eBay Guides - Traditional Board Games Buying Guide
Skip to main content

 Reviews & Guides

      Reviews & Guides home page   

Traditional Board Games Buying Guide

Tags:  games | chess | checkers | scrabble | backgammonWrite a guide!

As a popular form of entertainment, board games are as old as civilization. The Egyptians played a game called Senet as far back as 3300 BC. The first marbles date from 3000 BC. Go, which is still played today, dates back to 200 BC in China. Today, families and friends continue to get hours of entertainment from traditional board games like checkers and Mah jong. Whether you're searching for classic board games, out-of-print games, or for the latest, hottest games, you're sure to find just what you're looking for on eBay.

Discover Traditional Board Games

Discover Traditional Board Games

Many of the following board games have been around for centuries, and they are still some of the most popular board games to date. These classic board games have stood the test of time.


Chess is a game of strategy, played on a board of 64 squares with 32 pieces. Players form a defense, and move and capture pieces in an attempt to trap the opponent's king through checkmate. Chess is one of the most popular two-player strategy games (although it is also referred to as a sport) in the world.

Chess sets come in an amazing number of varieties. Some are made of glass or are hand carved from materials like wood or stone. Some sets function as decorative pieces. Some have themes, such as Civil War, Medieval, or Star Wars. Competitive players often prefer a soft vinyl board.

Once you have mastered the basics of the game, you may want to buy a chess clock. A chess clock, or timer, limits the amount of time a player has to make a move, thereby increasing the tension and excitement of play. If a player doesn’t move before the timer expires, he loses the game.


The two-player game of backgammon is played with two dice and a board with 30 pieces. Each player takes turns rolling the dice and tries to move his pieces around the board to the opposite side, without getting trapped in the center.


In the strategy game Go, each player takes a turn placing a piece on the board. Two players attempt to capture each other’s pieces by surrounding them. You determine the final score by how many empty points each player’s pieces hold. Look for magnetic travel sets if you’re on the go. Go strategy books are also available.


American checkers is a truly classic game that two play on an 8 x 8 square board. The object of the game is to capture all the opponent’s pieces by jumping diagonally over them. Checkers is also known as draughts. You play international draughts, a popular version of checkers, on a 10 x 10 board.

Chinese checkers

Played on a star-shaped board, the object of Chinese checkers is to move your pieces to the opposite side of the board. You capture pieces by jumping, as in American checkers. Despite the name, Chinese checkers originated in the United States.

Mah jong

Mah jong is a gambling board game played with tiles. Each player selects or discards tiles in order to form similar groups. Mah jong sets consist of at least 136 tiles, but more commonly of 144 tiles. Sets from the United States and Japan have more tiles. Mah jong is usually played with four players. The game is sometimes played with cards (also called mhing), which can be used when traveling.

Mah jong is alternatively known as mahjong, mahjongg, or majiang.


Parcheesi was adapted from an Indian game known as the Indian Cross and Circle game. The object of Parcheesi is to move one of each of the four colored pawns to the center of the board.

Back to topBack to top

Find Traditional Board Games on eBay

Find Traditional Board Games on eBay

Once you know what type of traditional board game you want, go to the Toys & Hobbies portal, click Games then Board, Traditional Games, and start searching for item listings on eBay.

  • Categories: The Categories list on the left side of each page will help you narrow down your listings by item type. You’ll find links for Backgammon, Chess, Mah Jong, Monopoly, Scrabble, and more.

  • Keyword search: Search eBay listing titles for specific words. For example, if you want to find travel backgammon sets, type “travel backgammon set” (without quotation marks) into the Search box. Click “Search title and description” to expand your results. Visit eBay’s Search Tips page for more tips on searching with keywords.

If you can’t find exactly what you want, try shopping eBay Stores, tell the eBay Community what you want by creating a post on Want It Now, or save a search on My eBay and eBay will email you when a match becomes available.

eBay Toy Finder can also help you find hot and award-winning toys appropriate for kids of any age.

Back to topBack to top

Buy Traditional Board Games With Confidence

Buy Traditional Board Games With Confidence

Before making your purchase, make sure you know exactly what you're buying, research your seller, and understand how eBay and PayPal protect you.

Know your purchase

Carefully read the details in item listings.

  • Figure delivery costs into your final price. If you spend a lot of money, make sure the seller will insure the item when it ships.

  • If you want more information, ask by clicking the "Ask seller a question" link under the seller's profile.

  • Always make sure to complete your transaction on eBay (with a bid, Buy It Now, or Best Offer). Transactions conducted outside of eBay are not covered by eBay protection programs.

  • Never pay for your eBay item using instant cash wire transfer services through Western Union or MoneyGram. These payment methods are unsafe when paying someone you do not know.

Know your seller

Research your seller so you feel positive and secure about every transaction.

  • What is the seller's Feedback rating? How many transactions have they completed? What percentage of positive responses do they have?

  • What do buyers say in their Feedback? Did the seller receive praise?

  • Most top eBay sellers operate like retail stores and have return policies. Do they offer a money-back guarantee? What are the terms and conditions?

Buyer protection

In the unlikely event that you don't receive your item or it is not as described, eBay Buyer Protection will cover your purchase price plus original shipping. Learn more.

Back to topBack to top

Ready to share your thoughts with the eBay community? Write a guide!
 Content Provided By