Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock Rules

In the 25th episode of The Big Bang Theory which first aired on November 17, 2008, Sheldon defines the rules for Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock—a hand game based on traditional Rock Paper Scissors with a certain Star Trek influence. Below you will find the official Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock rules as defined by Sheldon Cooper himself.

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The rules for Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock were first defined in episode eight, season two of The Big Bang Theory. Appropriately titled “The Lizard–Spock Expansion”, this episode of The Big Bang Theory has Raj and Sheldon wanting to watch different movies. Sheldon wants to watch Deep Space Nine while Raj wants to watch Saturn 3.

Raj proposes to play a game of Rock Paper Scissors to settle the disagreement; however, Sheldon refuses to play citing a statistic about the fact that traditional Rock Papers Scissors has a “limited number of outcomes”. Rather than play that game, Sheldon goes on to explain the rules for Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock.

Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock Rules

  • Scissors cuts Paper
  • Paper covers Rock
  • Rock crushes Lizard
  • Lizard poisons Spock
  • Spock smashes Scissors
  • Scissors decapitates Lizard
  • Lizard eats Paper
  • Paper disproves Spock
  • Spock vaporizes Rock
  • Rock crushes Scissors

That’s all you really need to know to play. Just like the traditional game of Rock Paper Scissors, two or more players simultaneously chant the name of the game while pumping their fist, and after the last word reveal their hand sign. The winner is determined according to the rules above and the diagram below.

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Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock rules. Hand signs are named counterclockwise starting from the left.

Because there are five hand signs to choose from and a total of ten outcomes (besides ties), it may take a bit of practice to get the hang of this hand game. Once that happens, there’s no doubt that you’ll have a blast playing this fun hand game.

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