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Topic: How Long?
Message: Posted by: twistedace (Apr 20, 2008 09:19PM)
How long did it take everyone to memorize their stacks? I'm just starting today because I was really inspired by Bill Malone's Hands Off Memory Test. It has so many great aspects to it. I'm VERY intimidated by learning the memorized deck.
Message: Posted by: BarryFernelius (Apr 20, 2008 09:30PM)
Four to five hours to get to a point where I knew every card's number and the number for every card -- but with a bit of thought.

It took about one month to get to a point where I knew the stack with no hesitation.
Message: Posted by: The Amazing Noobini (Apr 21, 2008 04:06AM)
For me it took a lot longer. I think it was 3 or 4 months at least. Maybe 5 before I could recall the cards with some degree of speed. Then again I had been to a doctor complaining about memory lapses not long prior to this.

I have also noticed that certain things are taking a lot longer to learn now compared to when I was in my 20s. Especially linguistic stuff. I'm looking up the same words in my Spanish studies that I looked up last year. They don't seem to want to stick.

We all have different learning speeds really. It takes as long as it takes. Don't be surprised if some miracle memorization technique you read here doesn't work well for you at all.

But don't be discouraged. If I managed to learn a stack then you certainly can. Start now! Unlike a lot of other magic it doesn't cost you anything. You'll love knowing a stack, trust me. It is a wonderful thing.
Message: Posted by: spycrapper (Apr 21, 2008 04:36AM)
Does it matter? even if it takes many years I think it's worth very well..
as for myself, fortunately, I succeed in memorizing the whole deck in about 4-5 days. I can remember all the cards in order, but I have to think for about 10 seconds or even more each time. After a month or so I can remember all the cards rapidly, that is the card names and the stack numbers.
Memorize any (good) stack and learn memorized deck magic, you will not regret it!
Message: Posted by: Jon_Thompson (Apr 21, 2008 05:12AM)
About 5 minutes. I use Si Stebbins.
Message: Posted by: Cohiba (Apr 21, 2008 09:34AM)
Jon must have a photographic memory.
Message: Posted by: Jon_Thompson (Apr 21, 2008 09:38AM)
I wish! It's algorithmic. ;) (The stack, not my memory!)
Message: Posted by: Cohiba (Apr 21, 2008 10:02AM)
Hi Jon:

There are MANY threads over the past 5+ years that explain why a memorized deck is much more powerful than an algorithmic stack. I'm sure the original poster knows that that you can learn the calculation for a cyclical stack in a matter of minutes. However, that doesn't accomplish what he wants to accomplish. It would be akin to responding "It took me 3 hours to master my double lift." That doesn't have anything to do with his original question.

Anyway, my memory is neither photographic, algorithmic, or stacked, unfortunately.
Message: Posted by: Cohiba (Apr 21, 2008 10:06AM)
Jon:

I just checked out your website - it sounds like you have some cool stuff on mentalism using stacks. I'm surprised you haven't memorized a deck! It seems that you especially (using mentalism with cards) would gain a lot of benefit from one. Any particular reasons why you haven't?
Message: Posted by: Jon_Thompson (Apr 21, 2008 10:32AM)
Hi Cohiba,

My memory is terrible!

It's something I want to get into, though. To overcome the memory thing, I realised I'd have to design my own. I began doing so a while back, but the project stalled due to other commitments. I got as far as defining all the hidden properties I wanted it to possess, and the handling I wanted it to be able to survive, and constructed a basic outline. Perhaps I should revisit it properly.
Message: Posted by: Cohiba (Apr 21, 2008 12:35PM)
Jon -

Definitely do so! I think you'll find it's not as hard as you think - it just takes work, as does anything worthwhile. I'd recommend the mnemonic method - that worked well for me. Figuring out which stack to use is the hard part - it sounds like you have something that fits your performing style. Now it's just busy work.

