How To Tell If A Yu-Gi-Oh! Card Is Fake? Explained

November 5, 2022 · Your Playmat
Tyler the great warrior card

The card game industry is so popular that many players have started collecting specific cards and selling them for great value. So, Yu-Gi-Oh! is not an exception. Considered a classic among the rest, this card game has millions of fans, official tournaments, and constantly updated content.

However, there will always be scammers and fakes of original products when it concerns big money. If you want to start collecting Yu-Gi-Oh! cards, you should look into the signs of fakeness. If you don't want to run into scammers who will sell you a fake Yu-Gi-Oh! card, you should learn to distinguish fake cards from genuine products that you can sell for a lot of money at auctions.

In our article, we will tell you the basic principles of distinguishing a fraud card from the original and show you the difference in text, symbols, design, and other characteristic features of the card. Stay with us and read the article to the end to know how to find only original products and keep your collection of the highest quality and most expensive.

Checking The Text

To check if your card or the one you are going to buy is a fake, you should first pay attention to the text. Remember that to verify, you need to either have an original card or find a photo of it on the Internet. You need to check the following:

  1. Font. Fake Yu-Gi-Oh! cards often have a modified font. Fake cards often have a slightly larger font than the original, so this is an excellent sign that the fake card is not to be bought, even if it is identical. Unfortunately, such a sign is complicated to spot, so you should be very careful when examing the card;
  2. Mistakes in the text. In many board card games, fakes are accompanied by tons of mistakes. If your card has spelling errors, it's most likely a fraud. In some cases, the original cards may have spelling errors, but this usually becomes known almost immediately after the release of the cards;
  3. The correctness of the text on the effected area. Ensure that the effect text matches exactly what is written on the original card. If you see that the wording is somehow different, the words are interchanged, or the meaning of the wording is distorted, you are faced with fraud. This card cannot be purchased. You should also pay attention to highlighting the text effect. If the original card has italics and yours doesn't, it's Yu-Gi-Oh! also a fake;
  4. Lowercase letters in the name. All original cards have monster or ability names in capital letters. If your card has the name of a monster or ability written in different sizes of letters, and you also see that the letters seem to jump like a snake and stand unevenly, you most likely encounter a poor-quality scam that you should avoid;
  5. Check all symbols on the card. The name of the card at the bottom will always be enclosed in brackets, and a slash will separate the words in them. In addition, ATK and DEF will be separated by a slash. Also, pay attention to the spacing between words or letters in a word. Counterfeits often have an extra space in words or between them. If you see any violations of the basic principles of the text on the card, you need to refuse to purchase such a card, as it will be a fraud and will not bring you joy and money.

Finding The Symbols

Once you have mastered finding errors in the text, you should pay close attention to the symbols shown on the card. So, you should look at the top right corner of your trading card. Thus, the original one should always have a symbol with a Japanese inscription, and an English translation should be on top of the symbol. If there is no symbol on your card, there are mistakes in the translation, or nothing is in this area, your card is a fraud. Remember, some older cards might say 'magic' instead of 'spell'. In this case, your card may be original, and you have nothing to worry about.

You will need to do the next when reviewing the symbols:

  • Notice the stars. On the original card, the monster always has level stars. Pay attention to these signs. Make sure the stars' top, right, and bottom dots are darker and more orange. All original stars should look like this. Also, check that the monster-level stars are not shifted and remain in the same row. If at least one of these rules is violated, your card is not original, and you should not buy it. This rule applies to regular monster cards. The rest of the cards have other features;
  • Take the Xyz monster card and look at the rank stars. They should always have no blackouts and be in a black circle. They should also be located on the left side of the card. If you see inconsistencies or design errors, your Yu-Gi-Oh! card is fake. Also, note that such stars are applied to special monsters. Regular characters will have a different type of star;
  • Look at the trap and spell cards. Concerning these cards, they should not have stars at all. If you see any icons on the top left or right, somebody is most likely trying to deceive you. You cannot buy such a card if you want to get an original product.

Looking At The Design Of The Card

Now it's time to examine the card itself, its angles, and the texture of the drawing. When checking a card, you should pay attention to the following parameters:

  • Card corners. All real, Yu-Gi-Oh! will have rounded corners. If you see that your card has sharp corners or is cut off too much, it is fake. Also, pay attention to those items whose corners are too rounded. Such cards can also be scams;
  • The texture of the drawing. Put the card on the table and touch the front with your fingers. You should feel a light texture that will follow the pattern of the card. If you don't feel such a thing, and the card is just smooth or rough like sandpaper, you are faced with a fake Chinese Yu-Gi-Oh! card;
  • Card borders. Each card must have a visual border that will be placed on the borders of the card. Real cards will have this frame of the same thickness on each side. If you see that the frame on your card is thinner on one side and thicker on the other, you face a fake. You should check the card from both the front and the back. 

