You'd think the game rock paper scissors is a random game of chance. But, if you want to win, forget random and think strategy with this helpful information.

According to William Poundstone, rock paper scissors (RPS) is a game of tactics and how you play depends on the skill level of the person you're playing against. Since most people fall under the novice category, these strategies will work with most people you challenge.

  • Throws are not equal - players throw rock 35.4%, paper 35%, scissors 29.6%
  • Players don't like to repeat the same throw more than twice in a row - they can't think of that as random.
  • Men, especially if aggressive or angry tend to throw rock on the first turn - It's said women lean towards scissors first.
  • Players categorize throws as winners and losers - if the previous throw is a loser, they're more likely to change on the next turn.
  • Watch your opponent's thumb - If the thumb is tucked, they're probably going to throw rock
  • Say what you're going to throw, then throw it - In a one throw match or to break a tie, your opponent won't believe you're actually going to throw what you say.
  • In a one throw match, throw paper - Since scissors is the least popular throw and men tend to throw rock, you're odds of winning are very good. Also, if you start the game without giving your opponent time to think, they will almost always throw rock.
  • Play like your playing cards - look for patterns, facial expressions or gestures (tells) that give a clue as to what your opponent is going to throw.

Always remember RPS basics. Rock breaks scissors, scissors cuts paper and paper covers rock.

[The Telegraph]