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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Shuffled not Stirred » » New to Mem Deck Work (12 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Jinx13
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I have been involved in magic for over 30 years, but for one reason or other have always stayed away from card work. But the days of lugging around illusions are past, and I am looking for new challenges.

I am just starting to looking into mem decks and have found myself a little caught off guard with the amount of material and different stacks. I have Woody Aragon's book and have just started reading it, but am now wondering if I should have started with one of the more traditional (Tamariz, Aronson) first? Not to mention Redford's stack and I am sure there are others as well. Is there any advantage to one over the other?

Looking for any advice and guidance I can get on the best place to start.

Thanks
David
Dr. JK
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Hey Jinx13,

I recommend you do some research here and with other knowledgeable magicians you may know regarding the intrinsic advantages [and disadvantages] of each memorized deck. There are many, depending on how you use your card work. However, I will tell you that there are so many effects that are stack independent, you don't really have to choose a stack for the built in advantages.

Frankly speaking, you don't have to use one of the published ones - you could create your own. However, the advantage of using a 'standard' stack is that many people have thinking on that particular stack and effects that can be done with it. You've already discovered that there is a terrific amount of work put into the different stacks. The two most prevalent stacks are of course Aronson and Tamariz. Tamariz proponents often talk about shuffling into it from new deck order, which is far more difficult in Aronson's system. Both have built-in poker deals, etc.

Speaking from experience, your journey with mem-deck work will probably be more fun if you memorize a stack that your friends use. That way, you can encourage each other to greater heights and share your learning progress as you discover new ideas about your stack.

Try the Impossible is a good book to check out the Aronson stack, since many of the effects taught are either stack-independent, or do not require you to have memorized the stack. If you just want to read about the stack without spending money, you can download Simon Aronson's memdec......for FREE.

What specific things are you looking for in a stack?
- Jeff
ddyment
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Don't miss my (free) essay on some elements of memorized deck stacks.
Doug Dyment's Deceptionary :: Elegant, Literate, Contemporary Mentalism ... and More
Churken2
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I think it is important to determine what kind of effects you want to perform with a mem deck. This will help guide you to which one to use. Is it important to stack from new deck order in front of the spectators? If so, Tamiriz or Redford stacks would work well. Do you want to shuffle back into new deck order? Again Tamariz or Redford. Do you want to do a poker demo? Tamariz or Aronson have great set up for this. If however you are just using the cyclical properties of a stack, any of them will work well.

Tamariz and Aronson stacks have the most published material relating to the stacks. Redford and Aragon are both releasing follow up books to their work with the stack, so even more info will be available from them. Tamariz and Redford have Facebook pages for their community to share information. So, the amount of information out there is staggering no matter which stack you choose.

The most important thing is to not get so bogged down in choosing a stack that you never learn any of them. My advice is to pick one of the ones mentioned in this thread and start working on it right away. Once you have made the choice, stick to your decision. Harry Anderson once said that you should change wives before you change stacks. One cool thing about mem deck work is that you can practice it without a deck of cards in hand. So, drill on your drive to work or on your daily walk, etc. It won't take that long before you start being able to do a few effects with your stack of choice, so be patient. Then use it as often as possible to drill it in deeper. Work on your stack daily until you have it down cold, both value to number, and number to value.

I am excited for you. You will soon have a tool in your arsenal that will open up so many opportunities that many magicians will never experience.
mlippo
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Whatever stack you decide to use, buy and study Tamariz's book! So much good stuff in there and lot of it is stack independant.
And of course Simon Aronson's. Have you seen his free introduction to memorised decks on his website?

When you become proficient with your stack, buy also Denis Behr's books, Pit Hartling's "In order to amaze" (a masterpiece) and anything on mem decks by Michael Close (he's just released a new book on the subject).

This is my advice, after one year into this fascinating world!

Mark
JBSmith1978
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There are benefits to each. The Embedded Zens stack in Aronsons is awesome.
Note that many stack dependent effects still have you reordering the stack to start the effect.

I think the following are the features most wanted nowadays:
The ability to efficiently shuffle/ get into stack from NDO. This usually allows for a NDO finale.
The ability to efficiently get into stack from a shuffled deck while not performing.
The ability to efficiently get into stack from a shuffled deck while performing.
A level of randomness in the stack as to not interfere with certain effects such as card calling of packets after X number of deals.

Buy Bob Farmers The Bammo Tarodiction Toolbox
Buy Redfords Temporarily Out of Order
Shout out to Hammans Chinese Shuffle and its intermediary effects.
Pay particular attention to Divination in Mnemonica.

I think the newer stacks today primarily fall into two categories, Ones derived from mirror stack, and ones derived from Stebbins.
Some fun stacks to consider are James Robot Deck, Aronsons Simons Eyes, Rusducks Alphomega.

Doug Dyments Quickerstack is awesome.

Full disclosure, I use Mnemonica and never use any of the “built in” features except two, NDO into stack and taking advantage of the proximity of four of a kinds.

