How can you tell if Pokemon cards are fake?

How can you tell if Pokemon cards are fake?

How Can You Tell If Pokemon Cards Are Fake?

Pokemon cards have been a beloved collectible for decades, captivating both children and adults alike. With their popularity, however, comes the unfortunate rise of counterfeit cards flooding the market. These fake cards can be deceivingly similar to the real ones, making it challenging for collectors to distinguish between the two. In this article, we will explore several key indicators that can help you identify if a Pokemon card is fake or genuine.

1. Card Quality

The first thing to examine when determining the authenticity of a Pokemon card is its overall quality. Genuine Pokemon cards are made with high-quality materials, while counterfeit cards often exhibit noticeable differences. Here are some aspects to consider:

  • Cardstock: Authentic cards are printed on sturdy cardstock, which feels firm and durable. Counterfeit cards, on the other hand, may feel flimsy or have a different texture.
  • Coloring: Genuine Pokemon cards have vibrant and consistent colors. Counterfeit cards may have faded or inconsistent coloring, indicating a lower quality printing process.
  • Finish: Authentic cards have a glossy finish, while fake cards may have a matte or grainy texture.

2. Card Back

The back of a Pokemon card is another crucial area to examine. Genuine Pokemon cards have a specific design on the back that counterfeiters often struggle to replicate accurately. Here are some key details to look for:

  • Logo: The Pokemon logo on the back of a genuine card should be crisp and clear. Counterfeit cards may have a blurry or pixelated logo.
  • Font and Text Alignment: Pay attention to the font used for the card’s name and the alignment of the text. Any inconsistencies or irregularities may indicate a fake card.
  • Color: The color of the back of a genuine Pokemon card is a vibrant blue. Counterfeit cards may have a different shade of blue or even a different color entirely.

3. Card Text and Symbols

The text and symbols on a Pokemon card provide valuable clues about its authenticity. Genuine cards follow a specific format and use consistent language, while counterfeit cards often deviate from these standards. Here’s what to look for:

  • Spelling and Grammar: Genuine Pokemon cards have accurate spelling and proper grammar. Counterfeit cards may contain spelling mistakes or grammatical errors.
  • Attack Energy Symbols: Pay attention to the energy symbols required for attacks. Genuine cards use specific symbols, while counterfeit cards may have incorrect or altered symbols.
  • Card Number: Each genuine Pokemon card has a unique card number. Counterfeit cards may reuse card numbers or use non-existent numbers.

4. Holographic Features

Holographic features are a common element in Pokemon cards, adding a touch of magic to the artwork. Counterfeiters often struggle to replicate these features accurately. Here’s what to examine:

  • Holographic Pattern: Genuine holographic Pokemon cards have a distinct pattern that shifts when tilted under light. Counterfeit cards may have a static or less intricate holographic pattern.
  • Holographic Sticker: Some Pokemon cards have a holographic sticker on the bottom right corner. Genuine stickers have a specific design and are difficult to replicate perfectly.

5. Price and Source

While not foolproof, the price and source of a Pokemon card can provide additional insights into its authenticity. Here are some considerations:

  • Unusually Low Price: If a card is being sold at a significantly lower price than its market value, it may be a red flag for a counterfeit card.
  • Unreliable Sources: Be cautious when purchasing cards from unofficial or unknown sources, as they are more likely to sell counterfeit products.

By carefully examining the card quality, back design, text and symbols, holographic features, and considering the price and source, you can increase your chances of identifying fake Pokemon cards. Remember, it’s always better to be cautious and informed to protect your investment and ensure you have genuine cards in your collection.


Identifying fake Pokemon cards can be a challenging task, but by paying attention to key indicators such as card quality, back design, text and symbols, holographic features, and considering the price and source, you can become a more informed collector. Remember to trust your instincts and seek expert opinions when in doubt. Happy collecting!

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