “Woodronick Wooden Backgammon set” – Standard design
Woodronic is a pretty cool name on a brand that sells wooden board games. I’m already impressed by the name.
I was more impressed when I received the actual board. It has great dimensions, it feels like proper high-quality wood, and I would be surprised if this board isn’t hand-made.
- Both the pieces and the actual board is made out of 100 % wood
- The board has a dark and mysterious look
- It just got the right shape and size
- Travel friendly
This Backgammon set from Woodronic Store comes in a nice wooden case. It’s portable and lightweight.
Best wood quality
If we are only going for wood quality, we would have to say that this is the winner.
But that doesn’t necessarily make it the best backgammon board on the whole list. If you scroll down, you will find a long range of criteria that we used to determine which wooden backgammon set that would get the first place.
Got everything you need
This is another package deal that really comes with everything you would need. The doubling cube is included. So is the black dice cup – which, by the way, is not made out of wood.
The dice cup is made out of leather, which was a small disappointment for me.
|Size||15 * 18,7 inches|
4. “Woodronic 15” Wooden Backgammon Set” – Walnut Mahogany Case
This backgammon set from the famous manufacturer Woodronic comes in a Walnut Mahogany case. Isn’t that beautiful?
- Fantastic design
- Made by the famous Woodronic
- Combines different wood types to get a unique design
- Includes both a doubling dice + 2 dice cups in leather
- Strong hinge and a lid that is magnetized
Overall, by the look of it: this is the most beautiful backgammon set.
But beauty is not necessarily equal to being very good and functional. First of all, I would say that the colors of the board can be a bit confusing. What I really love is backgammon sets with a significant contrast, which makes it easier to spot the narrows.
This board from Woodronic has the following color scheme:
- Dark brown background
- 50 % black arrows
- 50 % light brown arrows
…as you might understand: that’s not very good for people who struggle with their eyesight.
With a 15 inch long size, this is not the largest backgammon board on the market.
In other words: this is perfect if you want to play on a small table in a cafe or something similar.
|Size when open||15 * 18,7 inches|
5. “ROPODA Sapele Wood Backgammon Set” – Cheap, but high quality
Not only does “ROPODA Sapele” got the funniest name among all wooden backgammon sets on Amazon.
It also has a very high quality. And a decent price.
- Value for money
- 15 inches, which is considered somehow small
- Portable as it got a “suitcase handle” on the side
- Includes all accessories
Let’s get to my absolute favorite element about this wooden backgammon set:
The dice cubes. They’re made out of wood.
I’d reckon that 99 % of all manufacturers either make them in plastic or leather. But when you see that “ROPODA Sapele” has made them out of wood, you can’t do anything but smile.
The contrast of the colors on the board are not clear enough. Again: this is a problem with many wooden backgammon boards.
The background is dark brown. And 50 % of the arrows are colored light brown. That doesn’t work very well, guys.
Good material that reduces the noise
One of the most annoying things about the cheapest backgammon boards is that you can hear the dice being thrown even though you sit 25 meters away. “ROPODA Sapele” is a very noise-friendly backgammon board.
This can be used even with your dad or grandpa sleeping next door. 🙂
|Type of wood||Sapele wood|
|Extra feature||The “suitcase handle” makes it portable|
6. “SoHo Deluxe Walnut/Ebony Backgammon” – A combination of Ivory & Walnut
If you have a large sum of money that you want to get rid of; this Deluxe backgammon set can be perfect for you.
- 15” inches long
- Made from a combination of walnut, burl veneer, and ebony
- All the pieces that come with the board are made out of wood
- Plastic dices (including the double dice)
- Made in China or…. “imported from the Orient” as the manufacturer would say 😉
Due to the amazing design, this product can be seen as something in between a “board game” and “art”.
It’s that pretty.
Not a lot of reviews on Amazon
To be honest, I did not purchase this backgammon set myself. Therefore I cannot guarantee that the quality is just like it’s promised on Amazon.
