Scaling Yu-Gi-Oh cards has been around ever since the beginning of TCG’s. Scaling is used widely across all different platforms of games and isn’t limited to just Yu-Gi-Oh. All your favorite TCG’s have been scaled at one point or another.
Did you ever wonder how a card shop would have some of the rarest cards for sale in their glass displays? This is the art of scaling at its prime. Many would say that it is never smart to buy booster or blister packs from a card shop since they most likely have been scaled.
This decreases your chance of getting that ultra-rare holographic leaving you with just common cards and a worthless rare. To this day there is one question that remains.
Does scaling still work? The answer to this question is yes. Scaling still works, but you need to know how the Yu-Gi-Oh TCG has changed over the years to fully benefit from scaling cards. Let’s dive in.
What Is Scaling?
Scaling is the art of using a well-calibrated pocket-sized or regular sized scale to weigh packs for the purpose of finding valuable foil cards. This takes practice and doesn’t guarantee that you will get a foil every time, but it does greatly increase your chance of getting them.
There are two different ways to scale card packs. You can scale blister packs in a store, or you can scale booster packs from a booster box within the privacy of your own home. There are some risks associated with scaling inside of stores, so we recommend scaling booster packs in your home.
Scaling cards in a store uses the same method we discuss below, except for the fact that you may be faced with confrontations with store managers, employees, or security.
What’s the Difference Between a Booster Pack and a Blister Pack?
A blister pack is essentially a booster pack that has been packed up for a retail store to sell. The blister is a package made out of a cardboard back with a plastic front to show the booster pack.
A booster pack is what’s inside the blister pack. Booster packs are also found on the inside of a booster box. A booster box is usually a themed box that has a large amount of booster packs inside that all pertain to a certain set in the series.
Use an Accurate Scale
The first step to weighing a pack is having the right equipment. There are essentially two types of scales. There is a scale that measure in .0g and other scales that measure in .00g.
What’s the difference you ask? Accuracy. You will get a more accurate reading of a pack when you use a scale that is able to measure in tenths and hundredths than just tenths alone.
We recommend using a scale like this one that’s on Amazon since it is pocket-sized and also measures in .00g.
Once you have a scale that meets the requirements above, you will need to make sure it is calibrated. Read the instructions that comes along with your scale to calibrate its settings.
Weigh Your Booster or Blister Packs
Once your scale is calibrated, it’s time to weigh your booster packs. There is no set “weight” to look for when trying to distinguish if a pack has a foil card or not.
What you want to do is create two piles. Piles of “heavy packs” and piles of “light packs”. The difference between the light and heavy packs will be about .5 or .6 grams, but remember to use these numbers as rough guidelines.
This means if you weigh a pack and it is 7.06g, but your last pack was 7.12g, it is safe to say that you most likely have a foil card in the 7.12g pack.
Here is a great video tutorial demonstrating exactly what I just said with Duelist Pack Yugi and Kaiba:
What Are the Ratios for Finding Foil Cards?
All of the following ratios are approximate and should not be taken with an end all be all mindset. Foil ratios are approximately as followed:
- 1:24 for Secret Rares
- 1:12 for Ultra Rares
- 1:5 for Super Rares
We will use a base rule of 24 packs in our next example. If you open 24 packs, this means that your two heaviest piles should have about 7-8 packs in total. Remember to keep in mind that this is only an estimate, and not the rule.
When opening a booster box, this is a good way to gauge whether or not you are on the right track.
Considerations to Keep in Mind
There are a few things you need to take into account before you start purchasing weighing packs in stores, or purchasing tons of booster boxes to scale.
Guaranteed Foil Card Packs
*One thing to consider is that back in 2016, there were changes made to Yu-Gi-Oh booster packs to where they all include a foil card in every pack. This can make weighing cards not as effective since it will be hard to differentiate what packs will have valuable foils.
Weighing packs works best when you purchase packs that do not guarantee holographic cards due to the fact that cards with a holographic generally weigh more than packs that don’t.
We aren’t saying that it’s not possible to scale modern packs, it just means that there are way more variables involved now since every pack essentially contains a foil.
Security Tabs/Loss Prevention Bar Codes
*A second thing you need to consider is if you are planning on weighing packs inside stores like Target or Walmart.
Target has little metal security tabs on the back of their blister pack. These are typically small, square shaped stickers that are white in color. Most of these stickers don’t have anything underneath them, and some of them will have a diamond-shaped metal tab sticking out of a corner.
These are important to note because they will increase the weight of your packs by a substantial amount. This can increase the weights anywhere from 0.1g and 0.3g. The best way to weigh packs are to avoid these types of packs altogether. You may find some without security tabs and we recommend weighing those instead.
Walmart also has their own type of security called loss prevention bar codes. These are typically behind the booster packs on the inside of the blister. This makes it very difficult to weigh cards because there is no way of telling for sure if a blister pack has one of these or not. It is also just best to avoid these types of packs.
Is it still possible to scale Yu-Gi-Oh cards? Most definitely. Especially the booster packs that are before Konami started implementing guaranteed foil cards in every pack.
It is still possible to weigh newer generation packs, but the odds are a lot smaller as it will be harder to pinpoint which packs have Ultra and Secret rares. You will need to do a lot of trial and error testing until you get a good enough system to have the highest chance possible for pulling a valuable foil card.
For the best chance at collecting foil cards and making money, we suggest purchasing booster boxes that do not have guaranteed foils. Weigh all the packs and open the “heavy” ones. Then resell your unopened booster packs for money. This will guarantee the biggest return on your investments.
Many people frown upon this type of booster pack reselling, but to each their own. We hope this guide has been helpful in one way or another for you. Thanks for reading!