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Surf for More Math

Lesson 6 - Comparing Theoretical and Experimental Probability

To encourage your child to have fun on the Web while learning about Comparing Theoretical and Experimental Probability , here are some games and interactive activities they can do on their own or in pairs.



Compare the theoretical probability of an event with the results of an experiment.


Builds Upon

Student Book pages 404-405

Instructions for Use


Probability lets your child compare theoretical and experimental probabilities.

To Use Probability, select a red button to the left of the screen - die, spin, suit, card, or coin. The green line shows the theoretical probability for each event.

Click '?' several times to generate an experimental probability. Click 'Reset' to return to the theoretical probability.


Crazy Choices Game lets your child play three different games of chance at once, to compare experimental and theoretical probabilities.

To use Crazy Choices Game, choose the type of game: throwing a die, picking cards from a deck, spinning a spinner, flipping a coin, or another game. In the text boxes below the type of game, describe 'what wins'. For example, if the game is flipping a coin, what wins could be "heads."

Enter the probability as a fraction of winning each game your child has described in 'Theoretical Probabilities'. For example, if the game were flipping a coin with heads winning, the player would expect to win one time for every two tries. Enter "1" in the upper box and "2" in the lower box. Click the 'Show Decimal' button to see the value as a decimal.

Click the 'Run' button. Input the number of times to run the game (up to 10,000). If the 'Add runs to total' box is checked, these runs are added to the previous totals. If it is unchecked, previous runs will be cleared. The results of playing the game are displayed in the 'Experimental Probabilities' section.

To erase all data from the previous game, click the 'Clear Experimental Probabilities' button.