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How To Tell If A Pokemon Card Is Real

Final Tip: Be Careful When Buying Pokemon Cards Online

How to tell if Pokemon Cards are Real or Fake

The final tip we have for you is to be extra careful when you buy Pokemon cards online. You wont be able to examine these cards, which increases the chances of getting ripped off.

Your best option when buying Pokemon cards online is to get them from a vendor with an excellent reputation. In the case of ultra-rare cards -that are worth lots of money, its better to get something thats PSA-graded.

Blastoise 1st Edition Shadowless Base Set

  • Release Date: 1999
  • Grading: PSA Gem Mint 10
  • Pokemon card value at auction: $45,100

Not only is Blastoise one of the most beloved characters in the Game Freak RPG, but the Water-type starter has also become one of the most valuable Pokemon cards currently on the market.

Those who grew up with the 1999 Base Set easily equated the turtle on the same level as the highly sought-after Charizard, so it makes sense that decades later, many are willing to bust out their wallets for the iconic mon.


While its 1st Edition Shadowless Pokemon card from 1999 has always brought in good money, the popular item has seen a massive jump in value recently. In a PWCC auction held in November 2020, the rare Base Set Blastoise sold for $45,100.

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How To Spot Fake Pokmon Cards

The Pokémon franchise is currently experiencing a record level of interest and demand for its products. For some people the level of interest has been fuelled by the 25th Anniversary celebrations, others have seen it as an investment opportunity while others have taken up collecting during the lockdowns imposed by the Coronavirus pandemic.

With such a high level of interest it is no surprise that scammers want a slice of the pie. While some fake Pokémon cards are immediately obvious, other forgers produce copies that need very close observation to determine whether they are genuine or fake. Indeed, many serious high-value collectors hire Pokémon advisors to check cards for them.

This article has been produced to offer some guidance in weeding out cards that may not be genuine. Being aware of what to look for is very useful when considering a purchase.


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What Pokemon Trainer Cards Are Worth Money

The 25 Rarest Pokemon Cards

  • 19 Pokemon Players Club Shiny Umbreon: $1,900.
  • 20 Holographic Shadowless Blastoise: $2,475.
  • 21 Holographic Shadowless Venusaur: $3,260.
  • 22 Holographic Shadowless Charizard: $500,000.
  • 23 Ancient Mew: $25.
  • 24 Tropical Mega Battle: $10,000.
  • 25 Holo Gold Star Rayquaza: $4,500.

Recently Updated Pokemon Card Values

How To Tell If A Card Is Real Or Fake

The following is a list of all Pokémon cards that have recently had their price values updated. Clicking on a specific Pokémon card image will take you to that card’s listing. Selecting the card’s name will bring you to the individual Pokemon listing pages which are further broken down by TCG set.

Card Image

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Identify The Card With The Name And Number In The Set

Finally, identify the card by looking up its name and card number on eBay.


The name will be located above the illustration of the card and the number is on the bottom right of the card. After checking all three of these steps, you should easily be able to identify every card, even if you dont know exactly what set it is in.

Pokemon French First Edition Dracaufeu

Sold in February, 2021 for $37,300

The First Edition Dracaufeu, or the French name for Charizard, is also relatively easier to find in PSA 10 condition than the English version.

Though only 28 examples have achieved that grade, PSA has only graded 382 overall, meaning that roughly 7% of them are PSA 10s.

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Base Set: Limited Edition 1st Printing

These cards are the most valuable and rare of the Base Set print runs. This 1st print run was printed, distributed, and sold before Pokémania fully took root in the United States, making them extremely rare today, particularly in Near Mint condition. Collectors who do own these cards will typically have them authenticated and graded by a grading service such as Beckett Grading Services or Professional Sports Authenticator . These cards, graded or ungraded, if authentic, can carry significant value. For example, the above Charizard card could be worth upwards of $5000 or more to a collector in perfect condition.

Inspecting The Size And Weight

How To Tell If A Pokemon Card Is FAKE!
  • 1Inspect the card itself. A fake card usually feels thin and flimsy and you may be able to see through it if you hold it up to the light. Some fake cards, on the other hand, are too hard and look shiny. If it’s the wrong size, that’s also a telltale sign. Different materials will also wear differently, so on more “used” cards look for more damage to corners and unusual wear patterns. Also, fake cards often have no copyright date or the illustrator at the bottom of the card.
  • 2Grab another card. Is the card in question the same size? Is it too pointy? Is it centered right? Is there more yellow on one side of the card than the other?
  • 3Bend it a little. If it bends with great ease, it’s a fake. The real cards are not flimsy.Advertisement
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    Fake Pokemon Cards That Arent Fake

    Before you start tearing up all those fake Pokemon cards. There are a few things that you should be aware of. You should keep the following in mind before making a final decision about the authenticity of a Pokemon card.