The unfortunate thing is also that it’s not exactly one of the most popular backgammon sets on the market. Therefore, there are very few real reviews out there. As I am writing this, there are currently 4 reviews. Three positive and one negative.
In other words: it’s a gamble to buy this backgammon set.
PS! This item has a very high price. I would not consider this backgammon set if I was just a hobby player that played a couple of times every year.
|Price tag||Premium price|
|Brand name||Bello Games|
|Size when open||15” * 18,5” inches|
7. “World Wise Imports 19” Backgammon Set”- Including a chessboard
This large backgammon board can be flipped and turned into a chessboard.
Perfect for us chess lovers!
- Slightly confusing design
- The design is confusing because the manufacturer tried to make it “too fancy”
- Imported from the beautiful country Turkey
- Large size (19 inches * 19,5 inches)
So is it any point going for a combination of a chess board and a backgammon set?
The problem is that the board does NOT come with chess pieces. So if you buy this backgammon set because you want to buy money in a “2 in 1 situation”, you’re not even getting the chess pieces.
That means you have to go out and buy them from somewhere else – and that might cost you a lot of money.
Real Turkish quality
As we all know: the Turks know perfectly well how to create board games. So the wood quality is very good on this board. However, I would argue that the design of the board is a little bit too “fancy”.
Despite the board being made out of wood, the pieces are made out of plastic.
|Brand name||World Wise Imports|
|Type of product||Backgammon + Chess set|
Why trust me?
I have never, and will never, be paid by any company for my reviews. All of them are 100 % unbiased. My recommendations are not only based on my own real-life experiences, but combined with expert input and market research.
Wooden Backgammon Set prices
- Below 40 USD: Backgammon sets in this price range are either made out of plastic, small-sized or some cheap stuff imported from the east. After researching for about three hours, I couldn’t find anything that I really wanted to buy in this price range.
- Between 40 and 70 USD: This is probably what you would need to pay for a decent-sized, high-quality wooden backgammon set. It might sound like a lot of money, but trust me: it’s worth it. And if you buy something of a decent quality that you can travel around with, you have a backgammon set that you can use for the rest of your life.
- Above 70 USD: In this category, you will find the “premium” backgammon sets. And by “premium”, I don’t mean the ones that you really need because it’s of high quality. It’s usually those who are overpriced as they try to hit a segment of people that got too much money. What I’ve clearly seen is that they are either overpriced or oversized. Often a combination.
In general, I would not recommend spending more than 69,99 USD on a wooden backgammon set.
Why buy a backgammon set?
- Fun. Backgammon is one of the funniest board games you can think of. Also, the game doesn’t last very long (it’s over in about 10-15 minutes…and people from all ages can play.
- Eco-friendly. Buying that plastic backgammon board set? Nah! Please don’t. Filling your house with more plastic isn’t good for you – nor for the environment. 🙂
- Digital Detox. After I got “hooked” on playing chess, I figured out that board games were probably my best chance of staying away from my mobile and computer screen. You should try it!
Some backgammon sets are made exclusively for playing at home.
They are hard to fold, includes a lot of extra set pieces and are made out of high quality wood. You don’t want to bring that to the park.
That’s why you need to figure out what type of wooden backgammon set you want. Frankly, if you just want something easy to bring to the park, I would buy something as small as possible. 🙂
Things will get lost eventually. Especially if you bring your game to the park.
Frankly, I would suggest that the following people would get a prison penalty:
- Those who produce and sell chess games without extra queens
- Those who produce and sell backgammon sets without extra dices or pieces
PS! All backgammon sets I’ve recommended in this article contain extra pieces and dices. Don’t worry about that. 🙂
Most of the sets that are sold online are made from about 80 % plastic. At least.
That is a problem if you want something that lasts long and is fun to play at.
Most of these pure plastic backgammon sets are quite horrible to play at. The pieces are suddenly moving everywhere without you touching them, the material feels cheap, and the sets are not very pretty to look at either.
Those who are made from leather work much better.
Needless to say, there is a clear correlation between good material choice and a high price.
