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Rock Paper Scissors

The complete rules for the classic game Rock Paper Scissors


Rock Paper Scissors (sometimes abbreviated as RPS) is a classic two-player game. Although the rules are very simple, some people take it to another level by analyzing it as a psychological test. The World RPS Society sponsors the annual RPS World Championship, and has published a 208-page strategy guide.

Rock Paper Scissors is often played to determine who goes first in some other activity.


2 players.


No special equipment is necessary.


The goal of Rock Paper Scissors is to choose the item (rock, paper or scissors) which defeats your opponent’s chosen item.


Players face each other and create a fist using the hand they will use to play.


The players simultaneously countdown from three. (i.e., They say, "Three, two, one, go.") When the players say "go," they each use a hand to create the shape of their chosen item, as follows:

  • Rock is represented by a closed fist.
  • Scissors are represented by a closed fist with two fingers (the pointer finger and the middle finger) extended.
  • Paper is represented by an open hand.


The winner of Rock Paper Scissors is determined as follows:

  • Rock defeats (breaks) Scissors.
  • Scissors defeats (cuts) Paper.
  • Paper defeats (covers) Rock.

If both players choose the same item, the game is a tie and they play again.

Players can choose to play a predetermined number of rounds, such as best two out of three, or best three out of five.

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