The game requires players to drill for oil on a three-dimensional board, acquiring property and wealth. The board is randomized using three rotating discs, hidden inside the plastic frame of the game and containing varying hole locations; one player turns at least one of the discs before play begins. The rotating discs determine the depth of the wells that players will drill, with four possibilities: shallow well, medium well, deep well, or dry hole.
Players also make use of 32 Wildcat Cards, which consist of 25 Production Cards, 5 Oil Depletion Cards, and 2 Fire Damage Cards.
A player pays a certain amount of money (2 to 6 thousand dollars) to drill each well, depending on depth, including dry holes. The goal of the game is to push all opponents into bankruptcy; the last remaining player is the winner. The game can also end if the bank runs out of money; in this case, the remaining players total up their assets and the player with the highest net worth is the winner.