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We've all played the classic kids game of Rock, Paper, Scissors at least once. Wether it was in fun over who gets to choose the destination for the weekend, or who will be the unlucky driver.

But there's a problem. What happens when there three of you? Or four? Or even a dozen?

There's always some confusion of, "well I guess the winner will challenge you afterwards, but then it gives you more of a chance of winning over all..." and so forth.

Well, there's actually a relatively simple way of sorting it all out. And the great part is that it doesn't matter how many people you've got.

Just a note for the Unknowing. There is nothing you need for this but your two hands and more than two people.

Step 1: Please Tell Me You Remember How It Goes...

Ah alright, I'm willing to bet, that this childhood game is probably not in everyone's heads as clearly as it was in first grade.

So here's the basics, before I go on to the trickier stuff. Skip this step if you know it.

There are three 'Elements' in this game.

Rock; the hard, destructive substance.

Paper; the concealing element.

and,

Scissors; the dismembering too.

For each element there is a weakness, and a strength. And so they travel in an infinite loop.

Rock crushes the fragile scissors, snapping them.

Paper conceals the rock.

and Scissors slices the paper.

In normal Rock, Paper, Scissors, both player hold a palm out in front of them (their non-dominant hand) and raises a fist above it with their other hand. They face each other, and when both have admitted they are ready (having chosen which of the three elements there will use) they chant "Rock, Paper, Scissors" raising their fist for each of the first two words, and bringing it down onto their palm (this is all very important as obviously you have had a hard life not knowing the finer points in detail!) with a smack. On "Scissors", both configure their raised hand (not the palm raised one!) into one of the three elements.

The outcome is decided immediately, as one will obviously be in loss to the other.

Two of the same element implies a tie. And a rematch is called for.

The three elements are shown above in their hand signals, in order.

Step 2: Ok So Lets Get Down to the Better Stuff...

Now because with this system you can only target one opponent at a time, it allows for only 'one on one' action.

At a party ages back, I sat there wondering about this dilemma while only partially listing to the arguments ensuing over how to deal with such a problem. (If i remember correctly, it was over who when out to get the pizza for the party)

My conclusions that since all of us present had two hands, I sincerely apologies to those reading this who do not have as such, why not use both?

There were some snags, but here is the complete business all cleaned up and packaged.

First, Gather all those who wish to partisipate (or don't wish to but are obliged to). and arrange all in a circle.

The elements, and procedures are just the same as generic Rock, Paper, Scissors, only, both had are used to challenge separate players.

For instance, let us say there are five players. Stick with me this is going to get rough.

Each raises their hands to their side, so that if one wanted to, (why I do not know), everyone could hold hands in a sloppy looking circle. everyone is called to start, and the age old chant is called out.

Now here's the wonky part. You two hands can show the same element, or different elements.

Now with everyone showing their two choices, a moment to evaluate who is out and who is still in must be taken.

Now, lets label each player. going in a clockwise order from how they are situated, each consecutive person is to the left of the last name, and it loops around from the last person listed, who is next to the first person listed. Its a circle, remember?

There's You, Me, Fred, Joe, and... aw heck, lets say Irving.

Ok so You're hands show:

Your left - Rock

Your right - Paper

Now My Hands show:

Left hand - Rock

Right hand - Rock

Fred's hands show:

Left hand - Paper

Right hand - Scissors

Joe's hands show:

Left hand - Paper

Right hand - Scissors

Irving's hands show:

Left hand - Scissors

Right hand - Scissors

Step 3: The First Move

Each raises their hands to their side, so that if one wanted to, (why I do not know), everyone could hold hands in a sloppy looking circle. everyone is called to start, and the age old chant is called out.

Now here's the wonky part. You two hands can show the same element, or different elements.

Now with everyone showing their two choices, a moment to evaluate who is out and who is still in must be taken.

Now, lets label each player. going in a clockwise order from how they are situated, each consecutive person is to the left of the last name, and it loops around from the last person listed, who is next to the first person listed. Its a circle, remember? There's You, Me, Fred, Joe, and... aw heck, lets say Irving.

Ok so, You're hands show: Your left - Rock. Your right - Paper

Now My Hands show: Left hand - Rock. Right hand - Rock

Fred's hands show: Left hand - Paper. Right hand - Scissors

Joe's hands show: Left hand - Paper. Right hand - Scissors

Irving's hands show: Left hand - Scissors. Right hand - Scissors

Step 4: Elimination Process

Alright.

Now its time to start kicking folks out.

