Game on: hands and wits

Up to speed on Hand Sandwich? Good. You’re ready for the next stage: hands and wits. By this I mean using your hands in the game, but changing the look of the hand each time to outwit your opponent.

1) Scissors-Paper-Stone. Another familiar favourite. Whether you know it by this name, or as Rock-Paper-Scissors, it’s a classic face-off between two players.

Each player uses one hand, and hides it behind their hand. You both form a shape with your hidden hand. You count, ‘one, two, three’, and on ‘three’, you both bring out and show your hand.

You have the choice of the three shapes: rock (a fist), paper (flat hand) or scissors (thumb and forefinger apart, to suggest the blades of the scissors).

You’ll no doubt remember that the combinations of the two offer certain wins/losses:

Rock blunts scissors (rock wins)

Paper wraps rock (paper wins)

Scissors cut paper (scissors win)

If you both bring out the same shape, it’s a draw.

Here’s where the wits come in – you don’t know what your opponent will come up with. It might be the same as last time – it might be different.

This is a great game for flexibility – you can play it as many, or few, times as you like.  Best of 10 can be good – but it can keep going for longer if you want to.

It is an excellent game for bus journeys, if you are sitting together in a seat for two. It also works just fine on trains. I dare say it would be good for kids in the back of a car too.

I’ve recently discovered that it is great for a spot of sneak maths: getting used to keeping score e.g.

1 all.

1: 2.

1: 3.

2: 3. And so on.

2) Variant: Scissors-Paper-Stone-Dynamite.

I don’t know the origins of this one – maybe Dan can advise. But it can be fun to add in a fourth alternative shape to the hand:

Dynamite – ball your hand into a fist, but leave the index finger sticking out to look like a fuse.

Here are some of the new wins/losses:

Dynamite blows up stone (dynamite wins)

Scissors cut fuse off dynamite (scissors win)

Dynamite burns through paper (dynamite wins)

Plus all the above wins/losses. Kids particular like being able to blow up their opponent’s hand…as it were.

3) Variant: Madagascar version…

This was offered as an alternative, after a trip to the cinema (and a bus ride straight after). It’s not fully worked out, but you can give it a whirl, and see what you think.

The notion is to use the 4 positions of variant 2, but using the 4 main characters from the Madagascar films: a lion, a hippo, a giraffe and a zebra. Here are the hand positions:

Lion: make your hand look like a claw.

Hippo: make your hand into a fist. (The hippo is a tough cookie!)

Giraffe: put two fingers held up together, like a tall neck.

Zebra: four fingers held down, to look like stripes.

Who beats whom is the bit we’re still working on:

Lion beats everyone but Hippo, because he’s strongest

Hippo beats Lion (because she can sit on him)

Giraffe beats Hippo (because she often gives in and helps him with what he needs)

We’re still working out the zebra role.

Given that it works well for three or four characters, I’m sure there must be variations within a universe of your choice:

Orc – Elf- Dwarf – Goblin?

Let us know how you get on.