Is My Pokemon Card a Misprint or Fake? Guide to Fake Cards

A large majority of posts from new Elite Fourum users seem to be about apparent “misprints,” and wondering if said misprints are valuable and/or rare. About 95% of the time, the “misprint” card in fact turns out to be a fake.

This guide is meant to help everyone recognize the difference between fake and real Pokemon cards. As a general rule, fake Pokemon cards are worth nothing no matter what they are. Doesn’t matter if your fake is of a valuable card, it’s still fake. Most fake cards are of valuable cards anyway, but common/uncommon cards can still be faked. In this article, I’ll go through some of the many ways of identifying a fake Pokemon card.

If you suspect you may only have fake cards, go out and pick up a booster pack of cards. Stores like WalMart, Target, and other big chain stores or your local card shop exclusively carry real cards.

It Doesn’t ExistAlways be sure to do a quick google search for your Pokemon card. Creating fake Pokemon cards is lots of fun for people like graphic artists who have no intention of selling the cards as real. However, there are scumbags in the world who will look to profit off of it. For example, if you have a Suicune EX Full Art, it’s fake, because a Suicune EX Full Art has never been printed. If a quick google or Pokebeach/Bulbapedia search can’t turn up your card, it’s more than likely fake.

**Pokemon Would Never…**Print a card with over 250 HP or 300 damage. As of now, those are the highest damage outputs and HP on actual cards. If you see some card with an HP of 13000 or an attack that does 900 damage, it’s fake. The rest of the card may look alright like this Reshiram, but the HP is a dead giveaway of a fake card. There are some promo jumbo cards like Zoroark and Legendary Pokemon or Shadow Lugia that are real and have crazy HP/Damage, but a quick google search will turn those up as being real.



Fake Pokemon cards almost always are printed in a different font than real cards. This is the quickest identifier of fake cards as the real Pokemon font is quite distinctive and hard to replicate. Below is an image of a fake Pokemon card (right) and a real one (left) You can immediately see the difference in font and appearance. As the picture says, the fake card just looks “off” compared to the real one.

Fake cards also may be missing holo patterns, or have an absolutely wacky holographic pattern. Pokemon cards use various but limited types of holofoil. If you look your card up on google and you can’t find one copy with your holo effect, it’s probably fake. Another hallmark of fake cards is significant (more than one) misspelling or incorrect grammar usage in the card’s text. Some cards may have factory misspellings, but these are rare and well-documented.


Fake Pokemon cards usually have distinctive color differences. Note on the fake card above the lack of color definition. All the colors seem to blend together and aren’t as sharp as the real card. It seems to be “washed-out.” The text is difficult to read, the card seems darker overall, and just seems bad.

These coloring differences can also be seen on the reverse side. Fake Pokemon cards usually have the same washed-out color on the back. As usual, the real card is on the left and the fake is on the right. You can see how the blue border on the real card sharply divides the back from the border. On the fake card, the border is much lighter.



Fake Pokemon cards are lower quality overall than real cards. This is most apparent in the paper used to print the card. If you try to damage a real Pokemon card by folding, ripping, crumpling, etc., it won’t be as easy as you think. Try this on a worthless common card if you’d like to get a feel for it.

Fake cards will rip, tear, and crease MUCH easier than real cards. It should take much less effort to damage a fake card. This is obviously a last resort, but you should be able to feel the difference in quality just by holding the card in your hand.

You should also be able to shine light through a fake Pokemon card. Hold it up to a bright light, and if you can see through it, it’s probably fake. Pokemon cards are made with a piece of black paper in the middle, which can be seen if you rip the card. Obviously this is another last resort, but if you have a bunch of cards you believe to be fake, you can test it on one. Again, the real card is on the left and the fake is on the right. Notice the difference in font on the fake card as well.



Did you get an amazing deal on Pokemon packs from that shady dollar store in Chinatown? Score a full booster box of packs online for only $30? Sorry, but those cards are probably fake. Real Pokemon packs retail for over $4 each in stores. Lower prices can be found online, but rarely much less than $2.75 a pack. Booster boxes are the same story. The lowest price any eBay sellers and card shops sell booster boxes at is around $85. Many booster boxes cost more of course.

I hope you all found this guide useful!


Sorry to bump this topic, but I figured this would be a good place to make this single post.

I received this Spanish Boundaries Crossed Pikachu. I came across it and noticed the writing was different than the one I had. I also noticed the dark blue color in the artwork, so I was already kinda suspicious. But, it was cheap, and the auction was for 10 cards in total (of which 3 were fake, and the other 7 were real…), so I bought it out of curiosity.

Well, it’s definitely a fake… I wonder what the people that produced these fakes were thinking. Not only is the card smaller than a regular card, but although both cards below are Spanish, the texts are completely different… :confounded:


if you still have doubt just rip them in half and you’ll know for sure. I just checked and I did not have any fakes in my first edition base set.


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Please don’t post anymore meme’s with that goofball Leo :confounded:

Why it reminds you of the days you purchased a penny stock for 10 grand? Hehehe

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I’ve a handful of fake cards, not by choice though. I bought some cards on ebay and when they came I could instantly tell they were fakes.I tried claiming form the seller and she said…I don’t know Pokemon cards so its not my fault.

I ended up without a refund as the time limit passed and I couldn’t claim. It was a small amount but doesn’t mean I didn’t want my monies back!!! They were just random lots of cards I bought when getting back into the hobby. Rather annoying as they were either fakes or poor condition.There weren’t alot of pics as “I don’t know Pokemon” Meh if it was a larger amount Id have kicked up a huge fuss.

Its safe to say I wrote to Santa that year and she will have received a nice steamy reindeer poo wrapped with a ribbon ;D (If I got my way)

Nice! I smashed open a Charizard shadowless 1st edition to check if it was worth it, turns out its genuine!
I’m so pleased…plus…I now own 2!

Here is a good example. I bought this card knowing it was fake so I can use it as a teaching tool. Hopefully we can help people from being defrauded by fake cards.

Printed on a thin foil sticker and applied to a poor card stock. The colors are off. The name, lvl and move name are wrong. Also the text font is wrong.

The real card is on the right and the fake is on the left.

@aetsen, you should mark spotlight points with red circles.

Please don’t bump threads that are 4 years old…