How to evaluate Pokemon card TGC – Part 1

Have you found the cards you collected when you where a child and do you want to sell them? Here the MUST advices to do it right.


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 card: the ANATOMY of a Pokemon card

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.

How to evaluate your Pokemon cards TGC

Name and Pokemon Set

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.

The rarity of the 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

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 appairance.

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