For free draining deckboards it is highly recommended that you lay them down a gradient fall. This is especially important if the deckboards are grooved.
Depending on the type of deck you are building the joists can be fixed in a number of different ways.
For a ground level deck or partially elevated you can simply construct a raft which sits onto your free draining oversite.
When beams are used in deck construction there are two methods of fixing joists. Firstly if height is an issue you can fix joists to beams using metal connectors commonly known as mini joist hangers.
Alternatively the easiest and most structurally sound way (if height is not an issue) is to simply sit the joist on top of the beams.
It is advisable to nail each joist to each beam at an angle. The tail ends of the joists are secured using a rim joist that is double nailed to the ends of the joists.
With all these joist configurations it is essential that noggins are also fitted between the joists. (Short pieces of wood fitted perpendicular to adjacent joists) These add rigidity to the sub-frame.
If balustrading is required, newel posts must be fitted at this point, before any decking is laid.