GeekDad Puzzle of the Week – Roshambo Strategery

Geek Culture

Congratulations! You have just made the semi-finals for this year’s (un)Official GeekDad Paper-Scissors-Rock Tournament!


You are up against the same four opponents from last year — Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and Clyde. This is both good news, and bad news.

The good news is that not only do you know that they use a fixed strategy, but you happen what the strategy of each is from earlier play. Here is how each plays:

    • Inky always starts with Scissors, and then plays whatever you played last turn.
    • Blinky always starts with Paper, and then moves through Scissors and Rock in turn. When he completes the cycle, he repeats, ad infinitum.
    • Pinky always starts with Rock, and then plays what would beat what you played last turn.
    • Clyde always plays Paper. Always. (He’s not terribly bright, but somehow always gets this far in the tournament.)

The bad news (ok, maybe the interesting news?) is that you need to define a fixed strategy as well and implement that strategy against each of the the other four players in the tournament. To move forward into the next round, select a set of ten moves (either fixed, as in “PSRRSPPSSP”) or a definable algorithm (like those above) that gives you the most wins over the four players above.

You must select one common strategy against each of the four players, and should definitely show your work. That is, please don’t simply send in an algorithm or set of moves and leave it to us to determine how well it works against your opponents.

All submissions that definitively beat at least two of the opponents above will be entered into this week’s drawing for a fabulous $50 ThinkGeek Gift Certificate. Please send all submissions to GeekDad Central by noon Saturday for a chance at the prize and, of course, eternal fame.

Happy Paper-Scissors-Rocking!

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