Here are the steps to start the game:
- Shake hands with your opponent.
- Shuffle your 60-card deck and draw 7 cards.
- Check to see if you have any Basic Pokemon in your hand.
- Put one of your Basic Pokémon face down as your Active Pokémon.
- Put up to 5 more Basic Pokémon face down on your Bench.
- Put the top 6 cards of your deck off to the side face down as your Prize cards.
- Flip a coin. The winner of the coin flip goes first.
- Both players flip all their face-down Pokémon face up and start the game!
If you don't have a Basic Pokemon in your hand, show your hand to your opponent, shuffle your hand into your deck, and draw 7 new cards. Your opponent continues his or her set-up and can choose to draw an extra card after setting aside his or her Prize cards. Repeat this process until you get a Basic Pokemon, but your opponent can keep drawing a new card! Fossil Trainer cards always count as Basic Pokemon during this part of the game.