We have only recommended wooden backgammon sets in our article. After all: this website is called Sustainability Matters. Buying cheap plastic products from China that will last no more than a year?
No, thank you.
Does it come with a case?
Many of the professional backgammon sets are portable.
Any by “portable”, we do not mean that it’s so small that you can carry them under your arm. We are literally talking about the fact that many backgammon sets come in cases. That means that they almost look like a suitcase from the 1980’s.
They got a nice handle that helps you bring it everywhere. Personally, I’ve seen most of the leather backgammon sets come in cases – but there are also some of them that are made out of wood such as walnut, burlwood, oak, maple and other wooden types.
You might laugh at this point – but having a good latch on your backgammon set makes a huge difference.
On two different occasions, I have bought board games (one chess set and one backgammon set) that could not be locked properly after about a year. The latch was too weak.
It is important that the wooden backgammon set you’re buying has a sturdy latch that can be used over and over again without taking any damage.
Some sets are equipped with buttons or zippers – but I do not find them to be nearly as good as the traditional “latch”. I think you know what I mean. If not: comment below the article.
Proper colors on the board
It’s amazing how bad certain backgammon set manufacturers are at making a good board to play on.
Creating a decent backgammon board should not be hard. This is literally what you need:
- 24 narrow triangles in different colors (12 white/12 black…for instance)
- Make sure that the colors are so different that it’s easy to spot the various colors
- No fancy written stuff on the actual board
- Background color has to be very different from both the colors of the narrow triangles
And that’s it.
If you look around on Amazon, you will be surprised how many of the backgammon sets that really cannot be bought simply because the manufacturer has decided to make it a bit “cooler” than everything else.
It is not cool. It is useless.
The Checkers (can also be called “The Stones”)
Every game of backgammon is played with a total of 30 stones – also called checkers. 15 for each player.
My experience with backgammon sets is that the quality, weight, and size of the checkers will vary a lot. As this article is mainly about wooden sets, we would have to inform that most of these boards also come with wooden checkers.
The most important thing is that they are a bit heavy, so they are not “swimming around” on the board. Also, they should not be too large as it might be difficult to see what narrow triangle they are placed at.
In the case that you are looking for a travel backgammon set, I would suggest that you buy one with magnetic stones. However, that also means that your board will not be made from woods.
Two dice cups
In the end, I would also say it is important to buy a good set that comes with two dice cups.
There are certain features that should be in place for a high-quality dice cup:
- Not too noisy
- Helps you to deliver a roll without the dices rolling off the table
- Is made out of eco-friendly material (wood)
….and that’s it. As an experienced backgammon player, this is everything I am looking after in a high-quality set.
No, you shouldn’t. These boards are horrible. I’m quite a decent chess player, which means I got some proper experience with that. And I can tell you right away: these boards are horrible to play chess on….and even worse to play backgammon on.
Sure! I am a huge fan of buying second-hand objects myself. And believe me: there are millions of people out there that got a wooden backgammon set they never use.
There are two reasons for that:
– The environmental impact of the plastic industry is large.
– Board game manufacturers that produce high quality products will produce their board games in wood.
Other (eco-friendly) board games recommendations
As I mentioned before: I’m a huge fan of board games. They keep me from spending too much time in front of my computer.
That’s why I’ve also written other articles about board games that you should check out:
- Best Wooden Chess Sets
- Best Eco-Friendly Board Games (about climate change, etc.)
- Best books for chess beginners to increase their level
Pictures of a chess tournament that I hosted
In order for you to believe my “love and passion for board games”, I’m just attaching some pictures of a chess tournament that I hosted last week:
Wrapping things up
Of all the “backgammon set review” articles you will read online, this is probably the most honest one.
I’m sick and tired of reading articles written by people that sell their products on Amazon themselves. But I’m honestly 100 % unbiased and only in favor of you finding the right set.
In addition to that, I do care a lot about the environment. And that’s why I wouldn’t want you to buy anything made out of plastic. If you have other product recommendations, feel free to let me know in the comment section below. I’m more than happy to discuss other products than the ones I recommend! 🙂