Guide to know how much a Pokémon card is worth

Every day they occur Pokémon card sales worth thousands of dollars on the eBay platform. Many people have decided to turn their parents' houses upside down in the hope of finding in a drawer some valuable letter from that wonderful time when we children played Pokémon with a smile from ear to ear, and without thinking about a future market. speculative of pocket monsters. However… What cards are worth money? How can I differentiate a valuable card from another that is not? That is what we are going to try to explain in the following lines.

Why are some Pokémon cards more valuable than others?

Not all Pokémon cards have value on their own. The most valuable are precisely the rarest. There is three attributes main reasons why a card can reach a great value.


pokemon cards symbols

Original image property of

The rarer a card is, the higher its potential value in the market. The most common cards are mass-produced, while the rarest cards have very limited runs. There are envelopes where you are guaranteed to get good cards. Of course, at a much higher price. And the cards you get in those packs they will only be of high value in the long run.

La rarity scale in the Pokémon TCG is printed on each unit, on the lower part of the card And it is measured as follows:

  • Common Rarity (Common Rarity) – Black Circle
  • Uncommon Rarity (Uncommon Rarity) – Black Diamond
  • rarity rare (Rare Rarity) – Black Star
  • Promotion Letters (Promo Rarity) – Word 'Promo' + Black Star.

However, this 'rarity' will only reach its true market power once a while has elapsed since the letter goes out of print. A rare or promo card currently being distributed is relatively easy to come by. However, as the years go by, the few units that are preserved in good condition will reach very high figures. This phenomenon is especially noticeable in the first cards that were marketed in the 90s, which also have good attributes, since they are the ones that we usually see sold at exorbitant prices.

Holographic Cards

pokemon tcg holo

There are normal cards and 'Holo' cards. The holographic cards they have a finish in brightness, and there are two types:

  • Reverse Holo: you will always find one of these cards in each envelope. The entire card will be shiny except for the Pokémon.
  • Weird Holo: The print is identical to normal, but the Pokémon will be brightly printed. These cards are hard to come by, and are worth much more than normal cards or Reverse Holo.

There are special sets that are much more expensive, but guarantee a higher number of holographic cards.

Other valuable letters and editions

pokemon tcg v max

  • Ultra rare: They have the most difficult Pokémon to capture printed, and they are difficult units to get. You will have to buy dozens of envelopes to get hold of one of these cards, which can have the art along the entire surface of the print, or half. These cards are currently available in the EX/GX/V series.
  • full art: They are a variant of the EX/GX series with the art of the Pokémon completely filling the card. The text becomes difficult to read, but the units are valuable due to their scarcity.
  • Secret Rare: All cards have a number at the bottom. Secret Rares exceed that number, and have a different appearance, such as containing a Shiny Pokémon. Within this category are also the Rainbow Rare cards, one of the most recent to have been added to the collectible.

How do I know if I have a fake letter?

pokemon fake detect letter

Good question. The forgeries They are quite common within the world of Pokémon Cards. In fact, not only are there fakes today, but there were also years ago. Some fakes are very well made, and could slip through if you're not careful. These are the most important details to check before buying a card or selling one:


Let's start with what nobody looks at. The edge of an original card is smooth and not unpleasant to the touch. If you're ever in a sale, start here. Just by passing your finger in a subtle way, you can already get a lot of information. If the playing card feels rough, like a lottery coupon, he becomes suspicious. The original cards usually take very good care of their quality. The edge of an original drive should be soft.


fake cards pokemon.jpg

Image: The Card Bazaar

If it is a fake, the most likely thing is that they have worked on the drawing of the Pokémon, and have put less effort into the back. The authentic cards have highly detailed swirls and different shades of dark and light blue. By contrast, fake cards are often just a shade of light blue, and the cyclone detail is often a bit fuzzy, lacking in detail. Instead of paying too much attention to the front, spend more time looking at the back. Checking this is quite easy, as you can use any original card you have on you to make the comparison. If you check it with a letter from the same period, the better. In this way, you will have a more approximate model to make your analysis.

rare fonts

To falsify anything it is necessary to have access to the original typefaces, and this is not always possible. Whenever you go to check if something is real or fake, double check the source. If you're looking at a rare card and don't have an original to compare, search the Internet for pictures of letters encapsulated by auction houses. They usually have a lot of detail and you will be able to check if the font that has been used is the real one or if an imitation. In some cases, the fake letters use very similar typefaces, but fail in minute details that may be enough to detect the scam in time.

