How to Play Rock, Paper, Scissors

"Rock, Paper, Scissors" (aka Ro Sham Bo, Janken, or Scissors Paper Stone) is a simple game played around the world with many names and variations. It's a good way to decide who's turn it is to do something, and it's also played competitively. But before you can learn how to win, you must learn how to play.


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    Shape one hand into a fist shape. Both of you must move your fists up and down three times while saying together "rock, paper, scissors" (the fist coming down each time a word is said). Do not touch each other; this motion is performed entirely up and down in the air in front of you.
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    Make a gesture on the third count (or on the count after that, while saying "shoot"; this varies, but what matters is that you both gesture on the same count). There are three gestures you can make, and which one you choose is up to you:
    • Rock - a closed fist.
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    • Paper - a flat, open hand.
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    • Scissors - index and middle fingers extended.
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    Figure out if you won: Rock smashes scissors, scissors cut paper, and paper covers rock. The winner can demonstrate their victory by "acting out" their gesture (e.g., if you make scissors and the other person makes paper, you can close your fingers around their flat hand to mimic scissors cutting paper). If you both turn out to make the same gesture, it's a tie, and you have to try again.
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    Play two out of three (2/3). This is optional, but most people prefer to play three rounds. Sometimes, the loser of the initial game will call for "two out of three", so that they can have another chance to win.


  • Use paper a lot, unless you are beginning. Most people actually tend to start with scissors, so start with rock.
  • If you're facing someone who knows this trick, start with paper. But if he knows you'll do that, chose scissors and so on.
  • If they haven't done a certain action recently (rock, paper, or scissors) then plan accordingly. Think ahead about which object would destroy them and use that one.

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Categories: Puzzles and Memory Games