    • The tips and tests in this guide are for the English version Pokemon cards. Japanese Pokemon cards are different. The Japanese Ninetails Pokemon card
    • Promo cards are different from normal Pokemon cards. Theyre not fake but theyre not tournament legal. Always keep that in mind. Pikachu Poke Card Creator promo for Warner Bros.
    • Printing errors do happen and it doesnt always mean that a card is fake. A good example of this is the shadowless Pokemon cards from the early set. Shadowless and normal Pokemon cards
    • You can check if a specific card was misprinted with a quick Google search. You dont need to guess, as you can easily verify.

    Squirtle First Edition $370

    Squirtle is the first evolution of Blastoise and carries the 2nd most value of any of the big three pre-evolutions. Although grading has slowed down drastically, prices have dipped in the Pokemon market. That said, Squirtle is one of the essential characters of the show and is a must have for any collector. Be sure to assemble your Squirtle-Squad by acquiring his English Rookie card.


    PSA Pop: 1418 600 633

    Current Value: PSA 10 $1175PSA 9 $370

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    Check The Cards Details

    Name of the Pokémon

    It may seem too obvious to mention, but, with all the identifying minutiae involved in counterfeit trading cards, its all too easy to overlook perhaps the biggest possible mistake: the actual card name.

    Sometimes its simply a spelling error, sometimes the entire name may be totally incorrect. With nearly 900 types of Pokémon on the loose now its harder than ever for the casual punter to tell whats a real Pokémon and whats not and that makes fakers jobs easier.


    So, just you make extra sure your Blacephalon is titled Blacephalon, not Barcelonion, eh?

    HP and Damage values

    Likewise, fake cards may have obviously, absurdly incorrect numbers for the Pokémons HP or attack damage . In that case, its a dead giveaway you have a fake in your hands.

    Even if the numbers arent self-evidently out of this world, you can still check the Pokémon TCG database to find the correct stat range for the card, and make sure yours matches up. If that fails, in a pinch, a google search will often turn up an authoritative picture of the authentic card to compare against just make sure youre confident in the photos source.

    Try Easily Bending The Pokemon Tcg Card And Test Its Quality

    How To Tell If A Card Is Real Or Fake

    Going to the sixth and the last step of the guide on how to spot counterfeit Pokemon TCG cards, you have to try and easily bend the card in order to check its quality.

    Although we cant really picture this, we are going to tell you only what it is supposed to happen when you bend an authentic and a fake Pokemon card.


    An authentic Pokemon TCG card wont really have to bend easily, as they are made out of a stronger material than the fake cards.

    Also, dont consider that the genuine cards are unbendable, because they are able to bend, but they bend way harder than the fake cards.

    So, in order to bend an authentic card, youll basically have to put a bit more pressure on the card in order to get the action done.

    As for the replica Pokemon TCG items, in most cases, you will be able to easily bend them like a piece of paper, which is not how it should really be like.

    In fact, the counterfeit-manufactured Pokemon TCG cars are usually really easy to be bent, while the legit cards are harder to bend if you compare and apply the same pressure on both the real vs fake Pokemon cards.


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    Are Pokmon Cards A Good Investment

    Investing in Pokémon cards can be a good investment if you are in possession of highly valuable cards and know your way around the Pokémon trading market. But it is not the best way to grow your money. Unless you have ultra-rare cards, you will not make much of a profit in investing in your Pokémon cards or buying others.

    How To Print Pokemon Cards

    At the printing stage, like other printing processes, you need a computer that is connected to the printer machine. On a standard printer, there is a program tab that functions as a setting for the page you will print. To customize the size of the design of the pokemon card to have a size that matches the original pokemon cards. You dont want to print one pokemon card with one paper size, right? So make sure that you pay attention to page size. After that place the paper with the type that can be processed by a standard printer. Now you have your own Pokemon cards.

    More printable images tagged with:

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    A Note On Pricing And Condition:

    The examples throughout this text all utilize the Pokémon Charizard, who typically fetches the highest prices of any Pokémon from these early sets. Those looking to sell their collections should not expect Charizard-level pricing for other cards from these sets. While other Pokémon, like Blastoise and Venusaur, carry decent value, none approach the level of Charizard.


    The pricing examples all note that the estimated retail pricing reflects a card in Near Mint condition. Finding cards from this era in Near Mint condition can be quite difficult. Pokémon cards are essentially pieces of a game, and many became treasured possessions of children who took them to school in their pockets to show off and trade. As a result, cards frequently show significant wear, which significantly affects their value. Unless exclusively stored in binders and played with in card sleeves , there are few Near Mint examples in circulation. In addition, cards that came from a household with heavy cigarette smoke, or that were stored in a damp attic or garage in the intervening years, can have a lowered value, even if the card physically appears otherwise Near Mint.

