Are Off Center Pokemon Cards Fake? The Truth Revealed

Do you know how to spot a fake Pokemon card? There’s a lot of scams out there, and off-center cards are one of the easiest ones to fall for. But are off-center Pokemon cards fake? The answer is yes and no. While not all off-center cards are necessarily fake, it’s important to be aware of the significance and potential consequences of having a card that’s not cut properly.

Off-center cards can be a real headache for collectors and players alike. Not only is it a dead giveaway that a card might be counterfeit, but it can also affect gameplay. Off-center cards can be harder to shuffle and can draw attention away from a player’s strategy, leading to a disadvantage in competitive matches. Plus, if you’re invested in a specific set or collection, having a card that’s not properly cut can be a major letdown.

So what should you do if you have an off-center Pokemon card? The first step is to examine it closely. If you’re unsure whether it’s a fake or not, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and seek out a professional opinion. It’s also important to be diligent in purchasing cards, especially if you’re buying online. Knowing what to look for in counterfeit Pokemon cards can save you a lot of time, money, and hassle in the long run.

How to Identify Fake Pokemon Cards

If you’re an avid collector or player of Pokemon cards, you know how important it is to have authentic cards in your collection or deck. Unfortunately, fake Pokemon cards circulate in the market, and it can be challenging to tell if a card is legitimate or not. Here are some tips on how to identify fake Pokemon cards:

  • Check the cardstock and printing quality – Authentic Pokemon cards are made of high-quality cardstock and have a glossy finish. If the card feels flimsy or has a low-quality print, it’s likely a fake card.
  • Check the color saturation – Authentic Pokemon cards have bright and vibrant colors that are consistent across the card. If the colors look dull or faded, or if there are noticeable differences in color between parts of the card, it could be a fake.
  • Check the holographic effect – Many Pokemon cards have a holographic effect that reflects light and creates a rainbow sheen. If the holographic effect looks off or is missing entirely, the card could be fake.

Additionally, some fake Pokemon cards have off-center printing, which can be a dead giveaway that the card is not authentic. To help you further identify off-center Pokemon cards, refer to the table below:

Off-Center Type Description
Narrow Top The top of the card has a narrow border, while the bottom border is wider.
Narrow Bottom The bottom of the card has a narrow border, while the top border is wider.
Narrow Left The left side of the card has a narrow border, while the right border is wider.
Narrow Right The right side of the card has a narrow border, while the left border is wider.
Double Border The card has two borders, one wider than the other, running parallel to each other.

By inspecting the cardstock, printing quality, color saturation, holographic effect, and alignment, you can determine whether a Pokemon card is legitimate or not. Remember, if it seems too good to be true or comes from an unreliable source, proceed with caution and do your research before adding it to your collection or deck.

Differences between genuine and fake Pokemon cards

As Pokemon card game becomes more and more popular around the world, it’s not surprising that there are people who try to profit from producing fake versions of the cards. It’s essential for both newbies and collectors to know how to distinguish a genuine from a counterfeit card. Here are some significant differences between real and fake Pokemon cards:

  • Paper texture – Real Pokemon cards have a smooth and glossy surface, while fake ones are usually made from cheaper materials and can have a grainy texture.
  • Card thickness – Genuine Pokemon cards are usually thicker than counterfeits. If you have two identical cards, and one is thinner than the other, it’s probably fake.
  • Coloring – The colors on real Pokemon cards are usually more vivid and vibrant, while counterfeit ones may have a faded look or odd color shades.

One of the most significant signs that a Pokemon card is fake is its off-center cut. Fake cards are often made quickly and in mass quantities, with the print not lining up perfectly with the card’s edge.

Real Card Fake Card
Real pokemon card Fake pokemon card
The holo on this card covers the entire surface. The holo on this fake card does not cover the whole area and is not aligned with the card edges.

If you compare the two cards, you will notice that there are obvious differences between them. The real card has the perfect cut and does not present any smudges or irregularities. At the same time, the fake card’s edges are rough and cut unevenly, with noticeable marks on its surface.

Common signs of off center printing in Pokemon cards

Off-center printing is a common manufacturing flaw in collectible card games like Pokemon.

Here are some common signs to help you identify off-center printing in Pokemon cards:

  • Uneven borders: Check the borders of the card for uneven or inconsistent width. If the borders on one or three sides are thicker than the other, it is likely that the card was off-center.
  • Misaligned artwork: Look at the artwork on the card. If the artwork is not centered, or if it appears shifted to one side, it could indicate that the card was off-center.
  • Off-centered text: Check the text box for any signs of off-center printing. The text should be centered above the artwork, with equal amounts of space on either side of the text.

