Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game

The Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game is a collectible card game based on Duel Monsters (Magic and Wizards or M&W in the original Japanese manga), a game which appears in the popular Japanese manga Yu-Gi-Oh!, and the two Yu-Gi-Oh! anime series, which are Toei's Yu-Gi-Oh! series and Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters (internationally known as Yu-Gi-Oh!), where it serves as a main plot device. The card game is known as Yu-Gi-Oh! Official Card Game: Duel Monsters in Asian countries where Konami releases the game. The game is known as the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game in countries where Upper Deck Entertainment distributes the game.

Each player is alloted a certain number of life points (most of the time 8000), and the main objective of the game is to reduce an opponent's life points to zero. Like many other trading card games, Duel Monsters is a game mainly for two players to compete head-to-head, but variations exist where players can allow for three or more players.

There are also video games based on the card game, with minor differences between it and the collectible card game.



In Japan, there are two editions of the game: the earlier Bandai version (known as the Carddas version), and the better-known Konami version, the latter of which being the one played worldwide. Some cards are exclusive to the Konami version, and some cards are exclusive to the Bandai edition.

Only three boosters had been released for the Carddas version before the license of the card game was sold to Konami later. The game was popular, although it used a simplified and modified version[6] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yu-Gi-Oh%21#endnote_version) of the gaming rule used in the manga, and is less faithful to the manga compared with Konami's versions of the game. In the Carddas version, some of the cards were not rereleased to Japanese audiences after the Bandai edition ended distribution. This included cards that did nothing more than describe characters from Toei's anime series. Yugi Mutou (Yugi Moto), Dark Yugi (Yami Yugi), Katsuya Jonouchi (Joey Wheeler), Hiroto Honda (Tristan Taylor), Anzu Mazaki (Téa Gardner), Miho Nosaka (Melody in the English Dungeon Dice Monsters video game), Seto Kaiba, and Shadi were on the cards.

Game play

When the game first appears in the manga, both players are described as wizards summoning powerful creatures.

Duel Monsters cards are separated into three categories:

  • Monster cards, which allow players to attack opponents and defend from an opponent's attacks
  • Spell cards (or Magic cards), cards with various special effects, and
  • Trap cards, similar to spell cards but are triggered by an event. (In the first edition of Magic and Wizards shown in the manga, there are no trap cards.)

Furthermore, each of these can be categorized further:

Monster cards

  • Normal Monster cards-Identified by being the color yellow
  • Effect Monster cards-Identified by being the color orange
  • Ritual Monster cards-Identified by being the color blue
  • Fusion Monster cards-Identified by being the color violet
  • Monster Tokens summoned by card or monster effects

Magic cards *

  • Normal Magic card- Identified by being green
  • Quick-play Magic card- Identified by having a lightning symbol next to the words "magic card"
  • Field Magic card- Identified by having a compass rose next to the words "magic card"
  • Equip Magic card- Identified by having a cross symbol next to the words "magic card"
  • Continuous Magic card- Identified by having an infinity symbol next to the words "magic card"
  • Ritual Magic card- Identified by having a flame symbol next to the words "magic card"

Magic cards received a name change made effective in the English expansion set "Magician's Force". All Magic cards released after that point were known as "Spell cards", with no change besides being referenced to as "Spell cards" or "Spells" on other cards.

Trap cards

  • Normal Trap card- Identified by being purple
  • Continuous Trap card- Identified by having an infinity symbol next to the words "trap card"
  • Counter Trap card- Identified by having a curved arrow symbol next to the words "trap card"

Product information

Yu-Gi-Oh Trading Cards are available in starter decks, and booster packs. Both the starter decks, and booster packs have their own unique ID's which the cards in that set are numbered with. (For example, the Luster Dragon card from the Legacy of Darkness booster pack has the number LOD-050, where the LOD is the ID for the Legacy of Darkness set.)

Starting with the Soul of the Duelist series of products, the ID scheme identifies the language of the card. For example, the US version of Mystic Swordsman LV4 has an ID of SOD-EN012 where the EN identifies it as an english card. This system make it easier to identify cards from different countries worldwide (JP for Japan, etc.)


Pop: To acquire from a pack, i.e. pop a Luster Dragon from an LOD Pack. Often, the word "pull" is used.

Errata: Changes in card text that were not made in time for the first release of a card. They are posted on the official website of the distributor of the cards, Upper Deck.

Duel: One third of a match.

Match: A series which can range from two to four duels.

Winner: The first to win either two duels or win one duel in a series which has had two draws.

Draw: A duel in which both players life points have depleted simultaneously, or another circumstance occurs when no clear winner can be decided. A match can also result in a draw if three drawn duels have occurred or both players have one win and any match in the series was a draw.

Combo: When two or more cards are played in series in order to achieve some final goal.

Bye: When a player automatically advances in a tournament because there are an odd number of players in the round.

Bomb/Blow: Slang term used for Chaos Emperor Dragon - Envoy Of The End's Ignition effect. Also used for Exiled Force's Ignition effect.

First Turn Killer (FTK): A deck capable of ending a duel on the owners first turn based upon one or more combos, i.e. "Scientist deck".

One Turn Killer (OTK): A deck capable of ending a duel in one turn based upon one or more combos (this deck may also be considered a FTK if it can achieve this combo on the first turn).

