Rock Paper Scissors

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Never underestimate the power of a major software developer like Playtech to turn a children’s playground game into an opportunity to entertain adults with the opportunity to win cash rewards. In this case, the game is “Rock Paper Scissors” and the potential winnings roll into thousands of Euros.

Also known as “RoShamBo” or “JanKenPon,” this game is believed to have originated in Japan. It became popular during the 19th century and rapidly spread to China and beyond, so that by the 20th century there was scarcely a place on the planet that had not encountered and adopted the two-person hand game.

The rules are quite simple. The players typical count aloud to four, or speak the name of the game (e.g. “Rock Paper Scissors!” or “Ro Sham Bo!”), each time either raising one hand in a fist and swinging it down on the count or holding it behind. On the fourth count (saying, “Shoot!” or “Go!”), the players reveal with their hands one of three gestures, Rock, Paper or Scissors, which they then “throw” by extending it towards their opponent.

Rock, of course, is represented by a clenched fist. Scissors is made by extending two fingers separated, and Paper is represented by a flat, open hand. The objective is to reveal a gesture that defeats the opponent’s gesture and they are resolved as follows: Rock blunts or breaks Scissors; Scissors cut Paper; and Paper covers Rock. In the case that both players show the same gesture, a draw is declared with no winner.

In Playtech’s online arcade version of this game, two disembodied hands are shown facing each other in what appears to be a Sumo-style circular wresting ring. The hand on the left wears a bracelet of orange cloth around the wrist, while the hand on the right is adorned with a grey cloth wrapping. In the background can be seen numerous hands in silhouette, like a crowd cheering on the competitors, and a segmented rice paper screen beyond them. The game logo appears at the top of the screen, flanked by hanging scrolls that read “Choose Your Move” and “Bet on Winning Streak.”

To begin the game, the player must select an amount to wager. This is accomplished by using the +/- toggles adjacent to the Bet indicator at the lower left. Acceptable amounts range from €0.10 to €50. A message section to the right of the Bet indicator reads, “Choose your bet and move.” Once the wager has been selected, the play may pick which of the three hand gestures to throw by clicking on one of the buttons—Rock, Paper or Scissors—at the left side of the screen.

Whichever choice the player makes, that will be the gesture thrown by the hand on the left. The hand on the right represents the House and will throw a gesture on its behalf. A gong sounds to start the competition and the word “Fight!” flashes across the logo at the top. The two hands then show their gestures.

If the player’s chosen gesture wins, the words “You Win!” flash across the logo. The amount won appears in the message section as the cash is deposited to the player’s total funds, which are shown at the lower left corner of the screen. In case of a tie, the word “Draw!” appears over the logo and I the message section. Should the player lose, the words “Try Again” will appear in the message section.

Another betting option for Rock Paper Scissors is to wager on winning 2, 3 or 4 throws is succession. Such wagers are made by clicking on the corresponding betting areas on the right side of the screen at odds of 8.7X, 26X or 78X, respectively. For the purpose of winning streaks, draws count as losses.

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