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World Famous Poker

 Luxury Diamond & Alligator Poker

Our poker boards are world famous for their quality, personalisation and luxurious design.

World Famous Poker

We've been making luxury games since 1958, with our extensive collection of exotic chess, backgammon and monopoly boards we're also famous for one of the world’s most expensive poker sets.

What’s the price of one of the world’s most extravagant sets we hear you ask? Around £4.95million; combining our expert craftsmanship with the incredible skills of Hatton Garden goldsmiths and jewellers we've created a poker set like no other.

The case is hand bound in Alligator leather in colours created by the same master tanners who supply Hermes. It's then lined with real suede before the edges are set with a string of diamonds set in 18ct gold to match the chips. Over 22,650 precious stones, one thousand carats & approximately 12.5 kilos of Gold go into this truly extravagant poker set.

World Famous Poker

It's not just our world famous poker sets we're able to boast about; we're lucky enough to have provided products and gifts to some of the world’s best backgammon and poker players.

Our poker clientele list is fortunate to include Sam Trickett, the number 1 live tournament money winner in Europe and 5th on the global stage.

From novices to world famous players, our customers all have one common passion; high quality, luxury products that stand the test of time. Many of our products last more than a lifetime; often they are handed down through generations with Geoffrey Parker's son and grandson also partaking in this tradition.

Top Backgammon Tips

In our business, we work closely with our customers to ensure they always receive a product they are totally happy with, from the high-quality finish to choosing their bespoke colour scheme. Our customers range from complete novices to championship winners; no matter where in the game our players are, they always ask for a few tips from the professionals.

For this reason, we’ve pulled together some opinions of world renowned backgammon players to ensure it’s not only high-quality games we can offer, it's great advice too. Backgammon is one of the oldest games in the world, it’s easy to play but hard to become a master.

We’d always advise watching matches and joining a local club to begin competing against people who can advise you on your next moves.

  1. When you’re ahead in the race, race. When you’re behind in the race, don’t race.
    Don't race when behind; it sounds obvious, but many rookies run their back checker when they are behind in the race.

  2. Don't make stacks. 

  3. Hit blots, make points.
    When a player leaves a checker alone on a point, it becomes a “blot”, if the opponent rolls the right number on the dice or combination of numbers, he has the option to ”hit” or “send back” 1 or more blots. They may not always choose to ‘hit’ at all if there a more strategic play available.

  4. If you have a choice between plays and one of them makes your opponent’s 5-point then do that - you’ll be right most of the time and even if you’re wrong it won’t be by much.

  5. 5- primes are good but 6-primes are even better
    A prime is a sequence of six consecutive blocks. When a prime is in place, none of the opponent's checkers can move past as long as the prime remains intact. That's because a checker can't touch down on a blocked point and never moves more than six points in a single hop. No matter how well you roll, you can't escape from behind a six-prime. It's maximum security. An opposing checker trapped behind a prime cannot escape until the prime is broken.

  6.  Always make the 5-point
    Also known as “The Golden Point”. The golden point is your own 5-point, the golden anchor is the 20-point (the opponents 5-point). If you have the golden anchor it is much harder for your opponent to build an effective prime against these checkers, compared to the checkers on the 24-point.
     
  7. A builder on the 9-point is very strong
    A builder is when a checker is brought into your outer board where it bears directly onto one or more key points that you want to make.

  8. If you are not sure if your opponent has a take you should double
    A double is an offer from one player to another during the game, it's offered on the players turn but before the dice is rolled. The aim is to continue the game with twice the current stakes, the opponent has the the choice to refuse the double in which case they resign the game and loses the stakes (undoubled). If they accept the game continues at double the previous takes if accepted the player becomes the owner of the cube and has the chance to double the stakes again in the same game. 

  9. Stay even on top when bearing off against contact
    Try and keep an even number of checkers on your highest points when bearing off against an anchor to avoid leaving shots if you roll high doubles.

  10. Miracles do happen
    Sometimes if a player believes in miracles he can perform them. (Korchnoi). Never give up the game can change in the roll of a dice.

There is a level of etiquette when playing backgammon and our top tip for the beginners is to always wish your opponent a good match.

 

Game Tables, not just for man caves and games rooms

Man caves and games rooms have always been popular amongst our customers; interior designers and those who enjoy browsing games rooms on Pinterest. 

When you think of a man cave or games room you often think of a large space filled with arcade games, a big tv and the traditional board games and tables which we supply. However, it doesn’t have to be like this; if you’re a fan of luxury gaming, it’s easy to incorporate games tables into your home without dedicating a room to it.

The alternative to a games room

At Geoffrey Parker, we love to design tables to fit with your home and lifestyle. Like most of our products, our games tables are customisable; they also come in a wide range of finishes including exotic veneered hardwood, a range of high-quality luxury leather and feature multiple games within a single table.

Whether you’re designing a room specifically for games or incorporating games into your home, our tables can transform to neatly, and discreetly pack away while you’re not playing.

