Collectible card games, also known as trading card games (TCGs), were introduced in 1993 and have only grown in popularity since. They are card games that mix strategic deck-building aspects with trading card features and are widely considered as one of the major stepping stones in gaming history.
Although TCGs have their roots in the fantasy realm, genres have since evolved to include horror, science fiction, sports, and even pop culture amongst many others. They allow for millions of people around the world to interact with others in a strategic manner, revolving around some of their favorite shared topics and themes.
Storing Your Playing Cards
Whether you are an avid player or just a collector, keeping your cards in good condition is of utmost priority. Not only is it more enjoyable to play with cards that are taken care of, but proper storage will also help to boost their resale value, especially in the case of rare cards.
Since most if not all cards are made of paper, it is recommended to store them in acid-free containers and away from direct sunlight. This helps to prevent the paper from getting damaged or aging, ensuring that your cards will remain intact and maintain their appearance.
The two most common methods used for storing trading cards are the following:
- Individual Plastic Sleeves – Acid-free plastic sleeves are available in many sizes, from individual sleeves to pages that hold up to nine cards. These also have the advantage of easily slipping into an album, making it easier to navigate your collection.
- Hard Plastic Cases – Especially for your most valuable cards, a hard plastic case that snaps shut may be the best method to use. These offer more protection than sleeves, due to their rigidity and ability to keep out dust, moisture, and other elements.
Custom Playing Card Storage
If you’re serious about keeping your cards looking fresh, you can go the extra mile with custom storage. With custom storage not only will you ensure that your cards stay in the best condition possible, but you will also stand out from the crowd and make a statement while you’re at it! These services are usually offered online and feature a simple, user-friendly interface to guide you through the process of creating and ordering your customized sleeves.
Some companies offer the ability to make one-off card sleeves amongst other card accessories that you can customise to your liking with pictures, text, or logos. In some cases, they can even offer custom material options to cater to your preferred in-the-hand feel. Another great benefit of custom sleeves is that you can ensure to never lose the cards that are dear and near to you amongst the deck when playing with friends.
Playing Card Etiquette
Card storage options are a great method for keeping your cards looking just as fresh as the day you first removed them from their original packaging. This is granted that they are kept in good condition during the time that they are not stored. Proper card maintenance and etiquette can help in preserving your cards, especially for those who keep their cards bare instead of stored when in use.
Here are some tips & tricks:
- Wash your hands before handling your cards – Oil and grime from your skin can dirty or even damage your cards.
- Dry your hands – Your skin retains moisture, even more so if you are prone to have clammy hands. Paper retains moisture more than your skin does, so be sure to periodically dry your hands when handling your cards
- Don’t carry cards close to your person – Carrying your cards in your trouser pocket, or even a jacket pocket exposes them to body heat which may cause the cards to expand or warp.
- Keep your cards flat when stored – Storing your cards flat helps prevent warping as gravity is on the cards’ side. Whereas storing them upright, for example, can make it easier for the elements to have their way with your cards.
For many, their trading cards are truly a source of pride and joy, outside of being an enjoyable pastime and in some cases a source of income. From the casual enthusiasts to the die-hard collectors, keeping your cards in the best condition possible for as long as possible is of paramount importance.
By following the suggestions, tips, and tricks in this article you can help keep all of your cards looking as good as they did before you first unboxed them. Not only preserving them for yourself but also preserving them for the new generations of enthusiasts that are bound to follow in the future.