Rock Paper Scissors Rules, History, Tips & Equipment

A history of Rock Paper Scissors, how to play, tips for improvement & necessary equipment

Rock Paper Scissors Overview

Rock-paper-scissors, a classic two-person hand game, is used as a selection method similar to tossing a coin or drawing straws. However, unlike tossing a coin, Rock-paper-scissors can be played with skill, by a player who recognizes his opponent's tendencies.

Rock Paper Scissors History

The game of rock-paper-scissors originated in Japan in the late 19th century and was popularized throughout the world in the 20th century. The game was first known as Jan-ken-pon in Japanese. "Ken" in Japanese is fist. Currently the game is played by school children worldwide, and there are many cultural variations of the game. According to The Guinness Book of World Records, on April 3, 2009, Colonel By Secondary School in Ottawa, Canada, held the largest recorded rock-paper-scissors tournament, with approximately 1150 participants.

Rock Paper Scissors Rules

The game is played between two players. The object of the game is to pick a weapon that will defeat your opponent. It is relatively simple, at the count of three or at the end of the chant "rock, scissors, paper, shoot!" a player either throws a rock (a fist), scissors (two fingers shaped like a scissors), or paper (a flat open hand, fingers connected, with palm down). Rock beats scissors by breaking them. Scissors beats paper by cutting it. And paper beats rock by covering it up and capturing it. If both players choose the same object, the game is tied and the players throw again.

Players usually play the best two out of three.

There are some variations of the game where other objects are added. For example, flame (thumbs up) beats paper, and scissors, and rain (fingers down) beats flame, paper, and scissors. Other objects are made up on the spot.

Rock Paper Scissors Tips

Pay attention to your opponent's tendencies. Over many games players can recognize their opponent's strategy. Players use psych-outs, shouting, and trick gestures to confuse opponents.

According to Jason Simmons, a competitive rock-paper-scissors champion, women tend to start with scissors. The World Rock-Paper-Scissors Society claims that males tend to lead with rock.

At the World Rock-Paper-Scissors tournaments, scissors is statistically the least common throw.

Rock Paper Scissors Equipment

All one needs to play rock-paper-scissors are their hands. If players want to keep score a pen and paper is recommended.

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