Plasma equilibrium geometry has a great influence on the confinement and magnetohydrodynamic stability in tokamaks. The poloidal field (PF) system of a tokamak should be optimized to support the prescribed plasma equilibrium geometry. In this paper, a genetic algorithm-based method is applied to solve the optimization of the positions and currents of tokamak PF coils. To achieve this goal, we first describe the free-boundary code EQT. Based on the EQT code, a genetic algorithm-based method is introduced to the optimization. We apply this new method to the PF system design of the fusion-driven subcritical system and plasma equilibrium geometry optimization of the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST). The results indicate that the optimization of the plasma equilibrium geometry can be improved by using this method.