Spelling errors

There are some cases of original letters that have spelling errors, but they are very specific and well documented. Read the content of the letter well. As well made as it is, if it has a misspelling, you start to think you have a fake on your hands.


fake card empoleon pokemon.jpg

Image: The Card Bazaar

If you've ever done graphic design work, or had to print a poster, you'll know what we mean. It is difficult to get the same color on the screen through a printer. Fine-tuning the color of a print takes time, a lot of effort, and a lot of trial and error. Obviously, card forgers don't have all these resources, so it's easy to get their forgeries this way.

If you notice that one card is more saturated than another, or that it doesn't have a very accurate color, start to get suspicious. It's often hard to find a fake using this method if you've never seen the original card you're dealing with, but it's a good idea to know this trick as well.

power symbol

In the upper right corner of each Pokémon card there is usually a symbol that refers to the type of that Pokémon. A trick to quickly locate if a card is real or a fake is to learn the shape of each of these symbols. Obviously, the forgeries try to emulate the form as much as possible, but none is as precise and detailed as an original letter. If you have good eyesight, you won't need to touch the card to know if it's real or if they're trying to sneak it just by looking at this tiny symbol. Another tip for this point is to take one card of each type with you before going to buy a new card for your collection. It will help you to compare the symbol in case of doubt.

seller and price

Although it is not an attribute of the card itself, you can start to get suspicious if you are facing a forgery Analyzing the context of the sale. If you are being sold a letter well below its market value, it is in good condition and the seller pretends that he does not know very well the product he has in his hands, do not let your guard down. It is usually a fairly typical trick to sneak fakes. If Logan Paul, with a great team at his side, fell for one of these scams, anyone can bite.

Pro tip: check your charts in an online database

tgc database

The page Pokémon TCG official website It has a database with which you will be able to check any letter in record time. Its operation is quite simple. Simply fill in the data in the search engine and you will see the impressions of each unit that has been manufactured.

Thanks to this website, you will be able to locate what the original letter What are you looking for. If at any time you think you may be facing a fake, the best thing you can do is unlock your smartphone and go directly to this website. It will help you to make quick checks in case of doubts.

The only drawback that this website has is that it does not have a Spanish version. You will be able to check the letter, the design, the text of each movement without problems... but only in English. However, although there is no official version of this database in our language, it feels useful and it is appreciated that it exists, since there are other collectibles such as Funko Pop that do not have any kind of official database, so the Piracy is rampant thanks to the fact that the originality of a product cannot be quickly verified.

link: Pokémon Trading Card Database Official

Steps to know what a Pokémon card is worth

pokemon first edition charizard

Step 1: When was the letter made?

In the last print line on the front of the letter, you can see the Manufacturing date of the product. This data is one of the most important when it comes to differentiating valuable products from other more common ones that are worth practically nothing.

Step 2: Discover the set

If your letter does not have any type of logo on the right side, it is considered to be a base card. In saying, it is common. The rest of the cards usually have a indicator. If your card has a logo, all you have to do is investigate which series that symbol belongs to.

Step 3: Identify your letter

Once you get the two previous data, you will already have all the necessary data to check how much money they are exchanging for in the second-hand market. go to eBay and enter the name of the Pokémon next to the data you have obtained in steps 1 and 2.

There you will see the number of units what is for sale, whether or not there are bids for the product and the approximate average price to which the exchanges end up being made.

Other ways to know prices of Pokémon Cards

There is a leading website within the card collecting sector called Price Charting. It is a fairly simple website that keeps track of all kinds of card collections, as well as keeping track of the prices of video games and comics.

Price Charting is a very simple website. Within the 'Trading Card' section you have the 'Pokémon Card' category. There, the web establishes a separation by collections. You will not find the images of the cards, so you will first have to know the collections you want to consult.

The interesting thing about this website is the graphic. This one wears a follow latest prices that have been valued at international auction websites. A very nice point about the graph is that it shows the average next to a moving average that marks the price that the cards should have. It is quite useful, as the yellow line clearly indicates the price that the cards would have if there were no speculation.

