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How to Weigh Pokemon Packs

how to weigh pokemon packs

It’s a subject that gets a lot of heated discussion in the world of Pokemon players. Some are for it and some are against it, but we’re not here to judge. Instead, we are going to discuss the logistics involved so that you can learn how to weigh Pokemon packs and make that call on your own.

In essence, weighing Pokemon packs to pull as many Holofoil cards as possible is still viable today. Although through the years it has been getting increasingly more difficult to weigh packs accurately with new holo commons as well as weighted code cards, it can still be done.

We’ll discuss how it’s done, whether or not it is cost-effective, potential pitfalls with specific series cards, and the overall legality of weighing in the first place. To get us started, we are going to need to take a hard look at the facts, starting with the average weight of a booster pack.

How Much Do Pokemon Packs Weigh on Average?

If you are going to experiment with weighing Pokemon packs in order to maximize your chances of obtaining rare cards then you will need to know the average pack weight. Most people use this with booster packs, which have 10 cards in each, and as it turns out, the weights can certainly help you.

A normal card is going to weigh approximately 1.69 grams. One the other of the spectrum is the heaviest, which are the Ultrarare cards. They weigh about 1.98 grams. Finally, the Holofoil cards weigh close to the same around as the Ultrarare cards, weighing in at 1.93 grams. The extra décor on these cards makes a difference and the proof is in the weights.

So, what does the average pack weigh that doesn’t have an Ultrarare or a Holofoil card? Well, typically we find that the average weight of of a booster pack without a Holofoil is around 28.99 grams. Between the cardboard and the foil-wrapped packs the weights are 9.14 and 19.88 grams, respectively.

For best results you will need to practice by purchsing and weighing 4 packs at a time and observing the range of differences. Weighing the cards DOES work, but it is a skill that you are going to need to develop with practice.

But, before you start any type of weighing, you will need to make sure you are properly equipped with a scale that is able to give you the most accurate weight numbers in grams.

Use a Sensitive Digital Pocket-Scale

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This is information which you can use but you will need to have a sensitive enough scale at your disposal. To this effect, a nice digital pocket-scale is going to be a good idea for weighing the packs. Choose a scale that can weigh in hundredths (.01). This decision is based solely on Accuracy.

We recommend using a scale like this one, that can be found on Amazon, since it is pocket sized and weighs in .00g.

You can try with a hand-postal scale, but generally the digital models are capable of a much finer precision.

Since you are looking for tiny aberrations in pack weight then that digital scale is simply going to be the best tool for the job.

Can You Weigh Sun and Moon Packs?

Released in December of 2016 in Japan, with English versions to be released in February of 2017, Pokemon’s Sun and Moon packs changed things up a little with regards to weighing packs, a standard that continues through the succeeding series packs. So, can you still weigh these packs?

Well, yes and no… depending on who you ask. Many players who have become skilled at weighing the card packs say that with a little practice the addition of the white and green code cards is not necessarily a hindrance.

Generally this manifested in two ways, with one being part of the package itself and the other method contingent on vendor participation. The first part of the strategy is the inclusion of weighted code-cards –redeemable online for various perks– that throw off the weights of the packs. This makes it considerably harder to weigh packs for locating rare cards.

Secondly, many stores that have received complaints have gotten in the habit of moving Pokemon cards closer to the checkout counter as a way of discouraging people from weighing the packs (or of simply walking out with them!)

Click here to check the current price and availability of the Sun and Moon Booster Box on Amazon.

How to Weigh Sun and Moon Packs

To weigh these Sun and Moon packs you will want to get started by recording the weights in samplings of 4 at a time and then comparing the weights to see if you notice trends.

You’ll have to purchase a number of packs in the process, of course, so that you can record your results, but in time this method can give you some target weights to watch for if the general consensus is to be believed. The best advice that we can give you is to look for the lightest packs for this series and onward.

This is because the green cards which come in the packs are thicker and heavier than the white code cards that are sometimes present. This is important, because Green cards are packed with rares. The lighter whites, however, are present when there is a Holo card.

