This page may contain affiliate links to places like eBay and other online retailers. If you buy from a link, we may earn a small commission. Learn more.

If you’re just getting into Pokémon cards, it’s likely you’ve heard the term ‘Reverse Holo’ quite a bit!

In this guide I’m going to explain exactly what these means, and answer a few other useful related questions too.

Let’s get into it!

What is a Reverse Holo Pokémon Card?

A reverse holo Pokémon Card is one where the main character graphic window isn’t holographic (or shiny), but the rest of the card is.

Here is an example from my Instagram account, and one of the most popular modern Charizard cards

As you can see the iconic Charizard artwork is effectively matte and isn’t shiny at all. But the rest of the card is holographic and has a lovely shine to it.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Pokemon Card Collector (

It’s also worth noting that on the PSA label, the card is referred to as ‘REV. FOIL’, which is short for ‘Reverse Foil‘.

This is exactly the same meaning as ‘Reverse Holographic’.

What is a Holo Pokémon Card?

Just for clarification purposes, a normal/standard Holo Pokémon card is where the character graphic window is holographic/shiny, but the rest of the card isn’t. 

Here’s an example of a Holographic card, this beautiful original Base Set Charizard from 1999.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Pokemon Card Collector (

The History of Reverse Holographic Pokémon Cards

The first ever Reverse Holo Pokémon card is the 2001 Entei Reverse Holographic.

This was a free promotional card given with ticket purchases for Pokémon 3: The Movie – Spell of the Unown.

It’s a beautiful card, and to this day the quality of the almost mirrored holographic effect is unrivaled. 

Entei Reverse Holo Pokemon Card

But we didn’t see Reverse Holo’s included in a set until the following year. 

2002 Neo Destiny was the last set to receive 1st Edition Stamps, as Wizard’s of the Coast felt the gimmick had somewhat been exhausted. 

There’s only so much perceived value it can bring, with Neo Destiny being the 10th set to include them!

Instead, to add a new level of rarity, the 2002 Legendary Collection included a reverse holographic variant of every card.

To this day, they are widely considered the best ever reverse foil designs due to their firework effect. 

When you move the card in the light, the array of colours and light reflections gives the most incredible illusion of fireworks going off! 

Here’s an example of one of my favourite pieces to highlight my point:


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Pokemon Card Collector (

How Rare Are Reverse Holo Pokémon Cards?

As a general rule, Reverse Holo’s are not as rare as normal Holographic cards.

This all comes down to their pull rates.

There have been some exceptions over the years of course, by generally Pokémon card packs all come with a Reverse Holo inside. But they don’t all come with a standard Holo. 

How Valuable Are Reverse Holo Pokémon Cards?

Certain Reverse Holo Pokémon cards are incredibly valuable. 

Cards from the 2002 Legendary Collection as mentioned above are much loved among the community, and therefore fetch a premium. 

Interestingly, because the holographic area is bigger than a standard holo card, they more susceptible to print lines and imperfections.

This can make them harder to achieve a top grade (if you choose to grade your Pokémon cards).

As such, cards that achieve a ‘Gem Mint 10‘ status can be significantly more valuable than 9’s or below.

With that being said though, simply because Reverse Holo’s have a higher pull rate from packs, they will generally be less valuable than standard holographic cards.

My Final Thoughts

I love vintage Pokémon cards and I’m a big fan of the early Reverse Holographics. 

Although there have been some very creative designs over the years, I personally feel that modern reverses don’t quite provide the same cosmetic appeal as they once did. 

Every collector is different though, and as always – collect the cards you love 🙂

Thanks for reading!