Trading card game

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Fantasy trading card game "Magic: The Gathering"

Trading card games (also known as Trading Card Games , TCGs for short ) are card games , mostly on fantasy or sports topics. In contrast to card games such as Skat or Bridge, there are usually several hundred different cards in a trading card game . These cards are sold in ready-made game units ( called starters ) and in packs with (more or less) a random set of cards (so-called boosters with 5 or 10 cards), with some cards being more rare than others. So-called boxes or displays containing 50 or 100 boosters are produced for retail .


In order to receive all the cards, or at least the ones that you need, so you have to collect (English: collect ), acting (English: trade ) or replace. TCGs are therefore also known as CCG ( Collectible Card Games ). This abbreviation used to stand for Customizable Card Game . Since the Decipher company had this term protected, it was not used by the other companies. In the meantime, even Decipher refers to its newer games as TCG, as this term has established itself.

In contrast to classic trading cards, in which all cards appear equally often, it is part of the gameplay of trading cards that there are normal and rare cards. As a result, compared to the classic collector picture problem, significantly more cards have to be bought to complete the collection.

Opponents in front of their decks

Of course, TCGs can also be played. The game is played with a selection of these many cards that each player puts together from his supply. A specific selection is called a deck of cards . Depending on the game, different rules apply to the composition of these decks.


The great popularity of trading card games has meant that both the themes on which they are based have increased in variety (beyond the fantastic) and non-collectable variations have developed.

In addition to trading card games, other “collectible games” that function in a similar way have also developed in recent years. Examples of this are Diskwars , which is played with small cardboard disks, or various collecting games for miniatures . Also noteworthy are the games " Pirates of the Spanish Main " and " Star Wars Miniatures ", in which elements of trading card games and tabletops are combined.

Trading card games are also being implemented digitally so that players can compete against each other online. One of the most famous representatives is " Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft " from the developer Blizzard Entertainment .

In recent years, however, not only has the importance of trading card games as such increased: trading cards are also increasingly used as investments. This is not least due to the increased demand and limited circulation of old cards, the value of which has risen sharply in recent years. Rare cards often reach values ​​of high five or six-digit amounts. Some cards are so rare that their value is priceless.

Well-known trading card games

Pokémon trading cards

One of the well-known and also the first trading card game is Magic: The Gathering , which has been released since 1993 . Back then it set off an undreamt-of wave of imitators and founded the genre. Popular representatives were and still are Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh! . Cardfight are newer! Vanguard and the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game for the online role-playing game of the same name . The Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game has meanwhile become the largest trading card game in the world and regularly breaks new player records at tournaments. The first German TCG was Dark Force , based on the German role-playing game system Das Schwarze Auge .

“Trading card games” are produced for many anime or manga , for example for One Piece , Inu Yasha or Beyblade . In Japan , the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading card game very popular, the merchandising product for the Yu-Gi-Oh! and its spin-offs Yu-Gi-Oh! GX , Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s , Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal , Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V and Yu-Gi-Oh! Vrains! .

In the USA , trading card games are produced for almost all genres. There are or have been card games for the successful movies (for example Lord of the Rings , Star Wars or Star Trek ), for TV series like Buffy - The Vampire Slayer , Babylon 5 , The X Files or Star Trek, for sports topics (World Wrestling Entertainment CCG ), the well-known comic heroes, popular novels (like Steve Jackson's Illuminati - New World Order , which is based on RA Wilson's and Bob Shea's Illuminatus! trilogy), or based on role-playing games (Warlord, Legend of the 5 Rings, Vampire , Shadowrun etc.). The trading card game for .hack is already cult in Japan and the USA . The game is called .hack // ENEMY. For some games like Magic: The Gathering (Fantasy) or das wars TCG (Science Fiction) , however, a separate background story is developed. You are not dependent on licenses. This is also the case with the German-language game Behind , which combines elements of trading card games, role-playing games and tabletop .

In Germany there have been more trading card games from the German Bundesliga since 2008. The best known of these is called Match Attax . However, there are also more trading cards from the World Cup and the Champions League.

The card games are designed for at least two players. Card games such as Magic: The Gathering can also be played with multiple players. Many of the games that are mostly not available in German are never particularly popular in German-speaking countries. If there is no commercial success, these games will quickly be withdrawn from the market. For example, the X-Files trading card game fared because the license costs for the rights were too high. But even commercial success is no guarantee of survival. Since licenses for films and TV series are usually only limited in time, a game can be discontinued when the license expires and another manufacturer receives the license. If he does not then receive or does not want the rights for the game concept, the games are not compatible with each other. B. the Star Wars CCG from Decipher and the Star Wars TCG from Wizards of the Coast , or the Lord of the Rings TCG from Decipher and the Middle-earth Collectible Card Game from ICE .

See also

Individual evidence

  1. The most valuable Magic the Gathering cards in the world . In: Gate To The Games Trading Card Blog . February 4, 2016 ( [accessed December 20, 2017]).
  2. Biggest TCG event in history. (No longer available online.) In: 2012/03 - 100th Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series Coverage. March 26, 2012, archived from the original on March 26, 2012 ; accessed on May 2, 2013 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /

Web links

Commons : Trading Card Games  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files