Event Rules & Guides

In addition to the rules used for playing the game, official events and tournaments have their share of official rules to maintain fair play and a friendly game environment. To avoid any misunderstandings, it is highly recommended to read the rules before taking part in the tournaments. If in doubt, please speak to someone at an Official Shop near you.

Unless stated for specialized events, all events and tournaments will be enforced using these rules.

Official Tournament Rules

Last Update: 2024/06/06


A note on Japanese and Traditional Chinese Card Tournaments

Starting January 2014, certain events/tournaments will include a "Traditional Chinese" variation which is made specially for Duelists using the Traditional Chinese releases of the cards. Unless explicitly stated, events will continue using the Japanese card releases (includes Asia-released English versions) by default.

All cards and decks used for events and tournaments are required to abide by the relevant Forbidden Card Listing.

If in doubt, please check with your local shops.

Required Items

The following is the bare minimum necessary for taking part in events and tournaments.
    A KONAMI CARD GAME ID is required for taking part in events.

    Click here to sign up for a new KONAMI CARD GAME ID How to create a KONAMI CARD GAME ID

  2. Main Deck
    A basic deck consisting of 40-60 cards is required for playing the game.

  3. Card Protectors
    All cards used in dueling must be placed in card protectors.
    ∗ Only official Yu-Gi-Oh card protectors may be used.
    ∗ Card protectors must be of one design (no mixes) for your Main and Side Deck, and a different design for your Extra Deck. They must not be marked, modified, or tampered with.

Additional Items

Though optional, it is recommended to prepare the following items (especially if needed for determining certain card effects).
  • Extra Deck
    A deck of up to 15 cards consistiung of Fusion / Synchro / Xyz / etc. Monsters.

  • Side Deck
    An additional deck made of up to 15 cards.

  • Coin
    Used for certain card effects which require a coin flip. The coin must feature distinctive faces (heads & tails).

  • Dice
    A standard six-sided die (or multiple dice) is required for determining certain card effects.

  • Tokens/Counters
    Can be used to help keep track of values such as a Duelist's LP, or special card-specific conditions.

Tournament Rules

Unless specified, all tournaments will follow the rules as documented in Master Rule 3.

Deck Preparation, and Restrictions & Limitations

Deck Sizes
Main Deck: 40-60 Cards
Extra Deck: Up to 15 Cards (Optional)
Side Deck: Up to 15 Cards (Optional)

Card Protectors
Only official KONAMI-released card protectors will be accepted for use in tournaments.

All card protectors used must be of the same design, not be altered in any way, and must only contain the dueling card used. If any distinctive alterations and/or markings (temporary or otherwise) are found during inspection, the duelist is required to replace the card sleeves of his/her deck. Penalties may be issued accordingly. Should distinctive markings be found during the second inspection, the offending duelist will become disqualified from participating further in the event.

Regarding Your Deck & Decklist
  • Only one deck may be used during the entire tournament.
  • If required by the event, you will need to prepare a decklist for submission on the day of the tournament.
    A printable decklist form can be found here.
  • Having a deck which differs from your decklist is prohibited.
Reinitializing/Resetting Your Deck
  • Your Decks' contents must be set back into its original configuration at the end of each match (as specified in your submitted decklist).
  • Decks cannot be rearranged at the beginning of matches.

No Substitute/Proxy Cards Allowed
All cards used in the game must be from the Yu-Gi-Oh! Official Card Game
Placeholder or imitation cards meant to substitute the intended card are forbidden.

Limited/Forbidden Card Restrictions
For tournaments, certain cards are placed into the following sub-categories (affects all decks):
Forbidden Cards: None of these cards can be used at all
Limited Cards: A total of one of these cards can be placed in the decks
Semi-Limited Cards: Up to two of these cards can be palced in the decks

Please refer to the Forbidden Card Lists for specific information.
Please note that the Forbidden Card List is updated regularly, so be sure to check it before entering your next tournament.

Basic Tournament Sequence

Duels during a tournament proceeds as follows:
  1. Both duelists exchange handshakes.
  2. Each duelists shows that they have the right number of cards in each of their decks.
    • Main Deck: 40-60
    • Extra Deck: 0-15
    • Side Deck: 0-15
  3. Both duelists will shuffle their decks in front of each other.
    • Duelists must not look at their own cards during the shuffling process
    • Duelists must not rearrange their cards in any particular order
  4. Both duelists will then hand their decks to their opponent face-down for reshuffling.
    • Do not take too long reshuffling
  5. Decide who goes first with rock-paper-scissors. The winner can decide who goes first.
  6. After each duel, the one who lost the duel gets to decide who goes first the next round.
  7. During the time between duels (but not between matches or before the first duel), duelists have the choice of swapping cards between their main and side decks
Things to pay attention to during a tournament:
  • If any questions arise during a duel, or if any disputes arise in regards to rules/instructions, the judge on duty will have the final say on the matter. All duelists involved are required to follow the instructions given.
  • Any actions caused by genuine misunderstandings of the rules and/or card effects which don't disrupt the flow of the game will be negated by the judge; no turn rollbacks or recalculations are allowed for these issues in a duel.
  • Judges will not settle disputes and/or complaints which take place after a match.
  • During the duel, all actions taken by either duelist must be made clear and acknowledged by both sides.
  • Though an average of 3 minutes may be spent on each turn, excessive time should not be spent to allow the tournament to proceed properly. Any duelists caught taking too long (or intentionally stalling for time) may be penalized.

