Rock Paper Scissors (RPS) is a simple game that has been enjoyed by people around the world for generations. What makes this game so interesting is its simplicity. Anyone can play it, and the rules are easy to follow. However, despite its perceived simplicity, mastering this game requires more than just basic knowledge of its rules. Thanks to the power of analytics, we can now gain insights into this game and improve our chances of winning.

Firstly, to understand the game of RPS, we must know the different moves involved. The game is played with two players, who both choose between three options: rock, paper or scissors. Each move has its own strengths and weaknesses. Rock beats scissors, scissors beat paper, and paper beats rock.

Now, let’s delve into some analytical methods that can be employed to gain a competitive edge in RPS.

1. Analyse opponent’s patterns

One of the most basic, yet effective strategies in RPS is to observe your opponent’s pattern. Humans are creatures of habit, and many individuals tend to make the same move repeatedly. Keep a close eye on your opponent’s moves and try to identify any patterns. Once you’ve determined a pattern, you can plan your moves accordingly.

For example, if your opponent repeatedly plays rock, try playing paper multiple times. If they switch to playing scissors to counter your paper move, then it’s time to switch back to rock. Eventually, you will be able to predict your opponent’s moves and adapt your strategy accordingly.

2. Use Probability Theory

Probability theory can also help in RPS. Instead of blindly guessing your move, you can utilise probabilities to make an informed choice. For instance, if your opponent plays rock in every other turn, the probability of them playing rock again is 50%. Analyse patterns, and use probability to predict your opponent’s next move.

3. Use conditional probability

Another aspect of probability theory that can help you win the game is conditional probability. Essentially, it means incorporating the available information to make better decisions. For instance, if your opponent plays a particular move more frequently during a specific round, then the probability of them playing the same move in the next round becomes higher. Once you know your opponent’s behavioural pattern, you can use conditional probability to make better choices.

4. Use Game Theory

Game theory is the study of strategic decision making. In RPS, decisions are based on rational thinking and a clear understanding of the rules. In game theory, there is a concept called Nash equilibrium, which is the equilibrium situation where players can use their optimal strategies to maximise their outcomes.

Using game theory, you can plan your moves and anticipate your opponent’s moves to play optimally. For example, if your opponent has won several games with rock, they are more likely to stick with it. You can use this knowledge to play scissors, which beats rock.

Conclusion

Rock Paper Scissors is a game of chance combined with strategic thinking. Thanks to the power of analytics, we now have better tools to make informed decisions and maximise our chances of winning. By using probability, observational skills, game theory, and conditional probability, we can reduce the element of chance and improve our abilities to predict and outsmart our opponents. The art of mastering RPS may seem simple at first, but with analytics, it can become a true game of skill.