The rules of lucha libre are similar to American singles matches. Matches can be won by pinning the opponent to the mat for the count of three, making him submit, knocking him out of the ring for a pre-determined count (20) or by disqualification. Using the ropes for leverage is illegal and once aluchador is on the ropes, his opponent must release any holds and he will not be able to pin him.
Disqualifications occur when an opponent uses an illegal hold, move (such as the piledriver, which is an illegal move in lucha libre and grounds for immediate disqualification, though some variations are legal in certain promotions), or weapon, hits his opponent in the groin (faul), uses outside interference, attacks the referee, or rips his opponent's mask completely off. Most matches are two out of three falls (dos de tres caídas), which had been abandoned for title bouts in North America and Japan in the 1970s.
A rule unique to lucha libra applies during tag team matches, which is when the legal wrestler of a team touches the floor outside the ring, a teammate may enter the ring to take their place as the legal competitor. There is essentially no need for an actual tag to a team mate to bring them into a match. This often allows for much more frenetic action to take place in the ring than would otherwise be possible under standard tag team rules.