Rock Paper Scissors

  • Early examples of Rock Paper Scissors (RPS) are mentioned in 15th Century Chinese resources. So we are talking about a game that is at least 500 years old! The modern version becomes widespread in Japan in 18th Century, and then worldwide since the 20th. While often played just as a tie-breaker, there are many national and international RPS tournaments around the globe.
  • RPS is usually played between two people but it may also be played with three players.
  • Each player simultaneously forms one of three shapes with an outstretched hand. These shapes are

rock (✊ a simple fist),
paper (✋ a flat hand), and
scissors (✌️ a fist with the index and middle fingers together forming a V).

  • The game has only three possible outcomes other than a tie: a player who decides to play rock will beat another player who has chosen scissors ("rock crushes scissors") but will lose to one who has played paper ("paper covers rock"); a play of paper will lose to a play of scissors ("scissors cut paper"). If both players choose the same shape, the game is tied. In any case, it is replayed as many times as desired.
  • In a bitter version of the game, at the end of each clash the loser is punished with a humble display of violence - the loser holds his/her playing hand extended, and the winner (using the two scissors fingers closed), hits a stroke on the outer part of the hand at a point close to the wrist. Beware! As the game proceeds, the redness of the hands, pain, and the power of strokes will probably increase.
  • For winning tips at RPS, click on the image below. You may also want to check a related news story here
  • Wanna know even more about RPS? Read more at Wikipedia.

Bonus: Francis Alys's video Piedra, Papel y Tijeras (rock paper scissors) from his beautiful video series on children's games.