Participants must have a ranking of at least five out of eight stars (manga and original anime) or level four out of five (English dub anime) to receive a free Duel Disk, which is required to participate.
Players must play with a Deck of at least forty cards.
Fusion Monsters must wait one turn after they are Summoned before they can attack, though the "Quick Attack" card can be used to circumvent this. In the manga, any Special Summoned monster cannot attack the turn it is Special Summoned.
If a player has no monsters on their field, their opponent can attack directly.
Each player must ante at least their rarest card and a minimum of one Locator Card in their possession. The winner of the Duel obtains their opponent's rarest card and Locator Card, as wagered.
The contents of either player's Graveyards are not public knowledge, and an opponent may not look through their opponent's Graveyard.
If you have to discard cards from your hand or Deck, you do not have to show them to your opponent.
Players were not allowed to use two or more Magic Cards of the same name that increase a card's ATK points within the same turn.
In the manga, the opponent can activate a card or card effect before the turn player draws a card.
If a monster is offered as a Tribute by the effect of another card while being attacked by an opponent's monster, the enemy's attack is negated. The Japanese version of the anime and manga calls this rule, "Sacrifice Escape".
Replays are not an established mechanic. While a direct attack is occurring because the attacked player controls no monsters, if the attacked player adds a monster to their side of the field, that monster intercepts the attack; if a monster is targeted for an attack, but it leaves the field before damage calculation, the attack ends.