Pip Counting

 Tips

 From: Patti Beadles Address: pattib@netcom.com Date: 22 December 1994 Subject: Re: Pit Counting Tips Forum: rec.games.backgammon Google: pattibD18F42.MJI@netcom.com

```I always do absolute counts, not relative ones, and I've learned to do
them fairly quickly.  Here are some tips:

- Stop using the pipcounter on FIBS!  This is the most important thing
I've done.  "toggle allowpip" will stop you from getting a pipcount
with the "pip" command, and also prevent your opponent from doing it.

- Learn a few simple patterns that come up often.  For example, a
closed board with no spares is 42.  Two checkers each on 4, 5, and 6
is 30.  Two checkers each on 7 and 8 is also 30.

- Make sure you know multiples of 13 for the midpoint.  Likewise for
18 with your opponent's bar point, although that isn't quite as
necessary.

- Your opponent's 5-point is 20 pips.  I tend to count checkers in my
opponent's board, multiply by 20, and then add in any differential.

- Figure out some way to remember your count while you do your
opponent's side.  I've got a simple method of using my fingers to
remember the count, since I'm hopeless at actually remembering
numbers.  (For a while, it was count my side, count my opponent's
side, oops! count my side again, geez, now count my opponent's side
again, give up.)

- Practice, practice, practice.

Another thing that I've found useful is learning when I need a precise
pipcount (races, etc.) and when an approximate one will do.  If I
don't need absolute accuracy, I take shortcuts... two checkers on my
opponent's ace point is 50, for example.

One other thing... in a straight race, it's sometimes helpful to keep
a running count.  Get an accurate count once, then keep track of
how it changes after each roll... e.g. I'm nine pips up.  My opponent
rolls 5 2, now I'm two pips up.  I roll 6 4 and I'm twelve up.  etc.
If you've ever played blackjack and counted cards, you'll find this
quickly becomes second nature.  It's possible to do it in contact
positions, too-- I did this for several games, keeping a running
pipcount from the opening roll on.  While it can be done, I found that
it wasn't all that useful, and it distracted me from bigger issues.
--
pattib@netcom.com |  Algolagnia abounds!
pattib@ichips.intel.com |
or just yell, "Hey, Patti!" |  One bad cube can ruin your entire day.
```

### Pip Counting

Casting out crossovers  (Mark Denihan, Oct 1996)
Cluster counting  (camelx+, May 2005)
Counting half rolls  (Bob Hoey, Apr 1998)
Half-crossover method  (Douglas Zare, Mar 2002)
Live play versus online  (Stanley E. Richards+, Apr 2006)
Live play versus online  (Rich+, Mar 2006)
Mental shift  (Stephen Turner, Oct 1996)
Modified direct count  (Daithi, Mar 2011)
Opposing sums and differences  (Donald Kahn, Apr 1998)
Running pip count  (Rodrigo Andrade+, Apr 1998)
Symmetry method, Grouping men  (Brian Sheppard, Jan 1997)
The 51/21 count  (kruidenbuiltje, Mar 2011)