If no gift is retired, each participant takes back their dollar at the end of the game. Before the game begins, if you and another player agree, you may exchange numbers if you wish.
There is no need to keep who has which numbers a secret.
Now this is the third time you have owned the "mp3 player" and this time it is yours to keep.
The "mp3 player" is retired and you are now out of the game.
A hidden advantage of knowing the sequence of the players is it gives those later in the sequence time to make a bathroom stop, get a drink refill or get seconds on desserts.
When you take it back this is the second time you have had possession of the "mp3 player".The BIG confusion for some folks seems to be the third time the "mp3 player" is exchanged that the third owner gets to keep them. The gift is retired after the third time a single participant gets the same gift back into their possession.Using the 10 player game in this example, each player could take temporary possession of the "mp3 player" twice for a total of 20 exchanges.This also has a hidden purpose in forcing everyone to keep track of who has had possession of what gifts and how many times.This makes for more active involvement rather than passive involvement and is one of the keys to the games popularity. Using the 10 player game in our example, when it gets down to player #10 there will be one wrapped gift left in the center of the room or on the table.