How to check if your Pokemon card is worth | 4 step guide

Pokemon Card Worth: how to find out the value of your Pokemon cards.


Pokemon TGC game is a card-based stategy game and divides the word in two types of fans: the ones who manly collect them and the other who are interested in competitions (tournaments, ecc..). However, you must know that the combination of card rarity, set type and card condition are the principal factors determing the value of a card. BE CAREFUL: the same Pokemon (with an identical name) but reported in different sets/expansions may have dramatically different values! Here’s how to evaluate pokemon card TGC!

Understanding the value Pokemon card: the ANATOMY

First of all, we need to have clear in mind a few things:

  1. The name of the Pokemon card
  2. The Set/Expansion to which the Pokemon card belongs
  3. The rarity of the card
  4. The condition of the card and the language

In the image shown the information requested to evaluate a Pokemon card are reported. In particular, two Italian cards are depicted in the image below. The language of the card DO NOT affect the anatomy of the card which remains the same for European and USA releases.

check the worth of your pokemon card

In most cases the value of Pokemon card is related to the edition.

Pokemon card worth inspection: Name and Pokemon Set of a card.

There’s not much to say about the Pokemon name as for the set/expansion. We highlight only the fact that in the oldest Pokemon card (left) the Set symbol is located near the picture on the right while the latest release have the symbol on the right bottom side. The two number appearing on the right bottom side determine the numbering of the card on the set. For example, Raikou (left) is the thirteenth of the total sixty-four card of the expansion (13/64). Once you’ve find out the set symbol you can check the symbol name here (pokemon-expansions-symbols) or search on the web.

Pokemon card worth: The rarity of a Pokemon card.

Three main symbols denote the rarity of a card:

  • Circle: common card
  • Diamond: uncommon card
  • Star: rare card

Card rarity

Understanding the rarity of a card is important because common and uncommon card have very low value in general (we can talk of value below >0.005 $). However, thei are not useless since a complete set gain is worth when all the card are present (also the common and uncommon).


The Holo cards – Pokemon card tgc

In case your card has the both the following characteristics: it’s a rare (* star symbol) and has a shiny/bright background you are in front of a Holo card. Holographic cards are among the most worth in a set, but NOT THE MOST. The Raikou card showed before is a Holo card, another example (Blissey) is reporte below.



Rarity SUPERIOR to Holo

In all years from 1999 the cards with rarity beyond holo caught different names with sets. Here below, there is not a comprehensive list of all that connotations but the most diffused.

Ultra rare Pokemon cards
  • Pokemon ex
  • Pokemon Star
  • Pokemon Liv. X
  • Pokemon Prime
  • Pokemon GX
  • Pokemon Full Art

An example of artwork of these cards is reported below in order to distinguish their appearance.

At this point, you miss only other two information needed to evaluate your Pokemon card collection: the language (which is easily deductible from the text present on the card) and the card condition. This is a crucial aspect since even the rarest card can see its value dropping to only few dollars/euros due to card condition. In general, the card condition definitions (according to cardmarket) are te following:

  • Mint & Near Mint
  • Excellent and Good
  • Played and Poor


Card Pokemon condition: Mint (M)

A mint card is in perfect condition; no excuses. This means, that the front is in perfect condition, there are no scratches on the surface, and the surface is perfectly clean. For the back it means, that the card is indistinguishable from cards of a newly openend booster. If a card has a signature or a Grand Prix stamp it can never be graded Mint, even if the card stock is otherwise in Mint condition.

Card Pokemon condition: NEAR MINT (NM)

A Near Mint card looks like it has never been played without sleeves. Small allowances can be made, but the card generally shows no wear.

The border of NM card can have small white spots, but they must be very few and very small. When the card is inspected under bright daylight, the surface must generally appear clean. It can have a few minor spots, but scratches can never be allowed for NM cards.

Card Pokemon condition: Excellent (EX)

An Excellent cards look like it was used for a few games without sleeves. For Excellent cards it is almost always clearly visible upon first inspection that the card is not in perfect condition. However, although the damage is clearly visible it is only of minor severity.

Excellent cards usually have a couple of white spots at the corners or around the border. The surface may have minor scratches, that are visible upon closer inspection. However, the card cannot be graded Excellent if the creases are so deep that they are visible upon first sight.

An Excellent card is usually in a condition where it is not quite clear if the card would be considered marked or unmarked if it would be played in a tournament without sleeves.

Card Pokemon condition: GOOD (GD)

A Good card looks like it might have been used for a long tournament without sleeves.

Cards in Good condition usually show strong wear all around the card. The edges and corners have many white spots, the surface usually has scratches and the card usually has accumulated some dirt on its surface. However, the card still only has damage that stems from regular play. The card has no water damage or bends whatsoever.

Card Pokemon condition: PLAYED (PL)

A Played card looks as bad as you can get a card through regular use without sleeves.

A Played card looks extremely bad, and it is doubtful if the card is tournament legal even in a sleeved deck. However, the card has not been tampered with otherwise (inked border, random scribblings on the card etc.).

Card Pokemon condition: POOR

A Poor card has damage that cannot normally have stemmed from regular use of the card.

A card in Poor condition is literally destroyed. It is either obviously illegal for tournament play or has been tampered with in ways that destroy its worth almost completely (inked border, random scribblings on the card etc.).


Determing the condition of your Pokemon card collection. Is it important for card worth evaluation?

Determining the right condition of the card is in most cases not so easy: it’s likely that the buyer tends to consider the card he is buying of a rank of condition which is less than the real in order to pay less. On the other hand, the vendor would say that the card on sell is in better condition than the real one. However, the above description may help you defining a rank for your card.

The impact of card condition/appearance is so important that grading process (for example PSA) are spreading out. But this part will be covered in another article: How much is worth my Pokemon collection.

With the information we gave you in this article, you’re now ready to understand the value and the kind of card you gathered when you when a kid or if your son has a spoils of Pokemon card collection under his/her bed!

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