Half of all the Spectral Cards in Balatro in the Collection Menu.

Balatro—All Spectral Cards and What They Do

Seek out these spooky cards for great boons.

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Reyadh is a writer of fantasy, horror, and science fiction who loves to play video games full of monsters and magic. When he's not scribing unique and unrelenting speculative fiction or slaying demons in virtual worlds, he is writing strategy guides to help others reach their gaming goals.

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Marshall is a seasoned writer and gaming enthusiast based in Tokyo. He's a prolific wordsmith with hundreds of articles featured on top-tier sites like Business Insider, How-To Geek, PCWorld, and Zapier. His writing has reached a massive audience with over 70 million readers!

Key Takeaway

Many Spectral Cards in Balatro help you apply enhancements, seals, and editions to your Playing Cards. Some also help you make more money or obtain Jokers. Furthermore, others have far more unique effects, like upgrading Poker Hands, creating and converting Playing Cards, as well as more.

All the Spectral Cards in Balatro can help you play better Poker Hands. They do so through creating, destroying, and converting Playing Cards. However, some also affect Jokers in similar manners. Prepare for supernatural encounters and crazy modifiers!

Table Of Contents

    Familiar

    A Spectral Card that destroys a random Playing Card and creates three random enhanced face cards.

    The Familiar Spectral Card destroys one random Playing Card in your hand and creates three random enhanced face cards. The face cards created can be Jacks, Queens, and Kings.

    The type of enhancements can be seven out of the eight available in-game: Bonus, Mult, Wild, Glass, Steel, Gold, and Lucky. The Stone enhancement isn’t included because Stone cards cannot have a rank (Jacks, Queens, and Kings are ranks).

    Grim

    A Spectral Card that destroys a Playing Card and creates two random enhanced Aces.

    Similar to Familiar, Grim is a Spectral Card that destroys one random Playing Card in your hand—but this time it creates two random enhanced Aces. These two Aces can have seven out of the eight enhancements: any of them except Stone. Again, Stone cards cannot have ranks, and Ace is a rank.

    Incantation

    A Spectral Card that destroys a Playing Card and creates four random enhanced numbered cards.

    Like with Familiar and Grim, Incantation is a Spectral Card that destroys a random Playing Card in your hand; however, this spooky buff creates four random enhanced numbered cards. Numbered cards are anything from 2s to 10s. Once more, these spawned cards can be seven out of the eight enhancements; anything except Stone due to the latter removing ranks from cards. All numbered cards have ranks.

    Familiar, Grim, and Incantation are all useful for unlocking the secret Planet Cards in Balatro. If you’ve yet to find such celestial bodies, consider using these three Spectral Cards!

    Talisman

    A buff that puts a Gold Seal on a Playing Card.

    When used, the Talisman Spectral Card adds a Gold Seal to one selected Playing Card in your hand. Furthermore, Talisman is one of four Spectral Cards in Balatro that give you a type of Seal.

    Gold Seals cause whatever card they’re on to give you $3 when scored in a played hand. As such, Talisman is useful for making money. With that said, Tarot Cards in Balatro like the Hermit and Temperance are better for getting rich.

    Aura

    A boon that adds an edition to one selected Playing Card in Balatro.

    The Aura Spectral Card adds the effect of the Foil, Holographic, or Polychrome editions to one selected Playing Card in your hand. The Foil edition causes cards to give +50 Chips when scored, Holographic grants +10 Mult, and Polychrome gains you x1.5 Mult. Which edition gets selected is random.

    Warning
    Don’t select a card with a rare edition, as doing so with Aura will overwrite the previous edition’s effects. For best results, select a card that does not already have a rare edition.

    Wraith

    A Spectral Card that creates a random Rare Joker but sets the player's money to $0.

    Wraith is a Spectral Card that exchanges all your money for a random Rare Joker. If you have lots of cash (over $15), you should not use Wraith, as Rare Jokers can cost less in the shop than what the Wraith Spectral Card may take from you.

    Conversely, if you have almost no money (or not at all), it’s recommended to use Wraith, as the Rare Joker it spawns is likely to be worth more than the few bucks you’ll lose. It should also be mentioned that Wraith can be useful for completing your Joker collection as Rare Jokers are hard to find.

    Sigil

    A buff that converts all cards in the player's hand into a single random suit.

    The Sigil Spectral Card converts all Playing Cards in your hand into the same random suit. For example, using Sigil can turn all cards in your hand into Spades. This Spectral Card is great for builds focusing on playing a Flush, Straight Flush, Royal Flush, Flush House, and Flush Five.

    Ouija

    A boon that converts all cards in the player's hand to a single random rank and decreases hand size by one card.

    Resembling the effect of Sigil, Ouija is a Spectral Card that converts all Playing Cards in your hand to a random rank—and decreases your hand size by one. For instance, Ouija may turn all the cards in your hand into Aces.

    This is great for builds that want to play a Pair, Two Pair, Three of a Kind, Four of a Kind, and Five of a Kind. However, the downside is that your hand size decreases by one. Therefore, if you previously had a hand size letting you hold eight cards, you’ll now only be allowed to hold seven. With that said, this is a decent exchange, as even with one less card in hand, it’ll be easy to get a Three of a Kind or better.

