Alpha vs Beta Cards: Difference and Comparison

The alpha card is the limited edition and the first edition of the printed games which was released on 5th August 1993 and the second limited edition of the printed games was beta games which are released on 4th October 1993.

As they both are for the same which is the gathering.

Key Takeaways

  1. Alpha and Beta Cards are both early releases of trading cards.
  2. Alpha Cards were the first Magic: The Gathering cards, while Beta Cards were released shortly after.
  3. Alpha Cards are rarer and more valuable than Beta Cards.

Alpha vs Beta Cards 

The difference between Alpha and beta cards is that alpha cards are the first limited edition of the printed games and there is a rule book of alpha while beta is the second limited edition which is removed to make the room. And the two cards are added in this which are removed from alpha.

Alpha vs Beta Cards

Alpha is a limited edition, and the first edition of the printed games was released on 5th August 1993 these are expensive cards, and the total is 295.

And they have the minor stoke of 2,6 million alpha cards at the start. And these cards have round corners which a 2mm radius.

Beta is a  second limited edition of the printed games released on 4th October 1993. this is not expensive, as the total number of cards is 302.

These cards are available in the mid of October to the mid in December year 1993. And they also have round corners but fewer than the alpha cards. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison Alpha CardsBeta Cards
Released on Alpha cards were released on 5, August 1993Beta cards were released on 4, October 1993
Black bordered cardsThere are 295 Black bordered cards presentThere are 302 Black bordered cards present
Corners It has rounded cornersIt also has rounded corners but fewer than Alpha cards
Rule bookWorzel tale includes an alpha rule bookWorzel tale does not include a beta rule book
Cards 295 cards and two are removed302 cards and the cards from alpha are added

What are Alpha Cards?

Alpha is a limited edition card which is commonly called alpha only as this was the first print run of the limited edition and the first core and a basic set of magic named the gathering.

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This contains 295 black-bordered cards. And this was the first edition. And the mane alpha is a nickname but is widely used for the edition of the print run.

Alpha was released on the 5th of August in the year 1993, and the origins of its release are July and August with the small stoke of 2,6 million cards.

In the starting, the set was not much exposed on the west coast of the united states, and this was available in late August and September in the year 1993.

And there was a rule book available of 32 pages which added the starter decks with Bog Wraith on the cover.

Alpha is designed and organized by Richard Garfield and the development team, which contains 11 members and is the limited edition.

This is easily distinguished from the other cards like beta, as they have more rounded corners, the radius of the corners of these cards is about 2mm instead of 1mm, which is called the standard size, but this does not have that.

What are Beta Cards?

Beta is a limited edition commonly known as beta only, which is the second print of the limited edition, the second core, and the basic set of the magic named the gathering.

This contains 302 black-bordered cards. And this card was released after alpha in a short period which was the first printing as it was sold out, so then beta was introduced as the second option. As the name beta is the nickname that is accepted for the print run.

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Beta was released in October on 4th October 1993, and more than 300 cards were organized, which are the limited edition. Therefore the card version validated the 3rd version.

Wizards announced the print run, and these cards were available from October to the mid of December in the year 1993. And these are divided into over 60 cards as a starter deck.

The cards here are less rounded. And a new 4mm corner was purchased by Carta Mundi so that the demand will increase by up to a million cards.

Because of this, ½ corners are found on playing cards, and that was the difference. This also allows the future set to have small borders and oversized artwork.

Main Differences Between Alpha and Beta Cards 

  1. Alpha cards were released on 5 august 1993, whereas beta cards were released on 4 October 1993
  2. Alpha cards have 295 Black bordered cards, whereas beta cards have 302 Black bordered cards.
  3. Alpha cards have rounded corners, whereas beta cards also have rounded corners, but the corners are less rounded when we compare them to alpha cards.
  4. Worzel tale includes an alpha rule book, whereas beta is omitted.
  5. Alpha has 295 cards where two are removed, whereas beta has 302 cards where the two removed alpha cards are added accidentally.

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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8 thoughts on “Alpha vs Beta Cards: Difference and Comparison”

  1. Based on the information provided, alpha cards are evidently more sought after due to their rarity and limited release.

  2. It’s interesting to see the differences between alpha and beta cards. It seems beta cards were created to fix the misprints on alpha cards.

  3. These cards are collectibles of high value. Any collector would be interested in having either the alpha or beta cards in their possession.

  4. It’s intriguing to learn the reasoning behind beta card production and how it addressed the issues encountered with alpha cards.


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