How to start a game of RISK

I've been playing a knock-off of RISK on my iPhone. The trouble is it doesn't allow you to pick your own countries so any sort of starting planning is right out the window. Then again when Lydia and I played it at her co-worker Micah's place that's how they did it.

Granted it shaves like an hour off the game, but it seriously cramped my style (I won anyway).

When you play RISK how do you start?