So lets do it clockwise. In reality, each player just checks who won for each match themselves. Ties mean nothing has changed.

Remember, You're left hand shows rock. Well my Right hand (the one your left hand is challenging) Is also rock. This means nothing happens between these two hand. we both lower them (only those and not our other hand yet!).

Now my Left hand is again Rock, and Fred's right is scissors. Rock crushes Scissors. So I win that battle, and as since my right hand was in a 'tie' match, this round ends for me with a Positive 1 for winning Fred, but 0 for tying with You.

So I have +1.


Now Fred's Left hand is Paper, and Joe's Right is Scissors. So Fred also losses there.

Fred ends this round with -1 from Joe, and -1 from me.

So having lost both, HE IS OUT.


Now Joe's Left hand is Paper, and Irving's Right is Scissors. So He losses against Irving, but having won Fred, is not out.

This adds up to: +1 from Fred. -1 From Irving. = 0 but as he still has one hand, he is alive.

Now Irving has a Left hand of Scissors, against your Right of Paper. So he wins.

Irving has won BOTH hands, and therefor has ends this round with +2.

You have tied me, (0 points) and Lost against Irving (-1) so you end this round with -1 but are still because you still have a hand.


SO:

You are in but have a score of -1.

I am with a score of +1

Fred is out.

Joe has 0 but is still in.

Irving has +2.


Now you can just end it there, if it ends as conveniently as that for you, with one clear winner (Irving).

But if you want to go into more depth, go to the next step.

Step 5: Round Two

Ok so there are two ways of preceding from here.

(1) Those that are out step away, and the circle closes tighter.

(2) Or, The winner chooses where each person stands in relation to each other. This gives them an advantage, as this is a game all about anticipating your opponents move. If you know the other players well, and your the winner, you'd choose the easiest to defeat to stand beside.

Now the same processes repeat. And repeat. Until only two are left, and then it reverts to normal Rock, Paper, Scissors.

Now you're probably wondering if you can use those point scores for more than just figuring out who is the winner. Or at least I hope you're as bright as that.

The next step will give you more info on that.

Step 6: Even More

By now its only a few hardcore or just plain bored people reaching this step, but its well worth it i promise you, it makes this all the more complicated and fun.

Alright, so lets say were back to round one.

I have +1

You have -1

Joe has 0

And Irving has +2

With each consecutive round, you decide who has won and move on right?

Or... you could after tallying up current scores, add in the previous one. That way the really good players get what they deserve; the chance to rub it in everyone else's faces.

So say Irving got -1 next turn, and so did I. Fred got 0 again, and you got +2.

That means you'd be the winner normally, but with this adding system, you have -1 and +2, so really you have +1.

Now I have +1 and -1, so I have 0 total.

Fred has 0 + 0 so no big brain challenge there.

And Irving has +2 and -1. So he has +1.

That means you and Irving tie for winners.

Now heres where it gets sketchy.

The two of you want to be able to claim victory for the round, and so both of you must either play a one on one round to decide who is the winner, or one must step down and let the other choose (then again, if you're just playing a simple round, no one chooses. you just start again as no-one is rearranging, but where's the fun in that eh?).

Ok so now this sort of thing needs to be decided before the game starts, when this sort of tie comes up, will the one on one be only to decide you chooses where they stand? Or will it be an elimination round? Say, when you and Irvine face off, you beat him, and now he's out ENTIRELY.

Now the round starts with you choosing where you stand (irrelevant as there's only three of you anyways).

There are obviously way more options and roads you can travel down here, but I think thats enough for me for now. I hope Ive show you all that theres Way more to this simple game, give a little time and tweaking...

Notes

Remember, it is only sportsman like if you let each player content that they are ready to start a round, each player has the right to stare down their two opponents in hopes of deciphering their next move, or just 'logicianing' it out in their head. Though, you may want to set a time limit of how long this cane go on.


Oh, and talking is aloud. It is well known that if one uses a lot of words with the same letter just before matching their opponent, the opponent will be more likely to choose (subconsciously) the element that starts with that sound. 'R' for Rock, 'P' for paper etc.

<p>This is an interesting way for lots of people to play R.P.S. instead of the typical bracket elimination style.</p><p>Have you considered trying rock-paper-scissors-lizard-spock?</p>
Yes actually, it's not really a game changer when you consider rules. But for the human part of it, it's definitely trickier. It depends on the preferences of the players. Most tend to eventually (even if not on purpose) drift towards a 'favorite'. Adding in two more, means that's all changed, and if you are playing this consecutively for sport, this can change tactics.

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