Rock-paper-scissors is a famous game that you often think is down to chance, but a Chinese mathematician discovered that there is actually a way you could win every time. Here is the secret…
Who should do the laundry? Who chooses the film that you’re going to watch? Many of you probably settle conflicts like this with the good old game of chance, rock-paper-scissors. Nevertheless, the Chinese mathematician Zhijian Wang has come up with a technique to help you win every time.
First of all, he started by observing a lot of these games and eventually came to two conclusions. If a player wins, they will generally play the same move as they did the round before. And if a player loses, they generally change their strategy by going to the next option in the sequence of words ‘rock-paper-scissors’. It’s that simple.
By taking these parameters into account, it can be relatively easy to get the upper hand on your opponent. During a game, even if the first round is down to chance, you can predict all your opponent’s following moves. All you have to do then is adapt your owngame.
Overview: If your opponent beats you with rock the first round, there is a good chance that they’ll play rock again the next round and you should, therefore, play paper. Logically, if they lose with rock, your opponent will naturally choose paper. If they lose again, because you went with scissors, they will follow with scissors. And so on… Wang refers to this phenomenon as ‘persistent cyclic motions.’