However, remember that even original cards can have incorrectly cut off borders. However, such cases, as with misspelled words, quickly become known, as attentive players find the mistake or the publisher will speak about it. If an entire edition was produced with such a mistake, there is no benefit in this. However, if the edition was canceled and the cards were reprinted, and you come across a defective booster, you should keep it, put the card in a protective sleeve and sell it a few years later for several thousand dollars.

  • Stamp. Note the small foil seal at the bottom of each card. It should be located in the lower right corner. You may notice small words on this stamp. They should be written horizontally, and the stamp should be coloured gold or silver. Other colours are not allowed and will signal a fake. If the words on the stamp are vertical, you should also avoid such a card. Remember that first-edition or limited-edition cards will be marked with a gold marker. If your card has a silver symbol and is being sold as a first-edition or limited-edition card, you are dealing with a scam.

Card Back Design

Once you have figured out all the front-side features, you should pay attention to the back side of your card. The reverse side should have a dark orange swirl like a portal. The inscription "Konami" in white capital letters should be in the upper left corner. There should be a Yu-Gi-Oh! emblem in the lower right corner of the card. It should also say 'Trading card game.' If you see that the above icons and inscriptions on the back of the card are in other places, misspelled, or not on the card at all, your Yu-Gi-Oh! card is fake. Also, notice the frame on the back of the card. It should be slightly thicker than the one on the front.

This is an interesting fact, but many fake the back of the card quite badly since few people pay attention to these details because the most important thing on the card is in front. With the help of the back of the card, you can easily recognize a scam and not be deceived.

Using Good Buying Practices

To avoid being scammed when buying cards, you always need to follow some rules:

  • Before buying, explore the cards you are going to buy. If you want to take certain cards from a collector rather than purchasing booster packs, you can search the internet for those cards and learn about their features. Examine the front side of the cards carefully, take a picture of them and get ready for buying;
  • Be careful when buying boosters. Please note that the original Yu-Gi-Oh! game boosters are only sold in packs of 9 cards. You will most likely be scammed if you see more cards or ready-made decks. Also, try to avoid custom booster packs even with original cards and only buy such hand-built packs from people you trust;
  • Price. No matter how much you want to save money, original products are always expensive. If you see a set of boosters with prices below the market, somebody is trying to sell you fake Chinese Yu-Gi-Oh! cards;
  • If you have the opportunity, compare the original card with the one you are buying. You can print a picture of the card and compare the one you want to buy or take the original with you if you have one;
  • Don't buy cards from AliExpress. Although this site is top-rated for ordering goods, sellers often sell low-quality and fake goods. Avoid buying Yu-Gi-Oh! cards in this place.

Follow the basic principles of choosing cards to avoid falling for the trick of scammers and will only have high-quality and original products.

Can You Use Fake Yu-Gi-Oh! Cards In Tournaments

stardust dragons yugioh cards

Unfortunately, it is illegal for many players to play with fake cards in official tournaments. Before the game, the players always give the deck to check so that the organizers can ensure that participants don’t cheat. If a fake card is seen in your deck, you will be asked to remove it and replace it with the original one. Otherwise, you will not be allowed to play. In addition, you can also be disqualified if it is noticed during the game that you are not playing with the original cards.

Fake cards are great for improving your game, building new decks, and testing out new mechanics and strategies in the game. You can play with your friends with such cards and exchange them with others. However, consider copyright. If you sell such cards, you may be fined for copyright infringement.

