Bearing In - Part 1

by Douglas Zare
1 March 2012

Douglas Zare

Over the years, I have criticised many backgammon racing formulas for being too complicated for their level of accuracy. Last month we saw an example, Merrigan's Metric Formula. The goal to convert a bear-in race to a percentage was good, but the adjustments for extra pips and crossovers in the outfield were too far off in simple examples.

A very good way to evaluate most races is with the effective pip count (epc). The effective pip count equals the pip count plus the wastage. The pip count is easy to calculate, which leaves us to estimate the wastage. In many common bear-in racing positions, the wastage is easy to estimate.

Next month, in Part 2, I'll release a program which tells you the effective pip counts of bear-in (and bearoff) positions.

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