How To Play Rock, Paper, Scissors

Also known as Roshambo. Rock beats scissors, scissors beats paper, paper beats rock.

By Zachary Collinger

2 players

game play
On the count of three (usually accompanied by a chant of "Rock, Paper, Scissors"), each time raising one hand in a fist and swinging it down on the count, opposing players "throw" their selection into the middle. Rock is designated by maintaining the fist, Scissors by extending the middle and index fingers, and Paper by holding the hand out flat. If players throw out the same gesture, the game goes on. If not, it's decided by a harmonic and intransitive method — rock crushes scissors, scissors cuts paper, but paper covers rock.

This game is a journey into the world of mathematical anticipation, as you and your opponent match wits in combat — a real brain-bender.

make it more interesting

  • Bring in more players — play a best 2-out- of-3 tournament.
  • Add a weapon. According to the official Roshambo rules of the Ultimate Players Association "fire" and "water" may be added as potential trumps. Fire will beat any of the standard weapons, but a player may only throw it once in his entire lifetime! Water may be played at any point, but loses to every weapon except fire.

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