Sleeves... sleeves...sleeves!

by reddit-maynerd. Posted on May 23, 2020    0    62

I've never sleeved my cards in the past but I'm starting to think I will begin the process of sleeving my cards. The prices are outrageous $2-3 per pack of 50 - 100. How do I buy in bulk? I'm going to need over 10k sleeves! Craziness! Anyone know where I can buy sleeves in bulk?



Penny sleeves. Mayday are good.

Pope_Cerebus 1

God, no. Penny sleeves are horrible. I sleeved Dominion in Mayday's soft penny sleeves, and they were in garbage condition within a month. I had to unsleeve and resleeve the whole game and put them in some FFGs. Those sleeves lasted a good 3 years before any needed replacing, and only cost about 2-3 times the cost of the penny sleeves (for about 40x the lifespan).

On a game that requires little or no shuffling they might be fine, but anything you shuffle a lot you need good sleeves for.

snowbabiez 2

Yes penny sleeves are way worse than not having sleeves. If I buy second-hand games that are sleeved with penny sleeves, I always remove them. They clump together after awhile, so it's not like it makes it harder to shuffle--they're impossible to handle unless you spend time picking every card apart.

cwq23us 1


dilvish-damned 2

This. Mayday sleeves are pretty cheap. They don't have the nice feel that premium sleeves do (like Ultra Pro), but if you're setting out to sleeve in bulk, something like that would be cheaper.

You can also keep an eye out for Kickstarters. The guy that runs Mayday spun off and started Sleeve Kings. They're kind of a middle of the road thickness but still on the affordable side. They've been doing waves in Kickstarter and you can get a good deal if you're willing to wait a bit (Covid really messed up their latest one).

The games I have that are pure card games and are handled the most that I love, I use Ultra Pro because I like the feel. I had to sleeve hundreds of Munchkin cards at once and I used Mayday. For everything else I placed a huge Sleeve Kings pledge.

ExplodingSnail 1

I generally use either Mayday Premium or Docsmagic Premium for games that are expensive/rare or Sleeve Kings where there are a load of cards and cost and space in the box is an issue.

takabrash 1

Surprised no one has mentioned Potomac Distribution yet. I've always gotten good deals from them (although the numbers you quote are pretty standard).

ikwtif 1

I was looking to sleeving some boardgames, but besides not having easy access to sleeve sizes/brands I need, the prices are just too high keeping in mind finding a perfect fit is almost next to impossible as well. Unless I would play a game almost every week and card wear would actually affect gameplay I'm not dealing with sleeving.

Pope_Cerebus 1

If you're looking for sleeves in bulk, go to your LGS and talk to the owner or manager. Ask what kind of deal they can give you for a bulk order paid in cash.

raged_norm 1

Sell games you don’t play to buy sleeves for sleeves you do?

Been doing that recently, selling games upgrade the ones I have.

  reddit-maynerd 1

I am starting to sell off games, not necessarily for sleeves but yes I'm going to shrink my collection. I'm going to need to have a good think about what games I want to sleeve.

Pathological_RJ 1

I’d definitely recommend buying a pack of a few brands so you can find out which ones you like before ordering 10,000. I really only like matte backed sleeves, the clear ones are too slippery for example. I also only sleeve games that involve a lot of shuffling or where hidden info is important.

ax0r 1

One clever trick if you find your standard sleeves too slippery is to wipe them once over a sheet of fine grit sandpaper. Something fine enough that it doesn't noticeably affect the transparency. Making the surface ever so slightly rougher gives the plastic enough grip (and air a place to escape). Can make a good difference for tall decks.

  reddit-maynerd 1

That's a good point about the different types of sleeves and the risk at buying a bunch before trying them out. When you say hidden info is important how does a sleeve help with that since they are clear?

Pathological_RJ 1

Having clear sleeves for hidden info games helps by keeping cards from becoming marked by damage (bent corners, scratches, etc). You also can get sleeves with opaque backs and clear fronts (for example dragon shield matte sleeves) but these are more expensive.

Rammite 1

You can get sleeves with colored backings. The front side is clear, the back side is opaque. If you get a matte sleeve, the back will also have a mottled surface that's good for gripping.

Pope_Cerebus 1

Yup, this - an opaque back on sleeves has the advantage of hiding any damage to a card. If you've ever had a card get a bent corner you know what I'm talking about - as soon as you see that bent corner on top of the deck or in someone's hand, you know exactly what card it is. With opaque sleeves, the bend is hidden so doesn't reveal what the card is.

wpflug13 1

LaTCG is reasonable quality and inexpensive. Paladin and Sleeve Kings are other good options.

