From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
Reverse of an English language card
The Pokémon Trading Card Game (or Pokémon TCG) is one of the most popular and steady aspects of the Pokémon franchise (next to the video game and animated television series). The Pokémon TCG revolves around buying, collecting, and trading playing cards with various likenesses of Pokémon on them. To play, a person must build a deck of sixty cards using a combination of various "Pokémon" cards (creatures that do battle), "Trainer" cards (which have special effects on them) and "Energy" cards (a method of cost). To win, a player must "knock out" six of their opponent's Pokémon creatures. A player can also win if their opponent no longer has any Pokémon creatures left to battle with, or if their opponent runs out of cards in their deck. There are also "Special conditions", which affect Active pokemon. Not to mention trainer cards such as "supporters", which are usually human characters that can only be used once a turn. Other types of trainer cards include "tools", "techinical machines" and "stadiums".
Now unlike classic card games, like Poker, which uses a single deck of 52 cards, a trading card game (TCG) is constantly growing. New cards with new game abilities are released at a steady interval in order to keep the game fresh and alive. The only cost of TCG's, however, is that it forces a player to constantly keep in touch with the game, as well as having to purchase new cards from newly released sets. Players who don't keep up run the risk of falling behind other players.
Wizards of the Coast (North America) Sets
Nintendo (North America) Sets
Media Factory/TPC (Japanese) Sets
History of the Pokémon TCG
The Pokémon TCG was created by Media Factory in Japan. It was first released in Japan in 1997. Wizards of the Coast, seeing a great oppurtunity to ride the new Pokémon wave, was licensed the game and introduced Pokémon TCG to North America in 1999. In 2003, Nintendo of America took over the game from Wizards of the Coast, and is currently releasing new sets for it.
Other Pokémon TCG Information