Price Chart: Pokemon TCG

How much are First Generation cards worth?

classic cards pokemon tcg

Of all the possible collections, the cards 1st Edition Base Set of the 90 years They are one of the most coveted. They can fetch a lot of money, but only if they are well cared for. If you played cards during your childhood, you will really be able to ask for very little money for them. The most valuable operations are carried out by cards in status 9/10 and 10/10 on the PSA scale.

starter pokemon

The trio of Pokémon that Professor Oak offered at the beginning of Red's adventure, along with Pikachu, in the case of Ash, is one of the most valuable within this set. Bulbasaur 1st Edition is traded between 450 and $ 3.200. Charmander, much dearer, but something more common, oscillates between thes 330 and the 1.200 dollars. Squirtle trades at exactly the same prices as its fire-type partner, while the card Pikachu Red Cheeks (Red Cheeks Pikachu) can reach up to U.S. dollar 3.300. The edition Pikachu Yellow Cheeks has lower prices 350 and $ 1.500.

Starter Pokémon – Third Evolution

pokemon cards starters evo gen 1


If you were lucky enough to get a fantastic Blastoise Holo 1st Edition, you can get rid of it for more than U.S. dollar 4.000. The record for a 10/10 MINT card is held by a sale for 31.334 dollars.


Did anyone pick Bulbasaur? Oh really? In the case of Pokémon cards, you didn't choose them, but they touched you. Venusaur is the least worth of this trident, although its price is not low either. Depending on your state, the version Holo 1st Edition sells for between almost $4.000 and $20.000.


A Holo version in state 9/10 can be easily sold for U.S. dollar 30.000. However, if you have a version with a printing error in the leftovers and a status 10/10, you have won the lottery, since your letter is worth 400.000 dollars, as estimated by entities that are dedicated to pricing Pokémon TCG products. This is the famous letter that has the Rubius, by the way.

Legendaries and other cards

pokemon tcg mewtwo

  • not even the almighty Mewtwo exceeds the value of Charizard. Mew's clone is okay between 2.300 and 13.000 dollars in its 1st Edition Holo version.
  • Chansey, a rare Pokémon in the original games, was also rare on cards. A 10/10 Holo unit can reach up to U.S. dollar 27.000.
  • On the other hand, third evolutions as machamp can reach the U.S. dollar 7.500 in the second hand market.

Where can I buy and sell Pokémon Cards?

Once you know all this information, you may want to buy or sell cards. These are the best places on the Internet to make a trade:

  • eBay
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Craiglist
  • Troll and Toad
  • Card Market
  • TCG Player
  • Pawn Shops
  • Card Cavern
  • CCG Castle
  • Sell2BBNovelties
  • Dave & Adam's
  • Cape Fear Games

Pokémon TCG: speculation or investment?

charizard card pokemon tcg rubius

There are few y who have launched into buy pokemon cards as an investment. While some have fared better than others (yes, Logan Paul, he's coming for you), Pokémon TCG is getting multiple doses of free publicity.

However, it would not be the first time that such a perfect speculative market collapses like a house of cards —forgive the redundancy—, so if you want to invest in this business do it only with the money you are willing to lose. Nothing and no one is going to guarantee that the prices that we are seeing recently in the market will be maintained. In fact, it would not make any sense for this market to maintain these high prices for many years.

Si you are on the opposite side and you are thinking of selling, be careful. Always use a platform that protects you as a seller. If the product you are going to offer has great value, try to put yourself in the hands of a professional. It will cost you a commission, but you will ensure that the transaction occurs safely, and without the risk of losing both the letter and the money.

limited edition cards

Pokemon Van Gogh

Another very interesting point that raises the price of Pokémon cards is their availability, and we are not talking about first editions that have not been re-released, but rather special cards that are released together with some specific collaboration. This is exactly what happened with Van Gogh's Pikachu card, a version that could only be obtained by attending the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam and buying some of the souvenirs that were available within the temporary Pokémon collection. Both the museum and The Pokémon Company reached an agreement to exhibit different artistic designs inspired by Van Gogh's art but with Pokémon motifs, a great idea that ended badly due to the wave of speculation that surrounded the card.

The letter, which showed Pikachu with a hat drawn in the style of the famous artist, reached a price of 1.000 euros on eBay, which unleashed the craze for those who tried to get one of them. In the end, the museum handed over all available cards and announced that it would not offer the promotion again to avoid further altercations. The good news is that the card will be available in the future at Pokémon Centers in the United States and Canada.

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