Try a different side of a white elephant gift exchange this year with this fun heads or tails edition of your favorite gift exchange game! Simply play your white elephant game as you normally would except instead of choosing to steal or unwrap, the flip of a coin chooses for you. One of the best versions of a white elephant gift exchange we’ve ever played!
Heads or Tails White Elephant Gift Exchange Game
Gift exchanges are a holiday party staple. If you go to more than one Christmas party this year and don’t do a gift exchange, I’d be shocked. Seriously shocked. I actually love gift exchanges mostly because I think it’s really fun to see what everyone ends up bringing. If it’s a white elephant gift exchange, I typically pick something from this list of hilarious white elephant gift ideas. If it’s not white elephant, I go with something universal that everyone would love!
You can play this game either as a white elephant gift exchange or a normal one, but I prefer white elephant. If you want to go with regular, one of these 10+ gift exchange games might work better! Or not, totally your choice!
In this game, it’s basically the same as a normal gift exchange. The big difference is that instead of whoever turn it is choosing to either steal a gift or choose one from the middle, the decision is made for them based on a flip of a coin. And I have to be honest, this actually came from my parents who created this game over in Bosnia!
Heads or Tails White Elephant Rules
This game can be played with either white elephant or regular gifts – it’s totally up to you!
- Everyone brings a wrapped gift within a certain price range. Set the range when you invite everyone over. Make sure to have at least one or two extra gifts in case someone totally forgets or someone brings a friend who didn’t get the bring a gift memo.
- Write down a number for each person who is playing then put the numbers into a hat or a bowl.
- Let everyone pick a number from the bowl. This will be the order they will choose their gifts and play.
- Start with whoever has #1 and have them pick a gift to unwrap from the pile in the center then sit back down.
- Next will be #2s turn. Here’s where it gets fun. Instead of choosing whether they want #1’s gift or a gift from the center, they must flip a coin.
- Heads = they pick a gift from the table to unwrap.
- Tails = they must steal a gift from someone even if they don’t really want any of the other gifts. If it’s the 2nd person to play, they can only steal from #1 since no one else has opened a gift yet, but further into the game – people can choose to steal from anyone.
- If someone has a gift stolen from them (because a person flipped a tails), that person then has to flip the coin to decide if they can choose an unwrapped gift from the center or have to steal from someone in the circle. If a person has a gift stolen from them and then flips a tails, they can steal the same present right back.
- Continue playing until everyone has gone and all of the gifts in the center are unwrapped. Once all gifts are unwrapped and you’ve gone through all of the numbers, the game is over and everyone keeps their gifts.
Click the pink button below to get a set of free printable instructions to have on hand for your party!
Notes About Playing this White Elephant Game
Some versions of white elephant games will freeze a particular gift once it’s been stolen three times. I prefer to not do that in this game since the stealing is more of a luck thing than a choose to steal the same gift over and over. But do what you think works best, I just prefer no freezing!
If a person has a gift stolen from them and then flips a tails, they can steal the same present right back.
The last person (who has the last number) flips a coin. If they get heads and take the final gift from the table, the game is over. If they get tails, they steal and the game continues until someone flips heads and has to unwrap the final gift from the table.
Don’t forget to pin this white elephant gift exchange game for later!
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