What is a Reverse Holo Pokemon Card?

Young family playing with Pokemon cards

To a card collector, there’s potentially nothing more exciting than an iridescent flash inside a freshly opened pack. Holographic trading cards, also commonly referred to as holo cards, are a sight to be seen. They feature a prismatic finish to the card design. This element catches the light and often adds a metallic luster to the card details.

But did you know this dazzling design feature dates back much further than you might think?

Holographic trading cards debuted in the 1980s, when Major League Marketing launched Sportflics cards. Many of the Sportflics cards were just typical baseball cards. But a limited variety of them were “Triple Action Magic Motion” portrait cards. These were essentially the very first holographic cards.

What followed was decades of popular trading card companies, from Marvel to Magic the Gathering, rolling out holo cards of their own. And this extends to the Pokémon Trading Card Game.

To be sure, holo Pokemon cards have gotten less rare over time. And certainly nothing will likely ever be as rare as the 1999 1st Edition Holographic Charizard Pokémon Card. Nevertheless, holo cards continue to be popular with players and collectors alike.

However, in your research you may have come across the term “reverse holo card.” You may be left wondering, exactly what is a reverse holo Pokemon card? And is it different from a normal holo card?

In this helpful guide, we will demystify the common questions about holos, reverse holos, and more.

Holo Pokemon Card Features

To understand holo cards, we first need to talk about card layout. Every Pokémon card essentially features the same elements:

  • A border
  • Top line: Pokemon details (name, HP, etc.)
  • Upper Center: An illustration of the Pokémon featured
  • Lower Center: Ability information, helping the player decide how to use the card
  • Bottom: Attack information, weakness/resistance information, rarity symbols, and card number

For normal Pokémon cards, everything from the top of the card to the bottom is presented in a matte printing finish. But unlike a normal Pokémon card, holo pattern cards carry that signature flash. A holo card features a prismatic finish on the illustration box in the center of the card. For example, while much of the card is still matte, a holo Pikachu card would feature:

  • A matte printed border, details, ability information, attack information, rarity symbols, card number, and;
  • A holographic illustration of Pikachu

If ever there is a question of whether or not your card is holographic, look at it under direct light. If the light glimmers off of the card, it’s a holo.

Reverse Holo Pokemon Cards – The Features

On the inverse, reverse holo Pokemon cards still feature a prismatic finish, but in the opposite way. Reverse holographic Pokemon cards commonly trick the eye. So, for that same Pikachu card example, a reverse holo Pikachu card would feature:

  • Holographic printed border, details, ability information, attack information, and rarity symbols, and;
  • A matte illustration of Pikachu

Everything from the Pokemon’s details to the artwork for the illustration itself would be identical. But for Pokemon cards, reverse holo comes down to exactly where the holographic effect is placed.

Reverse Holo Pokemon Card Value

So, which are the more valuable Pokemon cards: holo vs reverse holo?

Much like every other Pokémon card, card value isn’t an open-and-shut case. It’s unfortunately not as easy as we’d like to simply say all prismatic cards are rare. To be sure, not all holo cards or reverse holo cards are inherently rare or valuable.

Some of the most rare reverse holo Pokemon cards include:

  • Kabutops – Skyridge
  • Venusaur – Legendary Collection
  • Umbreon – Skyridge
  • And more

Every player is also different in their tastes and which kinds of cards they prefer to play. You will commonly see collectors arguing online about whether Pokemon cards in holo or reverse holo styles are better.

To be sure, certain holo cards and certain reverse holo cards are distinctly more rare and valuable than others. If you ever wonder about a card’s value, we recommend looking at online trading databases. Or you can always reach out to a trusted card collection resource (hint hint).

Hunt for Reverse Holos with Lightning Card Collection

If you’re like us, you love that flash of excitement that comes with finding a holo card or reverse holo card. At Lightning Card Collection, we are collectors too, and love helping TCG enthusiasts find the rarest pulls. Find your next rare card with Lightning Card Collection and catch em' all today!