Statistical Science

Marie-France Bru and Bernard Bru on Dice Games and Contracts

Glenn Shafer

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This note introduces Marie-France and Bernard Bru’s forthcoming book on the history of probability, especially its chapter on dice games, translated in this issue of Statistical Science, and its commentary on the history of fair price in the settlement of contracts.

As the Brus remind us, the traditions of counting chances in dice games and estimating fair price came together in the correspondence between Pascal and Fermat in 1654. To solve the problem of dividing the stakes in a prematurely halted game, Fermat used combinatorial principles that had been used for centuries to analyze dice games, while Pascal used principles that had been proposed in previous centuries by students of commercial arithmetic.

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Statist. Sci., Volume 33, Number 2 (2018), 277-284.

First available in Project Euclid: 3 May 2018

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Zentralblatt MATH identifier

Dice games emergence of probability De vetula expectation


Shafer, Glenn. Marie-France Bru and Bernard Bru on Dice Games and Contracts. Statist. Sci. 33 (2018), no. 2, 277--284. doi:10.1214/17-STS639.

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