- Booster Packs
- As in all other Trading Card Games, booster packs are the primary avenue of card distribution. In Konami's distribution areas, five or nine random cards are found in each booster pack depending on the set and each set contains around 100 different cards. However, in Upper Deck's areas, early booster packs contained a random assortment of nine cards (rarity and value varies), with the whole set ranging around 130 cards. To catch up with the Japanese meta game, two or more original sets were combined into one. Now, more recent Upper Deck sets have simply duplicated the original set. Some booster sets are reprinted/reissued (e.g. Dark Beginnings Volume 1 and 2). This type of set usually contains a larger amount of cards (around 200 to 250), and they contain twelve cards along with one tip card rather than the normal five or nine. Since the release of Tactical Evolution, all booster packs that have a Holographic/Ghost Rare card, will also contain a rare, meaning if you receive a Holofoil card in a pack you will still receive 1 Rare card and 7 Common cards. Current sets have 100 different cards per set. There are also special booster packs that are given to those who attend a tournament. These sets change each time there is a different tournament and have fewer cards than a typical booster pack. There are eight Tournament Packs, eight Champion Packs, and 10 Turbo Packs.
- Duelist Packs
- Duelist packs are similar to booster packs, albeit are focused around the types of cards used by characters in the various anime series.
- Promotional cards
- Some cards in the TCG have been released by other means, such as inclusion in video games, movies, and Shonen Jump Magazine issues. These cards often are exclusive and have a special type of rarity or are never-before-seen to the public. Occasionally, cards like Elemental Hero Stratos and Chimeratech Fortress Dragon have been re-released as revisions.
Using physical cards in Yu-Gi-Oh! video games
Nearly every card has a unique 8 digit code printed on it. When that code is entered into one of the Yu-Gi-Oh! video games that accept it, a digital copy of that card is added to the player's virtual cards. Thus, players can port their real-world decks into the games.
Some cards do not have this code. For example, all but two copies of Japanese Blue Eyes Ultimate Dragon cards say "Replica" where the code should be (They are considered replicas of the other two that were given as prizes in a tournament in Tokyo).
Some cards do not have anything at all. For example, the Shadow Ghoul monster card from the English Metal Raiders and Dark Beginning 2 booster sets has no code number, as opposed to being a replica card. Some other examples of cards that do not have any codes at all are Labyrinth Wall (and its sister card, "Wall Shadow,") Gate Guardian and its "pieces," Sanga of the Thunder, Kazejin, and Suijin.
Duel Terminal cards, which are prefixed by DT in their identification, are used in a Duel Terminal machines, which are at various locations around the country. In these machines, you can lay down a Duel Terminal card, and the machine will scan it in so you can play with it.