Forum Archive : Equipment

How much to spend on a board?

From:   Ian Shaw
Date:   27 April 2004
Subject:   Re: Tourney Board Size
Forum:   GammOnLine

> I am wondering how much to spend for a good board. Are there really such
> differences in the price-quality relation? I saw boards on GammonVillage
> produced by Hector Saxe. They cost more than $500. Is it worth paying
> the money for such a board? How much did you spend for your boards?

Only you can decide how much you want to spend on a board. Bear in mind
that backgammon is a pursuit where better equipment doesn't help you play
better, although you may get more pleasure from it. I never get around to
buying a better board because my other hobby does benefit from having
better gear.

Here is a link to a standard Studio Anne Carlton (
1151&Product=27017) tournament board commonly seen at UK tournaments.
Lot's of us have them, including me. It's a decent board and will serve
you well, but it's nothing exciting or special. I would consider it the
minimum standard for a tournament board. The board is described as a 21"
playing surface (53cm), consistent with the 45mm chequer size mentioned in
other posts. List price is 82. You can often find smaller versions of the
same board in UK department stores. The case is imitation leather, with a
green velour playing surface. The points are again imitation leather and
stitched onto the board. I find the chequers are fractionally too small to
rest solidly in the storage trays or make a really neat closed board,
probably a result of the polishing process described by Chuck. The dice
included were non-precision. (Unless a board is advertised as supplied
with precsion, you will probably want to spend an additional 20 ($30) on
precision dice.)

A friend of mine had a Hector Saxe board for a while, which was very nice.
It felt more robust, and the chequers were more solid and had a nice
marble effect. The playing surface seemed to be of a heavier material than
my board, and made from felt rather than velour. The points are printed
onto the felt rather than stitched on. This means that the chequers slide
more easliy, and there is no risk of the edges curling upwards and
catching on the chequers. Backgammon Shop ( also do
a range of printed-point boards that are much cheaper, but I've never
knowingly seen one.

If you intend to go to tournaments, my advice would be to take a look at
what other people are using before shelling out huge wads of cash on a
board you haven't seen. If you see a board you like, ask the owner about
it. I've found people are very happy to tell you the details, usually
including a story of how they got a great bargain! When I got mine it was
a dark and stormy night on the east coast, and ...
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Bakelite checkers  (Albert Steg, Nov 1998)  [Recommended reading]
Board design  (Chuck Bower, Feb 2004)  [GammOnLine forum]
Board design  (Adam Stocks, July 2002) 
Board design  (Gregg Cattanach, Dec 2000) 
Board design  (Michael Poche+, Dec 1998) 
Board design  (Albert Steg, Jan 1998) 
Boards  (Bert Van Kerckhove+, Aug 2002) 
Boards--Custom-made  (N Merrigan, Mar 2003) 
Boards--Dal Negro  (Erin+, Jan 2004) 
Boards--Features to look for  (Matthew Mueller+, Dec 2000) 
Boards--Hardwood Creations  (Ben Fairbank, May 1998) 
Boards--Tak Morioka  (Gregg Cattanach, Feb 2002) 
Boards--Tak Morioka  (Ed Zell, Jan 1999) 
Boards--Zavoral  (Robert Zavoral, Oct 1999) 
Buying a tournament board  (Chuck Bower, June 2011) 
Care of backgammon boards  (Ken Bame+, Mar 2009) 
Checkers  (Mike O.+, Feb 2003) 
Checkers  (Chuck Bower, Nov 1997) 
Dice  (Gregg Cattanach, July 2004) 
Dice cups  (David Montgomery, Nov 1999) 
Dice cups  (Leo Bueno, Feb 1998) 
How much to spend on a board?  (Ian Shaw, Apr 2004)  [GammOnLine forum]
Leather boards  (HGM+, Dec 1999) 
Luxury boards  (Paul Vianna+, Feb 2010) 
Meyer Dice Tube issues  (Stick+, July 2010) 
Meyer Dice Tube usage  (Justin Nunez+, Feb 2011) 
Meyer Dice Tube--Why I hate it  (Bob Glass+, Dec 2010) 
Moderately priced boards  (William Womack+, Feb 2010) 
Precision dice  (Patti Beadles+, Jan 2001) 
Precision dice  (Larry Strommen, Feb 1998) 
Precision dice  (Chuck Bower+, Feb 1998) 
Replacing cork on backgammon boards  (JP White, Apr 2003)  [GammOnLine forum]
Suppliers--BG Shop  (Michael Nelson, Jan 2002) 
Suppliers--Backgammon boards  (CKT, July 2004) 
Suppliers--Backgammon boards  (Ian Shaw+, June 2002) 
Suppliers--Where to buy dice  (Andrew B.+, Jan 2008) 
Suppliers--Yenigun  (yenigun, Sept 2005) 
What finish to use on a cork board?  (JP White+, Apr 2003)  [GammOnLine forum]
What is "standard size"?  (Daniel Murphy, Mar 2001) 
What is "tournament size"?  (Rodrigo Andrade+, July 1999) 
Woodworking--Finishing a board  (M Moore+, Jan 2008) 

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