memorized deck

Instead of mentally projecting your mentalism thoughts, type them here.

Postby Brian Marks » 05/08/02 09:44 PM

I have recently been obsessed with the memorized deck. One question has arisen from my "studies". Which stack I should learn? Joyal stack is by far easiest to learn and I pretty much have down. Simon's stack has many built in features. Only one interests me and thats the spelling to cards 10-15. (card game routines dont interest me) My favorite trick is histed heisted so far but thats stack independant.

Juan Tamiriz's book is supposed to come out in English this summer.
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Postby Ravi » 05/09/02 02:17 AM

May I add the question: What are your favorite routines with a stacked deck?
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Postby Guest » 05/09/02 02:47 AM

Are you sure the book of Tamariz will be ready this summer?I don't think so!
Sim.
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Postby Ravi » 05/09/02 02:56 AM

One thing that is for sure that the book will be published within the next few months in German Language.
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Postby Denis Behr » 05/09/02 06:08 AM

The german translation of the two books was started only a few weeks ago so I do not think at all that it will be ready "within the next few months"?! It certainly is a lot of work! (for example all the spelling tricks in spanish language)
We still have to read the spanish edition (or at least look at the pictures) until the completion of the translations...
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Postby Guest » 05/09/02 06:10 AM

The easiest memorized stack to learn is from Ted lesley and comes with his "Working Mentalists Deck". Once you learn the system you do not need to work with it to retain it. He has quite a few effects included with his instructions for it including his version of any card at any number.

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat

http://www.mindguy.com
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Postby Brian Marks » 05/09/02 07:18 AM

Ive only heard about the Tamiriz book coming out this summer.
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Postby Guest » 05/09/02 10:18 AM

Brian,
The ARONSON STACK is the hands-down winner. Created by Simon Aronson and featured in his two recent books and his website, this stack has so much built into it you won't know where to start.


Ben S
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Postby Bill Mullins » 05/09/02 04:24 PM

Boris Wild lectured here (Huntsville, AL) last night (a great lecture, catch him if you can). A couple of effects were based on his memorized deck, which is really more of a system to calculate positions of cards in the stack, than it is a memorized stack. In other words, simple rules allow you to easily calculate the value of the (for example) 31st card in the stack, and likewise calculate the stack position of (for example) the 7 of clubs. The stack itself is functionally equal to the Si Stebbins (a cyclic stack).

The math is pretty easy (easier than the only other attempt I know of to do this, Richard Ulrich's stack in the old version of Little Egypt Gazette -- Hi Steve!), but the down side is no built in effects, and there are discernable patterns to the order of the cards (as in Si Stebbins).

The Houdini Magic Shop in Las Vegas sells a Boris Wild video with the details, and there is a Boris Wild book from Camarind Academy that also lays it out.

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Postby Brian Marks » 05/09/02 06:33 PM

Originally posted by Ben Salinas:
Brian,
The ARONSON STACK is the hands-down winner. Created by Simon Aronson and featured in his two recent books and his website, this stack has so much built into it you won't know where to start.


Ben S
I already mentioned this in my original post
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Postby Guest » 05/12/02 07:09 AM

There seems to be a lot of trepidation over the use of Simon's truly memorized stack. I hear a lot of "Yeah, it would seem to be the best , but..."

Probably this is because so few ever encounter any actual teachings on how to strengthen and even use your memory. (Efforts of Mr. Lorayne duly noted.) Generally folks believe you have to beat things into your memory but this simply isn't true.

I used a modified version of Kevin Trudea's Mega Memory System to lock the stack into my mind in just a short amount of time. Anyone serious about their interest in memorized deck work would be well served investing in such a system.

Tom Cutts
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Postby Brian Marks » 05/12/02 09:40 AM

that sounds cool
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Postby Simon Aronson » 05/12/02 07:31 PM

Any trepidation about trying to memorize a deck is vastly overdone. There are several effective, valid and easy memory tools available, and you shouldn't be fearful just because the task initially sounds daunting . It's not, and it doesn't take a super-power memory, or a great brain. All it takes is (1)being willing to get over the front-end inertia and give it a try, (2) patience, and (3) practice. This is no different than what it takes to learn any worthwhile move or sleight.

