Tabletop 101

How to Find the Perfect Sleeves for Your Games

by Serban, Quartermaster @ The Guild Hall

December 10 2020

A wise man once said: always use protectionWhile you might think that doesn’t apply to board games, we’re here to teach you why it does. After all, you don’t want your friends to spread their vanilla iced late all over your precious 100$ magic card. What about that fun game of Root? You should, of course, want to protect all of these experiences. And this is why we’ve come to give you a beginner’s guide into sleeves!

What exactly are sleeves?

In case you’re brand new to board games (or have been living under the board gaming rocks that are Monopoly and Catan), sleeves are small pockets of plastic that you can slide your cards into, protecting them from the outside elements.

In the most basic sense of the word, that is what they are. From here on out, however, it gets a little more complicated. You can’t just buy a bunch of sleeves and make them fit for every game.

Nope, for some reason, cards come in PLENTY of sizes. Because of this endless variation in dimensions, you might need someone to explain the differences, as well as how to pick them out.

Types of sleeves

Standard Sleeves

Standard European/American Sleeves

Although they are also named standard by most, these are not used in card games, but rather games with some cards and other components. These have small differences in size. The main difference is where they are made. Americans used Letter-size stencils, meaning their sleeves are slightly smaller. 

Standard European Sleeves
Standard American Sleeves

Mini European/American Sleeves

These function by the same rules as their standard counterparts but are, as you probably guessed, smaller. 

Mini European Sleeves
Mini American Sleeves

Perfect Fit Sleeves

These sleeves are made very thin and are used for double-sleeving. Double-sleeving is for when you REALLY want to protect your cards. They’re also for you paranoid folk.

Perfect Fit Sleeves

Special Sized Sleeves

Not all of us fit inside norms. And the same goes for sleeves. Special sleeves are a whole different shebang, but you need not worry, they are coming to your rescue for those weirdly sized cards in your games.

Special Sized Sleeves

So why do I need sleeves in the first place?

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