Being able to tell if your Pokemon card is a fake is a big part of collecting Pokemon cards. Some cards obviously have something wrong with them, but some are harder to tell. Hopefully this guide will help you be able to tell if your Pokemon card is fake. If you have any questions make sure to leave them in the comments below and we will try and answer them.
Tips for spotting fake cards:
What to look at first:
- HP – if the HP is outrageously high, like a basic Pokemon with over 400HP, then you probably have a fake. It is pretty safe to say that if you have any Pokemon with over 350HP it is fake.
- Other things wrong – look for typos or other misspellings on the card, if you have, or find an image of, the real version of the card you think is fake then compare the two and see if there are any mistakes.
- Font – if you compare most fake cards to real cards you will see the text looks much different. Sometimes it is extra bold, a different font altogether, or it may be italic or have other effects on it where it is not supposed to.
- Energy Symbols – these are the balls that tell you what type the Pokemon is, or what energies are required to use a move. On some fake cards they can appear very distorted, off-centered, bulging out of the circle, etc… (see the Dialga Lv.X below)
- Back – look at the back of the card. If it is extra-dark, or the colors seem to be bleeding into other parts then it is probably a fake. See more details further down in the page.
- Light test – use the light test next if you still think it is fake. Take a real card and the card you think is fake and place them next to each other. Hold them in front of a lamp light, flashlight, or some other powerful light. If you can see more through the fake card then the real card then it is probably fake.
You can probably see some differences including the text font, color, and the energy symbols, which are much bigger. These are things that you will see on a lot of the fake cards out there. Also to note the number in the bottom right corner is different on the fake (click the image to get a better look).
Just by looking at the two you can see some of the differences. Most of them are the same as with the Croagunk, but there is one thing that you probably didn’t notice. The color behind the name is grey on the real, but on the fake it is green! I missed that at first, only after examining it closer did I see it.
This fake card has a lot wrong with it. First look at the “M” in Manaphy, it looks like the Team Magma logo. Second the poke-BODY is missing the water symbol in the text (click on image to get a closer look). And the third, and probably most notable, is the holo. The pictures don’t show it that well, but the fake card isn’t even reflective, the pattern is just printed on the card.
It is hard to tell by the photos, but when you see the fake card in real-life, it looks like a photo of a real card! And this is actually what someone did, the way we can tell is on Cloyster’s face one of the two scratches is actually there, the other is just printed on it. Also, when you shine a light through the back of it, you can see it is super thin like a sheet of paper.
Lickitung and Steelix:
The Lickitung doesn’t have anything different then the other fakes, but the Steelix is actually a very well done fake. Other then the font and color being slightly different, the only main thing different is the hp. The 110 is much larger than normal, and overlapping the hp text.
Dialga lv.X and Hippowdon:
You can tell that the Hippowdon’s font is different then the other fakes, and the color. Some of the features on the Dialga are off centered like the energy symbols. Also the color is way off.
Now sometimes you will have people flip the card over to the back to tell if it is a fake. This is a great way to confirm that the card is a fake, but is not a good way to decide if it is a fake, because the difference can be slight. Look at these examples:
The biggest thing here is the color, the real card has depth to it where as the fakes just look flat. When looking at the color, take a card that you know is real and hold them side by side to compare. The only other feature that would help you is the TM symbol. Look at the bottom right of the “N” after the word Pokemon. On the real card there is a little white TM symbol, and the Dialga fake has it as well, but the Hippowdon doesn’t have it. Some fake cards have it, and some don’t, but if your card doesn’t have it then it is definitely a fake.
Here is a small gallery of some other fake cards so you can compare them to your cards and see other fakes (click the cards to view them larger):
What is not fake:
NOTE: these cards can just as easily be fakes as any of the other cards out there, but these designs do exist on real cards.
World Championship cards:
Even if the card is designed to be a holo card, it might not be.
Japanese cards have a different back then English cards, and they might feel flimsy.
Team Aqua and Magma
Can you tell me which one of these cards is fake? if you said the one on the left you are wrong, and if you said the one on the right you are also wrong. It is a trick question, they are both actually real! The card on the left has the shadowless error. All first edition cards have it, but only the earliest of the unlimited cards from the base set have it. This error only appears on base set cards. You can spot the error by looking under the border of the image, the shadowless doesn’t have a shadow, hence the name. It also has a thinner font on the HP.
- NEVER RIP YOUR FAKE CARDS!!! You never know when they are actually real, and you can use them to help you identify other fakes.
- Fake cards sometimes feel flimsy or thicker then normal cards.
- If you hold a fake card up to the light sometimes you can see the light through it.
I hope this helps you be able to tell the difference between fake, and real Pokemon cards.