-For example, for the people with Exodia themed decks and for people who play traditional played cards (cards that were originally not banned in Advanced Play), Use Gearfried the Iron Knight, Royal Magical Library, and Butterfly Daggers- Elma. When Royal Magicial Library is out, equip the Butterfly Daggers to Gearfried. Gearfried will destroy the Butterfly Daggers in response but leaves a spell counter for Royal Magical Library to use and the Butterfly Daggers goes back to owner's hand too. Keep using the same cards over again till you get three spell counters for Royal Magical Library's effect, which is to exchange three spell counters to draw a card. Keep the whole combo up till you get all the Exodia pieces in your hand. Because of this OTK, Butterfly Daggers- Elma has been banned in Advanced Play Tournaments.

Starter Decks

The starter decks are named after various characters from the animated series. Each starter deck contains 50 cards, a game mat, and a rule book.

There are currently four starter decks available in the US:

  • Yugi Starter Deck (SDY): features Yugi's favorite card Dark Magician (Yugi Muto is known as Yugi Mutou in the manga and Japanese versions)
  • Kaiba Starter Deck (SDK): features Kaiba's beloved Blue Eyes White Dragon
  • Joey Starter Deck (SDJ): includes Joey's Red Eyes Black Dragon (Joey Wheeler is known as Katsuya Jonouchi in the manga and Japanese versions)
  • Pegasus Starter Deck (SDP): has Pegasus' powerful "toon" monsters and his Relinquished card (Maximillion Pegasus is known as Pegasus J. Crawford in the Japanese versions)

The Yugi and Kaiba Starter Decks have been re-released with slightly different cards since their initial release in the U.S., and the second set is known as the Evolution series. It is generally thought that the Evoloution series improved the respectve deck of each character, and they are more readily available than the initial release. The codes for the Evolution Series decks are:

  • Yugi Evolution Starter Deck (SYE): contains the powerful Black Luster Soldier
  • Kaiba Evolution Starter Deck (SKE): includes a Kaiser Sea Horse card in order to summon his Blue Eyes White Dragon easily

Four structure decks have been released containing 40 cards each. These decks do not follow the theme of being based off of a character from the show. Instead they are based off of a specific creature type or attribute. These decks also contain multiple copies of same named cards. The codes for the structure deck are:

  • Dragon's Roar Structure Deck (SD1): Based off of dragons and contains the Red Eyes Darkness Dragon
  • Zombie Madness Structure Deck (SD2): Based off of zombies and contains the Vampire Genissis
  • Blaze of Destruction Structure Deck (SD3): Based off of fire and contains the Infernal Flame Emperor
  • Fury of the Deep Structure Deck (SD4): Based off of water and contains the Ocean Dragon Lord - Neo Daedalus

Booster Packs

In addition to the starter decks, a number of booster packs have been released. The booster packs each contain around 110 cards (some have more, some have less), but they are typically sold in nine card packages, with each package featuring at least one rare card.

Where the starter decks are based around characters from the animated series, each booster pack has a different thematic element, which provides for new battle strategies.

The Booster Sets available in the U.S. are:

Rare Cards

Most cards are "common", but some cards are "rare". There are different official levels of rareness:

  • Rare (R). The name of the card is printed in silver foil. There is about one in every pack.
  • Super Rare (SR). The illustrations on these cards are printed with a holographic foil background. There's about one per 20 packs
  • Ultra Rare Cards (UR). The name of the card is printed in gold foil. The illustrations on these cards are printed with a holographic foil background. There's about one per 30 packs.
  • Secret Rare Cards (SCR). The name of the card is printed in holographic silver foil. These cards feature a sparkling holographic illustration ("polarizing silver"). There's about one per 30 packs.
  • Parallel Rare (PR). The name of the card is printed in gold foil. The illustrations and borders on these cards are printed with a holographic foil background.
  • Ultimate Rare Cards (UTR). The name of the card is printed in gold foil. The illustrations and borders on these cards are printed with a holographic foil background. They also have a relief effect. UTR cards are as rare as they get - about one for every 60-90 packs.

In the English game, the rarity is slightly different.

  • Rare. One per pack, unless the pack contains a different type of rare card. Identified by the card name being printed in silver foil.
  • Super Rare. Varies; roughly one per 6 packs. Identified by the picture being printed in holographic foil.
  • Ultra Rare. Varies; roughly one per 12 packs. Identified by the card name being printed in gold foil and the picture being printed in holographic foil.
  • Secret Rare. No official rarity; said to be one per 30 packs. Identified by a polarizing silver title and a special foil effect in the highlights of the card. There are no Secret Rare cards in sets after "Ancient Sanctuary".
  • Parallel Rare. None in English.
  • Ultimate Rare. No official rarity; probably about one per 20 packs. There are no cards only available as Ultimate Rares; all Rare, Super Rare, and Ultra Rare cards are also printed as Ultimate Rares. Identified by a polarizing holographic effect throughout the entire card. Ultimate Rares were first seen in "Soul of the Duelist".
  • Promo Rare. This unofficial title is given to promotional cards. These cards look very similar to Secret Rares, but are not nearly as rare. However, recent promo cards have been printed in standard Ultra Rare and Super Rare style. It is likely that the old style has been discontinued.

An interesting note is that English packs only have one rare card each. The exception is the reprint series "Dark Beginning 1", and Dark Revelation 1 where packs occasionally contain one Rare and one Super or Ultra Rare card. Japanese packs, on the other hand, do not even guarantee a Rare in each pack.

Using physical cards in Yu-Gi-Oh! video games

Each card has a unique 8-digit code printed on it. When that code is entered into one of the myriad Yu-Gi-Oh! video games which accept said codes, a digital copy of that card will be added to the player's virtual cards. Thus, players can port their real-world decks into the games.


Konami distributes the Konami card game in the following countries:

Upper Deck distributes the Konami card game in the following countries:

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