10 Tips for Collecting Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Cards

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10 Tips for Collecting Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Cards

1. Know the Yu-Gi-Oh! Game

In order to be a successful Yu-Gi-Oh! card collector, you will need to have a solid knowledge of how the game works. This eBay guide will help.


Yu-Gi-Oh! is a turn-based game in which opponents use cards to battle each other. Each match consists of 3 games, known as duels, and each turn consists of 6 individual phases of play. Using a deck of between 40 and 60 cards, players compete in an attempt to reduce their opponents Life Points from 8,000 to zero. The player who wins the most duels wins the match.

Types of Cards

There are 3 principal types of card:

* Monster Cards: These are the most common method of reducing an opponent's life points. Each monster has specific components, such as Attack (ATK) and Defence (DEF) points Level/Rank and Type. There are several monster categories, each with various summoning methods and effects.

* Spell Cards: Spell cards are used for various means, including increasing life points, destroying attacking monsters and raising a monster's defence or attack. There are 6 categories of spell card, each with different effects.

* Trap Cards: These cards are activated by specific situations in the game. The 3 types of trap card are Normal, Continuous, and Counter. Each type of card may have various effects, such as destroying an attacking monster or reversing battle damage.


Each card has a specific level of rarity. Types of rarity are listed below, from most common to most rare.

* Common

* Rare

* Super Rare

* Ultra Rare

* Secret Rare

* Ultimate Rare

* Gold Rare

* Ghost Rare

The rarer a card, the fewer of them there are in circulation. This means that rarer cards command more of a premium.

Formats/ Sets

There are several formats that cards are available to buy in. These include Booster Packs, Starter Decks, Structure Decks, Individual Cards and Collectible Tins. Each format offers a different number of cards, with differing numbers of rarer cards included.

There are also various 'sets' that cards belong to, such as the Yu-Gi-Oh! Original Series, Yu-Gi-Oh! GX Series and Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL Series. Each set contains various types of card and involves a specific theme.

2. Trust Your Seller/ Trader

With the amazing popularity of the Yu-Gi-Oh! trading cards game, there is a multitude of people selling and trading cards.

On eBay, many sellers may offer a "Local Pickup" service so that you can meet with them to buy and trade cards. Exchanging face-to-face ensures that you can see exactly what you are buying before agreeing on a sale or trade. If you are trading cards at a distance, check the seller's returns policy to be on the safe side.

The benefit of buying cards over eBay means that you can see detailed seller ratings and feedback for individual sellers. This gives you the choice to buy cards only from sellers you can trust.

When trading cards, ensure that you are happy with the deal before finalising a trade or sale. You should expect to trade cards of equal rarity, for example.

3. Know the Price of Yu-Gi-Oh! Cards

You should have a reasonable idea of the price certain cards or sets should be.

On eBay, you can include "Completed Listings" in your search results to check the prices that cards have previously been sold for.

Remember, it may be cheaper to buy an individual card than to spend more money on booster packs searching for it.

It is also important to keep within your budget. If you find a card you really want, you may be tempted to spend more than your budget allows. You should keep in mind what the card is worth, however, and trust that you will find it for a lower price from another seller.

4. Know the Yu-Gi-Oh! Cards

You should be familiar with the different styles and features of Yu-Gi-Oh! cards.

For example, official cards have an 8-digit sequential number printed on them, and a square Yu-Gi-Oh! hologram in the bottom right-hand corner. Most first edition and limited edition cards will have gold holograms, whilst other cards usually have silver holograms.

The rarity of a card will also influence how the card looks and feels. For instance, Super Rare cards have a holographic picture and normal text, whilst Ultra Rare cards have a holographic picture and gold text.

You may like to check online for confirmation of what specific cards should look like. You may then ask the seller to provide you with photographs to confirm that they are the same. On eBay, sellers will often include pictures in their listings, but you can always ask for more using the "Ask Seller a Question" option.

In order to build a good deck, you should also be aware of the cards that complement each other in the game. For example, the 'Book of Moon' card flips an opponent's monster card face-down, whilst the 'Nobleman of Crossout' card can destroy a face-down monster. Having both of these cards in the same deck will therefore give you a great advantage.

5. Store Your Cards Well

You should aim to store your cards as efficiently as possible. Using binders, for example, will keep your cards well ordered and organised. This will also help to keep you on top of the cards you already own and the cards you need or desire.

You should keep cards in the best condition you can. Only cards in top condition retain the highest value. You may wish to purchase or make protective sleeves for your cards to keep them from wear and damage.

6. Buy AND Sell Yu-Gi-Oh! Cards

It is important to trade or sell cards as well as buy them. Selling your cards enables you to build up trade relationships, so that you can buy or trade cards you desire in the future.

If you become a trusted seller of Yu-Gi-Oh! cards on eBay, people will be more likely to trade with you.

It is sensible to keep a separate group of cards that you do not want, such as duplicates, to sell and trade more efficiently.

7. Keep Yourself Informed

You should keep up-to-date with the latest Yu-Gi-Oh! releases, such as new sets or promotional cards.

You should be aware of the Yu-Gi-Oh! cards that cannot be used in duels. These cards are listed on an official 'Forbidden List' or 'Banned List'.

You should also keep up-to-date on the popularity of specific cards. For example, one Ultra Rare card from a particular set may be more popular than another Ultra Rare card from the same set. Therefore, whilst they have the same level of rarity, you should expect their prices to differ.

Don't be afraid to ask for help from more experienced players and collectors. On eBay, for example, you may wish to contact a seller with your questions.

8. Take Part in Tournaments

Tournaments are a great way of improving your gameplay and strategy, as well as meeting potential new trade contacts. Many tournaments also offer prizes to participants or winners, such as very rare or promotional cards.

You will find many tournaments hosted by players, card shops or specialist clubs and organisations.

9. Be Patient

Building a deck or perfecting a strategy can take a long time.

You shouldn't rush into making deals if you aren't comfortable with the conditions. You will have plenty of opportunities to buy, sell and trade cards; another one is bound to come up.

Be sure to shop around until you are happy that you are getting the right deal.

10. Practice, Practice, Practice

The more that you are able to play the game, the more trade relationships you will form and the more refined your strategy will become. As your knowledge of the game increases, you can refine your deck and trade cards more efficiently with other players and collectors.

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