Why off-center printing occurs

Off-center printing occurs when the card-sheet is not fed into the printer correctly or when the cutting process is not precise enough. This is a common issue in the printing industry and can affect any type of card game or trading card.

While off-center printing does not necessarily mean that a card is fake, collectors generally prefer cards with centered artwork and text, as they are considered to be of higher quality.

The impact of off-center printing on card value

The value of a Pokemon card can be significantly impacted by off-center printing. Collectors typically prefer cards with centered artwork and text, so if a card is noticeably off-center, it can affect its value even if it is still genuine.

Off-center print range Price impact
Slight off-center Minor impact on price
Moderate off-center Significant impact on price
Severely off-center Can reduce the value of the card by up to 90%

Ultimately, the impact of off-center printing on the value of a Pokemon card will depend on the severity of the misprint and the preferences of individual collectors.

Impact of off center printing on the value of Pokemon cards

While collectors and players of Pokemon cards strive for pristine, perfect cards in their collection, some may wonder if off-center printing affects the value of their cards. The answer is, it depends.

  • If the off-centering is minimal, with the artwork still mostly centered and borders still even, the impact on value may be small or even negligible.
  • If the off-centering is noticeable, with significant portions of the artwork cut off or borders uneven to the point of being noticeable, the value can drop significantly.
  • If the off-centering is extreme, with artwork completely off-center and borders drastically uneven, the card may be considered a misprint or error card and actually increase in value to collectors.

However, it is important to note that off-centering is not the only factor in determining the value of a Pokemon card. Other factors like rarity, condition, and demand also play a role in determining a card’s worth.

For example, a rare card with noticeable off-centering may still hold significant value because of its rarity, despite the off-centering. On the other hand, a common card with extreme off-centering may not be worth much at all.

Examples of off center Pokemon cards affecting value

Here are examples of off-center Pokemon cards and their impact on value:

Card Off-centering Impact on Value
1st Edition Charizard Minimal Negligible impact on value
Base Set Pikachu Noticeable Significant drop in value
Shadowless Blastoise Extreme Increase in value due to rarity and being a misprint

Overall, off-center printing can affect the value of Pokemon cards, but it’s not always a deal breaker. Collectors have varying preferences and may still be interested in a card even with slight off-centering, but significant or extreme off-centering can have a negative impact on value.

Strategies to Avoid Buying Off Center or Fake Pokemon Cards

Collecting Pokemon cards is not just a hobby but also a lucrative investment for many enthusiasts. You can get your hands on some valuable cards if you know where and how to look for them. However, the presence of fake or off-center Pokemon cards can taint your collection. Here are some strategies to avoid buying off-center or fake Pokemon cards:

Pay Attention to Smaller Details

  • Examine the Card Surface: Genuine Pokemon cards have a smooth, glossy finish, while fake cards tend to have a matte surface with visible layer lines. Check the surface texture to spot any discrepancies,
  • Compare the Colors: These cards have a unique color scheme, and any differences in saturation or brightness can signify fake cards,
  • Observe the Backside: Fake Pokemon cards usually have a different backside color and design than genuine ones.

Check the Card Centering

Off-center Pokemon cards have significant impact on its value. Always check the centering by folding the card in half lengthwise, which will make apparent any miscentering on any borders. Buying off-center cards may not be ideal if you’re a serious collector interested in preserving the value of your collection.

Buy From Trusted Sources

One of the easiest ways to avoid buying off-center or fake Pokemon cards is to buy them from reputable sources. This may include licensed retailers and auction sites authorized by the Pokemon franchise. You can also do some research or ask for recommendations from other collectors before making a purchase.

Be Mindful Of The Pricing

Factors to consider when pricing Pokemon Cards: How to Spot a Fake
Rarity The card has irregular borders, text, or logos
Condition The card surface has scratches, creases, bends, or watermarks
Age The card uses an atypical font size or typeface, has off-center text sizing

Be alert when presented with a deal that seems too good to be true, as there is a high probability of it being a fake.

What to do if you suspect you have purchased fake or off center Pokemon cards

If you suspect that you have purchased fake or off center Pokemon cards, it is important to take the necessary steps to make sure your card collection is authentic. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Compare your cards to authentic ones: One way to check if your cards are fake is to compare them to authentic cards. Look at the colors, fonts, and logos to make sure they match up with the real thing.
  • Check the card material: Most authentic Pokemon cards are printed on a high-quality material that has a glossy finish. If your cards feel flimsy, have a rough finish, or don’t have a holographic shine, they may be fake.
  • Use a magnifying glass: Examine your cards closely with a magnifying glass to check for any discrepancies. Sometimes, fake cards will have blurry images or text that is hard to read.