As you can see, all the code cards technically achieve is that they have changed the ranges which you have to test for. So if you adjust with the times, you can still use pack weighing quite effectively.

Can You Weigh Pokemon Sword and Shield Packs?

Released on December 2019 in Japan and later in February 2020 as an English release, the Pokemon Sword and Shield packs added over 200 cards to the game, including 25 trainer cards , a new special energy card, and more. This popular release also included those code-cards which we have mentioned but the good news is that you CAN still weigh the packs.

How to Weigh Pokemon Sword and Shield Packs

While things have gotten more complicated since the Sun and Moon cards standard of including code-cards caught on, the weighing of the Sword and Shield packs is still just a matter of trial and error. You can go with the booster boxes if you don’t want to practice weighing the cards, but otherwise you will just need to get a sampling and start taking notes.

Weighing Pokemon cards is all about developing a sharp eye for weight deviance and mixing that up with your experience of what is inside. Numbers don’t lie, so by documenting what the individual packs weigh as well as what you actually got from them, you can easily develop a base that will give you the edge with weighing.

Simply put, if you invest the time, you can get the skill.

Click here to check the current price and availability of the Sword and Shield Booster Box on Amazon.

Is Weighing Pokemon Packs Illegal

The good news is that weighing Pokemon packs is not, indeed, illegal. That said, if you are going to try this for yourself then you will likely want to do this at a large, local store which carries them, such as Wal-Mart or Target. If you try to do it at a local comic book or gaming store then you may be asked to stop. Worse, is another Pokemon player may well give you an earful.

It is a bit of a contentious issue among players, as part of the appeal is that when you purchase a pack you don’t know what you are getting. This adds a bit of a ‘luck’ factor to the game and some people feel that you are taking this away from the game by weighing packs in advance to locate rarer cards.

Whether or not this is true, of course, we can’t say as everyone has their own personal opinions on this issue, with many players not caring either way.

We’re just here to give you the facts. With that in mind, is weighing packs a more cost-effective way to obtain rare cards? Let’s do the math and see!

Is Weighing Pokemon Packs More Cost-Effective for Getting Rare Cards?

Arguably, yes, weighing Pokemon cards is most cost effective — but it’s not guaranteed. If you are purchasing 10 packs, individually selected after weighing, then you are spending around $4 plus the tax on each for a ballpark figure of $50. If your weighing technique is good then you might be able to get 7 -10 Ultrarare cards.

Now, if you purchase a Booster box then you are looking at around an $85 investment and this is going to guarantee the following:

  • 108 uncommon cards
  • 36 rare cards
  • 216 common cards

So, as you can see, a lot is going to depend on your talent for weighing the cards and this does take practice. Don’t expect results overnight, but if you work on it the general consensus seems to be that it is a cost-effective hack for getting Ultrarare cards without having to break the bank. If spending the extra money is not a problem, however, then you might want to consider going with the guaranteed option.

It boils down to a question of whether you want to invest the time or just spend the extra money, but as many players find that hunting rares this way is a bit like a ‘treasure hunt’ you might want to give it a try first to see for yourself. It’s just another way to play your favorite game!   

Are There Any Other Methods for Finding Rare Pokemon Cards?

The latest rumor which we have heard is that some players are using handheld metal detections in order to determine if rare cards are present. So, does this work? We can’t say yes or no for sure, but many handheld detectors are sensitive enough to catch trace amounts of metals in dirt. This is an expensive location hack, however, so we don’t know that this will catch on as the latest rare-card finding trend.

Only time will tell.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know the ins and out of weighing Pokemon packs the rest is going to be up to you. We encourage that you give it a try if you are looking to save a little money on collecting cards or simply if the idea of adding a ‘treasure hunt’ that requires a bit of specialized skill is appealing to you. It’s not easy, but anything worth doing seldom is.

So if you decide to go this route, just be patient, and practice thoroughly. Get yourself a sensitive scale and keep track of the weights with a notepad and practice a little. You now have a new method potentially at your disposal for finding those elusive Holos and Ultrarares.

After all… there’s more than one way to ‘catch them all’!

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