Stuck in a bet you know you can’t win? Fighting over the last piece of bacon with your sibling? Trying to convince a friend that Coke is better than Pepsi? Settle it over with a classic game of Rock, Paper, Scissors! Only this time, you’ll be guaranteed to win…almost.
Thanks to the scientists at Zhejiang University in China who performed a large study of the game, a predictable pattern has been discovered within “player behavior,” says The Washington Post. After the first round, “If a player wins, he will usually stick with the same play. If a player loses, he will usually switch actions in ‘a clockwise direction:’ rock changes to paper, paper to scissors, scissors to rock.” Here’s an example of this study:
“Round 1: Emily plays paper, I play rock. She wins.
Round 2: Emily plays paper, I switch to scissors. I win.
Round 3: Emily switches to scissors, I switch to rock. I win again!”
This idea is also seen amongst dogs. According to the Huffington Post, dog trainers often tell their clients that “if something works, an animal is going to do it again… Just like a dog will very likely revert to a ‘sit’ if that’s the last thing he was rewarded for, you can expect your opponent to lean on their most rewarded move.” So the next time you’re challenged to a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors, make sure to lock your opponent in a trap they subconsciously can’t escape.