Pokémon TCG simplified for younger kids

So you want to play Pokémon TCG with your younger kids (under 6-7 years old) but find the game a bit too complicated for their age? These modified rules I came up with are super simple and so easy that I get to play even with my 2 year old!

To start, this variation uses dice to attack and to keep track of HP - instead of the damage counters that usually come with a deck. Its just easier to use and less likely to lose.

That said, components that you should put away cause you won’t need are: energy cards, trainer cards including items and stadiums, damage counters and even the coin.

The game consists of just using a deck of Pokémon cards only and there are no prize cards or bench, just a simple deck of cards and dice.

We like to limit the deck to 10 cards only, just to make games go faster (kids have short attention span!). And again they all have to be Pokémon, so the first thing a player has to do is pick their favorite Pokémon cards for the game.

Then the game begins!

  • Shake hands
  • Players pick a Pokémon for battle and place card face down in front of them
  • Once both players are ready, flip cards and whoever has highest HP begins the game
  • From now on, ignore the HP in the card - now all Pokémon have 6 (or 60) HP
  • The attacking player rolls a dice and the result is how much damage your Pokémon deals
  • Your turn is over after you attack
  • Example: You have a Pikachu, to do a Thunder Bolt attack you roll a die and result is 4. That means you deal 4 (or 40) damage! Now the opponent only has 2 (or 20) HP left, place a die on the Pokémon card showing 2 to keep track of HP.
  • If you roll a 1 You missed/your opponent dodged your attack!
  • If you roll a 6 Its a critical hit! You have knocked out your opponent’s Pokémon.
  • Once your Pokémon is knocked out, place the card face up in a discard pile and choose a new Pokémon for battle.
  • Keep taking turns attacking until someone runs out of Pokémon cards. The player with Pokémon cards at the end is the winner!

Ways to improve the game:

  • Evolve Pokémon! If a player has a Basic Pokémon in play, and has a Pokémon in their deck which evolves from that Pokémon then player can play the Stage 1 Pokémon on top of the Basic Pokémon and now you can attack with 2 dice and HP increases to 12 (or 120)

  • Use Weakness and Resistance! When attacking check the opponent’s Pokémon weakness and resistance. Your opponent’s Pokémon takes more damage if it has Weakness to the attacker’s type. It takes less damage from a Pokémon if it has Resistance to that Pokémon’s type. Maybe you add/subtract 1 to the damage?

Hope these rules make sense. If you have any ideas of how to improve them please let me know!