Good luck!
Message: Posted by: todsky (Apr 21, 2008 05:18PM)
Take your time memorizing it, there's no hurry. Took me about two months to memorize the Aronson stack. I did it in four parts: stack numbers 1-13, 14-26, 27-39, and finally 40-52. (Less intimidating that way). Now I have a secret weapon... moohahaha!
Message: Posted by: scody (Apr 21, 2008 05:26PM)
The first time: Two or three days (5-7 hours)
The Second time (about three months after): one or two days (4-5 hours)
The third time (about three months after the second time): one day (2 hours)

I was an idiot and didn't commit to long term memory.
I am on my third try... and this time... am testing myself every morning, every night... and using the memdeck at EVERY CHANCE. I am doing a lot more cardwork these days... so I have more of an opportunity to use.

Anyway... that's it.
Don't forget to continue to use it... or you may lose it.

Plus... my problem is that I learn pretty roat'ly.
Message: Posted by: churken (Apr 21, 2008 07:16PM)
Hi,

I use the Aronson Stack. It probably took me about a month to fully memorize the stack. That is each cards numerical position in the stack. That is you can name either a card or a number and I know immediately either the position or the card at that position as well as the cards around it.

Bill Malone's Hand's Off Memory Test uses the cyclical nature of the deck only. In other words as long as you know the next card (or previous one) you are set to go. The memorization of this aspect of the stack should go a lot faster for you.

When I was first learning I practiced in the car a lot. I marked the backs of a normal deck with their stack position and then stacked the deck in order. I would run through 10 cards a day. I would just focus on those ten cards and learn their order. The next day I would add the next ten cards. Within a week I had the cyclical nature of the stack pretty much learned. Then I started working on the positions. I would mix up the cards and look at the number on the back and guess what it was. Again just 10 per day for about a week. Then I shuffled the cards face up and face down and would run through them.

That's how I did it, and it has been very effective for me. And it was worth every second of effort.

Paul
Message: Posted by: scody (Apr 21, 2008 10:37PM)
>>Bill Malone's Hand's Off Memory Test uses the cyclical nature of the deck only....

Not sure if this is a true statement.
Can you weigh the cards and tell how many there are if you are using the Cyclical Stack without peaking the first card?

I don't know cyclical stacks... but imagine this is better apropriated for a memdeck... no?
Message: Posted by: Cain (Apr 22, 2008 07:15AM)
I can't remember how long it took me to memorize the stack. Personal results will vary due not only to native abilities, but intensity of study. If you're just casually trying to commit a stack to memory, then I suspect it's going to take longer. I think the best advice to give is focused training, particularly for the first 3/4/5 hours. THEN when it comes to reinforcing what you know you can be open to more distractions, doing other things. It's sort of like learning any sleight. You can practice your pass, palms and side-steal while watching a movie because you've developed the muscle memory. But it would be sort of stupid to begin training in this way. When first learning you're checking your angles, making sure the mechanics are correct. People who "sort of" do things, taking the half-hearted approach, end up squandering their time.

Also, you [i]could[/i] do the "Hands off memorized deck" without memorizing (the position numbers of) the [i]whole[/i] stack.
Message: Posted by: double_lift (Apr 22, 2008 08:20AM)
It took me a couple of days (the first day I memorized the first 26 cards in about an hour or two and the next day I memorized the other 26 cards).

However, the key here is to use it and practice every day even if you cannot perform in front of a live audience. Stack a deck in memorized order and play with it trying to guess what card is on top by looking at the bottom one. Cut and repeat. Then try to remember the positions of the aces, then the deuces, the threes,... Then all the Spades, then the Clubs,... Then try to remember the cards at positions 1, 3, 5, 7, 9,... Then the ones at positions 5, 10, 15, 20, 25,... Work with it every day for at least a month or two. Then you won't forget it, even if you don't think about it for another two months. The moment you take your memorized deck, you'll see you can remember the order.

I have a friend who doesn't believe in God and every night, insted of praying, he would call out all the cards in his memorized deck a few times before going to bed :bg:
Message: Posted by: Turk (Apr 22, 2008 01:06PM)
It took me about 1 week to kind of learn the deck. My OCD a*n*a*l retentive personality required me to implement the following learning sequence:

1. I worked by memorizing all the aces, then the aces and the twos, then the aces, two and threes, etc. I deliberately used this procedure to simulate "randomness" in numbers.

2. After "learning" the deck that way, I then started learning the deck from 1-52. (I made up a "flashcard" deck by writing the appropriate stack number on each card.

