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What Is a Penny Sleeve?

What Is a Penny Sleeve

Penny sleeves are among the cheapest card sleeves that you can purchase. As a result, a lot of people do wonder whether penny sleeves are worth it. That is what we want to cover on this page.

A penny sleeve is an incredibly cheap card sleeve. As the name suggests, you will be paying about a penny for each sleeve. So, 100 sleeves are going to set you back $1. There are some penny sleeves that are a bit more expensive than this, and some that are slightly cheaper. However, we feel the $1 for 100 gives you a decent estimate. 

Let’s go into a bit more depth on this because we are positive that there are a few people out there that may want to know a little bit more about what penny sleeves are and when you should or should not be using them.

Why Are They Called Penny Sleeves?

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As we mentioned before, penny sleeves are called penny sleeves because they are cheap. They used to be about a penny each.

The reason why these card sleeves are so cheap is all down to the fact that they are made from rather flimsy plastic. They provide a small amount of protection to your card, but they won’t really be providing all that much protection. They are more to help prevent the front of your cards from becoming scratched. We will talk more about this in a short while.

To check the current price and availability of Ultra Pro Penny Sleeves, click here to view the listing on Amazon.

How Do You Put a Card in a Penny Sleeve?

Penny card sleeves are not all that difficult to use. Just slide the card in from the top and you are done.

Do bear in mind that the vast majority of people that do use penny sleeves will actually be double-sleeving their cards. This means that they are going to put the card into the card sleeve and then they are going to put that card sleeve into another, better on.

You should also bear in mind that most penny sleeves can hold more than a single card. This means that there is going to be a lot of space in the card for them to bounce about. So, they are not going to provide the best protection for your rarest cards unless you are double-sleeving.

Are Penny Sleeves Good?

It depends on why you are using them.

If the whole idea behind you using penny sleeves is to provide a small amount of protection to your card, then they are great. They can stop your cards from becoming damaged while they are being stored. It also helps to keep your cards together. For example, a lot of people will store playsets of 4 cards in a single penny sleeve, just to make their life a little bit easier.

Beyond basic card storage, however, penny sleeves are not going to be brilliant. You cannot shuffle them properly. As we said before, there is also going to be a lot of space for the cards to bounce about inside. This means that if you are planning on using penny sleeves for cards that you intend to play with, then it is not going to be the best experience.

That being said, we know of several people that do sleeve up their cards with penny sleeves while having the intention of playing with the cards. This can work fantastically well if you are putting together some cheap decks that you can have a couple of table games with. For example, if you are planning on making up a cheap Magic the Gathering deck that has no more than a few commons and some rares in it.

Do Penny Sleeves Damage Trading Cards?

This is highly dependent on how you are actually using the penny sleeve.

If you have a single card inside of the penny sleeve and the card is just being stored, then you should be fine. This will not cause any damage to the trading cards at all.

However, if you are storing playsets of cards in the same penny sleeve, then you could end up with a couple of scratches on the back and front of the cards. This probably wouldn’t be an issue for most people. However, if you are planning on getting the cards graded in the future then you could end up running into a few problems. 

If you are ultimately planning on playing with the cards while they are in penny sleeves and you are not double-sleeving then, yes, the cards will get damaged. This is because there is no shuffle protection in place. This means that as you play with the trading cards, you are going to be putting pressure on the sides of the cards. This will cause them to become damaged. This is why we do not recommend using penny sleeves for your rarer cards.

How Many Cards Can Fit In a Penny Sleeve?

You can actually fit a decent number of cards into a single penny sleeve. Most people put four into the penny sleeve, though. It is at about this point that things really start to get cramped in the penny sleeve. Since four is the maximum number of cards in a playset for most trading card games, then this is a good ‘cap’ too.

Are There Different Sizes of Penny Sleeves?

All penny sleeves are the same size. So, if you have YuGiOh cards, then you need to bear in mind that the penny sleeve will be far, far larger than your card.

Final Thoughts

Penny sleeves are among the most affordable trading card sleeves that you can buy. As the name suggests, these card sleeves will cost about a penny each.

You do need to remember that penny sleeves will not provide that much protection for your cards. They are mostly used for storage or for building up cheap decks of cards.

It is always worth having some penny sleeves around if you are opening up new boosters.

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