The Rock Paper Scissors Tournament & Pub Crawl is run by hostel volunteers in San Francisco so that there’s a place for backpackers and locals to meet each other- usually there are about 50-60 backpackers that attend who are staying at hostels around SF.
This particular pub crawl hosted by SF Hostel Party occurs every Wednesday at designated pubs and bars around the city. The meetup venue has been at North Beach‘s NorthStar Cafe for the longest time, but recently venues have changed.
Given that the crowd is mostly backpackers, the organizers of this crawl made sure that the entire event is cheap enough for everyone to enjoy the night.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: details of this event (venue, time, line up of bars, price) often change so be sure to check their events page to confirm. Also, check out the Cheapnik list of the best pub crawls in SF.
How to join the Rock-Paper-Scissors Tournament & Pub Crawl
First off, go to SF Hostel Party’s Facebook Page to find out the details of the next Rock-Paper-Scissors Tournament & Pub Crawl: where’s the meeting point for the week, and at what time.
No pre-payment of any kind is required, just show up to the designated bar at the specified date and time.
At the venue, the friendly pub crawl organizers by the venue’s entrance will be there to help you register. An “entrance fee” of $5 will be charged upon your entrance to the first bar which includes a tournament score card and a coupon sheet which’ll save you a lot.
Note that you can only get a coupon if you join the pub crawl event from the starting point. If you run out of coupons, you can easily buy another sheet from the organizer.
There is a minimum of 1 drink per person (this can be non-alcoholic) because some of the venues open and staffs the bars just for the group – be sure you are tipping the bartenders!
Pub Crawl Exclusive Discounts and Specials
The coupon sheet given to you will save you a lot: drink specials are $3 for beers and spirits and $2 for shots. This is actually cheap compared to the regular prices at all the bars in the line up. And when you run out of coupons, you can easily run up to the pub crawl organizer to buy more coupon sheets.
During the crawl, everyone competes in a rock-paper-scissors tournament as everyone moves from bar to bar so that it’s easy to approach and meet with new people from all over the world. Note: you must arrive no later than a few minutes after the designated meetup time if you want to compete in the rock-paper-scissors tournament.
You’ll have to go around the bar and try to find someone who matches the picture on your card. You’ll then compete one-on-one (with other pub crawl attendees as your adjudicator) – whoever wins gets to keep the opponent’s tab (a sticker from the loser’s scorecard to put on your scorecard proving you’ve won the game) for that particular game.
The same cycle repeats: you look for another person as you cannot compete with the same person again, allowing one to meet as much people and participate in friendly chit-chats.
At the end of the night, the person with the most number of tabs compete in a $50 bar tab in a single-elimination tournament. Sounds like a lot but it is actually fun and the game and your drink are the ice breakers and allow you to shake all of your inhibitions away and engage yourself on meaningful and cultural discussions with strangers from different countries and all walks of life.
After 1.5 hours at the meetup venue, the organizer then will ask everyone to gather outside to proceed to the next bars in an orderly (and tipsy) fashion. You then get to continue your games and interrupted discussions in the next few bars up to the last bar where the organizer leaves and lets the crowd party the night away (ok, ok, until 2am as per the laws).