Playing backgammon online is a great way to improve your skills and your comprehension of the game. It is also very handy because you can find an opponent anywhere in the world almost instantly. But backgammon is still and mostly a board game that can only be truly appreciated while playing with a friend or in a competition around a physical board. But what kind of board should you buy? What are the differences between two backgammon boards? Let us give you a tour of all kinds of backgammon boards.
Let’s talk about size
The first question you need to ask yourself is : what size should my backgammon board be? For you to know, a 21 inch size and more are what we call the competition size. Those boards are big and very pleasant to play on, but they cannot be carried in a hand luggage for example. So if you plan to travel a lot with a low-cost airline with your board, you might consider buying a travel size one.
A 16 inch board is considered as a travel size and can be easily carried away. If space is really a problem it is possible to buy a really small or even roll-able backgammon set to travel, but, of course, the game pleasure won’t be the same as playing on a veritable set.
Fiber playing field
This is my personal choice. What I really like with this kind of board is the muffled sound produced by the dice when rolling on the playing surface. I have been traveling a lot the past few years, and I always carried a travel size backgammon board with me. But at some point, I wanted to play on something professionals. I searched the web intensively and I finally found the board I was looking for; the 21 Professional Tournament Backgammon Set by Wycliffe Brothers.
It had everything I was looking for, a competition size, a revolutionary smooth playing surface called the V-fiber, big checkers and cube, the exact color I wanted and most of all, a great value for money.
I have that board for many years now and played countless games on it and it never budged. I recommend it without any doubt.
Leather playing field
Leather is another surface I enjoy playing on. The feeling is great and the checkers move effortlessly as well. The only inconvenience with a leather board might be the cost. The price range for a real leather board usually starts around $500, but for this price you are sure to get something that will last all your life and with a craftsmanship of an excellent quality. My personal favorite brands for leather boards are Zaza & Sacci and Hector Saxe. A leather board is worth every cent you put in if you can afford it.
Wooden boards are beautiful to look at, and the craftsmanship is usually of a high standard. They are particularly popular in Greece and in the Middle East. As much as I like to look at them, I don’t particularly enjoy playing with them. There is a simple reason for that, they are noisy. I find it hard to concentrate after a couple of games, and the noise tends to give me a headache. But if the noise is not a problem, maybe a wooden board is perfect for you. I personally own a Dal Negro board that used to belong to Sir Roger Moore himself. I don’t play on it but I love to simply look at it from time to time.
Another important thing about wooden boards is that they are not allowed during most competitions where you have to bring your own board, because of the noise factor. During a trip to Athens, I bought a travel size wooden backgammon board in one of the countless shops that make them. If you happen to go there or in any Middle East countries, you will see men playing in the street, in cafes or at the market on wooden boards with very tiny dice that they roll with their hands. No dice cup for those gentlemen, but come on, the game comes from this part of the world so who are we to tell them what to do.