Paper Scissors Stone – You Know the One


Rock Scissors Paper is a hand game and is usually played be two opponents, where players simultaneously form one of three shapes with an outstretched hand.The “rock” beats scissors, the “scissors” beat paper and the “paper” beats rock; if both players throw the same shape, the game is tied. It is up to the players how many times they repeat the game. Players can choose to play a predetermined number of rounds, such as best two out of three, or best three out of five.

You might think that the game is played with high degree of random. True, but is argued that rock-
paper-scissors can be played with a degree of skill by recognising and exploiting non-random behaviour in opponents.

In the UK, the players usually count aloud to three or speak the name of the game “rock- scissors- paper” and then, the players form with their hand one of the gestures. In other variations, the players simultaneously countdown from three (i.e., saying three- two- one). When the players say “go” each of them use a hand to create the shape of their chosen item, as follows:

Rock, represented by a closed fist Scissors, represented by two fingers extended and separated
Paper, represented by an open hand, with the fingers extended and touching, in order to represent a sheet of paper
The objective is to select a gesture which defeats that of the opponent.

The first known mention of the game is found in a book from 16th century, written by the Chinese Xie Zhaozhi. He wrote that the game dated back to the time of Chinese Han Dynasty (206BC – 220AD). In the book the game is called shoushiling, which means “hand command”. In 17th century the game has been imported in Japan and subsequently becoming popular. Japanese version was known as ‘ mushi- ken ‘. In ‘mushi- ken’ the objectives are animals and gestures are represented by fingers. Frog (represented by the thumb) is superseded by slug (represented by the little finger), which is superseded by snake (represented by index finger), which is superseded by frog.

By the early 20th century, rock- scissors- paper had spread beyond Asia. In Europe the game seems to have arrived by that time. In Britain the game was described in a letter to a newspaper as a hand game called ‘zhot’. A newspaper reader then wrote in to say that the game ‘zhot’ referred to Jan- Ken- Pon, which she had often seen to had played throughout Japan. In 1927 the appearance of the thriller with title ‘ Scissors cut paper’, followed in 1929 by ‘ Stone blunts scissors’, suggest that the game quickly become popular. In France in 1927, children’s magazine described the game in details, referring to it as ‘ jeu Japanese’ (Japanese game). French version ” chi- fou- mi “is based on old Japanese words referred to” one-two- three”.

How to win Rock- Scissors- paper
The question of how to win at Rock-Paper-Scissors has, believe it or not, plagued mathematicians and game theorists for quite some time. While they previously had devised a theoretical answer to the question, a new experiment by Zhijian Wang at Zhejiang University in China that used real players, has revealed an interesting wrinkle to the original theory. In the experiment, Zhijian noticed that winning players tended to stick with their winning strategy, while losers tended to switch to the next strategy in the sequence of rock-paper-scissors, following, what he calls, and “persistent cyclic flows.” The pattern that Zhijian discovered — winners repeating their strategy and losers moving to the next strategy in the sequence — is called a “conditional response” in game theory.

The researchers have theorised that the response may be hard-wired into the brain, a question they intend to investigate with further experiments.

Weird facts
The Maspro Denkoh electronics corporation was selling its $20 million collection of Picassos and Van Goghs, but the director could not decide whether Sotheby’s or Christie’s should have the privilege of auctioning them.So he announced that the deal would go to the winner of a single round of scissors, paper, stone

– the children’s game that relies on quick fire hand gestures, where stone beats scissors, scissors beat paper, and paper beats stone.

Sotheby’s reluctantly accepted this as a 50/50 game of chance, but Christie’s asked the experts,  Flora and Alice, 11-year-old daughters of the company’s director of Impressionist and modern art, and aficionados of the game.

They explained their strategy:

1. Stone is the one that “feels” the strongest

2. Therefore a novice will expect their opponent to go for stone, and will go for paper to beat stone

3. Therefore go for scissors first


Sure enough, the novices at Sotheby’s went for paper, and Christie’s scissors got them an enormously lucrative cut.

Several RPS events have been organised in the United Kingdom by Wacky Nation. The 1st UK Championship took place on 13 July 2007 and the tournament is fact every year since then.

Guinness world record
On 9 July 2010, over 6500 attendees of the LIFE 2010 Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, participated in the largest tournament of Rock-Paper-Scissors ever.

How good are you?


Posted by ML


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