New Rock, Paper, Scissors game – the tennis version

New Rock, Paper, Scissors game – the tennis version

New Rock, Paper, Scissors game – the tennis version

I’ve come up with a twist to the Rock, Paper, Scissors game, which I wanted to share (and before anyone says anything, yes, I am a nerd). In a nutshell, you play the game with tennis scoring and serving rules.

Regular readers of my blog will know my hero, Dr Sheldon Cooper, is a huge fan of the Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock game. My variant is far less complex, but still adds an extra layer into the complexity of this (and takes a lot longer than the normal one-off game too – good for entertaining kids on long car journeys).

I must’ve first come up with this a good 15 years ago or more, but it was only on Sunday while sitting on a train and teaching it to Mrs MSE I thought to blog it (she enjoyed it, but one match was enough for her).

Rock, Paper, Scissors Tennis – the rules

The raw game works as normal, so on a count of three, each of the two players does a sign for either rock, paper or scissors. Scissors beat (cuts) paper, paper beats (wraps round) rock and rock beats (crushes) scissors.

  • It’s scored just like tennis. Each game you alternate who the ‘server’ is. As in tennis, this gives an innate advantage – here it’s the fact that if both players come up with the same thing (eg, two scissors), the server wins. Thus the object is for the non-serving player to attempt to ‘break serve’ (win against the serve).

    If the scoring gets to deuce (at 40-40), then just like tennis you play advantage until one of the players is two clear.

  • Sets are played to three – with tie-breaks at 3-3. While in tennis a set is played to six, I suggest in this you play to three, but you must win by two clear games.

    If you reach 3-3 in games, you play a tie-break, which is the first to seven, but you must be two clear at that point or you play on. 

    Again, just as with tennis, the serving alternates; the first player only serves once, then the opponent twice, from then on it alternates with two each.

In most games (as in close-fought tennis matches) you will end up with the tie-break, and that can be tense.

For those of you still reading, I hope you’ll give it a try and find it a nerdvana of tension. Let me know.