My experience (and believe me, I've spoken with and guided dozens of people, over a period of more than 20 years to help them memorize a stack) is that it takes about 2-3 days (of perhaps a couple hours of study each day) to fully learn 52 cards and their numerical positions (i.e., their "stack numbers"). At this point you'll be able to recite everything you needed, just somewhat slowly and maybe haltingly -- but it would be in your mind, your memory. If you then practice for, say, 45 minutes a day for the next 2-3 weeks, you'll know it cold, and you'll be able to do it quickly, accurately, and confidently. That total time (not more than a month, without driving yourself crazy) surely isn't bad for a tool that can last you a lifetime. The only people I've ever met who parade about how difficult it is, are those who in fact have never actually given it a try.

I personally recommend using the tried-and-true phonetic alphabet peg system, but it's an individual thing, and different memory aids will work for different people. The Phonetic peg system has a number of strong things going for it:

1- there are only ten things that actually need to get memorized by rote, and you can memorize them in 10 minutes, easily. From there on, everything else fits together, based on those 10 phonetic pegs.

2- it's an age-old, tried and true system. It's over 100 years old, and virtually every professional memory course, every book on memory,and every memory expert uses it. You can find it in Greater Magic, p. 902, and many other books. (It's also set forth in my book Bound to Please, where it's explained in great detail, tailored for the sole purpose of memorizing a stack (any stack), but it's certainly not original with or peculiar to me, or the Aronson stack).

3-once the pegs are learned, you can actually use it (if you choose) for all sorts of memorization (lists, phone numbers, memory feats). It's not limited to playing cards (but, of course, that's it's best application....).

4-it provides you with a comforting "crutch" that you can always fall back on, to help you recall a particular card or stack number, if real memory at some point is slow or fails you for a moment. So it's a confidence builder.

5-it's a very organized, systematic way of learning. In addition, it frees you from learning the cards sequentially.

By the way, several years ago I wrote a set of lecture notes, Memories Are Made of This, which is an introduction to memorized deck magic. It's a 22 page booklet that answers a host of FAQ's, has a discussion of ways of learning and practicing a stack, and sets forth five basic principles used in memorized deck magic, with effects as examples of each one. I used the pamphlet at some private workshops I conducted, and a number of people have found it helpful -- so I'm now working with my website developer to post it as a free download on my Website (simonaronson.com). With luck (I'm not a computer afficianado) it should be available in about a month or so. Hope this is helpful.
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Postby Brian Morton » 05/12/02 09:26 PM

Simon Aronson wrote:
By the way, several years ago I wrote a set of lecture notes, Memories Are Made of This, which is an introduction to memorized deck magic. It's a 22 page booklet that answers a host of FAQ's, has a discussion of ways of learning and practicing a stack, and sets forth five basic principles used in memorized deck magic, with effects as examples of each one. I used the pamphlet at some private workshops I conducted, and a number of people have found it helpful -- so I'm now working with my website developer to post it as a free download on my Website (simonaronson.com). With luck (I'm not a computer afficianado) it should be available in about a month or so. Hope this is helpful.
Simon,

As someone who just this past week purchased "Bound To Please" from Denny Haney (and risked my life to do so, as his attack pig nearly knocked my knee out of joint ;) ) and plans to, at some point, attempt to begin learning your memorized deck stack, all I can say is, please let us know when you finally get those notes up and on your site.

And I'll admit it -- once I saw Blaine on 42nd and 5th Ave. using a stack, I thought, "Oh, geez -- I refuse to be technically behind The Monosyllabic One..."

brian :cool:
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Postby Q. Kumber » 05/13/02 12:31 PM

There are some excellent stacks out there. The important thing is that you know it off by heart. Why anyone would want to start calculations in the middle of a routine, I can't imagine. "OK, the spectator said 23, that's card number 32 from which I have to subtract 26 ... "

Forget that, just learn it off by heart. I use the Aronson stack. It is brilliant, it has amazing uses and should be the industry standard, just like Windows on computers.

