Before You Watch

This video provides a brief introduction to probability and one of the common methods used to solve probability problems. You don't need any previous knowledge in probability, but you do need to be familiar with the 4-step problem-solving method. So if you haven't already watched Introduction to Problem-Solving, do that first. Also, because it will help to be comfortable with some of the fundamental ideas from algebra, it's a good idea to watch Introduction to Algebra to refresh your memory, then come back.

The Video

Want to save this content? Download Resource Sheet

Some Practice Questions


Now What?

Now that you're familiar with the fundamental concepts of probability, take a look at Introduction to Statistics. You will see that statistics builds on some of the concepts of probability. Alternatively, you could continue to develop your skills within probability by looking at some of the Other Links and exploring harder problems in probability.

But When I am Going to Use This

Probability is widely used in situations where there are a number of unpredictable events. The most obvious example is that of gambling; casinos and poker machine operators study the probability of people winning and then adjust the returns for those winnings such that they have an extremely high probability of making money.

Probability is also used in insurance to determine the premiums that must be set in order for the insurance company to make money.

Another application of probability is in quantum physics. At the very small scale, movements of particles becomes unpredictable; we therefore must use probability to determine the likelihood of a particular event happening, like for instance the probability that an atom will split and trigger the atomic bomb.

Other Links

Maths is Fun provides a summary of the fundamental concepts in probability and explains the meanings of common terms. It also offers a selection of questions to practise on, and explores more complex probability problems.

Online Math Learning features a series of lessons and videos covering a wide range of concepts in probability. The link below gives you access to a number of sections. The best place to start is “Samples in Probability”.

The Khan Academy has a comprehensive set of video tutorials covering a large range of mathematical and other concepts, as well as questions to test your knowledge. This link takes you to a large chapter dedicated to calculating probability.

Patrick JMT (Just Maths Tutorials) has many video tutorials covering lots of mathematical concepts. This content investigates simple probability. The site also has numerous videos covering more complex probability concepts.