Rock Paper Skill Game Rules

Play Rock-Paper-Skill

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GameColony Rock-Paper-Skill (RPS) game is based on one of the most popular games played around the world: Rock-Paper-Scissors also known as Rochambeau and in Japan as Janken.

Rock Paper Scissors has many references in popular culture, e.g., The Seinfeld, The Simpsons, and That 70s Show all make fun of particular characters' incompetence at understanding the simple rules of the game.

Read here how a Federal Judge ordered 2 lawyers to settle a dispute by playing a round of Rock, Paper, Scissors game.
Two Game Variations
In All Game Variations

RPS game has many nuances and it's not quite as simple as it appears at first glance. RPS rules,however, are really simple. To start playing, there are only three things you need to know :
Rock wins against Scissors
Paper wins against Rock
Scissors win against Paper

Point Values for Default 1-2-3 Variation and Basic 1-1-1 Variation
1-2-3 variation1-1-1 variation
  • Winning with
  • Rock brings 1 pt.1 pt.
  • Winning with
  • Paper brings2 pt.1 pt.
  • Winning with
  • Scissors brings3 pt.1 pt.

    Points, Rounds and Table Options

    RPS Table Options dialog on the right shows that by default a 1-2-3 RPS variation is selected but basic 1-1-1 variation can also be chosen.

    With 1-2-3 variation, the default number of points per round: 7 pt. Other possible selections range from 3 pt. per round to 15 pt. per round.

    Although the default number of rounds necessary to win the game for 1-2-3 variation is 1, it is possible to select from 1 to 7 rounds. In the case of multiple rounds, the winning player will be the first to win the agreed-upon number of rounds.

    As an example, the game listed in the lobby as 7pt,2rd(123) is 1-2-3 variation requiring winning 2 rounds to win the game where winning each round will require getting 7 pt. or more.
    RPS Table Options

    RPS and Skill

    As opposed to Rock, Paper, Scissors that kids play, RPS game significantly increases the element of skill in the game with the following:
  • RPS extends the game over many sessions (rounds)
  • RPS assigns different point values (1, 2, 3) to wins achieved by Rock, Paper or Scissors respectively (in the default variation)
    With the game extended over many sessions, the more skilled player will recognize and exploit the patterns of behavior of an opponent. The difference in point values awarded for wins by Rock, Paper and Scissors affects the risk/reward ratios that players need to keep in mind when using various patterns. Thus, different point values for Rock, Paper, Scissors further enhance the element of skill (as opposed to chance) in the RPS game, making it predominantly a game of skill.

    RPS Strategy

    RPS should not be compared to games of chance, such as bingo or lottery. RPS is first and foremost a mind game, a game of skill. Instead of making mindless or random choices like a beginner, a skilled RPS player makes a choice based on observation of patterns and on psychological factors (see below). This is most certainly not random. You will realize how non-random RPS is the very moment your opponent openly dares you (e.g, in online chat) to start with scissors...

    To predict what opening throw your opponent will lead with, you can consider two factors: (1) pattern (based on past performance) and (2) psychological factor. Pattern-based predictions deal with analysis of the past perfomance. For example, if over time you determined that your opponent is more likely to throw a Rock when trailing, perhaps a Paper can be tried.

    If your opponent consistently selects Paper as their preferred opener for his first run, then a cutting Scissors-lead will be more appropriate. You need, however, to vary your strategy when an evasive opponent starts masking their preferrences. That's when analysing a psychological factor should be helpful.

  • Rock Throw is considered to be agressive -- a subconscious desire to crush the opponent. It also can be a fighting-back throw.
  • Paper Throw is considered to be a subtle throw -- a desire to turn opponents' aggression against them.
  • Scissors Throw is considered to be a semi-agressive throw -- a refined surgical-style agression.

    Whether consciously or subconsciously, most RPS players throw in distinct patterns that can be figured out by perceptive observers. As a simplified example, one player may tend to choose a rock after a paper. Another player will rarely make the same choice twice in a row. Still another player will tend to repeat the same choice.

    A skillful opponent will note every choice their opponent makes and remember it for the future and eventually pick up the patterns. Once enough information is gathered, a stronger player will "get inside their opponent's mind".

    Some Patterns to Look for:

  • How frequently opponent repeats choices
  • How often opponent makes the same choice more than 2 times in a row
  • Whether opponent prefers a certain single choice to others
  • Whether opponent excludes a certain single choice
  • Whether opponent makes an effort to mix up their choices
  • What choices opponent prefers to make when they are ahead or behind

    If you can pick up opponent's preferential choice, you can "lock out" your opponent by rarely making a certain opposite choice. For example, if your opponent frequently selects scissors, it is a good strategy to minimize your choices of paper. Your success against this very opponent will increase dramatically.

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