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Lesson 4: What exactly are a pip and a pipette?

April 2, 2022

Pips and pipettes are terms commonly used by traders. Here’s what they mean.

What is a pip?

PIP stands for Percentage In Point. It is a way to measure how much a currency pair has changed in value.

We used to say a pip was the slightest change in the price of currency pairs, but then a new term came into use called a pipette.

To avoid confusion, Pip is the abbreviation for the fourth decimal place in a currency pair’s quote price (except the JPY pair).

Let’s have a look at an example.

Assuming the EURUSD goes from 1.1500 to 1.1520, how many pips are generated?

To figure how many pips the movement of EURUSD is, you only see the difference, which is 20 pips. As we said, the Pip is the fourth decimal place. In this example, the difference is 20 pips.

Consider another currency pair, GBPUSD, as an example. Consider another example in a different currency, the GBPUSD.

GBPUSD is trading at 1.3160, down from 1.3200. Thus, in this example, we may refer to GBPUSD as being down 40 pips. It is important to note that not all currency pairs have four decimal digits.


Because the currency pair versus the Japanese Yen (JPY) only has two decimal, we refer to the Pip as the second decimal place.

Consider the following example:

USDJPY is trading at 128.50 and has risen to 128.65, implying a 15 pip gain. GBPJPY’s move from 167.45 to 167.00 is a 45-pip loss. After we’ve figured out what PIP is, we’ll try to figure out what Pipette is.

What is a pipette?

After years of using only four decimal (two for the JPY Pair), the fifth decimal, Pipette, was introduced. Most brokers use the fifth decimal (except for JPY using three decimals); however, this Pipette is usually shown with a smaller number. Pipettes are most commonly referred to as fractional pips, or 1/10 the worth of a pip.

I know it sounds weird, but Pipette isn’t used very often in everyday language. However, consider the following example: EURUSD trades between 1.11505 and 1.11513. Thus, the EURUSD increased by eight pipettes, but because most traders were unconcerned about the change below one Pip, traders typically prefer to refer to it as 0.8 pips.

The following example is GPUSD decreasing from 1.32507 to 1.32403. Then, we can see that the GBPUSD decreased by 204 pipettes or 20.4 pips.

USDJPY with third decimals

Following that, let us consider an example with the JPY pair.

The GBPJPY increased from 167,503 to 167,758. Thus, GBPJPY increased by 255 pipettes or 25.5 pips. Easier to follow, right?

Therefore, bear this in mind. A pip is a unit of measurement of a currency pair’s value change; it is the fourth decimal place for most currency pairs except for the JPY, which is the second decimal place.

One Pipette, also known as fractional pips, is 1/10 of a pip, the fifth decimal point for most currency pairs but the third decimal point for JPY pairs.