Your move! These are the best luxury board games to buy

From a leather-bound backgammon set to an intricately decorated chess board, these are the best games money can buy...

Bad losers beware; these boards weren’t made for flipping. They’re a far cry from your usual game sets — those after-dinner afterthoughts marred by missing pieces and memories of Boxing Day bust-ups. Instead, these are premium bits of recreational kit, with more exotic woods, fine leather and precious metals built into their boxes than most high-end furniture.

Whether built for backgammon enthusiasts, created for chess-heads or simply whipped into leather-bound being to give you somewhere to store your playing cards and poker chips, these unique objets d’art lend themselves to leisurable days and long evenings. Together, this selection constitutes the best sets money can buy. They are playable curios; future antiques — whole new board games. 

Alexandra Llewellyn Skull Poker Set

Take a minute to appreciate Alexandra Llewellyn’s extraordinary poker set. Made-to-order, the wooden marquetry is dazzling enough to distract you from even the royalest of flushes — crafted from sustainable woods including Ripple Sycamore, Macassar Ebony, Black Boxwood and Masur Birch.

It’s an impressive roster, and this made-to-order set will be the crowning glory of any games room. The dealer button is hewn from engraved granite, inlaid with brass and mother-of-pearl buttons. And the traditional clay poker chips — 500 of them — can be found inside alongside two packs of playing cards, which bear the same eerily enchanting skull motif as the 4,000-year-old Bog Oak box.

Your move! These are the best luxury board games to buy

Alexandra Llewellyn Skull Poker Set

£18,000.00

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Geoffrey Parker Domino & Cribbage Set

Geoffrey Parker’s domino and cribbage set — complete with sterling silver pegs — comes presented in a luxury leather-bound box. Available in a rainbow of colours (some of our favourites include ‘Aubergine’, ‘Bubblegum’ and ‘Tangerine’) it’s the ideal living room staple, and there are options enough to match even the most exotically-coloured three-piece suite.

Finished with a non-slip, suedette base, it’s a set that can withstand even the most ferocious game of ‘crib’ — and all models are handmade with felt interiors to ensure your dominos are neatly and safely stowed away until the next time you pit those sterling silver pegs against one another.

Your move! These are the best luxury board games to buy

Geoffrey Parker Domino & Cribbage Set

£630.00

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Linley Card Shark Card Sleeve

Linley’s tongue-in-cheek card sleeve has tiny silver sharks inlaid into its walnut grain — a visual pun playing on the common term for a crafty, sly player; a card shark. But there’s nothing false, deceptive or dishonest about this sleeve.

On the contrary. Only the best, most reliable materials have been used in its construction. The sleeve itself is cut from solid walnut and those sharks (peppered across the red, blue or green surface) are rendered in nickel and oak inlay.

Your move! These are the best luxury board games to buy

Linley Card Shark Card Sleeve

£275.00

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Purling London Leonardo Frigo Art Chess Untitled III Chess Set

Purling London’s remarkable chess board is over half-a-metre in diameter and created in collaboration with London-based violin artist Leonardo Frigo. Utterly unique, this one-of-one production is vast in scale (measuring over half a metre in width) and is crafted from sturdy boxwood and Italian Nappa leather.

It’s finished using hand-made ink, specialist varnish and 18-carat gold — and those 34 hand-carved, triple-weighted wooden pieces sit on leather felt bases embossed with the Purling logo. The King, naturally, is the most striking of all the pieces — and stands at a suitably regal four-inches tall. 

Your move! These are the best luxury board games to buy

Purling London Leonardo Frigo Art Chess Untitled III Chess Set

£10,000.00

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Aspinal of London Large Backgammon Set

Finally, at 17 expansive inches, Aspinal of London has turned backgammon into a battlefield, albeit one trimmed with crocodile leather and fought with gold and gunmetal checkers. This deep-shine game set has been hand-bound over a wooden box frame, and features a natural grain complemented by contrasting leather playing points.

We particularly like those faux suede-lined leather dice cups; reassuringly hefty and the perfect place from which to cast the dice and doubling cube. It’s also possible to personalise the set with your initials — so, whenever you snap those magnetic fastenings shut and roll up to a new games room, any potential opponent will know you mean backgammoning business.

Your move! These are the best luxury board games to buy

Aspinal of London Large Backgammon Set

£956.00

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