N0Xnam3 1

What game is this for?

  reddit-maynerd 1

Not one game all my games

DaLejund 4

That's cheap...but then again only use dragon shield.


Damn how much you paying?

DaLejund 2

$12 for 100 sleeves. But they're super nice and probably overkill.


Holy moly!

Pope_Cerebus 2

For any game you constantly shuffle, it's worth it. Dragon Shields stand up to abuse better than just about anything else I've ever used.

WorldClassCactus 2

Not only that, but the shuffling itself works better with matte backed sleeves.

I tried the new formula kmc hyper mats that come in packs of 100 and i might actually prefer them over dragon shields. Pretty much the same thickness, slightly less rough matte texture, and closer fit.

dcoe 2

> Sleeves... sleeves...sleeves!

> *flips table*

The Steve Ballmer of boardgames.

  reddit-maynerd 1


Rammite 2

> I'm going to need over 10k sleeves!

Whoa hold on there bucko, are you trying to sleeve every card in a 10 mile radius? Why go for so many?

You should only sleeve games that are going to see lots of use, or are very expensive. For example, I have a huge collection of card games, but only sleeve my Magic: The Gathering cube, because that's quite expensive and it's meant to be handled by many people in a social situation. I sleeved every single card, land, and token I have, and that's still only 700 sleeves.

If you need to sleeve more than a thousand cards then you need to pump the brakes.

Bratikeule 1

Yep that's the way. I sleeve up MtG Cards I use for decks, but I would not go ahead and do the same for say a Catan. I picked up a Dominion for 2€ that was probably used by a game club or something and the cards look heavily used, but who cares. It's playable anyway.

  reddit-maynerd 1

What can I say...I've got too many damn cards. Lol

But yeah I'm starting to rethink this and just sleeve some core games. I've got a 7yo who's starting to play games with me and I'm getting worried he's gonna trash cards since he's a kid. Lol

Rammite 5

I genuinely can't even visualize ten thousand cards being in the same place.

I'd say at 7 years old, you aren't at too much risk of cards being dinged or scratched. Sleeves really only protect against dirtiness and minor damage, but offer just about no protection against bending or folding. Then again, you know your kid best, maybe he's a monster.

Keep in mind that sleeved cards radically change storage and handling. Any given pile of cards will be about 50% thicker, and they'll be much more slippery unless you go for expensive matte surfaced sleeves.

Also, sleeved cards are pointy. Real goddamn pointy. Oh my god damn, the corners can poke and prick your palms if you aren't used to handling sleeved cards. No one ever warns you of this.

Either way, I'd look into some more kid-resistant games - either games that are cheap enough that it doesn't hurt if you need to buy it again, or games that can take a beating, such as the large sturdy tiles of Hive or Azul. Finally, remember that most board game companies are happy to mail you replacement cards.

  reddit-maynerd 1

I hear ya man I did an inventory of the games I had and the count and sizes...was blown away. Lol

Great looks like I gotta go matte now too. Lol

He's not a monster but I do think he will cause minor damage that the sleeves would likely protect against. I of course could push him away from card based games but I'm fond of card based games (obviously).


A cheap but annoying thing you could do is just sleeve and unsleeve all your cards before every game. As you get more sleeves, you'll have to do the process less often.

Ultra Pro matte sleeves are $6 for 100, so definitely on the expensive side of things - but you can comfortably sleeve 3 or 4 games at a time at that rate.

  reddit-maynerd 1

Not bad, I know I don't play all my games at once! :) Perhaps a few hundred sleeves may work. One problem is that these board games have all sorts of sized cards! Quite a pain! probably 75% use the standard size though.

deltree3030 2

Dephia sleeves recently replaced my usual. They're a good bargain for still being more robust than penny sleeves. They also aren't too slippery.

  reddit-maynerd 3

Thanks guys you've given me some things to think about. Maybe going cheap isn't the best plan...I'll need to ponder this.

Xeosphere 4

Those prices are basically the industry standard, and they're much cheaper than the ultra high quality sleeves that MtG/Yugioh players will use. There are a few options that balance price and quality though.

One option for bulk good quality sleeves in most sizes is BCW Supplies, but it will still run you quite a bit to sleeve everything.

Sleeve Kings is another option that provides supposedly good thinner sleeves at a price point in between soft and premium sleeves.

