TCGplayer aims to increase customer satisfaction by defining standards that reduce ambiguity and ensure that customer expectations are met.

TCGplayer card conditions are a great point of reference for both Buyers and Sellers. By providing clear examples of what a card should look like at each condition, we make sure everyone knows what to expect when buying and selling cards on

The challenge is that there are no hard and fast rules regarding the amount of marks a card can have or how severe those marks can get—every card is unique. By introducing guidelines, we aim to identify the best methods for evaluating card condition.

A consistent experience for

Any stamp, inking or signature on a card is considered an alteration, and since each alternation is unique, they cannot fit within our standardized grading. Cards marked in this way should only be sold as listings with photos.

Common things to look out for:

The card is not a different version than what is expected. The card must be the specific edition.

In addition to stamps, inking and alterations, print errors, ink inconsistencies and miscuts do not fall within our standardized grades.

Not all cards pulled from a pack are Near Mint. Cards can be opened that have markings or damage, inking inconsistency or factory defects.

Our Card Condition Guidelines

TCGplayer has collected feedback from players, and we've used their input to develop guidelines that address their most common concerns about card conditions.

Near Mint

Cards in Near Mint condition show minimal to no wear from shuffling, play or handling and can have a nearly unmarked surface, crisp corners and unblemished edges outside of a few minimal flaws. A Near Mint card may have a tiny edge nick or a tiny scratch or two, but overall look nearly unplayed with no major defects or flaws.

The acceptable range of cards within the Near Mint condition include both cards with no imperfections and cards with a few minor imperfections or a single more noticeable imperfection.

Near Mint Foil

On foil cards, wear and blemishes are more easily noticed. As a result, grading NMFs is fairly simple: They canʼt have any scratches, clouding, print defects or visible damage or marks. Near Mint Foils are nearly pristine cards because itʼs the most scrutinized card condition.

Lightly Played

Cards in Lightly Played condition may have minor border or corner wear or even just slight scuffs or scratches. There are no major defects such as water damage, bends or issues with the structural integrity of the card. Noticeable imperfections are okay, but none should be too severe or at too high a volume.

The acceptable range of cards within the Lightly Played condition include both cards with a handful of minor imperfections and those with a few more noticeable imperfections.

Lightly Played Foil

Lightly Played Foils show minimal shuffle wear and very few surface flaws. Any flaws such as scratches are very slight, and no major imperfections or flaws should exist. Scratches in the art box tend to be more noticeable and factor more heavily than other flaws. Foils in Lightly Played condition may also have slight fading or signs of wear or slight warping.

Moderately Played

Cards in Moderately Played condition exhibit condition issues visible at a casual glance. Cards in Moderately Played condition can have border wear, corner wear, scratching or scuffing, creases or whitening, minor dirt buildup or any combination of mild examples of these marks.

A Moderately Played card may have some form of a more major marking, such as spot water damage or creasing that doesnʼt affect card integrity, but not in combination with other issues such as scratches, scuffs or border/edge wear and not impacting a large area of the card.

Moderately Played Foil

Warping, clouding, scratching and a little flaking are all fine on Moderately Played Foils (MPFs). They are also allowed to have minor border wear. As long as there are no major defects, these minor flaws are okay on MPFs.

Heavily Played

Cards in Heavily Played condition show a severe amount of wear. Heavily Played condition can include cards that have major creasing, major whitening, major border wear or any combination of those flaws. (These flaws cannot prevent the card from being tournament playable when sleeved.)


Cards in Damaged condition can exhibit a tear, bend or crease that may make the card illegal for tournament play, even in a sleeve. Cards in Damaged condition may have extreme border wear, extreme corner wear, heavy scratching or scuffing, folds, creases or tears or other damages that impacts the structural integrity of the card. (Note: No one likes to receive a card that is covered in a foreign substance, such as food, liquid, dirt or other material. Cards like these are not accepted through TCGplayer.)

Heavily Played and Damaged Foils

Heavily Played Foils and Damaged Foils follow the same rules as their non-foil counterparts.

For further information on how card conditions are determined and TCGplayer's policies on card conditions, please click here to view our helpful video.

Was this article helpful?
3 out of 4 found this helpful
Have more questions? Submit a request