Here's a Winning Strategy for Rock-Paper- Scissors
Study shows how you can predict opponents' actions
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted May 3, 2014 1:37 PM CDT
Loading... Please wait

(Newser) – Thanks to researchers in China, you never have to leave a game of rock-paper-scissors up to chance again. They observed 360 students in 60 groups of six players each; the students played what must have been an exhausting 300 rounds. Perhaps unsurprisingly, players played each move—rock, paper, or scissors—about a third of the time, the MIT Technology Review reports. But they didn't make those plays entirely randomly each time.

Instead, once players got past the first round, they behaved somewhat predictably. If a player won a round, she would typically stick with the same "weapon" for the next round. But if she lost, she'd typically switch, in this pattern: rock to paper, paper to scissors, and scissors to rock, the Washington Post reports. So in order to win, expect your opponent to follow that strategy and choose your own weapons accordingly—and perhaps try switching randomly yourself, USA Today suggests. Of course, none of this will be much help if your opponent reads this article.

View 1 image
More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Here's a Winning Strategy for Rock-Paper- Scissors is...
13%
58%
3%
14%
3%
9%
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Comments
Showing 3 of 11 comments
iq145
May 7, 2014 10:32 PM CDT
Always choose Applesauce! You'll win every time!
GreekChorus
May 4, 2014 1:02 AM CDT
The "common" strategy can be stated much more simply as "play the winning move from the previous round". The optimal response to that strategy can be stated simply as "play the unused move from the previous round".
Ezekiel 25:17
May 3, 2014 10:52 PM CDT
It was several years ago that the, gorilla beats the man, and the man beats the gun. The gun beats the gorilla, if you tie you die hit churches and youth camps. I swore if I saw it one more time I was going to bring a gun and set off blanks right then and there. Falls Creek in Davis, OK. thought it was the best thing since Point of Grace danced their sexy gig on stage with their tight tooshies and got all the boys heated up enough to praise Krishna or Buddha. We call it Point of Grace babies made in those woods. I bet they still do the gorilla deal in the worship sessions. I need to sneak in some fireworks down there and see if they do it after that.