How To Value Your Pokémon Cards

A collection of pokemon cards sprawled out, overlapping each other

If you grew up in the '90s, chances are you have a box of old Pokémon trading cards somewhere in the back of your wardrobe.

While these cardboard rectangles may seem insignificant, you could be hoarding valuable collectibles that are worth a small fortune. And if you didn’t grow up in the '90s, don’t worry, the same can be said for newer cards too!

But how do you know if your cards are worth anything? Well, let us explain…

1. Identify fake Pokémon cards

The first step in valuing your Pokémon cards is to discover whether or not they’re fake.

Pokémon fakes (or copies) are very common in the market, and it’d be pretty disappointing to list a card for hundreds of pounds thinking it’s the real deal, only to find out it’s not. The good news is, fakes are fairly easy to recognise.

Here’s how to identify them:

A comparison of a real and fake Pokémon card
A comparison of a real and fake Pokémon card

The back of genuine Pokémon cards features the same distinct pattern with light blue and dark blue markings (see comparison photo above). If yours doesn’t, it could be fake. Fake cards typically feature spelling and grammatical errors, including the word 'Pokémon’ without an accent mark over the 'e’.

Pull up an image of your card online using a reputable site and compare it to the picture.

🔍 Look out for any inconsistencies!

Using the Hoardboard collections feature, you can view Pokémon cards from a specific series, including Brilliant Stars and Fusion Strike. It also acts as a Pokémon card price checker!

2. Pokémon card rarity

Once you’ve removed any fakes from your collection, the next step is to identify how rare your cards are. This is simple – both old and new Pokémon cards are stamped with a small black symbol at the bottom that identifies their rarity.

The stamps symbolise the following:

  • Common

  • Uncommon

  • Rare

  • Star with 'PROMO’: Promo Rarity

Of course, cards with star symbols aren’t equally rare – some are much rarer than others!

A comparison of a real and fake Pokémon card
A holographic Charizard card from Evolutions 2016

Other valuable cards to look out for include:

  • First editions
  • Holographic (or holo)
  • Reverse holo
  • Full art holo
Blastoise from Base Set, number 2 out of 102.
Blastoise from Base Set, number 2 out of 102.

You can also identify which cards you have by finding the card number (e.g. 2) and the sets total cards (e.g. 102) in our Pokémon TCG collection manager. This can be found in the bottom-right or bottom-left corner of the card.

3. Pokémon card condition

Now that you’ve determined the rarity of your cards, it’s time to evaluate their condition. Look out for:

A Vaporeon card with some condition flaws.
A Vaporeon card with some condition flaws.

Obvious flaws

Bent corners and tears caused by improper storage will drastically reduce the value of your cards. This also applies to any scratches, dents, or defects on the front and back of the cards, as well as the box or tin they came in.

A Venusaur card with good centering.
A Venusaur card with good centering.

Border centring

An evenly centred card with equal-sized borders could be worth more than an off-centre one – although this generally depends on its rarity.

When assessing your card, remember, not all printing errors are worthless… some are extremely valuable.

4. Valuable Pokémon card errors

There are some valuable Pokémon card errors to keep an eye out for when you crack open your next pack of cards.

Also known as 'misprint Pokémon cards', these include:

A valuable miscut Porygon2 card. (credit: u/Impossible-Job-9784)
A valuable miscut Porygon2 card. (credit: u/Impossible-Job-9784)
  • Misspellings
  • Miscut
  • Misaligned holo
  • Holo bleed
  • Blank

If any of your cards have these unique errors, they could be worth a pretty penny!

Cash in on your Pokémon cards!

Want to identify the true value of your Pokémon cards? Hoardboard's got you covered! Our Pokémon TCG collection manager allows you to browse and manage your collection, plus view the average, maximum, and lowest Pokémon card prices.

Sign up today to see how much your cards are worth.