Tips for someone new to grading

Do you guys have any tips on how to self-judge my cards.
I want to send some cards in from a collection I recently purchased but I’m unsure which ones would have a chance at a good grade.

Thanks in advanced!!!

Edit: Also are we allowed posting video links here? If possible maybe some users could give me input if I had a video? If this is asking for too much I can just go on a limb from tips you guys give me.

What I have so far:

  1. Edge wear
  2. Centering (A bit confused on this)

Videos of what cards I have to sift through Q_Q

P1: - YouTube

P2: - YouTube

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EDIT: Agh, ninja’d by Marie…but still, This thread should help you with the card quality for PSA 10s, and a couple other grades. But generally this is the process I use to evaluate cards for grading, which is similar to PSA’s:

  1. Remove them from all protective casings (toploaders, sleeves, etc)
  2. Look at the card under a bright desk lamp or LED light.

3) Check the holo pattern for scratches. If many are obvious, the card will not score a 10, more likely an 8 or 9.
4) On older cards, check the sides for silvering. This is a major problem in WOTC sets and your cards will not score 10s with this silvering.
5) Check the front centering. Remember You can find the centering requirements here:
6) Check for edgewear. This is where the above thread comes in helpful. Contrary to popular opinion, a card does not have to be perfect with no edgewear whatsoever, but it needs to be virtually perfect. Edgewear is much more apparent on English cards than Japanese.
7) Check the back centering. PSA is much more lenient on this, again, see the above link.

8) Check for major card damages such as creases. These give your card an automatic 6 or below and you should definitely look out for any type of crease, even if small.


@reinasierpe: Okay thank you for the link I will check that out. I might try to upload a video to YouTube since I got a new camera. It’s a bid hard to tell for centering with some of these full arts since they don’t have identifiable borders is what I’m noticed Q_Q.

@fourthstartcg: I read this post late I just put all my cards in sleeves and into top loaders Q_Q. I will try the light method though are scratches easily noticeable on full arts? I also noticed that I have one Japanese card but it has no wear on the edges on the back which is pretty remarkable since most of my pack fresh English cards have some type of wear =S.

All cards have very easily identifiable borders.

When inspecting your cards, you’ll need to tilt them under very bright light to see if there is any scratches.

Japanese cards are produced far better than English, hence why you are noticing a difference in the edge wear.


Wow that is really bad centering LOL

As is to be expected as the card is fake :blush:

I uploaded a video the quality isn’t great.
I’m going to add some time stamps later as to which cards I think might be able to get a 9/10 grade xD

P1: - YouTube
P2: - YouTube

EDIT: Any input on cards that you guys think might be good to send is appreciated :heart_eyes:

A decent bit of advice when grading English cards is just expect 9s, this is the main grade I expect pack fresh engine cards to get, that way if you do score any 10s it’s just a huge bonus.

Yeah I’d honestly be happy with most grades. Do they give 1’s?

This is good advice, a lot of people new to grading have this unfounded expectation that because a card has just come from a pack it means the card is a guaranteed 10. This could not be further from the truth.


Short answer: Yes.

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

Keep your expectations low your first couple rounds…

Took me a while to learn what a PSA 10 sorta looks like lol


I still laugh no matter how many times I click on that link :grin:

I think I’m going to have the most issue with edgewear on the back. Do you guys have any examples of cards w/ edgewear on the back sides that have gotten a high grade?

I’m assuming a bend in the card is an auto 1?

That poor photo that they have is pretty funny.

A bend will typically only knock a card down to a 6. How much lower than that depends on how severe the edgewear/scratches on the card may be. You would really have to go out of your way to damage a card, just to get a 1. It isn’t a common grade to receive.

Another question I have is why I mostly see Japanese cards getting graded.
Are english cards not as valuable? Or is this based purely on the fact that the quality of the Japanese cards are better therefore leading to easier grades.

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I think this is more down to what people collect to be honest, I know quite a few people including me on this forum barely collect English cards at all.

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I bought a korean booster pack, first time purchasing anything other than english. I was very impressed with the better quality around the corners, maybe that is why.

Because Japanese cards are alot easier to get 10s on. With English cards (at least for the newer stuff), you’ll get a ton of 9s, and 9s haven’t been selling too well recently.