Joyal Stack: system or memorized stack?

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Guest » 06/21/07 06:25 AM

I'm reading the Joyal book: "Six-hour memorized deck".

Since it is a lot that i'm reading and studying memorized decks and system, i have one big doubt.

Mr.Joyal, in his more than fine book, tells that his is a memorized deck, aided by rules and by no means it is a system.

I disagree, and i'd like some opinions of yours.
I think that the Joyal Stack is a system, or probably a way between a system and a memorized deck.

Mr.Joyal makes a comparison between his rules and the mnemonic system Aronson and others adopt in order to memorize their memorized decks.

But for me, the difference is that the mnemonic system is a general rule or scheme that could be applied to any memorized deck.
So it is not the mnemonic system who dictates the order of the cards.

One could shuffle the cards in any way and then apply Lorayne, Aronson ancd other systems in order to better memorize that deck.

In Joyal case, the rules creates the deck.
So Joyal rules are not aplliable to all different decks.
But they are specific for his.
So they are a specific system for his specific deck.

Then i agree that once the deck is memorized the system behind disappears,
but that is true of any other system or stack.

For me there are two options:

system: the rules dictate and create a specific system.

memorized deck: any given deck in any given order could be memorized with the aid of some general mnemonic system or by rote memory.

Joyal rules can't be applied to any given deck in any given order, so for me it is a system.

Not that this makes Joyal stack less than others.
It is just a thought of mine.

And otherwise this, i think his book is a very pleasant and inspired reading.


Postby Guest » 06/21/07 09:47 AM

I forgot what I was going to say now. Oh yes; A mnemonic is a memory system isnt it?

Postby Guest » 06/21/07 10:20 AM

A mnemonic system could be an aid in order to learn a memorized stack.

Postby Guest » 06/21/07 07:09 PM

I agree with that last statement and I don't consider mnemonics, at least like Simon Aronson suggests, as a system. Using the mnemonics to learn the Aronson stack is helping me and I've already begun to forget some of the number and card names in the mnemonics, but I remember the actual card and position just fine. Simon said this would happen.

Postby Ian Kendall » 06/22/07 02:41 AM

Although this is one of magic's eternal debates, I think the 'poor cousin' tag that has been attributed to system decks can be a little unfair.

Yes, system decks do require some mental thought to determine the card position _at first_, but ask anyone who uses such a stack for any length of time and they will have the cards locked in memory. In the same way that stacks such as Aronson and Tamariz use a mnemonic system to learn the positions, stacks such as the Joyal and Harding methods use a system.

I bought the Bart Harding Stack manuscript from Alan Shaxon after he demonstrated it for me; in his hands it was astonishing, and there was no way he was calculating anything - he had the stack in memory. I've also had the pleasure of being astonished by David Berglas using a stack of some kind (unknown, but possibly not the Harding stack).

The bottom line is that at the end of the day you have a memorised stack. Whether you learn it through memory aids or a formular, in this case it's the destination, not the journey, which is important.

Oh, and if you are feeling mischeivous, remember to tell people that the nine of diamonds is the Curse of Scotland, and should anyone see the nine of diamonds on the face of a deck they should insist that the cards are well shuffled :D

Take care, Ian
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Postby Guest » 06/22/07 04:14 AM

The main difference between a system and a memorized deck is that a system starts with a Rule or more, which dictates the order of the cards.

A memorized stack instead comes before the rule, which is only an aid.
In fact one could learn a memorized stack to rote memory.

One could also state that also a system could be learned with rote memory.
But in this case why create a system?

So the memorized stack is a much more free and open tool.
In fact a memorized deck doesn't need any rule.
But only little aids if one person doesn't want to learn the stack by rote memory.

What i was saying about the Joyal Stack, is that for me is a system.
In fact the Joyal stack is composed after the rules.
First come the rule and then comes the stack.
So it is a system.

Not that this alter any validity to Mr.Joyal stack.
But i just didn't understand why he defines his stack as a memorized deck.
after a while his deck becomes memorized also without the need of the rules,
but for absurd also a Si Stebbin System could be memorized after a while, but it always remains a system, because first came the rule and after the composition of the deck.

Postby Guest » 06/22/07 07:12 PM

Yikes, don't believe that statement about the nine of diamonds!!! ;)

Postby Guest » 06/23/07 07:39 AM

You are probably right a memorized deck does not need those rules ... but in both the Aranson an Tamariz Deck there are certain things built in in this case not to make it easier do memorize but to get the maxium effect be incorparating as much as possilbe into the stack!

