How To Win Rock-Paper-Scissors: A Guide to Winning Every Time

how to win rock paper scissors

Rock-paper-scissors is a game that has been enjoyed by people all over the world for generations. It’s a simple game that requires no equipment, yet can provide hours of entertainment. However, it can be frustrating when you always end up losing. Fortunately, there are strategies and techniques you can use to increase your chances of winning. In this guide, we’ll go through the basics of the game, discuss some common strategies, and provide tips on how to win at rock-paper-scissors.

Understanding the Game

Before we dive into strategies and tips, let’s make sure we understand the game. Rock-paper-scissors is a game that is typically played between two people. Each player makes a fist and then simultaneously reveals one of three hand signals: rock, paper, or scissors. The outcome of the game is determined by the following rules:

  • Rock beats scissors
  • Scissors beat paper
  • Paper beats rock

If both players reveal the same hand signal, the game is a tie and is usually played again until a winner is determined. The game is typically played in a best-of-three format.

Common Strategies

There are a few common strategies that people use when playing rock-paper-scissors. Let’s take a look at each of these strategies and discuss their effectiveness.

  1. Random Selection

Some people believe that the best way to win at rock-paper-scissors is to simply select a hand signal at random. This strategy is based on the idea that if both players are truly selecting their hand signal at random, then there is an equal chance of winning, losing, or tying. While this strategy can be effective in the short term, over the long term it is not a reliable way to win consistently.

  1. Pattern Recognition

Another strategy that some people use is to try to recognize patterns in their opponent’s play. For example, if your opponent has played rock in the last two rounds, you might predict that they will play rock again and select the paper to beat them. While this strategy can be effective against opponents who are not aware of their own patterns, it can also be easily defeated by opponents who are intentionally changing their play style.

  1. Psychological Tactics

Finally, some people use psychological tactics to try to gain an advantage over their opponents. For example, they might try to intimidate their opponent by making aggressive gestures or noises. Alternatively, they might try to lull their opponent into a false sense of security by being overly friendly or relaxed. While these tactics can be effective, they require a certain level of skill and are not always reliable.

Tips for Winning

Now that we’ve looked at some common strategies, let’s dive into some tips for winning at rock-paper-scissors.

  1. Be Unpredictable

One of the most effective ways to win at rock-paper-scissors is to be unpredictable. If your opponent can’t predict your next move, they won’t be able to beat you consistently. To be unpredictable, try mixing up your hand signals in random order. For example, you might play rock, then paper, then scissors, then rock again.

  1. Pay Attention to Your Opponent

While it’s important to be unpredictable, it’s also important to pay attention to your opponent’s play style. Try to pick up on any patterns or tendencies they might have. If you notice that they tend to play scissors more often than the other hand signals, you can use that information to your advantage by playing rock more often.

  1. Use Psychological Tactics

As we mentioned earlier, psychological tactics can be effective in rock-paper-scissors. However, they require a certain level of the Tips for Winning section. Of skill and can backfire if not executed properly. One psychological tactic that can be effective is to delay your hand signal reveal. By delaying your reveal, you can try to read your opponent’s body language or facial expressions to gain insight into what hand signal they might be playing. However, be careful not to delay too long, as this can be seen as stalling and may irritate your opponent.

  1. Play the Odds

While rock-paper-scissors is a game of chance, there are certain hand signals that statistically have a higher chance of winning. According to a study by the University of Tokyo, players tend to favor rock as their first move, which means that paper has a higher chance of winning as a response. However, be careful not to become too reliant on this strategy, as your opponent may catch on and adjust their play style accordingly.

  1. Practice, Practice, Practice

Like any skill, the key to winning at rock-paper-scissors is practice. The more you play, the better you’ll become at recognizing patterns, using psychological tactics, and being unpredictable. Consider playing with friends or family members, or even entering a rock-paper-scissors tournament to hone your skills.


Rock-paper-scissors is a simple game that can provide hours of entertainment. While it is a game of chance, there are strategies and techniques you can use to increase your chances of winning. By being unpredictable, paying attention to your opponent, using psychological tactics, playing the odds, and practicing, you can become a rock-paper-scissors champion. So the next time you play, keep these tips in mind and give yourself the best chance of coming out on top.

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