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Chances Are: Part II

by Steve Zolotow |  Published: Sep 04, 2013


Practice and repetition are essential for learning or building a skill. I will begin this column with a brief review of some basics. Calculating chances can range from simple to virtually impossible. The basic rule is that chances can be calculated by dividing the outcomes you are interested in by the total number of outcomes. The result can be expressed as a fraction, a decimal, or a percent. For example, the chance of picking the A from a deck of 52 cards is 1/52, or .0192 or 1.92 percent. While the chance of picking any of the four aces is 4/52 or .0769 or 7.69 percent. Odds are determined by dividing the chance that some event occurs by the chance that it does not occur. Usually it is expressed as some number to one. Using the above examples, the odds of picking the ace of spades are 51-to-1. The odds ...

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