    Ectoplasm

    A buff that adds the Negative edition to a random joker but decreases hand size by one.

    Ectoplasm adds the Negative edition to a random Joker you own but decreases your hand size by one. Negative edition Jokers gives you another Joker slot. Unfortunately, the trade-off here is a bit more risky than the hand size decrease of using Ouija. The random Joker you get could be useless for your build despite the handiness of a Negative Joker.

    Immolate

    A buff that destroys five random cards and gives the player $20.

    Immolate is a helpful Spectral Card for making money, as it gives you $20…but at the cost of destroying five random Playing Cards in your hand. With that said, destroying five cards can be a good thing. Decreasing your deck size increases the odds of drawing your better cards. Out of the Spectral Cards that give you money, this is one of the best for getting rich quickly.

    Ankh

    A Spectral Card in Balatro that creates a copy of a random Joker and then destroys all others.

    When the Ankh Spectral Card is used, it’ll create a copy of one random Joker but destroy all others. Given the nature of Ankh, its usage is very situational; sometimes it’s the best out of the Spectral Cards to find while at other times it could be the worst.

    For example, if you only have one Joker, we recommend always using the Ankh Spectral Card. However, if you have more than that and all your current Jokers are valuable, we suggest you pass on using Ankh. If you want to see a great demonstration of a time when this Spectral Card was helpful, check out our video showing a blue deck run victory that was only possible due to the Ankh Spectral Card.

    Deja Vu

    A Spectral Card in Balatro that adds a Red Seal to one selected card.

    Next up is another of the Spectral Cards in Balatro that gives you a seal. Deja Vu is a Spectral Card that adds a Red Seal to one selected Playing Card in your hand. Red Seals cause whatever cards they’re on to trigger one additional time.

    Let’s say you have a King with a Red Seal on it. Normally, a King gives you 10 Chips when scored. However, when that King with a Red Seal is scored in a played hand, it gives you 20 Chips, as it gets triggered twice thanks to the Red Seal’s effect. Red Seals become even more potent if placed on an enhanced card or one with a rare edition.

    Hex

    A Spectral Card that adds Polychrome to a random Joker but then destroys all others.

    Hex is one of the Spectral Cards in Balatro that destroys all Jokers except the one you select—in trade, you’ll give the selected Joker the Polychrome edition. Since Polychrome gives you an x1.5 Mult boost, it can be excellent for ramping up your round score.

    If a Joker with Polychrome is the last card triggered, it’ll increase your entire round score by 50%. This can make it a lot easier to clear boss blinds. However, like with the Ankh Spectral Card, you’ll need to weigh whether or not it’s worth sacrificing your other Jokers.

    Trance

    The Trance Spectral Card, which adds a Blue Seal to one selected card.

    The Trance Spectral Card adds a Blue Seal to one Playing Card in your hand. When a card marked with a Blue Seal is held in your hand at the end of a round, a random Planet Card appears in your consumable zone. Since Planet Cards help improve your Poker Hand score, getting more of them from Blue Seal cards is always useful.

    Warning
    If you don’t have an open slot in your consumable zone, you won’t keep the spawned Planet Card.

    Medium

    A boon that adds a Purple Seal to one selected card.

    When you use the Medium Spectral Card, you’ll add a Purple Seal to one selected Playing Card in your hand. Cards with Purple Seals on them create a random Tarot Card every time they are discarded. As with Trance, if you don’t have an open slot in your consumable zone, you cannot keep the spawned Tarot Card.

    Cryptid

    A Spectral Card in Balatro that creates two copies of a selected card.

    The Cryptid Spectral Card creates two copies of a selected Playing Card in your hand. This is almost always useful and makes Cryptid one of the best Spectral Cards in Balatro. Hang onto this Spectral card until you’ve got a nicely upgraded Ace or face card to get more of them!

    The Soul

    The Soul, which is a Spectral Card in Balatro that creates a Legendary Joker.

    If you have an open Joker slot, the Soul Spectral Card creates a Legendary Joker. In addition to Legendary Jokers being very powerful, the Soul is also a convenient way to complete your Joker collection. Legendary Jokers—appropriately—are the most elusive cards in the game, so you’ll need all the help you can get to find each one.

    Black Hole

    A Spectral Card in Balatro that upgrades every type of Poker Hand by one level.

    Black Hole is a Spectral Card that upgrades every type of Poker Hand by one level. As mentioned before, upgrading Poker Hands is very helpful for winning rounds, so Black Hole is always an excellent boon to find.

    However, unlike other Spectral Cards in Balatro, Black Hole is not found in Spectral Booster Packs. After roughly 40 hours of playing Balatro, we’ve only ever found Black Hole in Celestial Booster Packs. To complete your Spectral Card collection, you need to head into outer space!


    While some Spectral Cards in Balatro come with great risks, the rewards are often worth it. This is a game about gambling, after all. Don’t hesitate to make a big play if you want a big payoff! This is a common trend in card games, which is not dissimilar to using Artifacts like Mana Crypt in Magic: The Gathering.

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