How to tell if Pokémon booster packs are fake

How to tell if Pokémon booster packs are fake

You just scored a new pack of Pokémon cards from your favorite store. As you rip it open, excitement courses through you as you wonder what rare and powerful creatures you might have caught. But as soon as you peer inside, doubt starts to assail you. Are these cards real, or did you get duped by a shady dealer? Fear not! With this guide, you will be able to quickly and easily tell whether or not your booster packs are fake. 

Three quick tells to determine if a booster pack is fake are incorrect artwork, triangle cut edges, and loose packaging. 

Where do fake packs come from?

Fake booster packs can come from anywhere but are typically manufactured in China. How they make it to North America is usually by people ordering packs from websites such as or 

The world of Pokémon cards has been under the pressure of low supply and high demand for years now, and this is what leads to fake packs being purchased, usually by parents or grandparents who don’t know what to look for. 

How to tell if they’re fake 


Check if the artwork on the outside of the booster pack is correct. Just google the name of the expansion and look at the images. For example, “Battlestyes booster pack”. There are multiple (usually four) art variations of each pack, but each variation will have the exact same text and logo; only the artwork of the featured Pokémon will be different. 

A fake booster pack
A fake booster pack

In addition to this, the colors on the booster packs can vary greatly with fake packs. It is true that authentic packs will have color saturation that varies slightly, but fakes will still stand out. Sometimes they will be severely undersaturated, sometimes over-saturated. Basically, if the colors of the pack look wrong, Google or find an authentic pack to compare. 

Triangle Cut

Triangle cut edges are a dead giveaway. Genuine packs have a straight edge that never changes. 

The very first thing to check for is triangle cut ends. There are no authentic booster packs will a triangle cut. That being said, there are fake packs out there with an accurate straight cut, so don’t jump to any conclusions just yet.

Fake Evolving Skies booster packs. Note the triangle cut edges.

Wrapper Fitment

Fake booster packs are often loose and have slack, while genuine packs are always tight. Hold the pack in your hand and gently push the wrapper. A fake pack will have a lot of slack, allowing you to move the wrapper around with your thumb or finger. It will feel loose like there is extra air in the pack. 


This should be obvious, but any booster packs that are severely underpriced will probably be fake. Booster packs are about $4 USD, so any $2 packs or deals such as 2 for $3, is a dead giveaway. 

The price of a booster box will vary depending on the set and how old the set is. However, any English booster boxes being sold for less than $50, are most likely fake. Some listings on aliexpress have Pokémon booster boxes listed for $5.99. These are fake.  

Spelling and Grammar

You’ll want to read the back of the booster pack before opening it, as any spelling errors or incorrect dates will indicate a fake pack. 

The first paragraph on the backside of modern booster packs is going to have the name of the expansion at the end of it. For example, an Evolving Skies pack will say “Evolving Skies” on the back. Sometimes fake booster packs will miss this completely and put the incorrect set name at the end of that paragraph. 

fake booster pack

Look for other spelling errors. Authentic packs will not have spelling errors.

The Cards Will be Fake

If you’ve already ripped open the pack, it will be easy to tell because, well, the cards will be fake. Click here to learn how to spot fake cards.

Fake booster packs sometimes contain the usual (an energy, code card, multiple commons, a reverse holo, and a rare) but most are stuffed full of big hits. If you pull multiple full art holo cards from each pack, that’s a hard sign that you got fake packs. 

An authentic pack will contain 11 cards plus a code card

Often, you can shine a light behind the cards (try the light on your phone) and if it shines through, it’s fake. 

What to do if you accidentally buy fake booster packs

You now have some fake cards in your collection. 

You can try to contact the seller and get your money back, but your chances of that happening from a site like wish or aliexpress are very low. If you received fake packs from eBay, you can usually get a refund through eBay themselves. 

It is unethical to sell them to someone else as genuine cards and hurts the hobby. 


If you’ve discovered that you are the owner of fake booster packs, it’s best to take it as a hard lesson and move on. Now you know how to spot a fake, so pass the information on to your friends and help fight against this nasty practice plaguing the hobby.