What makes our game tables special?

Our gaming table collection consists of a range of traditional compendia and intricate, beautiful gaming tables. They come in all shapes and sizes, many of them concealing up to 8 games including the playing pieces.

All of our products are handmade to order and come in an extensive range of materials including; luxury and exotic wood finishes, stunning leather colour combinations and a selection of designs. As our products are all made by hand in our workshops you have the opportunity to customise the table in your own style, colour scheme and design.

If we don’t have a table that looks quite right for you, we have the ability to work with you to create something special, a one-off, custom piece.

If a man cave is what you’re looking for…

Geoffrey Parker products are world famous and we produce some of the most luxurious game tables available; whether you’re looking to design a classic man cave or a traditional gentleman's room Geoffrey Parker tables will be the centre of attention.

Our catalogue of tables is listed here, if you’d like to commission a table or customise one of our existing products, please get in touch to discuss your requirements.

Custom Monopoly Sets - Geoffrey Parker

Custom Monopoly Set by Geoffrey Parker

The History

Monopoly as a board game has evolved from the very beginning; back in 1903 when the game was designed to explain the single tax theory of Henry George as an educational tool. From when the Parker Brothers began publishing Monopoly in 1935, it has been used for many different purposes and in multiple forms. For example, in 1941 during World War 2, the British government had a special version created for it’s POWs which contained hidden objects like compasses, money, tools & other useful items to aid prisoners in escape.

The Custom View

Here at Geoffrey Parker, we approach Monopoly with a view of utilising the many attributes of this beloved family board game to design & create custom, personalised luxury versions. Bound in our signature dauphin calf leather by hand, these boards are either hand embossed in gold or silver, or printed onto leather using our in house printer. Our master craftsmen are able to change the streets on the board to those familiar to you; the streets you grew up in, where you went to school, your first house or favourite holidays. The possibilities are endless, the stations can be altered to be, for example, restaurants, pubs, golf courses etc. Utilities can, of course, also be changed to reflect significant holidays, events or favourite days out for example.

A Little Bit More Luxury

It is not just the streets where the personalisation possibilities lie, the Monopoly tokens themselves can be customised for you. Cast in luxury sterling silver or sterling silver gilt, all 32 houses, 12 hotels & 10 tokens can be changed to personal items/buildings. Cast by a silversmith based in the UK, who specialises in charms (like the original playing pieces of Monopoly once were) these items can be custom made to order to replicate your very own Aston Martin DB9.

As with all luxury items & custom leather goods, these Monopoly sets do take time to build, however, if these sets are required for a particular date, a birthday or anniversary, our team will do all they can to accommodate your commission.

Contact our craftsmen today to design your very own custom Monopoly set.

6 Stages of Making a Luxury Backgammon Board

Luxury bespoke backgammon by Geoffrey Parker

We’re often asked how long it will take for a board to be delivered; a lot of the time we give a lead time of around 8 weeks but it can be quite tricky to predict as a lot goes into your boards; including the skills of up to 4 craftsmen and women.

Of course, like any great family recipe, we cannot give away all the secrets which make our backgammons so unique; but, we can offer you an insight into the process behind these beautiful leather boards…

The Process

The making process behind one of the oldest games in the world is one you may not have even thought about or even imagined it could be so complex. There are multiple skills, processes and hours which go into making these luxury backgammon boards.

At the beginning of production, is the cutting of the leather. With thousands of colour combinations, we’ve got a warehouse of leather; after a craftsman has picked out the customer's colour choice they check the leather for imperfections and begin cutting for the specific size board. There are lots of different cuts needed for each process of production, and these vary depending on the size of the board. Our incredibly skilled craftsman will either cut by hand using handmade patterns or utilise our knife driven CAD machine and our 2-tonne clicking press to achieve all of the cuts required. They will also use a splitting machine which essentially shaves/thins the leather so they are all the same thickness; being a natural product, the skins can vary in thickness so the cuts are split so they are all equal – this process is imperative to the inlaying process.

Once cut, the craftsman will cover the external frame of the backgammon case. This is all completed by hand to ensure all of the joins are perfect. Using a scalpel to finely cut the leather they will ensure there are no visible joins, the leather is not wrapped completely around the case as locks & hardware are need to be attached before the case is completed.

Handles and Hardware

Next to be attached to the backgammon is the handle; like almost all elements of our boards these are made by hand, in-house. Surprisingly the handle is made up of leather & only leather. Traditional English bridle hide leather is shaped into risers and cut to be folded back on itself, wrapped in leather and stitched through by hand. We finish the handles with a double riser so they become a chunkier handle but much more ergonomic and comfortable.

Once the case is almost looking complete, the locks will be attached.

