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How to Play Rock-Paper-Scissors

Rock-paper-scissors is a great way to alleviate boredom or make decisions, such as figuring out who gets to go first in the next game you play.


  • Step 1: Make a fist Both players make a fist with one hand.
  • Step 2: Tap fists While counting to three, or saying "Rock! Paper! Scissors!" both players raise their fist and swing it down on the count. The third time, each changes their fist into a gesture.
  • Step 3: Form a shape Choose your gesture. Keep your hand in a fist for a rock; to represent paper, flatten your hand, with fingers together and palm down; extend and separate your index and middle fingers to form a pair of scissors.
  • TIP: Additional weapons, such as dynamite, fire, water, Spock, and lizard are occasionally used, though rarely in officially sanctioned competitions.
  • Step 4: Determine the winner Determine the winner for that round: paper beats rock, rock beats scissors, scissors beat paper.
  • TIP: As well as being a great time-suck, rock-paper-scissors can act as a tiebreaker, or in lieu of drawing straws or throwing dice.
  • Step 5: Repeat as necessary Play as many rounds of rock-paper-scissors as necessary.
  • FACT: In 2006, a federal judge in Florida ordered two opposing attorneys to settle a scheduling dispute with a game of rock-paper-scissors.

You Will Need

  • An opponent

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