Backgammon Basics: Hit and Enter

Points on the backgammon board that are occupied by a single checker are called blots. Blots are open targets for enemy checkers on the backgammon board. When your opponent has a blot on the backgammon board and you land a checker on that blot, that sends your opponent's checker to the bar (making it start all over again). Entering on the other hand is when a checker goes back into play on the board after getting hit.

Hitting and entering are two fundamental backgammon concepts that every beginner in backgammon should understand to move forward in their game.

This part of backgammon action is called a hit. Every backgammon checker that is hit is sent to the bar (or you can say they're being sent back to start). The blitz is a backgammon strategy that is based on doing a hit. In fact, when you play the blitz you get to hit like crazy. You try to hit and send as much of your opponent's checkers to the bar while getting ahead in the race.

If you have a checker on the bar, the first move you are allowed to make is to take that checker off the bar and land it inside your opponent's home board. This part of the backgammon game is called entering.

Your checker can only enter within your opponent's home board. Where exactly does your checker land on depends on the dice roll you make. After you have a checker get hit, your first obligation on your next turn is enter that checker into the board.

As always, you may not land or enter your checker on a point occupied by two or more of your opponent's backgammon checkers. If, for instance, when you enter your checker and it lands on your opponent's blot at the home board that constitutes a hit and sends your opponent's checker off to the bar.

One strategy you might very well employ is to make more points at your home board. In backgammon, when we say build or make a point it means that you occupy a point with at least two checkers. If you make a lot of points on your home board, that makes it all that more difficult for your opponent to enter his backgammon checkers.

If ever your opponent can't enter a backgammon checker with either dice roll, he forfeits that turn. This is a great time to build your momentum in backgammon. One bit of strategy you can do is covering all of your home board points so your opponent's checkers are stuck at the bar.

In backgammon, you may have opportunities to do that and may be not. It just depends on how you position your checkers and what numbers pop up when you roll the dice.

Hitting and entering are two important features of backgammon. Strategies are built on these as a foundation. Don't be afraid to hit and use the strategic value of entering. These help you go along your way as you progress in your own game in backgammon.