Yu-Gi-Oh! & Pokemon: How to Spot a Fake

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As you are probably well aware, there are lots of sellers who list Yu-Gi-Oh! cards as singles. Most of these sellers are offering genuine cards. However, during my many searches of eBay for Yu-Gi-Oh! cards I have noticed a small number of sellers selling fake cards. The main card being called Dark Master that has a picture of Exodia on it. This card is FAKE. There is no card called Dark Master and you CANNOT get Exodia on one single card. It is spread over 5 different cards. Also, the Dark Master card has more than the correct amount of stars as Exodia pieces only have 3 or 4 stars.

Here's how to spot other fake Yu-Gi-Oh cards:

  • The corner of genuine cards are rounded slightly (this is so not as to pose a health threat with small children). On fake cards, more often than not, the corners will be pointed and sharp.
  • The code number on genuine cards always starts with three or four letters then it has a dash and then either EN and three numbers e.g STBL-EN001 or if it is an American card STBL-001. On some fake cards they start with three numbers and also end with three numbers e.g 306-123.
  • The thickness of genuine cards does not allow light to pass through it. Some of the fake cards are made with thinner cardboard and this means that light can pass through. To check simply hold the suspected card upto a light. Remember that not all fake cards are thinner.
  • If the writing on a card is either blurry or does not use correct English grammar then it is fake.
  • If the writing on the cards is not correctly formated, e.g. the title is wonky or the spacing is incorrent, it MAY be a genuine card, as there are printing errors; there is normally only one printing error on genuine cards though, so if it has more than one, it is likely to be fake.
  • If the colour on the front of the card is faint, or is almost a different colour to what it should be, then it is fake. You can compare by getting a Yu-Gi-Oh! card of the same type and putting it next to it.
  • Check the wording of the card text compared to the wording on the Yu-Gi-Oh! Wiki site. This site contains the correct text for all legitimate versions of a cards release (when cards are re-released, they sometime get errata'd). If the card text is even one word out, it is very likely to be a fake (again, some cards may contain a misprint as mentioned above).

Here's how to spot fake Pokemon cards:

  • The corner of genuine cards are rounded slightly (this is so not as to pose a health threat with small children). On fake cards, more often than not, the corners will be pointed and sharp.
  • The thickness of genuine cards does not allow light to pass through it. Some of the fake cards are made with thinner cardboard and this means that light can pass through. To check simply hold the suspected card upto a light. Remember that not all fake cards are thinner.
  • If the card has a Japanese style back, but has English writing on the front, then it is a fake. English cards will always have the English card backing; just as Japanese cards will have the Japanese backing (Newer Japanese Pokemon cards now contain the English style backing).
  • If the writing on a card is either blurry or does not use correct English grammar then it is fake.
  • If the colour on the front of the card is faint, or is almost a different colour to what it should be, then it is fake. You can compare by getting a Pokemon card of the same type and putting it next to it.

These are the main ways to spot a fake. As with all fakes some are very hard to tell apart from real ones whereas some you can tell just by touching at or even just looking.

Even if a seller states that the cards they are selling are fake, do NOT buy them. You will never be allowed to use them in any official tournament and are unlikely to even be allowed to use them in friendlies. 

I hope this helps you to avoid spending your hard earned money on rubbish fakes.

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