In RPS circles, a common mantra is “Rock is for Rookies” because males have a tendency to lead with Rock on their opening throw
It has a lot to do with idea that Rock is perceived as “strong” and forceful”, so guys tend to fall back on it.
Use this knowledge to take an easy first win by playing Paper. This tactic is best done in pedestrian matches against someone who doesn’t play that much and generally won’t work in tournament play.
The second step in the ‘Rock is for Rookies’ line of thinking is to play Scissors as your opening move against a more experienced player
. Since you know they won’t come out with Rock (since it is too obvious), scissors is your obvious safe move to win against paper or stalemate to itself.
When playing with someone who is not experienced at the RPS, look out for double runs or in other words, the same throw twice
. When this happens you can safely eliminate that throw and guarantee yourself, at worst, a stalemate in the next game.
So, when you see a two-Scissor run, you know their next move will be Rock or Paper – so Paper is your best move.
Why does this work? People hate being predictable and the perceived hallmark of predictability is to come out with the same throw three times in row.
Tell your opponent what you are going to throw
and then actually throw what you said
As long as you are not playing someone who actually thinks you are bold enough to telegraph your throw and then actually deliver it, you can eliminate the throw that beats the throw you are telegraphing.
So, if you announce Rock, your opponent won’t play Paper, which means coming out with Scissors will give you – at worst – a stalemate, and at best the win.
Don’t know what to do for your next throw?
Try playing the throw that would have lost to your opponents last throw. Sounds weird, but it works more often than not.
Inexperienced (or flustered) players will often subconsciously deliver the throw that beat their last one. Therefore, if your opponent played Paper, they will very often play Scissors, so you go Rock.
This is a good tactic in a stalemate situation or when your opponent lost their last game. It is not as successful after a player has won the last game as they are generally in a more confident state of mind which causes them to be more active in choosing their next throw.
When playing against someone who asks you to remind them about the rules, take the opportunity to subtly “suggest a throw” as you explain to them by physically showing them the throw you want them to play. (i.e. “Paper beats Rock, Rock beats scissors (show scissors), Scissors (show scissors again) beats paper.”)
Believe it or not, when people are not paying attention, their subconscious mind will often accept your “suggestion”. A very similar technique is used by magicians to get someone to take a specific card from the deck.
Haven’t a clue what to throw next? Then go with Paper.
Statistically, in competition play, it has been observed that Scissors is thrown the least often. Specifically, it gets delivered 29.6% of the time, so it slightly under-indexes against the expected average of 33.33% by 3.73%.
Obviously, knowing this only gives you a slight advantage, but in a situation where you just don’t know what to do, even a slight edge is better than none at all.
Almost always a winning decision.