3. Next, I shuffled up my sequential 1-52 deck and started doing the numbers and then naming the cards. Then I turned the deck over, reshuffled and then looked at the card faces and recalled the stack number on back.

4. I also made up a flash card deck where I kept the cards ace-King order (by suits in CHaSeD order) and I practiced running through that deck "faces to numbers".

5. Next, I began working the deck backwards 52-1.

6. Finally, while in bed at night (or during the day while waiting in lines, etc.) I would practice running through the cards in my mind (1-52 and then 52-1).

All this has been on-going for the last 4 months but I really started learning the deck very well after about 2 months of the above exercises. It was at that point that I became aware of Harry Lorayne's memory books and that they had sections in them for memorizing a full deck of cards using mnemonics (i.e., a "peg" system). AAARGH! Having come so far and invested so much time and effort in the brute rote memory method, I was hesitant to switch horses in mid-stream.

[i]For any of you people out there who have used mnemonics to memorize a deck, do you find that the conversion (from the mnemonic peg to the actual card identities) slows you down, speeds up your knowledge or doesn't make a difference "in the heat of battle"[/i]? Does mnemonics cause a conscious "extra step" that must, by definition, take extra time to arrive at the desired information?

Mike

P.S. What I am essentially (and constantly) working on now is "instant" knowledge of the information. I've got that down for approx 95-97% of the cards, but some cards continue to sometimes temporarily bedevil me and it might occasionally take me 2 seconds to gain the infomation.

Hint: Additionally, I have found it [i]really[/i] helpful to pay particular attention to the cards in 52-40 order and to know these "52-40 cards" backwards and cold. I especially practice exercises in this regard. Why so? Because I have found that a lot of the Aronson memorized deck effects seem to depend on first going face-up through an indeterminant bunch of those cards (i.e., the "C" or "3" pile) before getting to the next disparant group of cards. Knowing and being able to instantly recognize the cards as "belonging" in this group helps me when spreading through the cards looking for the first card in the "next group". In that way, the first card in the "next" group stands out like a sore thumb and I find that I spend less time looking at all the cards in that 52-40 group or the need to specifically recognize each of their respective stack numbers. (Hope this last comment makes sense to you.)
Message: Posted by: spycrapper (Apr 22, 2008 01:36PM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-21 18:26, scody wrote:

Anyway... that's it.
Don't forget to continue to use it... or you may lose it.

[/quote]

very true.. I got trouble of remembering each card in fast speed after a few months (maybe 7-8 months) off using the mem deck magic.
Message: Posted by: edh (Apr 22, 2008 06:51PM)
I found that once I had memorized the stack. I shuffle the cards(flash cards) run through them face down calling out the name of the card. then shuffle again and run through the cards face up calling out the number. I do this once a day and it keeps the stack fresh in my mind.
Message: Posted by: landmark (Apr 22, 2008 08:31PM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-22 14:06, Turk wrote:

[i]For any of you people out there who have used mnemonics to memorize a deck, do you find that the conversion (from the mnemonic peg to the actual card identities) slows you down, speeds up your knowledge or doesn't make a difference "in the heat of battle"[/i]? Does mnemonics cause a conscious "extra step" that must, by definition, take extra time to arrive at the desired information?

Mike


[/quote]

At a certain point that gap will not exist because you will be going directly from card to number and vice versa without the use of the mnemonics. In other words, the mnemonics drop out eventually--I don't even remember the links that I used. It's at this point that you really know your stack cold. It took me about two months to get to that point. BTW Bob Farmer's system for card pegs is by far the easiest to learn--I think Scott Cram has a version of it on his site. Highly recommended for anyone learning to memorize a stack.
Until you reach the point where there is no gap, it is a good idea to routine your effects so that gap is invisible--your thinking should not show. One strategy I used to use with ACAAN was to have the spectator write down the name of his card and the number (supposedly for verification), giving me more time to think.

Jack Shalom
Message: Posted by: The Amazing Noobini (Apr 23, 2008 03:49AM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-22 08:15, Cain wrote:
It's sort of like learning any sleight. You can practice your pass, palms and side-steal while watching a movie because you've developed the muscle memory. But it would be sort of stupid to begin training in this way.
[/quote]

Actually I think that maybe it's a myth that it's difficult to change a sleight you have learned a bit incorrectly. Once you can do it really smoothly after a few thousand repetitions, you can easily change the angles by doing the sleight differently for a very short while. Reprogramming. Seems to work for me at least. I don't have a mirror in my room so I always learn everything from my own viewpoint. I have never really had any problem simply adjusting afterwards.