If you're at a convention (or anywhere else) and a magician flashes the nine of diamonds, you can do miracles.
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Postby Bob Farmer » 05/13/02 01:23 PM

When I was playing around with Simon's stack, I marked all the cards for ID and value using white Letraset -- this made memorizing unnecessary.

However, Simon's mnemonics are so good, I still know that the 9C (CaNnibals) is 47th (FLesh).

Here's another approach: a lot of memorized deck tricks can be done with a 13-card stack. That's a good way to start.
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Postby Guest » 05/13/02 07:13 PM

I just learned the Boris Wild memorized deck last Thursday when he was here in Nashville. It is so easy, but very deceptive. If you handle the cards very haphazard, they won't see any stacking, and using the ideas he gave, I've had quite a bit of fun with his idea called "Miracle" from his book on the marked deck.
Rick
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Postby Guest » 05/18/02 10:16 AM

Let me add my opinion: Simon's stack is the way to go. I learned it about six years ago working only from "Bound to Please." (I had done mneumonics before.) I felt pretty comfortable with it in just a few days. Now, I no longer remember the menmonic devices at all... I just know the stack cold. Remember this: you need no props to practice this. You can do it while driving, while waiting in airports, etc. Whenever you see a two digit number, ask yourself what it is in Simon's system. (For numbers above 52, subtract it from 52 first.)

My three favorite routines are Histed Heisted, Simon's complete 3 phase poker deal, (See my little additions to this on Simon's Web Site), and the Birthday Book Routine. I have a slightly different set up for Histed Heisted in which you can put the prediction envelope on display before you begin the effect. If you want details, e-mail me privately (deloomis@mindspring.com) and I'll be happy to share it with any magicians or mentalists who do the effect.
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Postby Bill Mullins » 05/19/02 12:48 AM

Originally posted by Dennis Loomis:
I had done mneumonics before.
Mneumonics: tricks to help you remember if your tires are properly inflated.
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Postby Guest » 05/19/02 07:42 AM

I'm just starting to learn the Tamariz stack but I want to make sure I'm doing it right. On one of the Lessons in Magic videos he gives the order but doesn't make clear the numbering. So if somebody could tell me if the 9D is number 1 or 52 that would be great.

Hopefully I'll have the stack learnt cold by the time his memorized deck book comes out in English. Come to think of it, by the time it does come out I'll be an old man and my memory will be shot to pieces. Maybe it's not worth it....lol

Any help would be appreciated.

Regards,

Noel
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Postby Guest » 05/19/02 07:56 AM

Interestingly, the 9D is number 52 in Both the Tamariz and Aronson Stacks.
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Postby KenAbbott » 05/22/02 12:45 PM

I'm interested as to whether anyone has a system for jazzing with the Aronsen stack (crimps, corner shorts, short cards, etc.) which makes it easy to cut to certain frequently selected cards.
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Postby Denis Behr » 05/22/02 01:14 PM

Originally posted by Dennis Loomis:
Interestingly, the 9D is number 52 in Both the Tamariz and Aronson Stacks.
Interestingly stack numbers 38 and 48 also match in Aronson and Tamariz stack... So you are able to do a matching miracle with up to 3 cards if you happen to catch someone with "the other" stack at hand.
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Postby Brian Marks » 05/22/02 02:09 PM

Mike Close has a cresent cut on his top card so he can easily cu it to the top. I think I read in one book of Simon he lightly dots with a pencil the corners of the quartile cards in order to make counting cards easier.
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Postby Guest » 05/22/02 04:50 PM

Simon mentions in one of his books that he crescent cuts the BOTTOM card. (9D) I prefer Mike Close's approach of making the crescent short the top card. (JS) I just ordered one of Jim Risers Card punches and plan to play around with punching certain cards in the Aronson Stack. Certainly pencil dots are a time honored tradition in lots of card magic and could help with getting around in the stack.
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Postby Guest » 05/26/02 11:14 AM

