Want To Win Rock, Paper, Scissors Forever?

Sarah Hofmann Contributor
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Think “rock, paper, scissors” is a game of luck? Think again. New research out of China shows that there may be a pattern for success.

After studying 360 participants playing the schoolyard game 300 times, Zhijian Wang at Zhejiang University in China determined that players will choose each weapon option a third of the time, showing that people don’t have personal preference for a position.

More importantly however, when people win a game, they are more likely to choose the winning weapon to begin the next game. As a savvy player, you can use that knowledge to your advantage if you lose. For example, if your opponent beats your rock with paper, they’re likely to choose paper the next game, so you should go with scissors for a quick victory.

This follows the basic theory that humans tend to stick with a winning strategy, the MIT Technology Review reports. As a player, your best bet is to resist that urge and go for a completely random weapon each time.

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Sarah Hofmann