Pokemon Card Rarity Symbols: Japanese & English Details

The Pokemon world has become so vast and one global phenomenon well embraced by the world is the Pokemon Trading Card Game which has long enchanted players that hope to have promising Pokemon card rarity symbols on their card packs.

Understanding the pokemon card rarity in this trading game is very important not just for first-time players but also for seasoned ones. If you’re a first-time player you have to be familiar with the rarity of your cards to gauge valuable Pokemon cards’ best value if plan to sell or trade them. For players that have long been enjoying the game on the field, there might be card rarities that you don’t know yet and you might find worth adding to your collections.

There are two different versions of the Pokemon cards, the English Pokemon cards and the Japanese Pokemon cards. Below, you will find a Pokemon card rarity guide with symbols for both versions along with the Japanese and English rarity in order. You won’t need any rarity charts as the rarity is already sorted.

English Pokemon Card Rarity

English Pokemon Card Rarities Explained

By just looking at the card’s bottom left or right, you should see the shape that identified the rarity of the card. Here are the card rarities that you can pull from a booster pack. English Pokemon cards are a little more difficult to identify and often times you will need to research online to find the exact rarity as some have the same symbol.

Common Cards

Common English cards

This is the lowest rarity represented by a black circle symbol. In a pokemon booster pack containing 10 cards, you are most likely to get 6 common Pokemon cards and from a standard booster box that contains 36 packs, you can expect to get around 216 common rarity cards.


Uncommon Cards

Uncommon English cards

Uncommon cards have the black diamond rarity symbol on them. You are most likely to get 3 uncommon cards from a booster pack containing 10 cards, and around 108 uncommon cards from the standard booster box.


Rare Cards

Black star rare Pokemon Cards

All rare cards are represented by the black star rarity symbol. You are most likely to get only 1 card from a booster pack containing 10 cards and only 36 rare cards from a standard booster box. Getting a rare card does not end there. There are a lot of different card rarities for rare pokemon cards so you must be on the lookout because you might get more than just the basic rare card.


Holo Rare Cards

Black star Holo Rare TCG rarity

For rare holo cards, like the normal rare cards have the black star rarity symbol. The photo section for the Pokemon gleams with holographic patterns in rare holo cards. Getting rare holographic cards means you get a collector’s item as only a small number of rare pokemon cards set has a rare holo rarity variant.


Secret Rare Cards

Secret Rare Mewtwo card

Secret rare Pokemon cards are the most difficult card to obtain. With the black star rarity symbol, secret rare cards are cards with card numbers that go over the original number set. For example, if you have a secret rare card if your rare card reads “205/198”, this is because your card number 205 is higher than the set card number 198. Any number that is higher than the maximum shown on the card automatically classifies as one of the set’s secret rares.


Ultra Rare Cards

Ultra Rare rarity in Pokemon TCG

Ultra rare cards are Pokemon cards that have extra powers or unique game mechanics with black, white, or semi white star rarity symbols. The following are considered ultra-rare Pokemon cards:

  • Pokemon GX – introduced in the Sun & Moon sets, these cards have capital “GX” right after the name.
  • Pokemon EX – with capital letters “EX” after their name, these cards were introduced in the Next Destinies set and also appeared in the Black & White and XY Series.
  • Pokemon ex – cards with “ex” after their name and can be found on all EX Series sets, the lowercase ex represents extra attack capabilities.
  • Pokemon Prime – pokemon cards with unique designs that can be found in HeartGold & SoulSilver sets. The borders and pokemon names are holographic featuring bursting close-up Pokemon faces in the character window.
  • Pokemon LEGEND – are pokemon cards found in the sets of the HeartGold & SoulSilver Series. Each card has a top half and a bottom half card. Both the top and bottom cards have the word “LEGEND” after the names.
  • Pokemon LV.X – are pokemon cards that can be found in the sets of Diamond & Pearl and the Platinum series. They have the “LV.X” designation after their names.
  • Pokemon Star – With shining star symbols next to their names, these pokemon cards were released initially in the EX Team Rocket Returns set and then in the EX series sets.
  • Pokemon Vstar – You can find Pokemon Vstar in the Sword & Shield Brilliant Stars set. There is a “VSTAR symbol next to the name of this pokemon card.
  • Pokemon Vmax – these full art cards have the Vmax symbol next to the names and were added to the Sword and Shield expansion set.

Rainbow Rare Cards

Best Rainbow Rare Pokemon cards

Rainbow pokemon cards are rare cards that have rainbow-like styles and colors on the surface. A Rainbow rare card is one of the rarest Pokemon cards to find. In a booster box with 36 card packs, there is a chance that you will not get this card.


Golden Cards

English Golden Rare cards

Golden Pokemon Cards or Gold Secret Rare Pokemon cards are rare cards that are highly sought full art cards that are easy to identify as they are covered in a distinctive golden color.

If you find a Golden Pokemon card in your booster pack, be sure to sleeve it up immediately and keep it safe as these are some of the most valuable cards in a set.


Reverse Holo

Reverse Holo rarity card in English

Reverse holo card rarity has holographic patterns all around the card except the actual art section. As the name suggests, it’s considered reversed because there is one type of rare card called rare holo card that has the gleam on the photo part and not the rest of the body of the card. You are guaranteed to get one reverse holo card from a booster pack of ten cards but it’s not always rare as you also get a reverse holo uncommon or common card.


