Standard Rules on Hitting and Entering

Hitting and entering are two actions that you'll be doing a lot in backgammon. We'll go over the backgammon rules that cover them and we'll also give a few tips to make it all a bit easier. You should have gone over the rules covering the movement of backgammon checkers, which is a prerequisite to our current topic. If you haven't gone over checker movement it is advisable to go over it before tackling hitting and entering.

As a preliminary let us first define what a blot is in backgammon. When players move checkers around on the backgammon board, it is sometimes unavoidable to have single checkers on points. These are called blots in backgammon. These checkers are vulnerable and can be captured by the enemy and sent to the bar. A blot getting sent to the bar is called a hit.

As an example, let's say we have a single checker on the 20-point. Your opponent rolls a double one. He then moves two checkers from the 19-point and puts them on the 20-point (where your single checker or blot was) and two checkers from the 17-point to the 18-point. Your blot will now be placed on the bar until your next turn in the game. Your opponent can't hit his own blots neither can you. Instead you add a checker on your blot making it a point, which will be discussed below.

After your opponent hits and finishes all possible moves it is now your turn to roll the dice and make your own moves. Let's say you rolled a four and a three on your turn. Since you have one checker on the bar the first thing you should do is to bring it from the bar and into your opponent's home board. In our case you made a four and a three so you have a choice of placing this checker either on the 22-point or on the 21-point.

Let's say you decide to enter your checker on the 21-point and move your checker on the 24-point to the 21-point. You have now entered your checker from the bar and have made a point in the process. Making a point means to put at least two checkers on a single point. Making points is a good piece of strategy you can take advantage of. Making more points serve as blocks to your opponent giving him fewer options to land checkers on.

Moving back a bit, what if you rolled a five and a six instead of a four and a three? You can't enter your checker on the 20-point or on the 19-point since your opponent has made those points. This means that you forfeit this turn and your opponent gets to move checkers again. Now, what if you did roll a four and a three and incidentally your opponent has a blot on the 21-point? When you enter your checker on the 21-point you then hit your opponent's blot and you then make your point.

These are the backgammon rules on hitting and entering. You'll be doing this a lot when you play this game.