The History of Rock Paper Scissors

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One of the world’s most popular games, rock paper scissors is known to millions of people in many cultures. While it’s often played as a simple game of luck and strategy, there are some fascinating nuances to this classic.

The game’s history dates back to China, where it is referred to as shoushiling. It is thought to have originated in the Han dynasty (206 BC – AD 220) and was a precursor to the current version of rock paper scissors.


The history of rock paper scissors is a long, winding one. The game has its origins in China, but grew in popularity in Japan and eventually spread across the globe.

A common belief is that it was invented in the 18th century by a French general named Rochambeau, who was sent to America to help the country become independent from the British. While this may be true, the time lines do not align exactly and it’s possible that Rochambeau never even came across the game in his role as a military strategist.

Another popular theory is that the game originated in Japan, where it is called jan-ken (or jan-ken-pon) and uses the same hand gestures as rock, paper, and scissors. The game is still played today by many people in Asia and is a popular family game.

It’s also a popular pastime in Indonesia, where it’s known as semut, orang, gajah. This version of the game is a little more advanced than RPS and can be played with either two fingers or a gun-like gesture.

The rules are similar, but there are a few key differences. For example, in the Japanese version of jan-ken, the open palm gesture represents “cloth” rather than “paper”. In Indonesia, the hand gesture is more like a claw or a gun.

Researchers have shown that players rely on their instincts when playing the game, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they will make the same choices over and over again. In fact, studies have shown that players tend to stick with the moves they win with and to switch if they lose.

If you are playing a competitive game, it is important to be aware of the patterns that are occurring. This is particularly important in a team-based environment, where it’s easy to see which player is winning or losing.

It is also important to be aware of how much time you are spending on each decision. If you spend a lot of time thinking about the game, you are less likely to make a quick decision.

However, if you are short on time and need to make a decision quickly, it is always a good idea to try to use the simplest method available. This is where rock paper scissors comes in handy.

According to research conducted at the University of Illinois, men are a few percentage points more likely to start with rock, while women are slightly more likely to begin with scissors. That’s because people tend to start with rock when they are confident or have a high chance of winning, and to begin with scissors when they are afraid of losing or have a low chance of winning.

Those who are new to the game can be confused by this tendency, but it’s actually just a very natural thing to do. It’s called a social learning bias. It’s one of the things that makes the game so fun and engaging. It’s also why people like to play the game when they are a little stressed or bored. The game can be a great way to de-stress and forget about the worries that may have been keeping you from making the best decisions.


Rock paper scissors is a popular hand game that originated in China, but has since spread throughout the world. Its rules are simple, and the game is a great way to bring people together.

There are several variations of the rules, but the basic idea is that players throw one item out at a time and either win or lose. The winner wins if their object beats the opponent’s.

It can be played as a solo game or with multiple opponents. In the latter case, each player is asked to select an object, and then they must throw it out.

If you want to make the game more exciting, you can add a fourth count, “shoot,” where both players must throw their choice at the same time. This is totally optional, but can help ensure that each round will end in a clear winner.

Some players also chant, “Rock, Paper, Scissors, SHOOT!” as they throw their object. It may sound silly, but it can be a good way to keep the game moving and add excitement to the outcome.

Manipulating your opponent is another strategy that can give you an edge in this game. Depending on your opponent’s subconscious, they might choose to play one symbol over another. For example, if you’re playing against someone who is losing, they might tend to use rock more often than paper. This is because they believe that a rock will help them get back into the game.

However, if you play against someone who is winning, they might pick scissors more often. This is because scissors represent managed aggression, whereas paper represents unmanaged aggression.

According to a study at Zhejiang University, there is an unconscious pattern in how humans play rock paper scissors. They find that when a person wins with rock, they usually play rock again next.

Likewise, when someone loses with paper, they usually play scissors again. It’s a subtle manipulation that can lead to a more successful outcome than chance.

You can try to pick up on this type of pattern in other ways, too. For example, if you see your opponent’s hand tighten when they raise their fingers often, you can tell that they’ll probably choose rock next.

On the other hand, if you watch closely and notice that your opponent’s hands are loose when they raise their fingers, you can tell that they’ll probably go with paper. This can give you an edge in the game, especially if you’re playing against a weak opponent who’s likely to choose scissors over rock or paper.

In addition, some players telegraph their throws by shifting their fingers early. This can be a good way to sway an opponent’s throw, or to tell when you’re getting close to a win.


Rock paper scissors is one of the most popular games in the world, but it has also inspired many variations. Some of these variations are quite similar to the original game, while others are completely new.

In the original rock paper scissors, players count down to throw a symbol and then dash across a centerline to tag as many opponents as they can before they return to their home zone. The symbols can be any object that has a special significance in the player’s mind.

The game of rock paper scissors can be a great way to teach children how to communicate their feelings without being mean. It helps them develop empathy and trust in other people.

Once they understand the rules, encourage them to play with their whole body, not just their hands. This can help them build confidence and make them feel good about themselves.

There are many variations of the rock paper scissors game, including versions that are made for specific genders and other situations. For instance, the kitsune-ken was a popular Japanese version of the game.

It is also fun to make up your own variations of the game, as long as you understand how to play it correctly. The game can be played in a variety of different ways, from a single person to two teams of players.

Some variants of the game include variations that use a different number of throws per round and add different symbols to the game. These variants can help lessen the chances of a draw, and increase the likelihood of winning.

For example, the game rock paper scissors lizard spock uses two different symbols to lessen the chances of a draw. The first version was created in 2005, and it gained popularity in 2008 when the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory featured it.

The other popular variation of rock paper scissors is Rochambeau, which has five varieties to choose from, reducing the chances of a draw and increasing the likelihood of winning. This version is popular in schools and universities.

Another popular variation of the rock paper scissors game is Jak-en-Poy, which was developed in the Philippines. This game is a fun twist on the original game.

In this game, each player is given a hand that matches their name, with the fingers of their left hand facing each other and the fingers of their right hand facing each other. They count out loud, “shoot-scissors-paper-rock.” Then they switch which hand plays which player. If Amy switches, she will send out rock against Bob’s scissors and paper against Carlos’s scissors.

This is an easy game to teach and one that children enjoy playing, and it can be a great conflict resolution tool. It can be especially helpful in a group setting or when resolving small disagreements.

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