Methods formulated on the basis of the concept of first-ply failure and the structural reliability theory are presented for the reliability analysis of laminated composite plates. In the reliability formulation, an appropriate phenomenological failure criterion is used to establish the limit state equation of the laminated composite plates, and different numerical techniques are employed to evaluate the reliability of the plates. Experimental investigations of lamina strengths and first-ply failure loads of laminated composite plates were performed. Baseline probability distributions of lamina strength parameters constructed from the test data are used to study the reliability of the laminated plates. The accuracy of the proposed models in reliability assessment of the laminated plates are verified by the experimental results on first-ply failure load distributions.