Games bring people together and help us connect. You probably have fond memories of playing board games with family and friends since you were a child. The downside to board and card games is they take up a lot of space and the cards can get lost, bent, torn, or even eaten by a furry friend (from personal experience).
There are many ways to organize and store your game cards including zipper pouches, deck boxes, storage bins, binders, and travel cases.
In this article, we will examine easy ways to organize, store, and protect your game cards. From protection of rare and valuable cards to basic storage of your poker deck, we will disclose techniques used by beginner and advanced card and board game players.
How To Keep Board Game Cards Together
Zipper pouches are an excellent way to store board games and keep the cards together. They come in all shapes and sizes. Let’s look at two different sizes.
Small Zipper Pouches
My personal favorite are the small mesh ones, however plastic or fabric ones are also a great choice. I prefer to use these to keep cards together inside the larger game box. These are far superior to an old school tight rubber band that most of us grew up with. The cards would always get a little warped after a while and make them harder to shuffle.
Large Zipper Pouches
You can also use the larger zipper pouches to store the entire game and get rid of the space consuming box. These are great for minimalist and people who need to save space. Use the larger pouches with binder holes to store the entire game in a three-ring binder.
You can also put the pieces of a game inside smaller zipper pouches by type and then put them inside the larger one. Maximize your space and store all your games in a neat and tidy storage bin.
How to Store Game Cards
These boxes come in various sizes and can fit inside larger storage bins to keep all your games organized. Deck boxes are great tools for more advanced games and players. You can build a deck in a game and keep it separated from the unsorted cards of the game.
If you are a little bit of a neat freak like me, deck boxes are a good way to categorize your cards or further organize them by type or class. This works well if you have a system like alphabetizing or storing duplicates separately.
We recommend a large capacity card game case holder like this one by Alkoo. It holds up to 2,000 game cards and is compatible with a variety of widely popular games.
This option is great for games that have one or more of the following:
- A large number of cards or multiple decks.
- Several pieces such as miniatures and dice.
- Rare and bulk cards you want to keep together.
You can find a variety of boxes made from different materials such as reinforced cardboard, plastic, wood, or metal. I remember having a little tin box with my “go fish” cards in them when I was younger. I decorated it with stickers and paint. It was uniquely my own. You can get one with a cool design, engraving, or clear and use your creativity to make it your style.
Binders are used primarily for valuable cards in popular collectible card games (CCG), also known as trading card games (TCG). Binders protect the cards and keep them organized. You can get binders that store single and double sleeved cards.
They are useful for showing off and protecting your CCG cards. A few examples of CCG games are Magic: The Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and Pokémon.
If you are a fellow traveler, then travel cases are a great option for you. I personally like to have game nights with different friend groups and bring an assortment of games to the table (literally).
They are lightweight, easy to carry, available in different styles and sizes, and some are even waterproof.
What Are Additional Ways to Protect Your Cards?
Deck Protectors are plastic covers known as “sleeves” that are used to protect individual cards from wear and tear. Double sleeving is gaining popularity, especially with CCG players. This simple method is an excellent option for expensive, rare, or irreplaceable cards with sentimental value.
Use a thin sleeve that is form fitting to the card. This is also referred to as a “perfect fit” sleeve. Place the sleeved card into a regular loose fit sleeve. Make sure to put the opening of the card in the first sleeve down into the second sleeve so it is completely enclosed.
Here are a few reasons why this is effective:
- Protects your cards from damage such as spills, tears, and stress from sliding in and out of the sleeve.
- Protects your cards from dirt and dust that can get inside the outer sleeve.
- Prevents the cards from getting faded and whitened edges.
To check the current price and availability of card sleeves for trading card and board games, click here to view the selection on Amazon.
Top loaders are similar to sleeves. The difference is that they are thicker and made of rigid plastic making them harder to shuffle. They provide more protection, however, the deck protectors are a better option for game play. It is a good idea to store cards that don’t get much game play in these types of protectors.
How you choose to store and organize game cards depends on a few different factors including game type, how valuable a card is, and how many cards there are in your collection or game.
You can protect the cards individually or just keep them together and organized. If you have very rare or valuable cards, it is absolutely worth it to double sleeve and/or store them in a protective case or binder. This will keep your investment protected during game play and keep those cards in mint condition.
Use one of the storage ideas above to ensure your cards are never misplaced, damaged, or turned into puppy chow. Keep them safe and secure so you can make new memories with friends and family.