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Last active Jun 25, 2021
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The One True White Elephant Gift Exchange Ruleset

The One True White Elephant Gift Exchange Ruleset

Gifts must:

  • Number the exact number of players.
  • Be wrapped so their contents cannot be visually discerned.


  • All gifts must be placed in a location where players can see all of them without touching any of them.
  • Once the game begins, wrapped gifts may not be touched unless they are being unwrapped.
  • Players should choose a number at the start to determine the order of play.
  • Players need not reveal this number until their turn.

In turn, each player must:

  • Reveal their number.
  • Unwrap a new gift or steal an available unwrapped gift.
  • Never be without a gift after their turn is over.
  • Display their gift in plain view.

When a gift is unwrapped

  • It is now in play.
  • Gifts in play can be stolen a maxiumum of three times.

When a gift is stolen

  • The victim must unwrap a new gift or steal a gift in play.

When a gift has been stolen three times:

  • It is out of play, safe from theft for the remainder of the game.

When all players have taken their turns:

  • The player who went first may keep the gift they currently hold or steal a gift in play, triggering a final orgy of good fn and bad feelings.

White Elephant is over when:

  • All gifts have been unwrapped
  • All players have a gift
  • The player who holds the last gift in play either decides to keep it or cannot steal another because they have all been stolen three times.
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