If you are still unsure whether your cards are fake or not, consider sending them to a professional grading service. These services will verify the authenticity of your cards and give you an overall grade for the card’s condition. They can also give you an estimate of the card’s value, which can help you determine whether you got a good deal or not.

It’s also important to be cautious when purchasing cards online. Make sure you are buying from a reputable seller and read reviews from other buyers before making your purchase. If you do receive cards that are fake or off center, contact the seller immediately to ask for a refund or replacement. In some cases, you may need to escalate the issue to a dispute with the online marketplace or payment processor.

Steps to take if you suspect you have fake or off center Pokemon cards Additional tips
Compare your cards to authentic ones Look at multiple cards to get a better sense of what is authentic
Check the card material Be wary of cards that feel flimsy or have a rough finish
Use a magnifying glass Pay attention to the details and look for blurry images or text
Send your cards to a professional grading service Avoid using services that are not reputable or well-known

By taking these steps, you can protect your card collection and ensure that you have authentic Pokemon cards. With some careful attention and research, you can avoid the disappointment and frustration of purchasing fake or off center cards.

The role of grading services in identifying fake or off center Pokemon cards

When it comes to authenticity and condition of collectible cards, grading services play a crucial role in identifying any fake or off center Pokemon cards. These services follow a strict set of guidelines to evaluate cards and provide a professional assessment of their condition and authenticity.

Benefits of using grading services

  • Third-party evaluation: Grading services are unbiased evaluators that provide an objective assessment of a card’s condition and authenticity.
  • Protection against fake cards: Grading services have years of experience in identifying fake cards and can help collectors avoid unknowingly purchasing counterfeit cards.
  • Investment value: Grading services provide a grading system for cards, which can help collectors understand the true value of their collection and can increase their value as investments.

How grading services identify off center cards

One of the main things grading services look for when evaluating Pokemon cards is centering. Off center cards are those that are not perfectly centered within the card border, which can significantly affect their overall grade and value. Grading services use a grading scale to evaluate the centering of each card, taking into consideration both the top-to-bottom and left-to-right centering.

Grading services also use specialized equipment, such as magnification tools, to detect any off-centering that may be difficult to identify with the naked eye. Any significant off-centering can result in a lower grade for the card, reducing its value.


Overall, grading services play a crucial role in identifying fake or off center Pokemon cards. By using their expertise and specialized equipment, grading services provide collectors with the assurance of authenticity and condition of their cards. Collectors can rest assured that their investments are secure and protected against counterfeit cards when working with reputable grading services.

Grading Scale Top-to-Bottom Left-to-Right
Gem Mint 10 55/45 or better 70/30 or better
Mint 9 60/40 or better 75/25 or better
Near Mint 8 65/35 or better 80/20 or better

Note: scores for top-to-bottom and left-to-right centering are added together for a final overall centering score. Scores may vary by grading service.

7 FAQs about Off Center Pokemon Cards

1) Are off center Pokemon cards fake?

No, off center Pokemon cards are not necessarily fake. They can occur during the printing process and are a common occurrence among authentic cards.

2) Do off center cards affect the value of Pokemon cards?

Yes, off center cards can affect the value of Pokemon cards. Cards that are significantly off center tend to have lower values than those that are centered.

3) Can I get a refund if I receive an off center Pokemon card?

It depends on the seller’s refund policy, but receiving an off center card is not usually grounds for a refund. However, if the card is significantly off center and not as described, then a refund may be possible.

4) Should I consider buying off center Pokemon cards?

It depends on your personal preferences. Off center cards can be bought for less than centered cards and are still authentic. However, if you are a collector looking for high-quality cards, then off center cards may not be for you.

5) Are off center cards more or less common in certain sets?

Off center cards are more common in older sets, particularly in the base set. This is because the printing process was less advanced at the time the cards were printed.

6) Can off center cards be corrected?

No, off center cards cannot be corrected. They are a result of the printing process and cannot be fixed.

7) Can off center cards be graded by PSA?

Yes, off center cards can be graded by PSA. However, if the card is significantly off center, it may receive a lower grade.

Closing Title: Thanks for Reading!

We hope this article has cleared up any confusion about off center Pokemon cards. Remember, just because a card is off center does not necessarily mean it is fake. Be sure to keep this in mind when purchasing or collecting Pokemon cards. Thank you for reading, and be sure to check back for more Pokemon-related content!