Rock, Paper, Scissors: Strategy or Luck?

Rock Paper ScissorsRock Paper Scissors is a simple game that, theoretically, should depend entirely on chance. (As a three-element group, each option wins against one option but loses against the other.)

However, the game is growing ever more popular, in large part because people believe there is strategy in winning.

There are two main approaches to increasing the odds:

(1) Cheating, such as by delaying one’s throw for a split second – just long enough to see what the opponent has thrown

(2) Anticipating the opponent’s decision, based on their personality, past history, as well as a psychological interpretation of the meaning of each choice – and how it corresponds to the psychographic state of the opponent. For example, Rock is considered an aggressive option; paper may be either considered “weak” or “intellectual,” depending upon the RPS expert you consult. Additionally, some people may have “tells” that give away what they are planning to do.

For further reading, see the the Rock Paper Scissors Society, motto: “Serving the needs of decision makers since 1918.”

Purchase the official Rock Paper Scissors strategy book here:

One response to “Rock, Paper, Scissors: Strategy or Luck?

  1. You have a really old link to the world rps site. Here is the updated one

    Also, you may be interested in an article I wrote called “How to beat anyone at Rock Paper Scissors”

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