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How to Play Rock, Paper, Scissors

Three Parts:

Rock, Paper, Scissors (aka "Ro-Sham-Bo",janken, "Bato, Bato, Pick" and "Scissors, Paper, Stone") is a simple hand game that is played around the world, with many different names and variations. It is commonly used as a way of coming to decisions, and in some cases is even played for sport. The rules require that competing players use one hand to form one of three shapes at an agreed-upon time. The person that plays the strongest “object” is the winner of the game. It's that easy! Rock Paper Scissors is a simple game that anybody can play and win. There is no obvious advantage to the stronger, older, more experienced opponent.


Playing Rock, Paper, Scissors

  1. Think of an issue that needs to be settled.Unless you’re playing for amusement’s sake, some issue will normally be hanging in the balance. Maybe you’re trying to decide who gets the last slice of pizza, or who should be first in line to try out a new waterslide. In most cases, Rock, Paper, Scissors is played as a means to help make a choice or put an end to a disagreement. The idea is that both players have an equal chance of winning, making the game random but fair.
    • Rock, Paper, Scissors can be used to decide anything from what movie you see with your friends to who should inherit a collection of priceless paintings.
    • While patterns do emerge during gameplay, they are neutralized by the unpredictability of the other player’s choice.
  2. Face off against another person.For the game to play out correctly, there need to be two players. Stand facing one another a few paces apart. Place one hand flat out in front of you, palm up. Your other hand will be used to make the shape of the object you want to play once the game starts.
    • Rock, Paper, Scissors can only be played by two people at a time.
  3. Count down to make your play.Agree on a cue that you’ll use to match shapes with your opponent. In the majority of games, the players throw their shape on the count of three (sometimes counted off by reciting each word of the game’s title). You can also count down by saying “rock, paper, scissors, shoot!” On the word “shoot,” both players reveal the object they chose.
    • Tap your closed playing hand against your palm as you count down. This will help you and your opponent get synchronized.
    • Be sure that you’re on the same page as far as timing your plays.
  4. Play one of the three objects against your opponent.When it comes time to play, you and your opponent will each form one of the three objects—either rock, paper or scissors. You’ll then name a winner based on which object they played. Every game will be different, so stay alert!
    • Both players must throw at the same time. If one player delays, the result isn’t trustworthy, and you should start the game over.
    • Don’t play the same object every time. Switch it up to fool your opponent.
  5. Determine the winner.After you’ve both played an object, look to see who’s won. Each object wins against one shape and loses to another. For instance, rock “crushes” scissors but is “covered” by paper, paper “covers” rock but is “cut” by scissors, and scissors is “crushed” by rock but “cuts” paper. The player who picks the stronger of the two objects is the winner.
    • If both players throw the same object, it’s a tie. In this situation, simply play again until there is a clear winner.
    • The loser of the game has the right to call for “best 2 out of 3,” meaning that 3 rounds will be played instead of just 1. This gives the losing player a chance to come out on top.

Choosing Which Item to Throw

  1. Play rock.To play “rock,” simply ball your hand up into a fist when you and your opponent shoot. Rock beats scissors, but loses to paper.
    • People tend to throw rock more often than the other shapes, especially if they're inexperienced. Remember this when choosing which object to play.
    • Try to predict your opponent's next move by paying attention to their patterns.
  2. Play paper.Throw “paper” by extending your hand palm down with your fingers outstretched. Paper wins against rock, but loses to scissors.
    • Paper is a good object to throw if you're undecided because there's a bigger chance that your opponent will play rock than scissors.
  3. Play scissors.For "scissors," use two fingers to mimic the shape of an open pair of scissors. Scissors has an advantage over paper but can be beat by rock.
    • If you find yourself losing when you throw rock, switch to scissors. This will help you overcome an opponent who relies on paper.