[quote]
On 2008-04-22 14:06, Turk wrote:

[i]For any of you people out there who have used mnemonics to memorize a deck, do you find that the conversion (from the mnemonic peg to the actual card identities) slows you down, speeds up your knowledge or doesn't make a difference "in the heat of battle"[/i]? Does mnemonics cause a conscious "extra step" that must, by definition, take extra time to arrive at the desired information?
[/quote]

I haven't used it to memorize a deck because I agree that it is an extra step. At least there is no point if you are learning just one stack as learning the words takes as long as learning the actual cards.

I gave up learning the HL memory system because I needed to translate all the peg words into Norwegian so as not to think [i]via[/i] English. Took me a month to come up with good peg words in my own language as it isn't as sonic as English. In the end I had spent so much time on it that it was really digging too far into my regular life.

HOWEVER, I think you're supposed to use the mnemonics only WHILE you're learning a stack. As far as I understand it the memory system you used should fade and there should be an immediate link between card and number. I find that when calling cards out I hesitate because even though I immediately see the Queen of Diamonds in my mind, it takes up to a few seconds before I can find the words "Queen of Diamond" and speak them.

[quote]
On 2008-04-22 19:51, edh wrote:
I found that once I had memorized the stack. I shuffle the cards(flash cards) run through them face down calling out the name of the card. then shuffle again and run through the cards face up calling out the number. I do this once a day and it keeps the stack fresh in my mind.
[/quote]

I think that if you did it once a month it would stay equally fresh in your mind. After you have really learned it I mean. You probably know it better than you think.
Message: Posted by: twistedace (Apr 27, 2008 07:11PM)
WOW! Thank you all for the excellent advice. I think that I'm going to try to do what Paul did by numbering the backs of the cards. There is so much great advice here.
Message: Posted by: ns (May 6, 2008 08:39PM)
I have been looking at the Bill Malone sets and can't seem to find the Hand's Off Memory Test. Can someone tell me where it is?

Thanks
Message: Posted by: pnielan (May 6, 2008 11:07PM)
Check this thread as well

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=236528&forum=205&37

PN
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (May 7, 2008 12:52AM)
It took me three days for the Aronson stack. I didn't use his pegging system though. I used an ancient practice used by Aristotle called the "Journey". I set up the cards in stack order, then created a story or journey that included the cards. To drill, I put the number in the stack on the face of the card and the card name on the back. Then I would split the deck in half and do a few riffle shuffles. Since the shuffle randomised the cards and the stack, it was a good exercise to go through the cards and have to either identify the card or the number to put them back in stack order.

This of course was AFTER I memorised my story, which really doesn't take long. As you write your story on a piece of paper, you have visual reinforcement, you recite the story as you write which is a bit of NLP, and you have muscle memory. Go through the deck a few times BEFORE marking the cards and recite the story IMMEDIATELY after you have written it.

Almost any card can be related to something you already know. For instance, the Queen of Spades (number 48) was also the title of a song from Styx. So I decided to create a story based around visiting different Nightclubs owned by the notorious Spadini brothers. The tour ended in Scotland where the bad Spadini Brothers were slit up a treat by the dreaded Curse of Scotland - number 52 - the Nine of Diamonds.

Best,
Vlad
Message: Posted by: Turk (May 7, 2008 01:48AM)
Thank you guys for all the new (to me) information. I am particularly indebted to Landmark (Jack Shalom), The Amazing Noobi, pnielan and Vlad_77 for their latest posted information in this regard.

What I am coming to realize is that, for me, learning a peg system after having learned the AS by brute force and rote memorization (it wasn't pretty but it was accomplished) would probably not be productive. I'm especially persuaded by other comments on other links (as provided by pnielan) that folks like Dennis Loomis suggest that the peg system was useful for learning but that after a while the peg system mnemonics kind of "fell away" and is not used in performance.

That said, I am having a lot of fun and stimulation learning many memorized deck effects and correlations. The memorized deck--What a powerful weapon to have in your performance arsenal!!

