For more than 20 years, Pokemon has captivated kids and adults around the world. The franchise is everywhere — from animated TV shows and movies to stuffed animals and video games. Pokemon trading cards are a big part of the craze, with fans lining up to buy the latest releases and hunt for rare cards. Kids are also trading with their friends to build up their collections, and some even make money by selling cards online.

The goal of the Pokemon TCG is to assemble a powerful deck of 60 cards and compete in battles by taking turns using attacks and abilities, says the official Pokemon website. Two players play at a time, and matches can last for minutes or over an hour.

During the game, each player must have a minimum of six character cards (including one basic) and five energy cards. Energy cards provide power to your Pokemon during the battle, and they can be a combination of Basic or Special Energy. Basic Energy provides a single type of boost, while Special Energy can give multiple different types at once. Both types of energy are used by your character cards and by Trainer cards that have an Energy card as an effect.

Each card has a text box that gives details about the card, such as its name, attack moves, abilities and HP. Some cards also have a holographic stamp. During the development of a new Pokemon card, designers and artists collaborate closely. Creatures sends the artists information about each Pokemon, such as its evolution pattern, and they then decide how it will look on the card. They also specify if the card is a basic, stage 1 or stage 2, which denotes the Pokemon’s progression in the video game.

Players begin the match by deciding who goes first, either by a coin flip or by rock-paper-scissors. Once that’s settled, the decks are shuffled and each player draws a hand of seven cards. If your hand doesn’t have any basic Pokemon, you can reshuffle and draw another seven to get a second chance at finding one. If you don’t find a basic, you can only evolve a Pokemon during your turn and can’t change its evolution stages during the process.

The Pokemon TCG has a large following and is the oldest Japanese trading card game. Players collect and trade the cards to build their collections, and a number of them are worth a lot of money. For example, a 1999 1st Edition Charizard can sell for thousands of dollars, and a rare “Shadowless” version can go up to $24,000 on eBay. With the ninth generation of Pokemon video games and a brand-new card set slated for release in November 2020, the TCG is only getting more popular. Whether your kid loves Pokemon or just wants to trade with his or her friends, it’s an excellent way to spend an afternoon. Just be sure to teach your child the proper etiquette for trading, and remember that cards have real value.

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