In Magic: The Gathering, a match is a multiplayer game or a two-player series of games (usually best-two-of-three) played in a tournament.
From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (January 24, 2020—Theros Beyond Death)
- A multiplayer game or a two-player series of games (usually best-two-of-three) played in a tournament. See rule 100.6.
From the Comprehensive Rules (January 24, 2020—Theros Beyond Death)
- 100.6. Most Magic tournaments (organized play activities where players compete against other players to win prizes) have additional rules covered in the Magic: The Gathering Tournament Rules (found at WPN.Wizards.com/en/resources/rules-documents). These rules may limit the use of some cards, including barring all cards from some older sets.
- 100.6a Tournaments usually consist of a series of matches. A two-player match usually involves playing until one player has won two games. A multiplayer match usually consists of only one game.
- 100.6b Players can use the Magic Store & Event Locator at Wizards.com/Locator to find tournaments in their area.
From the Tournament Rules (November 22, 2019—Throne of Eldraine)
- 2.1 Match Structure
A Magic match consists of a series of games that are played until one side has won a set number of games, usually two. Drawn games do not count toward this goal. If the round ends before a player has won the required number of games, the winner of the match is the player who has won the most games at that point. If both players have equal game wins, the match is a draw.
The Tournament Organizer may change the required number of games to be won for any portion of the tournament as long as this choice is announced before the tournament begins. Match results, not individual game results, are reported to the DCI for inclusion in Planeswalker Points.
From the Tournament Rules (January 24, 2020—Theros Beyond Death)
- 2.2 Play/Draw Rule
For the first game of a match, a designated player - the winner of a random method (such as a die roll or coin toss) during Swiss rounds, or the player ranked higher at the end of Swiss rounds during playoff matches - chooses
either to play first or to play second. They must state this choice before looking at their hand. If they state no choice, it is assumed that they are playing first. The player who plays first skips the draw step of their first turn.
This is referred to as the play/draw rule.
After each game in a match, the loser of that game decides whether to play first in the next game. They may wait until after sideboarding to make the decision. If the previous game was a draw, the player who decided to play or
draw at the beginning of the drawn game chooses.