Yu-Gi-Oh Card Original Rules

By Thomas Colbyry
"Yu-Gi-Oh!&quot, a theatrical film
Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

It's been a long, strange trip for Yugi, Joey, Tea and the rest of the crew in "Yu-Gi-Oh!" What began as a Japanese comic book series in 1996 eventually evolved into a television series released in Japan, Europe and North America, which in turn spawned a popular trading and playing card game. Like the series itself, the card game has been through multiple incarnations and undergone a few rule changes since its first edition. While some players appreciate the revisions made to the game, others prefer the original rules.

Deck Rules

Several rules govern the building of Yu-Gi-Oh! card decks. All decks must contain a minimum of 40 cards. A player may use an additional deck called a side deck that contains 15 cards exactly -- no more and no fewer. During the game, a player may exhange cards between his main deck and side deck. A player may have only three of any given card in both his deck and side deck. For example, if a player's main deck includes two Blue-Eyes White Dragon cards, his side deck may include only one additional Blue-Eyes White Dragon.

Victory Conditions

A game of Yu-Gi-Oh! ends when one player is declared the winner. A player can be declared the winner when any of the following three things happens: she brings his opponent's life points down to zero, she runs out of cards to draw in her hand or she gathers into her hand the five parts that constitute the Forbidden One. A player gathers the parts of the Forbidden One by defeating her opponent's monsters in battle.

Beginning Gameplay

The game begins when players flip a coin to determine who goes first. Players then draw five card hands. Players start the game with 8,000 Life Points. The first player begins his turn by drawing a card and summoning his first monster. When he has summoned his monster, he may either pass or attack his opponent. If he chooses to attack his opponent, he must follow the instructions given on the card for the monster he has summoned. The second player's turn proceeds in a similar fashion, except that he has the option of attacking his opponent's monster. If he defeats his opponent's monster, he gains a part of the Forbidden One.

Monster Modes

After the first two turns, a player must select either "Attack" or "Defense" mode for each of her monsters. Cards for monsters in "Attack" mode are placed upright, while cards for monsters "Defense" mode are arranged horizontally. When a monster is in "Defense" mode, a player can use it to absorb damage that would normally be dealt to her Life Points. Players may also use Fusion Magic once again to fuse two monsters together. If a player chooses to use Fuion Magic, she foregoes her right to attack for that turn.

About the Author

Thomas Colbyry is a writer living in Marquette, Mich. Currently pursuing a B.A. in English, he works as a writing tutor and contributes book reviews to several publications. Colbyry often covers topics related to literature, specializing in early modern, Restoration, 18th-century and Victorian British literature, as well as the literature of Japan.