Each backgammon set will include thirty checkers in two different colours, fifteen checkers of the same colour for each player. Checkers are also known as counters, stones or men. During play, the checkers are moved around the board, according to the rules of backgammon. The checkers should be sized according to the width of the base of each point on the board. Oversized checkers can make the board cluttered and difficult to read. Checkers that are smaller in width than the base of the point create unseemly gaps. At Deluxe Backgammon we prefer natural materials. As a result, the checkers recommended below are crafted from felt, wool, wood or stone. As the checkers are simply used as markers during play we like to select our pieces to complement the colours and textures of the board.
High-end checkers can often be made from leather and metal or mother of pearl. The materials don’t affect the gameplay, but do enhance the aesthetics of the backgammon board. The checkers are always circular in design. However, some checkers are of a finger-dish design which means they have a depression in their centre. This makes it easier to slide them across the points. The checkers in the image above have a finger-dish design. Of course, when you have intervening points you need to move the finger-dish checkers around the obstructions. Sometimes, it is just simply easier to pick them up to make a move.
Wooden checkers are also more likely to create noise. Most experienced players would recommend checkers made with felt, leather or wool base for quieter play. The most common material is most likely acrylic or plastic. The choice of checker style is always a personal choice. Choose the checkers that suit your taste and style. Please see our Deluxe Backgammon recommendation for replacement hardwood checkers from GammonVillage. Take out your new checkers and enjoy the game.