Thanks to all for all the many contribution on this thread and in the related threads. And a special thanks to Scott Cram for his encyclopedic memorized deck-related link references. Also thanks to Dennis Loomis for his memorized deck labor of love he has posted and maintained on his site.

Mike
Message: Posted by: Dennis Loomis (May 8, 2008 12:07PM)
Hi Turk,
Yes, my feeling is that for many mem-deck effects, it takes way too much time if you have to think through the mnemonic associations in front of the audience. These are ONLY for initially learning the order. Then, as you continue to work with them, you simply know that the 12th card is the 5H (in Aronson) and that the AS is at position 6. Over time, you will also know a lot more things. The 9H and 9D are exactly ten cards apart at 42 and 52, the red fours surround the KH, you get to know "neighborhoods" in the deck like the cards which make up the ten cards for the Ten Card Poker Deal and the order they are in, etc.

To read more, go to my site (link below) click on the link at the top to the memorized deck area and read my article on memorized Deck Mastery.

Dennis Loomis
Message: Posted by: Jon_Thompson (May 9, 2008 04:32AM)
On a related note, does anyone else find it almost impossible to remember the "official" meanings of the cards in a tarot deck (regardless of how you use them)? I made up my own in the end!
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (May 21, 2008 05:16AM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-21 10:34, Cohiba wrote:
Jon must have a photographic memory.
[/quote]
Put a deck in Si Stebbins order and spread it out on the table. The order will jump out at you.
Message: Posted by: ghostpianist (May 30, 2008 06:40AM)
For Juan Tamariz's MD, 2 weeks of painful rote. Still have to revise it every now and then in order to keep it sharp.
Message: Posted by: Jon_Thompson (May 30, 2008 07:11AM)
[quote]On 2008-05-21 06:16, Alan Munro wrote:
Put a deck in Si Stebbins order and spread it out on the table. The order will jump out at you.[/quote]
I always avoid ribbon spreading a Stebbins deck for that very reason. I'll quickly push it from hand to hand, taking care to push off small, random clumps, but I never leave it open to inspection.
Message: Posted by: LeConte (Jun 2, 2008 02:41AM)
I use the Tamariz stack, however this site is amazing for practice. http://www.stackview.com/index.html


Check it out if you have not done so as of yet. Use this tool everyday and you will be on the path to excellence.
Message: Posted by: leosx1 (Mar 9, 2010 03:30AM)
I have to practice my Tamariz stack every day when I am on the road.
Message: Posted by: nlokers (Aug 9, 2010 11:46PM)
I run through all the modes on my Stacked Deck iPhone app daily and it has made me way sharper than before I bought it.
Message: Posted by: the dealer (Aug 11, 2010 12:58AM)
Took me not too long...maybe 5min...lol
Message: Posted by: Josh Chaikin (Aug 27, 2010 11:18AM)
It took me about two days to memorize the Tamariz stack and about an hour in total (first half in 30 minutes, second half in another 30). I'm sure I could've done it quicker, but I was doing it in between studying for an organic chemistry final back in college.

I used the peg system to memorize the cards and it really helped me learn things so much faster...the same techniques have also helped me memorize the periodic table of elements, as well as memorizing material for technical certifications.

But we all know that the only reason we'd improve our memory is to improve our magic, right? ;)
Message: Posted by: gdw (Aug 27, 2010 07:33PM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-21 11:32, Jon_Thompson wrote:
Hi Cohiba,

My memory is terrible!

It's something I want to get into, though. To overcome the memory thing, I realised I'd have to design my own. I began doing so a while back, but the project stalled due to other commitments. I got as far as defining all the hidden properties I wanted it to possess, and the handling I wanted it to be able to survive, and constructed a basic outline. Perhaps I should revisit it properly.
[/quote]

I'm the same, and did the same. I essentially built a stack with a lot of similar properties to Mnemonica. I am not 100% sure that I should stick with what I got, or just go with Mnemonica given the work that's already been put into routines with it.

Also, Alzheimer's runs in my family, so that was a bit of a motivator to work on my memory.
Message: Posted by: iluzjonista (Sep 2, 2010 09:20AM)
Richard Osterlind stack is very good and you don't have to memorise too much- just simple mathematics.