How To Care For Trading Cards

Yu-Gi-Oh! is a beloved trading card game with a rich history and a passionate fan base. The game has been around for over two decades and shows no signs of slowing down. If you're new to the game or are thinking about getting into it, you might wonder how to care for your cards properly. After all, those cards can be quite valuable! In this part of the post, we'll give you tips on keeping your Yu-Gi-Oh! cards in pristine condition:

  1. Keep cards in sleeves. This will help protect your cards from dirt, grease, and moisture. It will also prevent them from getting bent or damaged. You can find sleeves at your local hobby store or online. Just make sure to get the right size sleeves for your cards!
  2. Store cards in a cool, dry place. Extreme temperatures can damage your cards, so it's essential to store them in an area that isn't too hot or cold. A closet or drawer is usually a good option;
  3. Keep them away from pets and children. Pets and children can be tough on your cards! They might accidentally drop them, bend them, or put them in their mouths (ew). So it's best to keep them out of reach;
  4. Handle them with care. Whenever you're handling your cards, be sure to do so gently. Don't bend, crease, or expose them to any sort of heat source (like a candle);
  5. Only play with clean cards. Before you sit down to play a game of Yu-Gi-Oh, take a minute to wipe down your cards with a soft cloth. This will remove any dirt or fingerprints that might have accumulated since the last time you played;
  6. Get rid of damaged cards. If a card is bent, ripped, or otherwise damaged, it's best to get rid of it. Damaged cards can lower the value of your collection and cause problems when you're trying to play the game. You can usually sell damaged cards online or at your local hobby store.

Caring for your Yu-Gi-Oh! cards doesn't have to be complicated - just follow these simple tips, and you'll be well on your way to having a great collection!

Benefits And Drawbacks Of Having Fake Cards

ruin, queen of oblivion yugioh card

As a huge fan of Yu-Gi-Oh, you may have considered picking up some fake cards to add to your collection. Or, maybe you've stumbled upon some fake cards and wondered if they're worth picking up. In this part, we'll explore the benefits and drawbacks of having fake Yu-Gi-Oh! cards so that you can make an informed decision.

Benefits of having fake Yu-Gi-Oh! cards:

  1. They're usually cheaper. One of the most significant benefits of having fake Yu-Gi-Oh! cards is that they're usually cheaper than buying the real thing. Fakes might be the way to go if you're on a low budget or just want to get your hands on as many cards as possible. Just do your research, so you don't get ripped off!
  2. You can use them to test deck strategies. Another great benefit of having fake cards is that you can test out new deck strategies without risk damaging your expensive, real cards. This is especially useful if you're planning on entering a tournament and want to ensure your deck is as strong as it can be;
  3. They can be customized. Unlike real Yu-Gi-Oh! cards, which have set designs, fake cards can be customized however you want. So if you're looking for something unique or want to add a personal touch to your collection, fakes might be the way to go.

Drawbacks of having fake Yu-Gi-Oh! cards:

  1. They might not be legal in tournaments. This is one of the most significant drawbacks of having fake Chinese Yu-Gi-Oh! cards. So if you're planning on entering a competition, check the rules first to see if fakes are allowed. Otherwise, you could end up getting disqualified! 
  2. They might not hold up over time. Another thing to remember is that fake cards might not hold up over time as well as real ones. So if you're planning on collecting these cards for years to come, there's a chance that they might not look as good as they did when you first got them. 
  3. People might not take you seriously. Finally, some people might not take you seriously if they find out that you have fake Yu-Gi-Oh! cards in your collection. If being taken seriously is essential, fakes might not be the best option. 

As we've seen, there are benefits and drawbacks to having fake Yu-Gi-Oh! cards in your collection. Ultimately, the decision comes down to what's more important to you: saving money or owning authentic cards? If price is your main concern, fakes might be the way to go. But if authenticity is more important, it's best to stick with real cards. 

Bottom Line

To sum it up, fake Yu-Gi-Oh! cards are not as valuable as authentic ones and may not be legal in tournaments. However, they can be customized and hold up better over time than real cards. Ultimately, deciding whether to buy fake Yu-Gi-Oh! cards comes down to what's more important to you: saving money or owning authentic cards.


Are Fake Yugioh Cards Worth Anything?

The value of a fake Yugioh card will depend on several factors, including the quality of the fake and the rarity of the original card. In general, fake Yugioh cards are not worth as much as authentic ones.

Do All Yugioh Cards Have Serial Numbers?

Original Yugioh cards always have serial numbers, but fake cards may or may not have them. A card is more likely to be fake if it does not have a serial number.

How To Know If A Yugioh Card Is Fake?

Fakes will often have lower-quality printing than authentic cards, original Yugioh cards always have serial numbers, so if a card does not have one, it is more likely to be fake. You can also check the copyright information on the card; reprints often have different copyright dates than the original cards.

What Can I Do To Avoid Accidentally Buying A Fake Card?

To do this, you should carefully examine the cards, know the features of applying special symbols by which you can recognize the original card, and always carefully check the card before buying.