You can get around in a memorized deck suprisingly quickly by sight counting as you spread over cards. Best method, IMHO, is Roger Klauses. He pushes over 3 cards, 3 again, another 3, and than 1. That keeps you in synch with counting by tens. If you work with it just a little bit, you'll find you can count as fast as you can spread through the deck.
Of course, as you work with the Jazzin concept and keep practicing cutting by estimation, you will get more and more accurate. This minimizes the counting you must do.
If you're going a short distance, say less than 10 cards, I find it quicker to not do the math. For example, if the bottom card is the 7C, you know you're at position 28. If you need to get to position, 36, you could subtract 28 from 36 and you know it's eight cards down. I find it faster to count 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36. It's much faster to do this than to type it, and, in fact you may want to count by twos: 30, 32, 34, 36. Finally, when you're really on top of your deck, you might want to count by mentally saying the cards. The above example would be, 4H, KH, 4D, 10D, JC, JH, 10C, JD. If you do this, then you're practicing even as you're performing.
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Postby KenAbbott » 05/28/02 07:08 AM

My technique for Jazzing is to cut the crescent on the Jack of Spades, corner short on the inner left corner of the Queen of Hearts (#26), and corner short on the inner right corner of the Five of spades (#20). This gives me quick access to the top card,the Queen of Spades which is quite often picked, and close proximity to the aces. In addition, I have the 10 thru 15 cards whcih can be counted to.

This creates some problems if I want to farro shuffle. I was just curious as to whether anyone had a sure fire way of cutting to frequently selected cards without eliminating the ability to farro.
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Postby Guest » 05/28/02 11:00 AM

Memorized Deck
+
Pass
+
Pinky Count (or similar)

=

Good Jazz

Conn

PS: I'm gonna mention Mike Close here,
His name has'nt popped enough in this thread,
and he has some great work on Mem deck stuff, especially the 'jazz' work.
If you use mem deck and don't possess Workers 5, correct that problem a.s.a.p.
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Postby Guest » 05/28/02 12:04 PM

Yes, yes, yes, Mike Close's Workers 5 is the "bible" when it comes to Jazzin with the Aronson Stack. And, Mike is surely the King of this kind of thing. I remember reading years ago that a good test of a magician is how well they do the cups and balls. Perhaps a good test of a card worker is how well they Jazz. All of your other card techniques can come to bear as you Jazz your way to the spectators card.
To Kendini: as Mike Close has mentioned, corner shorts will definitely spoil your Faro work. Best solution is not to use them. My buddy Frank Baxter, who does a lot with the Aronson Stack, crescent cuts 4 cards: 1, 13, 26, and 39. Someone eluded to this on the thread earlier. Since you know the stack, the 4 cuts are not easilly confused, once you work with the system a while.
I do not know yet whether punch work will interfer with Faro shuffles or not. I am expecting the Jim Riser Card punch to arrive today or tomorrow and will report back my findings. Punch work will not help you to cut to a location, but will confirm your position without the need of a peek or glimpse.
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Postby Guest » 05/31/02 07:34 AM

I now have the Riser card punch, and it is beautifully made. Initial experimentation confirms my fear that punch work will interfere with doing perfect Faros. The raised punch keeps the card which has been punched slightly away from the adjacent card, and two cards get faroed (is that a word?) into the gap.
I would recommend the Riser punch as as good investment. However, if you're a card cheat, planning to use it during play, you will not be happy with the high gloss finish. You'd probably prefer one that is flesh colored or flat black. For my use, however, I'll be putting "blister work" into cards in advance and in privacy, so the high gloss finish is of no concern.
The first application, for me, is in conjunction with Simon Aronson's Histed Heisted. If you do that effect, feel free to contact me privately and I'll share the details.
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Postby KenAbbott » 05/31/02 08:13 AM

I took Dennis' advice and reviewed my copy of Workers 5, in particular the Jazzin chapter. I don't know how I missed the great advice in this chapter.

I have modified my deck as Dennis recommended using scallops on th 1, 13, 26, and 39 cards to allow for farros. However, I am still left with the one question that bothers me the most. The guilt and uncomfortable feeling tht I feel during that moment when you have to look down at the deck to make your estimated cut or get that pinky break.

