I have recently gotten deep into card games, not collectable card games like Magic the Gathering, although I have done that in the past, but games like Legendary and Munchkin, and Dresden Files where there are a lot of cards, a lot of shuffling, and generally the potential for rough handling.
With my Legendary game there are a handful of cards that get used at the beginning of every game, so they see a lot more use than any other cards in the game. After just 5 solo games I could already see those cards taking a beating and showing signs of wear. A big part of the fun of these card games is not knowing what card is coming up next, so having cards that stand out is not a good thing.
With some of my existing games I have used the Ultra Pro Deck Protector Sleeves, they work well. They provide plenty of protection, shuffle well, and handling is ok. They are a bit too slippery for my taste and are quite a bit larger than the card which contributes to a large stack of cards not staying stacked very well. Also, they get expensive when you want to protect thousands of cards. Ultra Pro also has more expensive sleeves that address the slipperiness issue, but the price is well out of the range I would spend for anything other than the most valuable of cards.
Then there are “penny” sleeves. I have never tried these, after reading a lot of reviews I decided that they weren’t worth the trouble.
My research brought me to Board Game Geek (BGG) and the Card Sleeve Sizes for Games post. Wow, so much information to digest. After reading many, many, comments there I decided on KMC Perfect Fit Sleeves.
For my Legendary Marvel collection, I needed around 5,000 sleeves. I ordered the KMC Perfect Fit Sleeves from Amazon and they arrived in a couple of days. A $120 just for sleeves, are you kidding me? I could have bought 5 expansion sets with that money! (Ultra Pro Matte Sleeves would have cost over $250.)
I love these sleeves so much. The cards slide into them easily, they fit perfectly with very little extra space, have just the right amount of slipperiness for shuffling and stickiness for large stacks to stay together, they are very clear and when a card is sitting on a table it is hard to tell it even has a sleeve on it.
As an added bonus, for cards that are super valuable or will be used by someone who is abusive with their cards you can use the KMC Perfect Fit Sleeves as inner sleeves and Ultra Pro sleeves as outer sleeves to double protect your cards.
If you have decided to sleeve your cards I highly recommend KMC Perfect Fit Sleeves.