Theoretical Probability versus Experimental ProbabilityYou've heard the terms, theoretical probability and experimental probability, but what do they mean? Are they in anyway related? This is what we are going to discover in this lesson. If you've completed the lessons on independent and dependent probability, then you've already found the theoretical probability for numerous problems. Theoretical ProbabilityTheoretical probability is the probability that is calculated using math formulas. This is the probability based on math theory. Experimental ProbabilityExperimental probability is calculated when the actual situation or problem is performed as an experiment. In this case, you would perform the experiment, and use the actual results to determine the probability. In order to accurately perform an experiment, you must: Let's take a look at an example where we first calculate the theoretical probability, and then perform the experiment to determine the experimental probability. It will be interesting to compare the theoretical probability and the experimental probability. Do you think the two calculations will be close? Example 1This problem is from Example 1 in the independent events lesson. We calculated the theoretical probability to be 1/12 or 8.3%. Take a look: Let's take a look at another example where the experimental probability may not be so easy to setup. Example 2I hope this lesson helps you to distinguish between theoretical and experimental probability. Experimental probability can actually be a lot fun! Probability LessonsReturn from theoretical probability to Algebra Class home page. 
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