is the branch of mathematics concerned with analysis of randomphenomena.Probability theory was originally inspired by gambling problems. The earliest work on thesubject was performed by Italian mathematician and physicist Girolamo Cardano (1501–1576). In his manual
Liber de Ludo Aleae,
Cardano discusses many of the basicconcepts of probability complete with a systematic analysis of gambling problems.Unfortunately, Cardano's work had little effect on the development of probability becausehis manual did not appear in print until 1663—and even then received little attention.In 1654, another gambler named Chevalier de Méré invented a system for gambling thathe was convinced would make money. He decided to bet even money that he could rollat least one twelve in 24 rolls of two dice. However, when the Chevalier began losingmoney, he asked his mathematician friend Blaise Pascal (1623–1662) to analyze hisgambling system. Pascal discovered that the Chevalier's system would lose about 51percent of the time.Pascal became so interested in probability that he began studying more problems in thisfield. He discussed them with another famous mathematician, Pierre de Fermat (1601–1665) and, together they laid the foundation of probability theory.Insurance policies are made possible by empirical probability. We know the amount of accidents, and we know the amount of times something happens without error. Basedon that, it can be calculated what the chance (and thus the cost) is of a certain event.Gambling (professional) is about theoretical probability. One can assume that all thechips, cards, tables or whatever are completely fair (or even calculate the unfairness,based on the method of shuffling), so one can calculate the odds of a certain set of cards coming up, before they ever have.