Saturday, February 24Not Your Ordinary English-Tagalog Dictionary

What is Rock Paper Scissors in Tagalog? Origin and Winning Techniques

The iconic hand game Rock Paper Scissors in Tagalog is called “Bato bato pick.” But in the early days, Filipinos called it Jack en Poy, which came from Janken Pon, the Japanese version of the game. Also called RPS, this simple yet fun game is mostly used as a decision tool. And in case you’re not aware, there are also professional RPS tournaments in different parts of the world.

Rock Paper Scissors in Tagalog
Symbols in Rock Paper Scissors

Where Did Rock Paper Scissors Originate?

While the exact origins of Rock Paper Scissors remain unknown, it has a rich history and has evolved. According to records, the game has ancient roots, with variations dating back to during the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) in ancient China. In the early Chinese version, it was called “shoushiling” and hand gestures represented a frog, a slug, and a snake.

Rock Paper Scissors became so popular and reached Japan in the 17th century, and was initially called “sansukumi-ken.” The Japanese version has different animal representations, but the principle is the same. Later, the game was called “jan-ken” and people started the now famous representations – rock, paper, and scissors. It was introduced to the US and Europe in the 1900s.

But while Rock Paper Scissors is a fun game for children, adults are also using it for breaking ties, making choices, and settling disputes. The rock is represented by a closed fist, while the paper is represented by an open palm. On the other hand, scissors are represented by the letter V formed by extending the index and middle fingers.

How to Play Bato Bato Pick

Rock Paper Scissors requires at least two players, who should count down together at the same time by saying, “Rock, Paper, Scissors, Shoot!” On “Shoot,” they will make one of the three hand signs. To declare the winner, rock beats scissors, scissors beat paper, and paper beats rock. If both players have the same symbol, they will play again until one of them wins.

How to Win Rock Paper Scissors

In reality, there is no single technique on how to win in Rock Paper Scissors. However, according to a study conducted by a group of researchers from universities in China, there are some winning strategies you can try. Note, however, that these techniques can also increase your chances of winning. They don’t guarantee a sure win every time you use them.

Their discovery revealed that if a player loses in the first round, there’s a very huge probability that the opponent will have the same hand sign in the second round. However, when a player loses two or more times, they tend to adjust their strategy. Moreover, they are more inclined to use an action that can counter the move that just defeated them.

To help better predict your opponent’s next move, you should watch how they play. Some players stick to a pattern, like always playing “rock” twice in a row. Emotional players might choose their move based on their feelings or the result of the last round. On the other hand, new players often start with “rock” because it’s straightforward and strong. 

Use bato bato pick in a sentence.


Para malaman kung sino sa atin ang maghuhugis ng plato, mag bato bato pick tayo.


To know which of us will wash the dishes, let’s play rock paper scissors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *