Hitting and Entering in Backgammon

What are the procedures in hitting and entering checkers on the board? These two backgammon moves are essential for working out a win strategy in the game.

When a single checker is on a point it is termed as a blot. Blots are susceptible to hits. When an enemy checker lands on a blot that our checker occupies our checker is "hit" and will be taken off the board and be placed on the bar. It will be detained there for a while until our next turn to roll the dice.

When we have a checker or checkers detained on the bar our primary move should be to get them out of there and enter them back on the board. We cannot do any other move. We first roll the dice and have the placement of the detained checker according to the dice result. For instance, if the dice result is a 4 and 6, our backgammon moves are to opt to enter the checker on either point 4 or point 6 on the enemy's home board, whichever is open.

An open point is one that is not occupied by two or more enemy checkers. So, if the die result 4 brings our checker to a point with 2 or 3 enemy checker (a prime) we must opt for the die result 6. What if neither dice results end up on an open point? Then we forfeit a turn and wait for the next turn. Hence, it's important to hit as many enemy checkers as possible to delay the opponent in the race to bear off pieces.

If we're able to enter just part of the checkers detained on the bar, then we should enter as many as we can and then give up what's left of our turn. If we have entered all our detained checkers on the bar and an extra die result remains unused for a move, then such result should be used. We either use it for to move an entered checker or another checker on the board.

Having all checkers entered is important before we can proceed with moving all our checkers to our home board. If we have many checkers detained on the bar and the opponent has none, we will be virtually losing turns just entering checkers on the board. While the opponent uses each turn meaningfully for advancing checkers to the enemy home board.

These backgammon moves—hitting enemy pieces and entering our hit checkers—are important moves to build strategies on.

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