Postby Guest » 06/24/07 04:44 AM

but the difference between the Tamariz and Aronson stacks and the one created by Joyal..
is that the Aronson and Tamariz decks are built with features in it, but without being compelled by rules which dictate the order of the cards in the deck.
So they have more freedom in order to put in the deck as many features as they like.

In Joyal stack, the stack is built FOLLOWING some rules.
And these rules creates the order of the deck.
So one has little less space to put in the deck different features.

Postby Nick Pudar » 06/24/07 05:07 PM

As best as I can tell, the defining aspect of a system is that the knowledge of one card will allow you to determine the value of the next card in the stack based on a rule. The Si Stebbins deck is a simple system, and the Osterlind Breakthrough Card System is a much more ingenious system. In both cases you use a rule to determine the value of the next card in the deck. The rule can be mathematical or it can even be rhythmic such as the Eight-Kings verse.

Granted, you can memorized any of the systems and have it be a true memorized deck. After that, the rules are irrelevant, other than a backup method for the "next card" analysis. However, a system's original design is intended to be a determination of the next card in the deck.

A memorized deck (such as Joyal, Aronson, Tamariz, etc.) have no rules other than those used to memorize the deck. Aronson and Tamariz use general mnemonic techniques to get to your memorized knowledge. Joyal designed his memorized deck in such a way so that some simple rules can be used only during the memorization process. None of these rules will help you determine the next card in the stack in the same way that a card system can. you just have to know your memorized stack.

Again, the key distinction for me is whether the stack was designed so that you can determine the next card in the stack, or whether you just have to know every card's stack value.

Nick Pudar

StackView Version 5
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Postby Guest » 06/24/07 05:28 PM

Ian said:
Oh, and if you are feeling mischievous, remember to tell people that the nine of diamonds is the Curse of Scotland, and should anyone see the nine of diamonds on the face of a deck they should insist that the cards are well shuffled.
Then Brian said:
Yikes, don't believe that statement about the nine of diamonds!!!
And if I read Ian correctly he is giving you a BIG hint because I believe both Aronson's and Tamariz's stacks end with the 9 of diamonds on the face so if you see that card on the face, it could mean the cardman is using a stack so you should be wary, there might be 'foul play' in order to slay laymen and magicians with some great card magic!

luigimar :)

Postby Guest » 06/24/07 05:57 PM

Mr. Pudar,
first of all i have to say that i have your stackview program and it is great!

Regarding the system,
i don't really agree with your statement that systems are only those who permit to know the next card.
As wisely Mr. Joyal says in his book, is that there are also systems who permits to know the card thanks to a rule that ties stack numbers with card.

In this days i was thinking back in order to know if i was mistaken and effectivley Mr. Joyal is a mem. deck and not a system.
I came up with the conclusion that probably it is a mem. deck, but there's just a little little bit of system inside.
In fact the stack is created following a scheme a system.
And not the way around:
first the stack and then the aiding system in order to memorize it.

Postby Guest » 06/24/07 06:26 PM

While I've heard of it I'm not familiar enough with the Joyal arrangement as I am with the Tamariz and Aronson stacks. What built in features does the Joyal stack have? I can see a difficulty in using rules to dictate your order and then having to try to come to arrange some built in effects as well. I really like the Aronson so far because for me it has all that I really want or need built in and I can also rely on the order for all the other routines.

Postby Nick Pudar » 06/24/07 07:57 PM

The Joyal Stack does not have any built-in effects (that I am aware of). It was designed expressly for quick memorization. Martin's book "The Six Hour Memorized Deck" does deliver on its promise -- I was able to memorize his stack in about six cummulative hours. I ended up switching to the Aronson Stack later on due to the built-in poker deals, which I do use from time to time.

Joyal's rules help you remember the Stack Value and Card Value pairings using numerical rules as opposed to mnemonic word pairings as used by Aronson and Tamariz. Also, Joyal's rules are not formulas either -- rather they numerical hints.

At the end of the day, you want to get to instantaneous knowledge of the Stack and Card Values.

Nick Pudar

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Postby misdirects » 03/30/14 05:35 PM

If you are interested in memorized decks and algorithmic stacks, you may be interested in The Bart Harding Secret, which, like Darwin Ortiz's Si Stebbins Secret, allows you to go from New Deck Order (NDO) to stack order (and vice versa), quickly and easily. (As reflected by the name, the Bart Harding Secret concerns the Bart Harding Stack, which is an incredible algorithmic stack from 1962.) More information on the manuscript, and download links, are available at:
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