How to play White Elephant game: A Simple Guide to the Gift Exchange Game

How to play White Elephant game: A Simple Guide to the Gift Exchange Game

How to play white elephant – Today, we are going to talk about a fun and exciting game that you can play with your friends and family. It is called the White Elephant Gift Exchange Game. This game is popular in many cultures, mainly during the holiday season.

However, what is it exactly? Moreover, how to play white elephant game? Do not worry, we are here to explain everything in a very simple and easy-to-understand way.

What is a White Elephant Gift Exchange Game?

The White Elephant Gift Exchange Game is a popular party game that adds a fun twist to the traditional gift-giving practice. The name “White Elephant” comes from an old Asian tradition where rare white elephants were given as a ‘gift’ to someone. However, these elephants were expensive to maintain, making the ‘gift’ more of a burden than a blessing!

In our game, the ‘White Elephant’ is a metaphor for a gift that is fun, unique, and often humorous. The game involves everyone bringing a wrapped gift and placing it in a common area. Then, participants take turns choosing a gift or ‘stealing’ a gift that someone else has already chosen.

White Elephant Game Rules

Important rules of the White elephant game are:

  1. Send holiday-themed invitations for the event specifics.
  2.  Each participant should bring an anonymous, wrapped gift to the gathering.
  3.  Numbers are drawn to decide the order of gift unwrapping.
  4.  Arrange yourselves in a circle and place the gifts in the middle, ideally under a decorative tree.
  5.  The person who drew #1 picks a gift from the stack, unwraps it, and displays it for everyone.
  6.  The person who drew #2 can either snatch the first player’s gift or unwrap a new one from the pile.
  7.  The game moves forward in this manner, with each participant having the opportunity to either steal a gift or unwrap a new one.
  8.  When all the gifts have been unwrapped, the first player gets a final turn. The game ends if they choose not to steal a gift and keep their current one. 

After checking out the rules; let us discuss more about how to play White Elephant game:

How to play White Elephant Gift Exchange Game

Here is a simple step-by-step guide on how to play the White Elephant Gift Exchange Game:

  1. Set a Budget: Everyone participating in the game agrees on a general gift price range. This ensures that all the gifts are of similar value.
  2.  Bring a Gift: Each player brings a wrapped, anonymous gift and places it in a common area.
  3.  Draw Numbers: Players draw numbers to determine the order in which they will take turns choosing gifts.
  4.  Choose or Steal a Gift: The player with number one chooses a gift from the pool and later opens it. Make sure the gift is visible to all! The following players can either choose a new gift from the pool or steal a gift from one of the previous players. Anyone who gets the gift stolen can do the same – choose a new gift or steal from someone else.
  5.  End of the Game: The game ends when the last person has taken their turn. The first player gets a chance to swap the gift they are holding for any other opened gift.


What is White Elephant? 

White Elephant is a fun gift swapping game typically played around the holidays.

How does White Elephant work virtually? 

The game can be played virtually using platforms like White Elephant Online.

Can I use White Elephant Online with Zoom? 

Yes, you can use White Elephant Online with Zoom.



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