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In CCGs, a starter deck is a pre-packaged selection of cards- some predetermined as per the design, sometimes completely random- that is theoretically playable within the game that it is purchased for as soon as you purchase it. Starter decks usually consist of sixty cards or more, and come in a clear plastic wrap and a cardboard box. The cards that end up in the starter deck most often consist of some cards from a particular base set of the CCG as well as a number of cards from an expansion set.

The amount of predetermination is often determined by the nature of the CCG that the deck is used for. Magic: the Gathering starter decks can come preconstructed with a theme, the contents the same from theme to theme, or they can consist of a mostly random selection of cards. In faction-based games such as Legend of the Five Rings, Doomtown, or Warlords, a sizable portion of the purchased card-base favors play for the faction purchased.

While purchasing starter decks are often the best place to start playing with CCG, they are often not for the veteran player of that game- while starter decks generally have more cards per dollar spent, they also have a more generic blend of card base. Booster packs, with their higher density of "stronger" cards per dollar, are a better shot for the tournament player.

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