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Pokémon TCG Guide: Difference between Real Cards and Fake Cards


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s'up players im making this thread to help both Rookie players and Expert players at the time of purchasing cards IRL, so you don't get scammed. in this thread i'll show you how to difference a real card from a fake.


1. Familiarize yourself with the Pokémon species. Sometimes the pictures on fake cards show things that aren't even Pokémon, like Digimon(or similar imitators) or animals. Be suspicious if what a card displays looks questionable, or if there appears to be a sticker on top of the card.

2. See if the colors are faded, smudged, too dark, or just plain innacurate(beware of Shiny Pokémon, though! Those rare Pokémon are purposely the wrong color). The chances that it's a factory mistake are very slim; it's much more likely to be fake.

3. Look at the back of the card. On fake cards, the blue swirling design often looks purplish. Also, sometimes the Poké Ball is upside down(on a real card, the red half is on the top).

4. Inspect 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.

5. Look at the attacks and HP. If the HP is anywhere over 500, or the attacks don't exist, then it's a fake for sure. Also, if it says HP 80 instead of 80 HP, it is definitely a fake card because real cards say 80 HP, not HP 80. That's only with old cards new cards have HP 80 instead of 80HP(However, a few genuine cards have the variable and the attribute name inversed as a result of a printing mistake. Do not discard the card as fake without making further checks, as if the card is a genuine with a mistake, it may be valuable).

6. Grab 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?

7. Look for spelling mistakes, fancy borders around the Pokémon's picture, or a cup-like base holding the energy.

8. Compare the energy symbol to other cards. Many fakes have energy symbols that are slightly larger, distorted, or offset from each other.

9. Look at the text. On fake cards, the text is usually slightly smaller than on real cards and is usually in a different font.

10. If you are certain it is a fake try making a small tear in it. Then take an old pokemon card you don't use anymore, and make a small rip in that. Then compare the rate at which both ripped. If the fake one ripped faster then it's without a doubt a fake.

11. A quick way to test if your Pokemon card is real or fake is to take a close look at the edge of it. Real Pokemon cards have a very thin sheet of black between the cardboard. It's very thin, but up close it is easy to see the darkness between the two thin halves of the card. Fake cards won't have this.


hope this helped. thanks for reading.

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I bought faked booster packs from a dollar city plus...curses.I knew they were fakes because they were so flimsy,had shiny stuff on it and plain didn't feel right.

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When I was a kid, I received what looked like a set of well-made counterfeit cards from Base Set. The background was lighter, the pictures were contrasted, the HP font was thinner and offset. Other than that, the construction was the same as normal cards. Thinking they were in fact counterfeit, I kept them in my binder next to normal copies as an example. It wasn't until recently that I found that Base Set had a very short series of "Shadowless" cards after their 1st edition print.


Base Set "Shadowless" cards were commonly mistaken as fakes. Their colors appear contrasted, have no 1st Edition symbol (made after 1st, but before Unlimited), includes "99" in its copyright years (others only went to 98), and they have no shadow along the pictures (earning their name). Their creation was the result of Wizards of the Coast (then-licensed makers of the Pokémon TCG) still experimenting with card layouts.


The lesson: Be sure to double-check and research your cards before tossing them aside; particularly the older ones.

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