Alternate Art or Special Art Pokemon Cards

The best Alternate Art Pokemon Cards

Alternate art pokemon cards are rare pokemon cards and considered as one of the best pulls that a player can get. These cards are full art cards differentiated from the full art cards because the artwork that appears to be more detailed deviates from the standard Pokemon cards.

You can tell that a card is an alternate art card by looking at the number at the bottom, if this number is greater than the set number then that is a good sign. So far, alternate art cards seem to interact with other objects or smaller Pokemon in the world and they are often a bit more detailed.

If you unsure, be sure to check the set list online of the booster pack you opened.


Promo Cards

English Promo cards for the Pokemon TCG

If there are special events like game releases or movies, these cards are released. A black star with the word “PROMO” printed over it represents a promo card. These are highly collectible cards and some can be worth a lot of money. If you have an opportunity to get your hands on a rare one, be sure to store it safely for the future.


Japanese Pokemon Card Rarity

Japanese Pokemon Rarities Explained

What could be more exciting than knowing how to understand Pokemon card rarity symbols from the country where it originated -Japan. Japanese Pokemon card rarity symbols are easy to understand and below, you will see the different Japanese Pokemon card rarity symbols. We also have added the Japanese Katakana characters and pronunciation for the various pokemon card rarities.

C – Common (コモン – Komon)

Common Japanese cards

Common Japanese Pokemon cards are represented by the letter “C” symbol on the bottom part of the cards near the set number.


U- Uncommon (アンコモン – Ankomon)

Japanese Uncommon Cards

An uncommon Japanese card rarity is represented by the letter “U” symbol on the bottom part of the card.


R- Rare ( レア – Rea)

Regular Rare Rarity Symbol in the Japanese Pokemon TCG

This pokemon card rarity is represented by the letter “R” symbol on the bottom part of the card.


RR – Double Rare (ブルレア – Dabururea)

Double Rare V and GX Pokemon Cards

Represented by the double “RR” symbol, these cards have glossy embossed effects and are the most common rarity for V cards.


RRR – Triple Rare (トリプルレア – Toripururea)

Triple Rares in the Pokemon TCG

“RRR” symbol represents triple rare Japanese Pokemon cards that have been introduced in the S1H/S1W Sword & Shield pack. These cards are only exclusive to VSTAR and Vmax V Cards.


SR -Super Rare (スーパーレア- Sūpārea)

Secret Rare or Super Rare Pokemon Cards in Japanese

These are usually textured pokemon cards with the “SR” rarity symbol at the bottom of the cards. Super Rares are considered as the Secret Rare cards of Japanese sets. Similar to the western Pokemon cards, the secret Pokemon cards have a number on the bottom left of the card which is higher than the number of cards in the set.


HR – Hyper Rare (ハイパーレア – Haipārea)

Hyper Rare or Rainbow Rare Japanese cards

Hyper Rare pokemon cards’ rarity is represented by the letters “HR” as a symbol. These are SR or RRR cards with different texturing and with rainbow coloring. These cards also contain glitter effects and are often referred to as Rainbow Rare Pokemon cards.


UR – Ultra Rare (ウルトラレア- Urutorarea)

golden Ultra Rare Japanese Pokemon card

This card’s rarity is represented by the letters “UR” as a symbol. Cards with Ultra Rare rarity are gold cards with glitter effect.


A – Amazing Rare (アメイジングレア – Ameijingurea)

Amazing Rare Pokemon Cards in Japanese

Amazing Rares are textured cards represented by the letter “A” symbol. These cards were introduced in S3a Legendary Heartbeat card packs.


CHR – Character (キャラクター – Kyarakutā)

Japanese CHR Pokemon Card rarity

Character cards are labeled as ‘CHR’ and are often found in the newer Japanese Pokemon sets. All CHR (Character) cards feature a human trainer, are full art, and are secret rares.

Japanese CHR cards are often a little bit more pricey compares to other cards, mainly due to the human character that is featured.


PROMO – Promotional Cards (プロモ – Puromo)

Japanese PROMO Pokemon Cards

Promo cards are special Pokemon cards that are easy to identify as they have a black star with the word PROMO written on them at the bottom left of the card.

These Promo cards are very collectible and some super rare valuable Pokémon cards that sell for insane amounts are promo cards that were released years ago or released in limited quantities. The nice thing about Promo cards is that they can contain multiple Pokemon such as the various starter Pokemon from different generations on a single card, or any other random situation that wouldn’t normally show up on regular cards.


Pokemon cards rarities have become ever-changing because of the demand coming from players all over the world. But knowing about the existing card rarities that circulate in the Pokemon card trading world is always worth it especially if you don’t want to miss owning all the rarity types in your Pokemon card collection.

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Article by Kyle

A gamer since the age of 2. Spent a lot of time in various MMORPGs such as Star Wars Galaxies, WoW, FFXIV, Tibia, you name it. Currently I spend a lot of time working and playing random indie games that I find on Steam. From time to time I dabble with Unity and pixel art where I create new elements for my upcoming game (if I ever get it finished).