# 11.8 Probability

Compute the probability of a simple event.

When a coin is tossed, we can reason that the chance, or the likelihood, that it will fall heads is 1 out of 2—that is, the **probability** that it will fall heads is $\frac{1}{2}$. Of course, this does not mean that if a coin is tossed 10 times it will necessarily fall heads 5 times. If the coin is a “fair coin” and it is tossed a great many times, however, it will fall heads very nearly half of the time. Here we give an introduction to two kinds of probability, **experimental** and **theoretical**.

# Experimental Probability and Theoretical Probability

If we toss a coin a great number of times—say, 1000—and count the number of times it falls heads, we can determine the probability that it will fall heads. ...

Get *Algebra and Trigonometry, 5th Edition* now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.