How To Protect Your Trading Cards

If you enjoy playing collectible card games such as Magic the Gathering, Pokemonand Yu-Gi-Oh!, then there are probably a few things that are more valuable to you than your favorite trading cards. Unfortunately, as these are typically made out of nothing more than cardboard, they can be damaged very easily.

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If you are new to the hobby, you may not be aware of all the useful products that can be used to protect your trading cards. From sleeves to folders and beyond, there are many ways to protect your cardboard treasures from harm. We’ve examined some of the best solutions and product types in a simple guide.


Step one is to solidly protect your cards card sleeves. There is a wide variety of card sleeve types, so before purchasing sleeves, you should find out what works best for your specific needs. The most common type is known as Outer sleeves (as opposed to inner sleeves which have a tighter fit.)


You must also find out who correct sleeve size, as not all trading card games are created equal. For example, while Magic: The Gathering and Pokemon cards are roughly the same size, Yu-Gi-Oh cards are slightly smaller than this “standard” size.

Magic: The Gathering, Pokemon The Trading Card Game and many other trading card games are required 64x88mm size sleeve. Since Yu-Gi-Oh cards (and other Japanese card games like Vanguard) are slightly smaller, you can usually buy “small size” sleeves 62x89mm from most brands.

Standard sleeves adhere tightly to the card with a clear front and a single color or design back. Fully clear sleeves are also widely used when you want to show the standard back of the card.

Most brands feel the same for these types of card sleeves and are made from the same plastic material. So the distinctions for plain card sleeves are mostly aesthetic You should choose based on what looks and feels best to you. It’s common for people to choose cases that match the aesthetic of the deck they’re playing. For example, in Magic: The Gathering, a player with red cards might choose to wrap their cards in red sleeves.

In addition to the standard card sleeves, you can choose “inner” Sleeves that can be slipped over a card before it is wrapped in another sleeve to give it extra protection. Due to the construction, these fit exactly to the edge of the card. They are usually applied to the card by sleeve-sleeving them in the opposite direction, so there are no “gaps” for air to get in.

For added protection, consider a top loader – a hard plastic sleeve to cover an already sleeved card. These are useful for extra rare cards that you want to sell on the secondary market or keep safe in your collection. Because these items are usually made of a harder plastic and are slightly wider than the card, it’s impractical for cards used in a deck.

deck boxes

You will Need at least one deck box to store your cards for the game of your choice. Depending on the card game, the number of cards you need for a single deck will vary, but most popular card games require at least 40 to 60 cards for a deck.

Wrapping your entire deck in sleeves makes the cards you have to carry a little thicker, but thankfully Most deck boxes you can buy can hold up to hundreds of sleeved cards.

Deck boxes come in a variety of styles, shapes, and sizes and may offer additional storage capabilities depending on budget. The most basic type of deck box is a small plastic box: you can find these in almost any local game store in a variety of colors, often with licensed designs on them.

If you’re looking for a slightly more comprehensive storage solution, you can find deck boxes made from more complicated materials or additional compartments at a premium price. Many premium deck boxes offer magnetic lid, multi-deck slots, and Additional compartments for storing other parts needed for the game such as dice and tokens.

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If you want to display a deck of cards you’ve collected, the best solution is a card binder. There are a few different options when it comes to binders. The purpose of a binder is to display cards in order using plastic-sleeved sheets into which sleeved cards fit. Folders are great for cards you’ve collected but don’t use, or cards you want to trade with others.

Binders come in two main forms: ring binders, to which card sleeve sheets must be addedand non-ring binders that have a set number of sleeve sides built into the spine. Card sleeve sheets can usually be bought anywhere ring binders are sold.

Consider the difference carefully when deciding how to present your cards. If you choose to use a ring binder, you can add as many sleeve sheets as you need to display your cards. If you use a non-ring binder, you are limited by the number of slots in the binder.

using a ring binder can easily damage the cards closest to the rings. You should consider this before investing in a ring binder. If you still decide to use the ring binder method, make sure you do a thorough study on the correct way of inserting cover sheets!


To keep your cards clean while playing, you need one playmat. Like a mouse pad, it’s a large padded surface on which you rest your cards during gameplay. They are usually rectangular and roughly represent the space needed for a player’s playing area in a two-player deck of cards. Sometimes they are big enough to accommodate both players.

playmats can be rolled up and stored in small cylindrical tubes between game sessions. Custom printed playmats with unique artwork are common at tournaments and local play stores. Get one with a neat design to express yourself!

Other map storage

Finally, what do you do with your “bulk”? Bulk cards are the usual cards and duplicates that you inevitably accumulate throughout your trading card game career. The answer is to find another storage solution. For large amounts of cards, you need a lot of folders, which is not very practical, so the best solution is to find card boxes or special card cases.

If you are Keep your bulk at home, long cardboard boxes that fit standard trading card sizes can be a good option. This can be easily found at various online retailers and can be purchased cheaply in large quantities.

If you’re looking for something more valuable than cardboard, you can find both portable and non-portable cases online for storing large amounts of cards. Searching for the terms “trading card storage” can yield many interesting resultsincluding extra long deck boxes with magnetic hinged lids, large plastic tote bags and extra thick folders. Even if none of the above options meet your needs, there might be something for you.

Next: The rarest Yu-Gi-Oh cards and what they’re worth

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