Could someone please explain Pokemon to me?

My son (5) recently got into collecting Pokemon cards. His cousin collects them and some of his older friends do as well. I'm totally unfamiliar with how this all works -- could someone please briefly explain to me what the cards mean as far as playing with them, trading, etc?

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Parents GuideFor more than 10 years, kids all over the world have known Pikachu, Charizard, and hundreds of other amazing and powerful Pokémon characters. As a worldwide leader in the trading card game industry, Pokémon USA, Inc., continues to support those devoted fans with releases of the popular Pokémon Trading Card Game, with an organized play structure that provides opportunities for players to share their joy of the game in both casual and competitive environments, and with a brand-new trading figure game coming in 2007.

    From its initial release in late 1998, the trading card game has been at the forefront of Pokémon’s popularity. Players build decks around their favorite Pokémon and then play against each other, sending their Pokémon into battle to prove who the best Pokémon trainer is. With thousands of cards to choose from, the game is never the same twice. Pokémon USA, Inc., releases four sets or "expansions" a year, so the game continues to evolve and expand for both players and collectors.

    To ensure that all those players can actually find each other, Pokémon USA, Inc., is also the source for Pokémon Organized Play (POP), a network designed for Pokémon players to find casual and competitive opportunities to compete in their favorite game. Leagues, tournaments, and national and world championship events give players chances to test their decks, trade their cards, and make new friends who share a common interest. In addition to promoting logical and strategic thinking, good sportsmanship, and core math and reading skills, the game’s popularity has even led to parents and their children playing in the same events.

    Pokémon USA, Inc., is about to provide a new opportunity for Pokémon trainers to test their skills. The Pokémon Trading Figure Game will feature lots of favorite Pokémon as collectible three-dimensional sculptures that players send into battle against each other on a specially designed arena playmat. Everyone at Pokémon USA, Inc., hopes that players will enjoy the trading card game—and now the trading figure game as well—for the next 10 years!

    Introducing Pokémon: A General Overview

    The Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG) centers on familiar characters from the Pokémon TV show, movies, and Game Boy games. The Pokémon TCG is very much about social interaction, good sportsmanship, playing games, and making friends. Players can even win scholarships and other rewards for playing!

    The core of Pokémon Organized Play is to provide a fun, organized playing environment where kids can grow socially and intellectually. Within this Organized Play environment, an emphasis is placed on fun, fairness, honesty, respect, sportsmanship, and learning.

    Pokémon Organized Play supports both non-competitive and competitive play through leagues and tournaments. Pokémon leagues are played in a casual setting, and league members are rewarded for playing games, win or lose. The more you play, the more you earn! Leagues are held in safe, public locations, such as game stores, community centers, or libraries, and are run by official league leaders. Find a league near you or start one.

    Learn more about Organized Play!

    Prepare for Competition

    Our Premier Tournaments have an escalating level of difficulty and are competitive in nature. They embrace an environment where Pokémon trainers can meet other trainers looking for a friendly match. Players bring their own 60-card decks and compete against other players in tournaments.

    Premier tournaments are held throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and all over the world, and they're run by official Premier Tournament Organizers (PTO). The season begins with City Championships, and moves through State/Territory/Provincials, Regional, National Championships, Battle Roads, and culminates with the pinnacle event of the year – World Championships.

    Leagues & Tournaments: What to Expect

    When they arrive at an event, players can expect to meet the Tournament Organizer (TO) or league leader and probably a judge or two (possibly the same person). The TO or league leader will ensure that the people running the event are responsible and are good with kids.

    Players that wish to participate in Pokémon Organized Play tournaments and leagues are required to have a POP ID, which is used to report their attendance at these events. Most Tournament Organizers and League Leaders can provide POP IDs onsite for players who do not already have one. Players who choose to participate in the Ratings and Rankings system are required to sign up for a My Pokémon account at Younger players may need a parental consent form to complete the sign-up process.

    Participants will likely engage in some card trading with other players. This is encouraged, as this is a trading card game! The PTO or league leader is often a good resource for trading tips.


    Parents of minors: Please remember that Tournament Organizers are often store owners and have a business to run as well as the tournament. Parents should remain onsite to keep track of their children and, of course, celebrate their play. Tournaments usually take several hours, so parents might want to bring a book or some other quiet activity to occupy their time. We encourage parents to build a deck and join the fun!

    What Your Child Can Expect

    Due to the competitive element in tournaments, we recommend that parents discuss issues of winning and losing, pressures of competition, and good sportsmanship with their children. It is important to be a good sport – win or lose. Pokémon USA, Inc., believes that children should be having fun in the process of competing, regardless of the outcome. It is, after all, just a game.

    It is also important that players understand their responsibilities in preparing for the event. Players will need a legal deck (the format will be provided well in advance by the Tournament Organizer and noted on the Organized Play website) built to meet the regulations for that event. If a child is new to the game, or new to tournaments, have the event judge look over the deck prior to the event. Judges will be happy to provide this service for your child, and it will help ensure a pleasant experience.

    It is very important that players listen to the Tournament Organizer and/or judge when they explain how to play in the event. The Tournament Organizer or judge will outline important points, such as how to report the match scores and how to ask for a card ruling, at the beginning of the tournament. Players should understand that, even if they are familiar with this information, they need to listen and not be disruptive. Talking or otherwise disruptive behavior during the delivery of these instructions is impolite. All players should have the same opportunity to learn and understand the rules of play prior to an event.

    Your Responsibilities

    Parents have responsibilities at events, as well. It is important that players are allowed to play at their own pace. Players are learning to concentrate on complex strategies and concepts, and it can sometimes be frustrating. Also, a match should not be interrupted while in progress. If you, as a parent, have a question about anything, ask a judge or the Tournament Organizer, away from the match.

    We understand that parents get excited and often want to help their children do well. Please remember, coaching is not allowed. If you would like to talk to your child about strategies, sportsmanship, or anything else, please refrain from doing so during a match. You might be surprised that, although it is a competition, players will provide advice and play tips in between matches. So, even if you think your child missed something or misplayed, his or her opponent may actually point this out before you even get a chance. Tournaments provide great learning opportunities for all players.

    By simply following these few guidelines, parents can help assure that their child has a fun and exciting experience participating in Pokémon leagues and tournaments! If you have any further questions, feel free to e-mail us at

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    It's a cartoon. My brother used to watch it. It was intelligently designed by the animators and the people who work to make cartoons as those people are intelligent in their field.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    i dont know but buy him a ds and a pokemon game and he or she will leave you alone

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Everything he said :) ^^^

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