SOME PRACTICAL SUGGESTIONS FOR PLAYING ROCK PAPER SCISSORS. As I reported in my previous posts, the key to rock paper scissors strategies is that randomizing is only a theoretical solution. In practice, randomizing is hard for a player to do, especially under time pressure. Experienced players are always looking for unconscious patterns—nonrandom elements—in their opponent’s play. William Poundstone has some more suggestions, some of which track the suggestions in my earlier posts.

*One pattern is that even an expert player may tend to favor playing one move more than one third of the time. William Poundstone cited frequencies from tournaments:

Rock 35.4%
Paper 35.0%
Scissors 29.6%

*Naïve players don’t like to repeat the same throw three times in a row because they think that is inconsistent with randomizing. This is another example of the failure to realize that random coin tosses will lead to some long runs of heads or tails, as I posted on here.

*Just as in poker, there are tells. One possible tell is that the position of the thumb can indicate that “rock” will be played.

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