There are 16 clubs in the Campeonato Gaúcho, divided into two groups. During the course of a season (from January to April), each club plays against teams from the other group and then against each other inside their groups. Teams receive three points for a win and one point for a draw. No points are awarded for a loss. Teams are ranked by total points, then wins, goal difference and goals scored. The top four teams from each group qualified to the play-offs. Are held quarter-finals, where the first of a group faces the last of another group, and so on in single game at the home of best ranked, then semi-finals, also in single game, and finals with two games. The three lowest placed teams are relegated into the Campeonato Gaúcho Série A2.
Qualification for competitions:The best placed of league also qualify for the Campeonato Brasileiro Série D, excluding the teams that are already qualified for the Série A, Série B or Série C. The best three teams in the Campeonato Gaúcho (champions, runner-up and the third most points in overall table) not qualified to Copa Libertadores de América will qualify for Copa do Brasil of the following year.