Soft sleeves are another option, mainly from Mayday or Ultimate Guard, but they're considered much lower quality than the premium options (much thinner and harder to shuffle with). Penny sleeves are even a step below that, but the cheapest option available. In the long run you would likely regret buying penny sleeves for any game that requires a decent amount of shuffling.

gorditacrunch93 3

+1 for Sleeve Kings. They aren’t the thickest but they’re good quality and come in packs of 110 which is really nice.

kennn13 1

They are my go-to now. They feel good enough and the price point is awesome. Patiently waiting for a restock on the standard size, I’ve got thunderstone quest to sleeve!

ax0r 1

Yup, I really like them.

I'm using Paladins for things that I want to feel super premium (like KDM), but for everything else, Sleeve Kings is an easy choice.

Magic_Hoarder 1

How long do they usually take to ship their orders? I ordered from them a week ago and haven't gotten an email. I just want to know what to expect since it's my first time

gorditacrunch93 2

It was a couple days the last time I ordered but I put one in last week and it’s still just chilling on confirmed status but no shipping. Hoping they send it out soon.

Xeosphere 1

I emailed them last week asking if there were any updates on availability but I still haven't gotten an answer. Hopefully they were right about getting a restock in this week.

gorditacrunch93 1

Fingers crossed 🤞🏼

Magic_Hoarder 2

Well I'm glad to know I'm not the only one!

brgwings 4

Paladin card sleeves does pretty regular kickstarters for their sleeves. Pretty affordable during the Kickstarter. I usually buy a ton and use them till they get low and hop in whatever the next one is when I need more.


I know the most popular game is Fantasy Flight card sleeves but Paladin card sleeves is a much better game.

xiontawa 1

Fantasy Flight no longer makes sleeves.


The original sleeve line has been discontinued, but now they're making new ones with a different company.

ceephour 1

GameGenic, a different company, but also under Asmodee, is using the same "color scheme" (plus) as the old FFS line, but that's it.

Maxpowr9 2

Typical Fantasy Flight, going OoP.


Thanks that's something... I'm surprised there aren't more options out there

RadiantTurtle 4

A quick google search will reveal that there are tons and tons of sleeve options out there. Have you tried a web search?

  reddit-maynerd 1

Bulk options offer substantial discounts on thousands of sleeves? Please link me.

RadiantTurtle 2

I cannot as I am on mobile right now. I'd encourage you to perform your own search. I personally buy from Burning Tree Gaming, but don't let that stop you from getting better deals.

  reddit-maynerd 1

You know, I did a search for bulk sleeves, I think unlimited my search to FFG sleeves which may have been the reason I couldn't find good places to buy bulk. I'll search around more. This thread has been helpful as I may go a different route with my sleeve plan.


RadiantTurtle 1

You're welcome! I used to get FFG for most of my games, but they've been discontinued. Asmodee partnered with Gamegenic to support them as the new sleeve fleet. I've been buying those recently and they are good quality; I actually prefer the standard size to the FFG ones.

For games where I need to shuffle a lot and want a truly good shuffle feel, or games that I really care about, I go with Dragon Shield. This is personal preference, but I also love matching themes with sleeve colors, so I'll end up building decks and applying a color as it makes sense thematically. This is personal preference; no bulk buying there. What I've done is get 1 of each color and re-use them as needed.

Anyway, at the end of the day, sleeves are just an investment to improve your games. They add to your product lifecycle and augment your experience by modifying certain tactile experiences. Sleeves tremendously help with shuffling, flipping, feel (matte can feel very nice), aesthetics (some sleeves are colored, others have art), friction (picking up a sleeved card is way easier), etc.

xiontawa 9

$2-3 for 100 decent sleeves is a good deal. You can get penny sleeves $1 for 100, but they aren't great, and you'll likely regret it.

Pope_Cerebus 2

You'll definitely regret it on anything you need to shuffle. Penny sleeves last maybe a dozen shuffles, and theres no game's cards that fit correctly (snugly) in the sleeves.

Unless you're only sleeving to protect from spills, and don't shuffle those cards, never sleeve in penny sleeves.

pumpkinpie1108 9

Just start with cards that will get handled often, like for LCGs or deck builders you really like, or for some high value or rare games that you can't replace. Also, get good quality sleeves. Yes they're pricier, but they are also sturdier and nicer to shuffle and handle. I had Mayday penny sleeves for my netrunner set for a while, and after it went out of print I replaced all of them with KMC. It was a damn chore and I hated myself for cheaping out on the sleeves in the beginning. Also check this BGG thread out. Well, have fun and try not to go mad.

Rammite 1

I had the same issue. Started out with sleeving my netrunner cards with UltraPros. While they're good, I eventually hated how slippery the decks would get, and I opted for Dragon Shield Mattes. If I had just went for the Dragon Shields to begin with, I could have saved $50.