Chance & Counters – Board Game Café in Digbeth, Birmingham

board game cafe

As you may have noticed, the Custard Factory is booming with new wicked venues. I can honestly say that Digbeth was my favourite area in Birmingham to meet friends and go out this year – as you can check in this quick recap of some of my eating outposts in Digbeth.

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This week, I was back there again to visit one of the most exciting additions to the area – Chance & Counters.

If you didn’t hear about it yet, you certainly will soon. Chance & Counters – as you may notice in the playing on words name of the place- is a Board Game café. Yay!

After all, coffee shops and board games are a perfect combo. Who doesn’t like a good old board game fun and banter? I have such good memories playing the most varied ones when I was quite young, They’re a temporal and that’s the reason board game cafes are so popular.

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The first Chance & Counters – yes, there are already three of them in the country- was open to the public in Bristol in 2016. The success of the business lead the three minds behind the project – Luke, Steve, and Richard to open the second cafe in Cardiff, in 2018.

And here we are at the end of 2019, with the third Chance & Counters one – in the Custard Factory, of course.

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I was super excited to spend some time there. So, I booked a table for four hours for this week, but I do confess that I doubted I would spend so much time in the venue. And guess what? It was hard to leave that place! It’s so much fun. You don’t see the time passing by.

The concept of this café is not something new. There are plenty of game board establishments all over the globe. So, what is great about it?

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With over 600 games that can be played for casual players to professional ones, Chance & Counters also offers a menu with varied nibbles, finger food, burgers, and alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

The space is great. If you have visited the Custard Factory before, you may know that the industrial work spaces with high ceilings and big windows – they’re quite attractive and spacious.

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This is how Chance & Counters in Birmingham looks like. The tables are purposely placed to accommodate two or more players. There is a bar and the board games are placed on a large bookshelf.

After getting the beers and wine in, I grabbed something to eat as well. The Vegan chili cheese fries (vg, gfo) with five bean chili, vegan cheese & jalapeno relish (£5) were my choice. Yes, they serve vegan food, folks! And it was delicious, anyway!

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The staff is friendly and helpful. They even stop by your table now and then to give you tips or check if you need help understanding some game rules. Drinks are served quite quickly as well. Nice!

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The variety of games is quite impressive. From simple and bonkers ones such as Doctor Operation – which is one of my favourites, of course to strategic ones like Trickerion that are probably designed to be played for experts that certainly know what they are doing.

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The public at Chance & Counters is pretty varied. Geeks, casual players, and young and old generations are represented. I was also quite surprised to see quite a lot of people visiting it on a Monday afternoon. Most of them, are young people that certainly bumped into the place after leaving college or work.

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Then we can understand the huge success of a business that was just another startup some years ago.

Some would say the board games are making a comeback, but I believe it was always a favourite activity to bring friends and family together.

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Especially in the colder seasons, when outdoor activities are not an option sometimes. Plus, board games are an important tool for educating kids, perfect for helping us to interact more and forget the screens of our smartphones for a while.

It’s a therapeutic hobby and makes us relax as well. So, why not give it a try?


The truth is that Birmingham gained another wicked venue where the board games are the bigger stars. But we’re all winners here. If I were you, I would pay a visit to Chance & Counters soon. I can`t wait to join the next game!

However, it was also known that during this period of isolation people have preferred to join some brain booster activities such as doing jigsaw puzzles, playing free bingo and I totally get it! Jigsaw puzzles are timeless and challenging sometimes. I like to think that they were made to keep your brain sharp and your mood up.

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*I’m exploring Brum gems such as Chance & Counters with the help of my  Buckt  subscription box. You can use my unique discount code MIDLANDSTRAVELLER (in capital letters) to get 50% off their first Duo Box too.


Simone Ribeiro
Hi! I'm Simone, a citizen of Britain, where I live for over a decade, and of Brazil, where I was born. Midlands Traveller is where I combine my passion for travelling, business and an Eco-friendly lifestyle.

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