How To Play Rock Paper Scissors

How to Play Rock Paper Scissors: Rules, Variations, and Strategies

Rock Paper Scissors is a classic game that is enjoyed by people of all ages. It is a simple yet exciting game that requires no equipment and can be played anytime, anywhere. In this article, we will explore the rules of the game, variations of the game, and strategies for winning. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced player, this guide will help you improve your skills and have fun while playing.

Introduction to Rock Paper Scissors

Having fun while playing rock paper scissors
Having fun while playing rock paper scissors

The origin of Rock Paper Scissors is unknown, but it is believed to have originated in China during the Han Dynasty. The game was introduced to Japan in the 17th century and was called “jan-ken” or “jankenpon.” The game soon spread to other countries and is now played worldwide.

Rock Paper Scissors is a game played between two players who simultaneously make a hand gesture representing either rock, paper, or scissors. The winner is determined by the rules of the game, which we will discuss in the next section.

Rules of the Game

To play Rock Paper Scissors, each player makes a fist with one hand and then, on the count of three, extends their hand to reveal one of three gestures: rock, paper, or scissors. The winner is determined by the following rules:

  • Rock beats scissors: The rock gesture smashes the scissors gesture.
  • Scissors beat paper: The scissors gesture cuts the paper gesture.
  • Paper beats rock: The paper gesture covers the rock gesture.

If both players make the same gesture, it is a tie, and the game is played again. The game is typically played in a best-of-three or best-of-five format.

It is essential to note that the game is based on psychology, and players can use this to their advantage. For example, a player may use a specific gesture repeatedly, making the opponent think they will use it again, but then switch to a different gesture to win the game. In the next section, we will discuss strategies for winning the game.

Variations of Rock Paper Scissors

While the standard version of Rock Paper Scissors is played worldwide, there are many variations of the game that are unique to different cultures. In Japan, for example, a variation of the game known as “mushi-ken” involves additional hand gestures, including a slug, frog, and snake. The slug gesture defeats the snake gesture, the snake gesture defeats the frog gesture, and the frog gesture defeats the slug gesture.

In Indonesia, a variation of the game called “batu-gunting-kertas” involves three additional gestures: elephant, man, and ant. The elephant gesture beats the man gesture, the man gesture beats the ant gesture, and the ant gesture beats the elephant gesture.

In some variations of the game, the winner is determined by a best-of-seven or best-of-nine format, adding an extra layer of excitement to the game.

Strategies for Winning

While Rock Paper Scissors is a game of chance, there are strategies that players can use to increase their chances of winning. Here are some basic and advanced strategies to help you win:

Basic Strategy

The most basic strategy for winning Rock Paper Scissors is to play randomly, as this ensures that your opponent cannot predict your next move. However, this strategy is not foolproof, as your opponent may also play randomly, resulting in a tie.

Tips for Advanced Strategy

To improve your chances of winning, you can use the following advanced strategies:

  • Observe your opponent: Pay attention to your opponent’s body language and facial expressions, as these can provide clues as to which gesture they will make next.
  • Use a pattern: While playing randomly is effective, using a pattern can also be effective. For example, you can use a pattern of rock, paper, scissors, rock, paper, scissors, and so on.
  • Use reverse psychology: You can use reverse psychology by making a gesture that you think your opponent will beat, hoping that they will fall for your bluff and choose the gesture that you want them to choose.

Psychological Factors

Psychological factors can also affect the game. For example, players may feel nervous, excited, or frustrated, leading them to make impulsive decisions. To overcome these psychological factors, players can practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or visualization, before playing the game.

Playing Rock Paper Scissors Online

In today’s digital age, you can play Rock Paper Scissors online with people from all over the world. There are many websites and apps that offer the game, and it can be played for free or with real money. To play online, you need an internet connection and a device that can access the internet.

The rules of the online game are the same as the traditional game, but the gameplay may differ. Some online versions of the game may have additional hand gestures or rules. Before playing, make sure you read the instructions and understand the rules.

Playing Rock Paper Scissors online has several benefits. Firstly, you can play with anyone from anywhere in the world. This means you can challenge your friends or family members who live far away. Secondly, online games can be played at any time, so you can play whenever you want. Finally, some online games offer rewards for winning, such as cash prizes or gift cards.

However, there are also some drawbacks to playing Rock Paper Scissors online. Firstly, the game may not be as enjoyable as playing it in person. You can’t see your opponent’s reaction or hear their comments, which takes away from the fun of the game. Secondly, some online games may not be fair, and players may cheat to win. Finally, online games can be addictive, and players may spend too much time playing instead of doing other activities.


Rock Paper Scissors is a game that has been enjoyed by people for centuries. It is a simple yet exciting game that requires strategy and psychology. In this article, we have explored the rules of the game, variations of the game, and strategies for winning. We have also discussed playing the game online and the benefits and drawbacks of doing so.

To excel at Rock Paper Scissors, practice is crucial. Familiarize yourself with the rules and different strategies, and try to predict your opponent’s moves. Remember that the game is about having fun and enjoying the moment. So, next time you’re looking for a fun and straightforward game to play, challenge someone to a game of Rock Paper Scissors!