Every team played two games against each other team, one at home and one away. Teams received two points for a win and one point for a draw. If two or more teams were tied on points, places were determined by goal difference and, if still tied, by goals scored. The team with the most points were crowned champions while the two teams with the least points were relegated to 2. Bundesliga. The third-to-last team had to compete in a two-legged relegation/promotion play-off against the third-placed team from 2. Bundesliga.
1. FC Saarbrücken and Hannover 96 were directly relegated to the 2. Bundesliga after finishing in the last two places. They were replaced by FC Homburg and SpVgg Blau-Weiß 1890 Berlin. Relegation/promotion play-off participant Borussia Dortmund won a decisive third match, which had become necessary after the regular two-legged series ended in an aggregated tie, against SC Fortuna Köln and thus retained their Bundesliga status.
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored
1As Hamburger SV qualified for the Cup Winners' Cup, their UEFA Cup spot was transferred to Leverkusen.
(C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted; (E) = Eliminated; (O) = Play-off winner; (A) = Advances to a further round.
Only applicable when the season is not finished:
(Q) = Qualified to the phase of tournament indicated; (TQ) = Qualified to tournament, but not yet to the particular phase indicated; (RQ) = Qualified to the relegation tournament indicated; (DQ) = Disqualified from tournament.