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How to Make Card Sleeves Less Slippery

how to make card sleeves less slippery

The dream of every trading card game player is to find some trading card sleeves that can be played with fresh out of the box. The problem is that this an impossibility. Trading card sleeves, depending on the brand that you buy, are either going to be too slippery when you play with them or, worse yet, too sticky. On this page, we want to focus on the former problem.

The simplest way to deal with card sleeves that are too slippery is to play with them. The more you play with those cards, the less slippery they will become. There isn’t really any way that you can speed up this process, sadly. Although, there are some card sleeves that may be less slippery out of the box than other options. 

On this page, we want to expand upon this idea a little bit. Basically, we want to share with you a few ideas that you can use to make those trading cards a little bit less slippery when you are playing with them. 

Why Are New Trading Card Sleeves So Slippery?

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Because new card sleeves are essentially sterile, smooth plastic.

If you took a piece of clean plastic and rubbed it against another piece of clean plastic, you will notice that there is a lot of slipping. The same happens with new card sleeves. Fresh out of the box, there is no grease, dust, or anything on those card sleeves to provide a little bit of friction.

Yes. There are card sleeves that will stick together a little bit when they are fresh out of the box. These will be the cheaper sleeves, and that is due to them being made out of cheaper materials that crinkle a lot easier. If you buy quality card sleeves, then they are going to slip.

Thankfully, new card sleeves won’t be slippery for too long. Well, at least not if you are actively playing with your trading cards.

To check the current price and availability of Dragon Shield Matte Card Sleeves, click here to see the listing on Amazon.

How Do You Make Card Sleeves Less Slippery?

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As we said before, trading card sleeves are slippery when new because there is nothing on that sleeve. You need to get those card sleeves played with for them to start to develop a little bit of roughage.

For most people, shuffling the cards a few times is going to be more than enough to get rid of that slipping. This is because, as you shuffle the cards, some of the natural oils from your hands will be coming off onto the card sleeve. The card sleeves will also start to pick up dust from the environment. Don’t worry. None of this is a bad thing, and you can’t really avoid it.

There are some card sleeves that take a little bit longer to warm up and stop slipping. This is likely due to the environment you live in being too humid or too dry. However, thankfully, this is also a problem that can be easily rectified.

Some people have found that stacking heavy books on top of their sleeved cards is enough to stop them from being as slippery. Now, of course, you do want to ensure that the books that you use are incredibly flat and cover the entirety of the card. You do not want the cards to bend at all. Don’t worry. Even your most valuable cards should be safe under the heaviest of books.

If you are going to be using this method, then make sure that you are using stacks of cards as opposed to layering the books on individual cards. This isn’t as effective.

If you leave the books stacked on top of the trading cards overnight, and you also shuffle them up a bit, we are almost certain that your cards will be perfectly fine to play with the next day.

To check the current price and availability of Ultra-Pro Eclipse Card Sleeves, click here to view them on Amazon.

How Do You Get Air Out of a Sleeved Card?

On occasion, you may find that some air is able to get into your sleeved cards. This can cause all sorts of issues. 

The main issue is that if there is air in the sleeved card, your card is not protected as well as it should be. It means that it is able to bounce around in the card sleeve, and this can damage the face and the sides of the card. This isn’t going to be brilliant for those valuable cards that you have sleeved up.

The second issue is that your cards are now going to be identifiable. If a tournament organizer looks at your cards and notices that some are thicker than others due to a bit of trapped air in the card sleeve, then you won’t be able to play with them.

Sleeved cards that have air trapped in them are also going to be a little bit more difficult to shuffle.

Thankfully, dealing with this problem shouldn’t be too difficult. In fact, you can deal with it in much the same way that you would deal with cards that are slippery. This means:

  • Playing with your cards. This will force the air out.
  • Compressing the cards, perhaps with some heavy books.

If air pockets seem to be a major issue for you, you may also want to look into buying tight deck boxes that you can barely fit your deck into. You can then use a little bit of styrofoam to pad out the rest of the deck box. This will help to keep those cards nice and compressed. This means that, eventually, those air pockets are going to be forced out.

Final Thoughts

It is likely that any next card sleeves that you buy are going to be slippery. This can make it difficult to shuffle the cards. Thankfully, this slipping isn’t going to last too long.

Playing with the cards, or compressing them under a book, is often going to be all that you need to do to get rid of that slippage. If that still doesn’t work, then you may want to look into purchasing higher-quality card sleeves. 

You are able to remove air pockets from sleeved cards, particularly double-sleeved cards, in exactly the same way. 

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