    If you are considering selling your cards to a store, expect a much lower price than the retail price as stores would typically only pay between 30% and 60% of the retail value of an item.

    What If Im Looking To Buy Online And Cant Hold The Card In My Hand

    How to tell if a Pokemon Card is Fake

    As a rule of thumb, it is best practice to take a card out of a sleeve and examine it for yourself. As mentioned, a fake card will feel different to a genuine card. However, this isnt always an option, especially now during the pandemic and as Facebook groups have become a popular and convenient place to buy and sell.

    There are a few tips in this case. First, ask for a photo of the card youre buying and examine it visually using all the aforementioned tips. Then, evaluate the credibility of the seller. If someone cant provide you with a unique photo of the card, thats a bad sign. Also look for previous reviews of the seller. For context, there arent any reported cases of mass Pokémon card fraud so you dont need to be overly anxious about buying a card. Just cover the basics and you will generally be fine.

    Another great and reliable option if you buy online is to purchase the card from a registered business. Look up your closest card dealer and reviews of the store. A store will be more invested in customer satisfaction than a random person on the internet.

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    Identify Type And Assess Rarity

    The first step to identify if a card is potentially worth anything substantial is to check its type and rarity. In other words, how likely the card is to come across from any given booster pack or special event, and if it has any special characteristics, such as card material or Pokemon types.

    There are a few indicators of rarity on any given card, though theyre quite subject to change depending on when said card was printed. A marker near the bottom of the card or near its name will indicate rarity: a circle means the card is common, a diamond means its less common, and stars mean its rare. More stars or with combinations of letters or symbols mean extra rare, including if those symbols are in the name or elsewhere on the card. Other characteristics that can up the rarity include: a higher printed number than there should be in a given printed set holographic artwork or reverse holographic, in which everything but the artwork is holographic artwork that takes up the full card artwork wherein the creature doesnt cast a shadow and any shining characteristics, not to be confused with holographic.

    While rarity isnt the only factor in appraising value, its certainly a major factor: Some of the highest-selling cards worth tens of thousands of dollars, or considered priceless from lack of supply, are only so because of small rarities like misprints or typos.

    The Set That Everyones After

    Long story short, 1st Edition means the first run of cards for that release. Each 1st Edition card released gets a neat little stamp, just below the featured Pokémon, to signify its 1st Edition status. That little stamp is key, as it separates 1st Edition from lesser sought-after sets. Its important to remember that immediately following Pokémons inaugural 1999 release, there were a couple of aesthetic tweaks made, tweaks that werent reflected on future releases thus the emergence of Shadowless and Unlimited. These factors make the first run of 1999 cards super scarce, and if weve learned anything in the hobby, scarcity typically translates to desirability and yes, value.

    The king of Pokémon, which some even refer to as the 1952 Mickey Mantle of the trading card game, is Charizard. Commanding upwards of $20,000 and beyond, Charizards value, and that of 1st Edition cards in general, seems to only increase. But dont worry, you can still get your hands on 1st Edition boxes it will only cost you around a casual $50,000, while individual packs can be yours for around $800 apiece.

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    How Much Do Pokemon Packs Weigh On Average

    If you are going to experiment with weighing Pokemon packs in order to maximize your chances of obtaining rare cards then you will need to know the average pack weight. Most people use this with booster packs, which have 10 cards in each, and as it turns out, the weights can certainly help you.

    A normal card is going to weigh approximately 1.69 grams. One the other of the spectrum is the heaviest, which are the Ultrarare cards. They weigh about 1.98 grams. Finally, the Holofoil cards weigh close to the same around as the Ultrarare cards, weighing in at 1.93 grams. The extra décor on these cards makes a difference and the proof is in the weights.

    So, what does the average pack weigh that doesnt have an Ultrarare or a Holofoil card? Well, typically we find that the average weight of of a booster pack without a Holofoil is around 28.99 grams. Between the cardboard and the foil-wrapped packs the weights are 9.14 and 19.88 grams, respectively.

    For best results you will need to practice by purchsing and weighing 4 packs at a time and observing the range of differences. Weighing the cards DOES work, but it is a skill that you are going to need to develop with practice.

    But, before you start any type of weighing, you will need to make sure you are properly equipped with a scale that is able to give you the most accurate weight numbers in grams.

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    How To Identify Fake Pokemon Cards

    How To Spot Fake Pokemon TCG

    As Pokemon is one of the most popular card trading game, it is helpful to know how to identify fake Pokemon cards. Pokemon cards are collected by millions of enthusiasts around the world. People often pay other gamers money to buy and exchange these cards. However, they feel cheated when they find that the cards that they have bought are not genuine. You can be easily duped if you do not know how to identify fake Pokemon cards. These are the cards that are not created by official game creators, but by scam artists interested in making quick money.

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