How to Master 'Rock-Paper-Scissors'


We all play it. It's the defining moment in one's battle to determine who get's that last piece of 'za or who hits the booter first. It's not child's play, it's serious stuff. Also known as Roshambo, Rock-Paper-Scissors can be completely winnable if you know a couple tricks or two. We sourced the web and found the best tips to keep you throwing like a hammer. Douglas Walker, co-author of The Official Rock-Paper-Scissors Strategy Guide explains why 'rock is for rookies'.

Spot the Sequence

'People see it as too predictable to throw a rock five, six or seven times', says Walker. Beginners tend to throw only three of the same shapes in a row. If they've been throwing rock that means they will throw either paper or scissors next. Throw a paper yourself and you'll earn at least a draw.

Be Sexist

Walker's research suggests that rock is the favorite move with 37% of all throws. Paper is 35% and scissors 29%. When you are stuck or in a bind, go with paper. Don't forget to size up your competitor: 'Guys are close to 50% likely to open with rock. Females tend to start with scissors' says Walker. Start with that.

Play Dirty

The classic 'ice game'. Play like an NFL coach and try to 'ice' your opponent. On the first throw, come in late on the count. This will 'ice' your opponent and give a little tell on their first move. Make sure you apologize but make sure to note their move. 'Most people are more likely to play the same throw again,' says Walker. Throw the rock if they played scissors, scissors if they played paper, or paper if they played rock.

Use Jedi Mind-Tricks

'I tell you I'm going to play rock. Then I look into your eyes and see if there's a smile there, because that indicates you don't believe me, making scissors a safe bet. A lot of it is about eliminating the likelihood of a certain throw, turning an unknown situation into a tie or a win' explains Walker.

Read Your Opponent

A clenched jaw and generally aggressive stance is often indicative of rock about to come. A more reserved, open stance can suggest a weaker player and hence paper. 'Scissors - that's hard to predict,' says Walker. Don't trust your gut, though: 'Because your gut is probably leading you to be predictable yourself.'

Speed up the Pace

Walker recommends speeding up the pace of the count on each throw. 'People are most predictable when you speed up the play.' This, coupled with their sex, stance, and mind tricks will have you winning all sorts of Roshambo!

All the tips above should give you the upper hand when throwing down like a hammer.

Source: Wired UK