The Playing Field

Once we’re satisfied with the handles and locks, we begin to the inlaying the backgammon fields. The leather for the field is stuck to a moisture resistant substrate. Once stuck, the leather is then cut by the CAD machine. The points are then removed from the boards and the excess leather is scrapped away to create a flat surface. The leather points are then inlayed into the fields by hand. As each point may be different in thickness these will be split on the splitting machine before inlaying. The floors are then positioned, and applied to the case.

Gaming Components

While one of our craftsmen or women are working on the shell and the playing field, often another is working on the gaming components.

The shell of our cups, like everything at Geoffrey Parker; is hand lined with suede and covered in leather with a fine edge to ensure the seams form an almost invisible join. Then, we create a trip (to prevent foul play) out of a combination of board and leather, and stick this to the top of the dice cup.

For the checkers, 60 discs are cut by the CAD machine for the 2 faces of the 30 checkers, the strips for the edges are also cut by the CAD machine. The leather will be split before inlaying so that it sits at the correct height. Our craftsmen then fine edge the outer strips and secure them all to the stones.

All 6 faces of the cube are cut on the 2-tonne clicking press, once ready, the embossing machine is setup for the numerals. Once all 6 sides are completed, the leather is then split so that it sits at the correct height and glued into position.

Stowage

After the extensive process of the components have been made, the stowage area for them can be created; it’s always done last to ensure the components sit snug inside.

A custom made wooden lattice is positioned in the backgammon case and the components are placed into the stowage area; if there are any amendments needed the stowage will be altered. Once we are happy, the stowage is covered in leather, fine edged in places and glued together.

Finishing Touches

When the stowage area has been completed we can begin to assemble the backgammon. The stowage is always installed first to make sure that the components and interior all measure correctly. It’s then secured into position and the divisions are screwed into place.

Once all of the internals of the backgammon are in place, we can finish the board by making the lids. To do this a board template for the lids is created.  The board is then skived on the edges to give it a rolled appearance. The leather for the lid is then skived, and the lid is laminated to the leather. The edges of the leather lids are then turned over the board then secured to the case and rolled on.

So there you have it; the 6 stages of making a luxury leather backgammon board. If you’re interested in purchasing one of our boards we welcome customers to our showroom and workshops in the heart of the English countryside to see the craftsmen and women at work.

“Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen”

Copenhagen; setting of the Nordic Backgammon Open

When you think of Copenhagen I imagine you think of the statue of The Little Mermaid, the Amalienborg Palace or the Tivoli Gardens. Not Backgammon. However, each year around Easter when the city empties for the holiday break, hundreds of professional Backgammon players and enthusiasts descend upon the city for the annual Nordic Open; THE biggest Backgammon tournament in the world.

The tournament director Steen Gronbech and his team entice the best Backgammon players from around the world to compete in the event which lasts for 4 days. Of course like any other tournament, there are separate heats depending on the skill level of the player. However, with backgammon there is a certain degree of luck; even the worst player can beat the number 1 if the dice roll their way.

Geoffrey Parker are proud to be partners of the Nordic; supplying the final board for the tournament and a voucher for the winner towards their very own bespoke backgammon, in their colours, specification, and style. This time around the winner of the tournament and prize board was Dagfinn Snarheim, congratulations to him!

Whilst at the tournament we managed to seize the opportunity to nip out into the bustle of Copenhagen and enjoy the city life; from a boat tour around the city to sampling pickled herring. In a couple of free hours, we managed to get a taste for the city – however, more time Is definitely required to discover every corner of the city.

Perhaps next year we will see you out there? If you need an excuse and fancy chancing your arm at backgammon why not enter the tournament? You might even win! 

The Game Of A Lifetime

Geoffrey Parker - Maker of luxury board games

Harrods, Ralph Lauren, Dunhill, Aspinals, Lalique. These are just a handful of customers of Geoffrey Parker, not to mention a host of entrepreneurs, enthusiasts and celebrities. All, are customers of the number one board game designer and producer in the world. From backgammon to Monopoly, ultimate game tables to bespoke accessories. Geoffrey Parker is the go-to brand for bespoke gaming at the highest achievable quality.

Located in the sleepy village of Wimbish Essex, Geoffrey Parker offers an experience on a parallel to that of purchasing a new car. This is no transaction it is an event. Personal guided workshop tours are available, take as much time browsing the stock room with over 50 years’ worth of leather, exotics and components. Customers immerse themselves in the selection process, and when entering the store room suffer a sensory overload, choosing the right colour combination from Geoffrey Parker’s finest Dauphin Calf leather will be the hardest decision of the day. With 13 colours to choose from, there are over 28,500 possible colour combinations. Make no mistake this is no simple task!

Each component and material used in every item is of the finest quality; from uncrushable dice cups, hand stitched bridle hide handles to precision dice, each aspect of Geoffrey Parker’s products are made to be professional quality board games. It just so happens that when using the finest materials and craftsmen to build a backgammon, for example, it tends to look absolutely stunning. If you don’t believe me take a look at our images.

You never quite know what you’re going to find tucked away in the English countryside do you?

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