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How to buy your first NBA Top Shot pack

Five packs in, this is how we’re winning the NBA Top Shot pack lottery.

1. Be on the NBA Top Shot list

The first thing to do is sign up to be notified when new registrants can register for an account here. Once you have an account, you can log in via the NBA Top Shot website, you can sign up to be notified via email when packs become available to buy. 

Scroll down a little on the Packs page to where it says “OPEN PACKS TO FIND EXCITING NEW MOMENTS” and click the ‘sign up via email’ link.

Unfortunately, in my experience, they don’t always send emails when packs become available.

Packs are released randomly. But when you do get an email, you’ll see a link bringing you to the packs page. Once you’re there, you’ll see the expected time when packs can be bought. 

If it’s already time, click the blue button that says “Join Drop.”

Read More: The 10 most expensive NBA Top Shot digital cards right now

2. Be prepared to wait

LeBron James to become part owner of Boston Red Sox
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

After the estimated time shown has elapsed, you’re then thrown into a pack-buying queue at random. 

When in the pack-buying queue, you’ll see the number of users in line ahead of you waiting to make their purchase. Since there usually is a limited amount available, this is the first indicator of your chances to get a pack today. 

NBA Top Shot always shares how many packs are available ahead of time. So if for example there are 140,368 people ahead of you and only 50,000 packs are being released, chances are you’re out of luck.

If you hop into the queue and the numbers are in your favor, meaning there are roughly 10,000 ahead of you and 64,000 packs remain, then you’ll have to practice patience. You can enter your email address and they’ll notify you when it’s your time to buy. 

At times, NBA Top Shot will pause the purchase line, meaning you could be in the queue, waiting to purchase a pack for 4-5 hours at times before it’s your time to buy. 

I’d advise keeping an eye on the constantly updating number of users ahead of you, as the line moves quicker at times than others.

The rules have changed with different pack drops. But once it’s your time to buy, NBA Top Shot now gives interested buyers a window of 60 minutes to complete their purchase. After you joined the drop, if you entered your email in the box to be notified when it’s time to buy, you should have a message in your inbox with a link bringing you directly to the purchase page.

If you don’t purchase a pack in the designated window they provide, you miss your chance altogether and the line keeps moving.

3. Be early, not late to the NBA Top Shot queue

One tip I can share is to get into the queue early. For example, if packs come out at 11:00 AM PST, usually you can get into the queue up to roughly 30-40 minutes before the listed time.

Since your spot in the queue is assigned randomly, it doesn’t matter whether you’re one of the first ones to click “join drop.” All you need to worry about is making sure you join before the listed time comes around. Still, better to be early than late.

4. Delivery isn’t always instant 

Most packs that NBA Top Shot offers are delivered instantly after paying. However, there are some pre-order packs that generally take 1-2 weeks for delivery. In pre-order situations, stay tuned for a follow-up email from NBA Top Shot indicating when you can expect your pack delivery.

5. Don’t panic, packs are regularly available on NBA Top Shot

While attempting to purchase packs in a frenzy where demand far outweighs supply, the entire buying process can be a pain. But don’t get too down if you miss out on a chance to buy in any given window. 

Although NBA Top Shot appears to have a random release schedule, packs regularly become available. I’d say maybe at least once a week.

Hopefully, there is a day when NBA Top Shot utilizes release calendars or reliable drop times for convenience purposes. 

From now on, you’ll find yourself constantly asking, wen pax? This simply refers to the NBA Top Shot community being thirsty for pack drops, thus causing interested buyers to constantly ask when the next packs will drop.

Our NBA Top Shot Story

NBA Top Shot, Stephen Curry
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Since learning of NBA Top Shot just over a month ago, I’ve been able to purchase five packs, spending a total of $270. With that, I can share the results of five pack openings.

The top three cards I’ve pulled so far:

  1. Paul George Handles from 2021 All-Star Game (1 of 2,021)
  2. Domantas Sabonis Layup from Seeing Stars (1 of 10,000)
  3. Steph Curry Handles from Base Set (1 of 35,000+)

I wouldn’t necessarily say I got lucky at all. The top two moments listed above were guaranteed in a sense.

Each pack, the Seeing Stars ($14), and the All-Star Game ($229) included a guaranteed moment from the Seeing Stars set, which contained a moment limited to one of 10,000 and the All-Star Game pack guaranteed a moment from the All-Star Game series limited to just 2,021. 

There were other moments included in each pack, but those were the cherries on top.