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12.6.7 What does Pips mean?

The pip count is a measurement showing the total number of pips required for a player to bear off all checkers from the current position. It can be regarded as a rough estimate of the raceness of the position – a player with a lower pip count may in many situations want to try to race, whilst the opponent (with the higher pip count) may want to try blocking/holding. See also the explanation on BackGammon Galore.

(For the non-english speaking community it might be helpful to know that when you roll a six and a five, the total pips of that roll is eleven.)