Rock, Paper, Scissors

Never let it be said that a simple children’s pastime isn’t meant to be taken as serious business. Typically used as a process of elimination (like drawing straws or counting potatoes), Rock Paper, Scissors is a full game all its own. Perhaps it is a joke, or perhaps not, but Rock, Paper, Scissors has recently become a popular diversion for adults, with its own tournaments, and even televised championships. If looking to enter this highly competitive world, better brush up on these rules first!

Number of Players



Nothing but a single hand with at least two full fingers.


Both players should face one another with one hand in the “ready” position (balled into a fist).


When both players are ready, they simultaneously count to three, pumping their fist in rhythm, and then form their hand into one of the positions indicating rock, paper, or scissors. The hand positions are as follows:

  • Rock - The hand remains balled into a fist.
  • Paper - The hand is flattened out with fingers held together like a sheet of paper.
  • Scissors - Two fingers are held out in the shape of an open pair of scissors.

Players should make sure ahead of time that they know whether or not to make their “throw” on three, or just after. An option many players use is to say the words “rock, paper, scissors, shoot” in place of “1, 2, 3” (the “shoot” would be in the same rhythm as the counting, and indicates the exact moment of the throw). Just as the arm movements, the words should be spoken by both players in unison.


Eliminate your opponent by throwing a hand position that beats whatever they have thrown. The break down is:

  • Rock breaks scissors
  • Scissors cuts paper
  • Paper covers rock

That’s all there is to it, although many people claim there is a great deal of strategy based upon psychology, subterfuge, and misdirection that goes into knowing what to throw. The Guru will let you be the judge.

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