Blaise Pascal was a French scientist, philosopher, and mathematician during the 17th century. Furthermore, he was an early developer in the games of theory and probability and associated with the invention of the first digital calculator. His colleague Daniel Bernoulli was a Swiss mathematician who was best known for his efforts in different scientific fields such as medicine, physics, mechanics, and mathematics, especially probability theory (Goswami et al., 2527-2535). This paper will examine the games of chances studied by Daniel Bernoulli and Blaise Pascal and their outcomes. The focus will be on how they relate to the study of probability.
The games of chances are as antediluvian as human history. The most common game of chance studied by Blaise Pascal was gambling because he had an interest in gambling and gaming questions. The outcome of this game was an equal chance of the players involved winning each round the dice is thrown (Anders, 5). For example, the players contributed equal portions to a prize pot and agreed that the player who won a certain number of rounds would collect the prize pot. The main problem was, suppose the dice game is interrupted by external forces before either of the players achieves the victory. How would the prize pot be divided fairly?
This gamble dispute led to the invention of a probability theory in mathematics. The first insight of Blaise Pascal was that during the division of the prize pot it should not depend on the history of part of the game that was interrupted so much, compared to the ways the game would have continued if it was not interrupted. He argued a player leading 7-5 in a game-ending at 10 had the same opportunities of winning as a player leading 17-15 in a game-ending at 20. Therefore, the important thing was not how many rounds a player had won but how many chances the player requires to achieve the victory (Anders, 35).
In conclusion, “Probability is a branch of mathematics that deals with the occurrence of a random event” (Anders, 5). Like in other branches associated with mathematics, probability has been braced by its variety of applications ever since its invention. It is relatable and applied in almost all fields, for example, geology, psychology, engineering, economics, and genetics.
Anders Hald. A history of Probability and Statistics and their Applications before 1750. Wiley 2013, ISBN 978-0-471-47129-5, p. 35, 5
Goswami, Akhil, Gautam Choudhury, and Hemanta Kumar Sarmah. “Role of Fibonacci, Blaise Pascal, Pierre de Fermat and Abraham de Moivre in the devolopment of number patterns and probability: a historical search.” International Journal of Applied Engineering Research 14.11 (2019): 2527-2535.