To start playing Pokemon TCG, you must have a 60 card deck with you. To begin, both players shuffle their deck and draw a starting hand of 7 cards. This is your hand, and may contain basic Pokemon, evolution Pokemon, energy cards, or tainer cards. Look at you hand, but don't reviel it, and see if you have a basic Pokemon(for example:Charmander). If you don't show your hand to your opponent, and then put the 7 cards back into your deck and reshuffle. Your opponent may draw up to two cards. Then draw 7 more cards. If you still don't have a basic Pokemon in your hand, your opponent can draw up to two cards everytime. If both of you don't have a basic Pokemon in your hands, then none of you draw two extra cards. You simply put the cards back into the deck and reshuffle. There is no limit to how many cards you must have in your deck. When both of you have a basic Pokemon, you each choose a basic Pokemon, and put it faced down in front of you. This will be the Pokemon you will be fighting with, also called their Active Pokemon. Each player may choose up to five basic Pokemon and put it in front of them. These are called the bench Pokemon. Eveytime you get knocked out, retreat, or switch Pokemon, you get it from there. The above are all known as in-play Pokemon. Both players get 6 cards from the top of their deck and put it faced down in the prizes' area. These are your prizes. Each time you defeat your opponent's Pokemon, you choose one of these cards and put it in your hand. If you've beaten your opponent three times and have taken three prizes already, then you win. Put your deck somewhere in the battle area face down, and be sure to leave room for your discard pile. This is the pile where your cards go to when it is dicarded, no matter how it got discarded. Flip a coin to see who goes first.
Object Of The Game
The object of the game is to knock out your opponent's Pokemon by using attacks listed on your Pokemon card, and take three prizes.
What You Can Do During Your Turn
1.Draw a card. If you do not have any more cards in your deck, then you lost.
2.Do any of the following actions, in any order you like, with the exception of placing energy cards on your active Pokemon, which you may only do once in your turn.
A.But a Basic Pokemon on your bench. Remeber, you are allowed at the most of 5 cards on your bench. There is no minimum number of bench Pokemon you need to have. You can even have no bench Pokemon, but I stronly suggest that you do have a few.
B.Evolve an in-play Pokemon. Rember, I said that in-play Pokemon include the bench Pokemon and the active Pokemon. That means you can evolve a bench Pokemon, and an active Pokemon. Evolution cards(the cards that your cards evolve into) clearly states on the top what Pokemon it evolved from, so you won't have any trouble evolving. For example, on a Charmeleon, it states that it evolves from a Charmander, and that a Charizard is the evolved form of Charmeleon. You can not evolve a Charmander into a Chaizard, only if you use a Pokemon breeder. To evolve, put your evolution Pokemon on top of your basic Pokemon, or on top of an already evolved Pokemon. You can not evolve on your first turn. You can not evolve a Pokemon you just played either. When evolved, the evolved Pokemon can not use the attacks from the Pokemon it used to be. For example, a Blastoise may not use the attacks of Wartortle, or Squirtle. When a Pokemon evolves, it keeps all damage counters, energy cards that it already has. But stuff like Sleep, Confusion, Paralysis, Posion and anything else that happened earlier and was the result of an attack goes away.
C.Attach An Energy Card To An In-Play Pokemon. You are allowed to attach only one Pokemon per turn, whether it's on a benched Pokemon or active Pokemon. Double Colorless Energy cards are energy cards, and therefore count toward one energy per turn maximum. If you have to right amount of energy cards, you may then attack.
D.Play a trainer card. Most tainers are discarded after use. All you have to do is read the information on the card, and then use it.
E.Retreat your active Pokemon. To do this, pay the retreat cost stated on your card to retreat by discarding your cards. If the Pokemon is asleep or Paralyzed, it may not retreat. If your Pokemon is confused, first pay the retreat cost, then flip a coin. If it is heads, then you retreat succesfully. But if it is tails, the energy cards are gone, and you can't retreat again until your next turn. Pokemon with no retreat cost can retreat for free. Retreated Pokemon goes to the bench, and all results of attacks done earlier goes away. Sleep, Confused, Paralysis, or Poison
F.Use a Pokemon Power. You may use this only if your in-play Pokemon(that means all Pokemon, bench and active, can use a Pokemon Power) has a Pokemon Power. If it does, you will see it clearly written on the card.
G.Finally, the last thing you do, is attack your opponent. You may skip your attack if you want, but I recommend you to attack, because you just want your opponent to loose!!!:) You must have to required energy cards to attack. If it requires a star energy(colorless energy), then you may use any type of energy card. Tell you opponent the attack, and apply weakness and resistance. If the attack does damage, then put beads or whatever on your opponent's in-play card to represent the damage. Knock out any Pokemon that has greater or equal damage to the HP. Your turn is over now, and just wait for your opponent to beat you up.
For more advanced rules which I'm too tired to write out, please refer to the official Pokemon Trading Card Game website at http://www.wizards.com/pokemon.