Rock-paper-scissors, or RPS, is one of the simplest games in the world. It’s commonly used to decide who goes first in a game, who pays for dinner, or who gets the last slice of pizza. However, despite the simplicity of RPS, there is an intriguing science behind winning at the game.
A team of researchers from Zhejiang University in China recently conducted a study that analyzed over 1,000 RPS games played between humans and computers. The aim of the study was to determine if there was a predictable pattern to human behavior in RPS, which could allow players to develop a winning strategy.
The study found that, when it comes to RPS, humans are not entirely random in their decision-making. Instead, they tend to follow a pattern of “conditional response” – in other words, the choice they make in each round is influenced by the choice of their opponent in the previous round. For example, if the opponent chooses paper in the last round, the player is more likely to choose scissors in the next round.
The researchers also discovered that humans are more likely to choose rock as their first move. This is because rock is the simplest shape, and therefore the easiest to remember. However, after the first move, the pattern of conditional response comes into play.
Interestingly, the study also found that there are cultural differences in RPS strategy. In Japan, for example, players are more likely to choose scissors as their first move, while in the United States, players are more likely to start with rock.
So, what does this mean for those who want to win at RPS? The key is to recognize the patterns of conditional response and use them to your advantage. For example, if your opponent has just thrown paper, there is a strong chance they will throw rock in the next round. In this case, you should choose paper to beat their rock.
Another strategy is to try to read your opponent’s body language and facial expressions. Humans often give away clues as to their next move, such as a subtle change in their breathing or eye movement. By paying attention to these clues, you can gain an advantage in the game.
In conclusion, while RPS may seem like a simple game of luck, there is in fact a science behind winning at it. By understanding the patterns of conditional response and cultural differences, as well as paying attention to your opponent’s body language, you can improve your chances of emerging victorious in this timeless classic.