Playing the Game in Various Situations

  1. Use a quick game to settle disputes.Play Rock, Paper, Scissors the next time you need to resolve some disagreement in a flash. For instance, you could compete for the privilege of getting the window seat. And, of course, you can always play a series of games to give each player a fighting chance.
    • Rock, Paper, Scissors is better than other games of chance, like drawing straws or flipping a coin, because there’s an element of control involved.
    • Both players should be willing to accept whatever the outcome may be.
  2. Determine an order for doing something.Rock, Paper, Scissors can also be handy for establishing what order things come in, like when you’re fighting with your friends over who gets to be in the front of the line. You can even play several games between three or more people to set up a final order in advance. After each player has gone up against everyone else, tally up your total number of wins, using tie-breaker games as needed.
    • A few rounds of Rock, Paper, Scissors can help you set up an order faster than talking it out can.
  3. Enter a Rock, Paper, Scissors tournament.Put your Rock, Paper, Scissors skills to the test in an organized competition. There, you’ll go head-to-head with other experienced players, learn to pick up on their tells and try to outwit them with superior tactics. There may even be a little bit of prize money or some other reward for you if you emerge the winner.
    • If you can't find an existing group or tournament, start one of your own. Since you don’t need any special qualifications to enter, anyone has a fair shot at winning!
    • Though it might sound strange, the simple hand game has gained a lot of popularity as a test of strategy and chance.
  4. Play for fun.Even if there’s nothing riding on the game, you can still play Rock, Paper, Scissors for your own enjoyment. Keep tally of you and your opponent’s wins and losses, and play until one of you reaches a predetermined number. It’s similar to Tic-Tac-Toe in that you can go through multiple games in a lightning-quick fashion. That spontaneity will help keep you on your toes!
    • Traditionally, playful punishments were devised for whoever lost a series of games, such as a slap on the wrist.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    If there are three friends, how do we play?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    The same way. If there's a tie between two winners, the third is out and the two final ones do it up.
  • Question
    What does it mean "paper covers rock?".
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    That means that the paper gesture will win (if one is paper gesture and another is the rock gesture).
  • Question
    How fast do I have to choose rock, paper or scissors?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Ideally, be 10-15% slower than your opponent (at a still-fast pace). Not enough to be obvious to your opponent, but at that final decisive moment, you can predict with 60-80% accuracy their choice of hand, and correspondingly so can beat them. Here's how: If, when they beat their hand, they begin to rotate it 90 degrees at the last second, they're most likely going for paper. If they don't begin to rotate their hand, but you see any fingers begin to extend, they're likely going for scissors. No rotation and no finger movement is rock.
  • Question
    I don't understand. Why wouldn't everybody just choose rock?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Each object has a unique way of winning or losing when played against other objects. Rock in particular is vulnerable to being enveloped by paper. Therefore, you theoretically have an equal chance of victory regardless of what you play. This is where the wild card of chance comes in, though there may be a bit of strategy involved in predicting what your opponent will play based on patterns they display.
  • Question
    Couldn't a rock break through paper?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    In real life, yes. But not according to the rules of the game!
  • Question
    What are the chances of winning when I always do the same shape?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Statistically, assuming a purely random chance of opposition, you would have a 1/3 chance every time. Your chances of always winning would shrink by (1/3)^x where x is the number of times you play the game. However, in reality, the more you play with a single partner the more likely they will notice your lack of variety, and your chances of winning would be even less than (1/3)^X.
  • Question
    I always played this game with the countdown "Rock, paper, scissors, say shoot!" Is this not how it is played?
    Community Answer
    You can play the game however you want! It's more popular, though, for people to say "Rock, paper, scissors, shoot!"
  • Question
    Is there dynamite in rock paper scissors?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Not according to the original rules, but you could change the rules to include dynamite.
  • Question
    I saw 7 or 8 people playing this game at a time. How would they decide the winner?
    Top Answerer
    Each player probably paired off with another player, then played a round, after which the loser stepped out of the game, until there were two players left, and they played one last round against each other.
  • Question
    Can a rock break a scissor?
    Top Answerer
    Yes, that's the only thing rock defeats.
Unanswered Questions
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  • Sometimes a player might make up an object to try to beat yours. Let them know that this is against the rules.
  • Make sure you and your opponent are playing at the same time. If they are throwing their shapes a little later than you, they may be attempting to cheat.
  • Pay attention to the shapes your opponent throw most often and play the one that beats them.
  • Most people tend to throw rock, so use paper if you want to win more.
  • Never play the same object more than twice in a row.
  • Remember, Rock, Paper, Scissors is mostly random. There's no telling what the other person will play next.


  • Don't use Rock, Paper, Scissors when you need to make important decisions. These should be discussed in depth.
  • Before you decide to punish the loser with a slap on the wrist or anything else, make sure that they're a willing participant.

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Date: 06.12.2018, 15:04 / Views: 84362