Am I being overly concerned about something that the spectators don't notice? Any suggestions about what to do or say to make this glance down less obvious?
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Postby Michael Close » 05/31/02 03:03 PM

I mentioned this in my review of Kirk Charles' Marked for Life booklet, but I'll post it here as well.

If you are concerned about glimpsing cards, use a marked, memorized deck. This is one of the most powerful tools available to those us who are into jazz.

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Postby Bob Farmer » 05/31/02 03:17 PM

Originally posted by Kendini:
However, I am still left with the one question that bothers me the most. The guilt and uncomfortable feeling tht I feel during that moment when you have to look down at the deck to make your estimated cut or get that pinky break.
If you use cards that have been corner shorted on the diagonally opposite corners, all you have to do is tap the corner of the deck on any hard surface and the cards will protrude slightly so you can feel where to cut (this is a Vernon idea).

Make sure you use the corners you don't use for faros.
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Postby Joe M. Turner » 06/01/02 11:38 AM

Just to add another suggestion to the list...

I use Bob Klase's stack, which he originally published in the Electronic Grimoire several years ago.

This stack has several built-in features that are more aligned with the type of card magic that I do than are the built-in routines in Mr. Aronson's stack.

For example, many of the built in poker deals are not present, but the spelling possibilities to cards 10-15 are still there. The cards at positions 34 to 43 can be used for the Ten Card Deal/Jonah Card trick.

Also, various combinations of faro shuffles will either:
- set the deck into half red, half black order for OOTW or (with 1 cut) Daryl's Double Dazzling Triumph.

- set the cards into r-b-r-b order for Tamariz's "Neither Blind Nor Stupid," plus some other versions of OOTW. This also puts the 4 aces into positions 2-5, so a slip cut of the top card puts the 4 aces on top.

There is a subtle pattern to the color distribution in the memorized stack, but it is not really noticable. The deck does look random when spread face up.

This is the memorized deck that I use.
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Postby Guest » 06/01/02 12:15 PM

Mike Close has suggested using a marked memorized deck. I'd like to ask all forum readers what are their preferences in marked cards? Giving pros and cons would be very helpful.

I'd like to use the Ted Lesley deck, but am not confident that lay people will overlook the somewhat obvious marks. Anyone using it in the real world? It's clear advantage is that it's so easy to read.

Finally, my initial trials with a card punch indicate that the punches will mess up your Faro Shuffles. Lighter work or other locations may help. If I discover a solution, I'll get back to the forum.
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Postby Michael Close » 06/01/02 12:20 PM

I would recommend purchasing the Kirk Charles book. He offers a variety of marking systems, one of which would certainly fit your needs and your eyesight. The book is a real bargain.
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Postby Joe M. Turner » 06/01/02 12:48 PM

Boris Wild's system is quite an ingenious twist on Lesley's approach.

JMT
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Postby Bob Farmer » 06/01/02 01:15 PM

In Kirk Charles'new book, MARKED FOR LIFE, he describes a system that has all the benefits of the Lesley and Wild systems, but you don't have to spend hours applying little white letters. It's called the FarmChas system and is based on an idea of your humble correspondent.
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Postby Michael Close » 06/01/02 01:24 PM

I will mention one more thing that I think I mentioned in Workers #5. The key to Jazzing is skill in estimation. You should be able to get to any card with a single cut and minimal adjustment. If you have to muck about to any extent the mystery is pretty much gone. At the present time I have no work whatsoever in the deck. I just don't need it anymore. To be honest, I rarely jazz with the deck anymore. I have a routine that I developed in the last two years that I think is one of the strongest possible with the memorized deck, and performing this routine keeps me happy enough that I don't need to jazz. Incidentally, I have no intention of publishing this routine, but thanks for asking.

Best

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Postby Guest » 06/01/02 06:09 PM

Thanks to Mike, Bob, and Joe for the informative responces. I'll be checking out all of them.

To Mike... Watching you Jazz is probably the strongest thing I've seen anyone do with a deck of cards. And now, you've come up with something better? Boggles my mind. (Yeah, yeah, thats not hard.)

I can only hope that someday, before one of us is gone, you will have decided to perform it for fellow magicians.
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