Time-Related Etiquette
  • Any behaviors or actions that result in a delay of the duel/event may result in penalties towards the offender(s).
  • If the duelist acts in such a way which causes unreasonable stalling for time unintentional or otherwise), the referee will first issue a 'warning'.
  • Should the duelist continue to act in this manner, more serious penalties may be issued.
  • If you suspect someone of acting in such a way, please notify a nearby referee.

Winning Conditions & Time Limits

Time limits for matches are predetermined for each tournament.
  • This also includes time spent between duels for shuffling decks and card dealing.
  • To ensure the event's smooth progression, up to three minutes will be allowed between each round.

The winner of each match is determined by the player who has won the most duels (even if only one round was played upon reaching the time limit).
Once the match's time limit has been reached, one of the following methods will be used to determine the winner:

[METHOD 1] When the time limit is reached during a duel
(Assuming it's your turn when the time limit is reached)
  1. Finish your current turn.
  2. Proceed to Extra Duel if the duel is still inconclusive.
  3. An Extra Duel consists of 3 turns (starting with your opponent's).
  4. The duelist with the most LP at the end of the Extra Duel is the winner.
  5. If there is still no winner, proceed to Sudden Death.
  • LP is calculated at the end of the current duelist's turn (LP differences once the time limit has been reached are not counted)
  • When any LP changes take place during Sudden Death, the duelist with more LP at the end of turn will be the winner (also applies when certain card effects involve using LP)
  • Should Extra Turns or Sudden Death still result in a tie, proceed to Method 2 below.
[METHOD 2] If the time is reached in between duels with a tied score:
  1. Begin an Extra Duel consisting of the following criteria:
    • Both Duelists begin at 8000 LP; the one to reduce their opponent's LP to 0 first shall be the winner
    • The Extra Duel will last for 4 turns
    • The Duelist with the most LP at the end of the 4 turns will be the winner
  2. If both duelists still have the same LP at the end of the Extra Duel, proceed to Sudden Death.
  3. If any difference between both sides' LP happens at any point in the duel, the one with the most LP will be the winner.

Tournament Etiquette

To maintain fairplay and an enjoyable dueling environment, rules will be enforced for official tournaments and events. Failure to abide by these rules will result in penalties, which depending on severity may result in offenders being banned from the event.

For more information on penalites, please refer to the tournament penalty regulations.

General Misconduct & Rule Violations
The following list are examples of what is considered inappropriate behavior and misconduct:
  • Not arriving at the designated venue on time.
  • Maliciously harassement of fellow duelists and opponents.
  • Spending an excessive amount of time on a turn. Players caught doing this may result in penalties.
  • Spending an excessive amount of time shuffling and/or swapping cards between decks.
  • Changing the contents of your deck(s) such that they differ from the submitted Deck List.
  • Looking at card faces while shuffling/cutting decks (even your own).
  • Intentional misinterpretation of card effects.
  • Lying about your current LP, or the number of cards in your hand during a duel.
  • Unless part of a card effect, playing any cards that have been removed from play earlier in the duel.
  • Talking and/or exchanging advice/information other duelists, spectators, or other third parties during a duel.
  • Using cards, card protectors, or card sleeves that have distinctive markings on them.
  • Placing objects other than the card into card sleeves.
  • Deliberate marking of cards and/or card protectors during a duel.
  • Having any "Forbidden" cards, and/or more than the maximum number of limited/semi-limited cards in your deck.
  • Having any decks with cards below or higher than the lower and upper limits.
  • Placing unnecessary objects on the Duel Field.

During the event, Duelists are liable for penalties if they exhibit inappropriate or malicious behavior.
Common rules to follow include (but not limited to):
  • Obey any rules/policies of the tournament venue, or any special rules of the tournament itself.
  • Do not bring food and drink, or smoke in the tournament venue (except in designated areas, if any).
  • Do not leave the venue without permission; if necessary to leave, please request permission from both a staff member and your opponent first.
  • Do not touch your opponent's cards without his/her permission.
  • Always aim for a fair duel, and for its smooth progression.
  • Do not play in such a way that would be discomforting to your opponent.
  • At the end of a duel, always check that your deck(s) are the same as when you have started (number of cards, card types, etc).