On your journey I suggest reading:

Michael Close, Simon Aronson, Juan Tamariz, John Born, Denis Behr, Pit Hartling, Michael Weber, Asi Wind, Doug Dyment, Pat Page, Bob Farmer, Karl Hein, Eric Mead, George Tait, Dani DaOrtiz, Mike Powers, Derren Brown, Steve Youell, Gene Anderson, Bro. John Hamman, Stebbins, Nikola, Marlo, Ireland, Histed, Stebbins, Anneman, Osterlind, Judah, Jordan, Elmsley, Walton, Steve Beam, Richard Vollmer, JK Hartman, Nash, Sadowitz, Barrie Richardson, Russell Duck, Nick Trost, Stewart James, Dennis Loomis, Adrian Guerra, Al Baker.


Best,
Jed
Jinx13
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Thank you everyone for you comments and advice. I am not sure I realized the depth of work I stepped into when I started down this road.

I am not sure what exactly I am looking for in the stack, so that makes it a little harder to decide which is best. So I guess I am looking for the best all around and versatile set up.

Right now I think I am leaning towards Aragon's or Tamariz, and it seems you can get from one to the other with a minor variation. However Redford's also looks interesting.

I guess I have some more reading a head of me....
Dr. JK
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Jump in - learn one, and find out if you like it.

Asi Wind made a comment in his recent book, Repertoire, that learning a stack was like learning 52 words in another language...imminently doable. Therefore, if you learn one and decide later that it's not right, you can always move to a different stack. The one you use will be vastly more useful than the "best one" you don't use because you're waiting to find it.

Let us know what you decide!
- Jeff
Harry Lorayne
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Okay; I'm going to advise 380 degrees away from most of the above. LEARN STUFF YOU CAN DO WITH A BORROWED DECK.
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mlippo
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Quote:
On Aug 9, 2018, Harry Lorayne wrote:
Okay; I'm going to advise 380 degrees away from most of the above. LEARN STUFF YOU CAN DO WITH A BORROWED DECK.


Ja, that's the problem ...
Give a shuffled/borrowed pack of cards to Tamariz or Dani DaOrtiz ... they probably wouldn't know what to do with it, eh?

Mark
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What's your point, Mark - if there IS a point?

Are you suggesting that I said that Dani and Juan can't do great stuff with a shuffled, borrowed, deck? Of course I didn't say that. Aside from the fact that we all know better, these guys are friends.

Check out - if you can find it - the video from my 90th birthday party - and you'll see them, along with David Copperfield, David Blaine, Darwin Ortiz, Meir Yedid, Derren Brown, David Williamson, Mel Brooks, Alan Alda, Dick Cavett, Bill Malone, and quite a few more, sending Happy Birthday messages.

So, again, what's your point, Mark - if there IS a point?
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Harry Lorayne
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Sorry, Mark, I omitted your "Ja" and your "eh?" Please forgive - I don't want in any way to take away from your cleverness and writing ability.
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Harry Lorayne
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Oh, and let me repeat, because I think it's important - "Okay; I'm going to advise 380 degrees away from most of the above. LEARN STUFF YOU CAN DO WITH A BORROWED DECK."
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paperinick
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Quote:
"Okay; I'm going to advise 380 degrees away from most of the above. LEARN STUFF YOU CAN DO WITH A BORROWED DECK."


380 is more or less "follow the suggestions plus change 20 degrees the course"
I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death my right to say "scr*w you" if you persist. [Voltaire Smile]
Harry Lorayne
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Wonderful. What I I meant was, I guess - the opposite. I believe most "got it."
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paperinick
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Quote:
Right now I think I am leaning towards Aragon's or Tamariz, and it seems you can get from one to the other with a minor variation. However Redford's also looks interesting.

With a full book and 5 DVDs of material around Mnemonica, the fact that you can buy decks in mnemonica order, I would say that Mnemonica has some unfair advantages.
I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death my right to say "scr*w you" if you persist. [Voltaire Smile]
Nicolino
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Quote:
On Aug 10, 2018, paperinick wrote:
Quote:
"Okay; I'm going to advise 380 degrees away from most of the above. LEARN STUFF YOU CAN DO WITH A BORROWED DECK."


380 is more or less "follow the suggestions plus change 20 degrees the course"

You made my day!!! Smile Smile Smile
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Harry Lorayne
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Nicolino and paperinick - you have no idea how you two made MY day! Both showing great interest in the subject, and of course, exquisite knowledge of the subject - which is memdecks versus borrowed decks. We all do really need your great contributions.
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paperinick
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Harry, no offense, but...
my second contribution to the topic, suggesting Mnemonica, seemed to be more on subject than yours. I took the liberty of making a joke as yours seemed a classical Freudian slip. For some (not me), your comment about memdeck vs. borrowed deck, when somebody specifically asks for mem-deck suggestions, might even more humorous and funny than mine.

P.S. I perform some of your tricks as well. Some.
I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death my right to say "scr*w you" if you persist. [Voltaire Smile]
Harry Lorayne
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Marvelous. Just hang out with Nicolino - you'll learn soooo much! The large difference here is - I honestly, strongly, believe that my comments are HELPFUL. If you don't think so, just disregard - and stick with your pinpointing of Freudian slips.
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