Any player worth their salt will want to familiarize themselves with the best practices of the sport. There are only three (3) legal throws:

  • Rock (a fist clenched with the heel of the palm flat against the other palm)
  • Paper (a hand flat either palm down or palm up against the other palm)
  • Scissors (a fist clenched as in rock with the pointer and middle fingers extended)

The Major Gambits

A round of Rock Paper Scissors amounts to the best of three throws (not counting ties). A set of three throws is called a Gambit. Due to the limited permutations of different sets of three, the major gambits have earned names over the years, as well as tradition and mythology surrounding them.

The Avalanche🪨🪨🪨A gambit of strength, power, aggression and resolve. Playing the Avalanche is not without its risks, but can offer sweet rewards against the right opponent.
The Bureaucrat📝📝📝In a world where most players will throw rock as their initial play, the Bureaucrat is a naturally weak opener. It wins by staying the course. If the final paper is thrown palm-up, this is known as “serving the subpoena” and is a devastating blow the the opponent’s self esteem.
The Crescendo📝✂️🪨By inverting the position of rock to the ultimate of a typical RPS gambit, this method confuses and confounds the opponent who might otherwise expect a more traditional outcome. The paper here represents the musical score, the scissors the maestro’s baton and hand, and the rock a thunderous timpani to deafen the opposition.
The Denouement🪨✂️📝The reverse of a Crescendo, this gambit is like the submissive energy of the sun’s light reflected in the moon. It is passive, where the Crescendo is active, subtle where the Crescendo is overt. Its power lies in the scissors in the penultimate position, throwing the opponent off guard and into oblivion.
The Fistful O’ Dollars🪨📝📝Defined by hard offense succumbing to reactionary defense. This play is the brash uncle who yells at dinner only to capitulate and recoil after facing criticism. It will win against more aggressive gambits, but will lose soundly to the Paper Dolls.
The Paper Dolls📝✂️✂️The perfect gambit to open against an overly-confident player. An initial paper subdues an aggressive attack, followed by dual scissors to sneak around the side, like a dinosaur hunting in a pack. Clever girl!
The Scissors Sammie📝✂️📝Sometimes called the Matador, this apparently defensive gambit conceals a deadly weapon behind the curtains.
The Toolbox✂️✂️✂️The perfect gambit to wield against an overly timid opponent. The wise player will suss out subtle motives in their opposition, and open the Toolbox to quickly slice through the competition.

Master these gambits as well as the options in-between, and you will become an unstoppable force in the MKE-RPS hall of fame!