The Numbers on Pokemon Cards
Whether you’re new to opening Pokémon cards or you’re a veteran collector that’s just now getting back into the hobby, you may not know every detail about your cards. You may have noticed by now there are numbers on the bottom right or left of each card that look something like this.
1/100 = X/Y
What do the numbers on Pokemon cards mean? Despite being such a small detail, these numbers give players and collectors a lot of information. They will help you identify the card you have, its rarity, and what set it came from. Here’s the meaning of your Pokemon card number.
Pokemon Card Number Meaning
We’ll break it down into two variables to get these bottom corner numbers explained because there are two numbers shown like this: X/Y. The X variable tells you which card you’re holding. The Y variable lets you know how many total cards (excluding secret rare cards) are in the set.
Identifying Rarity (X)
The numbers on the bottom right of each Pokémon card don’t always tell you how rare it is, but it can be helpful identifying what category of rarity it might be in. There are different types of rarity of Pokémon cards. Common, uncommon, rare, and secret rare. The higher the X value is on your card, the safer it is to assume that its rarer. Usually the common cards in a set are low numbers while the rares and holos are high numbers, but you can still find many regular rares with low numbers as well so this isn’t always the case. You also may encounter an x value that is higher than the y value. This indicates you pulled a secret rare. What is a secret rare? These secret cards are very rare and have a unique appearance as they’ll sometimes have a rainbow or golden holographic face.
Identifying Sets (Y)
Each set of Pokémon cards will have a different Y value. This tells you how many cars are in the set. For example, if you open a Vivid Voltage booster pack and you get the first common card, the number will show 1/185. But if you pull the first card in the Chilling Reign set it’ll show as 1/198. This means there are 185 advertised cards in the Vivid Voltage set and 198 in Chilling Reign. Of course, that doesn’t show the total amount of cards you can pull, as there is an undetermined amount of secret rares in each set as well. This can be useful while going through a custom built deck or your collection binder full of cards from different sets. You can pick out which cards came from the same sets by looking at this number.
Pokemon TCG Set Symbols & Rarity Symbols
Next to the Y variable you’ll also might see two symbols. Depending on how old the card is, one of these symbols might be near the art if it’s vintage. These small icons directly relate to what set the card is from and what rarity it is, meaning just by looking at these symbols, you’ll be able to tell rarity, and which set it belongs to. The set icon is more for fans that are very familiar with the Pokemon TCG in general and it’s not expected that you’ll memorize all of these symbols as there are hundreds of them. It’s easier to just look up the number you see on the card to find which expansion set it comes from. As for the rarity symbol, there are only a few so it’s easy to remember. Circle is common, diamond is uncommon, white star is rare, and black star is a promo card.