How to Win at Rock Paper Scissors

Just imagine all the shotgun seats and last beers that would be yours if you won every game of rochambeau. Impossible? Not according to Graham Walker, coauthor of The Official Rock Paper Scissors Strategy Guide.


1. Play paper first. Rookies tend to lead with rock, so paper is the safest opener. (A savvy opponent will try the same, causing a tie.) If you win, claim victory; if not, start the next throw right away, because of course it’s two out of three.


2. Exploit copycats. Casual players often switch to the object that just beat them. You can encourage them to do this by shouting, “Paper wins!” when you defeat their rock. Then throw scissors on the next round.


3. Watch for doubles. People rarely throw the same hand three times in a row; if they play scissors twice, your next move is paper. Also, keep up the pace so they have less time to think and instead fall into patterns.  (From

Published by Larry Fire

I write an eclectic pop culture blog called THE FIRE WIRE that features articles about books, comics, music, movies, television, gadgets, posters, toys & more!

2 thoughts on “How to Win at Rock Paper Scissors

  1. Graham Walker is one of the strongest RPS strategists I know who has never actually competed in professional tournament play. It is quite rare for a pure admin type to grasp the subtleties of the sport (of course I’m not including organizers like Philadelphia’s C. Urbanus, who started off as a player before creating his own League.) In particular, Graham has managed to focus his considerable aggression and anger with a true aesthete’s appreciation for the finer points of the game. His advice is still timely, and although the above strategies wouldn’t work against a Master, they would probably be enough to win 50% of your matches against average players, no small feat.

    For more advanced tactics, I will humbly present the following:

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