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Topic: Best and easiest memorized deck system to use?
Message: Posted by: slydini62 (Jan 9, 2004 12:21AM)
I want to learn a memorized deck system. Which one is the easiest and best to use?

Thanks
Sly
Message: Posted by: sleightofhander (Jan 9, 2004 01:00AM)
8 Kings is the only one I've used I'm sure there are plenty of others. I learned it off CardTrickCentral.com a couple of years ago.
Message: Posted by: usa (Jan 9, 2004 01:10AM)
Take a deck, shuffle it well and memorize it.
it is the only way to be sure.
Message: Posted by: Decker (Jan 9, 2004 01:34AM)
[quote]
On 2004-01-09 02:10, usa wrote:
it is the only way to be sure.
[/quote]

Sounds like an abstinence campaign.

An option I have heard good things about is the 6 Hour Memorized Deck by Martin Joyal.
Message: Posted by: usa (Jan 9, 2004 01:54AM)
"Sounds like an abstinence campaign. "

no it's from the movie "alien II"
Message: Posted by: Wizard (Jan 9, 2004 02:48AM)
[quote]
On 2004-01-09 02:34, Decker wrote:
[quote]
On 2004-01-09 02:10, usa wrote:
it is the only way to be sure.
[/quote]

Sounds like an abstinence campaign.

An option I have heard good things about is the 6 Hour Memorized Deck by Martin Joyal.
[/quote]
This system will quite serve you well.Choose the SHoCkeD stack it is easier to remember.
Message: Posted by: Zeiros (Jan 9, 2004 03:30AM)
By memorized stack do you mean actually [i]memorized[/i] as in think of a card and know from heart where in the deck it is and vice versa, or a system whereby given any card you can figure out which is next in the stack.

If it's the first I'd recommend the Nikola stack, although I have heard good things about the Aronson stack. Both are hard (in my opinion) to learn, but are very powerful, and have additional effects like poker deals built in.

If it's the latter then Osterlind's Mental Breakthrough System. Looks completely random, but it is a very easy system to learn
Message: Posted by: Dolphin (Jan 9, 2004 04:04AM)
If you`re looking for a system I would go with Si Stebbinis. Great system where all cards look thoroughly mixed :cool:
Message: Posted by: James Fortune (Jan 9, 2004 04:17AM)
Why do you want to memorise a deck? What effect do you want to perform or is it just for the mental excercise?

If it'a for an effect, I can't recommend Alan Shaxon's NAME A CARD enough. It's awesome. Spectator just names a card and you IMMEDIATELY find it - with one action. Can be repeated again and again with spectators firing card names at you and you constantly finding them!

Amazing!
Message: Posted by: saturnin (Jan 9, 2004 06:33AM)
HI Slydini62,

first if you intent to learn ANY memorized deck, you may want to search the subject using the "search: function on the top right corner of the forum's webpage.

Because in order to make a good sound decision you will want to look around and study the different memorized deck on the market (Joyal, Aronson, Tamariz, Rix, Green, Osterlind, Nikola, etc...) and see what each have to offer (pros & cons).

Please read this thread before going any further:
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=54392&forum=2&5

Hope this helps!

Ronnie Lemieux
Montreal
Canada
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jan 9, 2004 09:53AM)
The Osterlind system is good, so is the Cornelius system. Neither is an actual memorized stack, they are systems, but they accomplish the same thing.

The Nikola stack is excellent. Using it also gives you access to a mnemonic system.

If you don't know what you can do with a MEMORIZED stack as opposed to a system such as Stebbins or 8 Kings, then you need to look at the literature.

Better yet, DON'T look at the literature. Then those of us who know a memorized deck system can fool you!!!! :wow: :wow: :wow: :nana:
Message: Posted by: david_a_whitehead (Jan 9, 2004 09:59AM)
I personally use the Aronson system because it was the first one I was exposed to and he has a lot of published material on it. It was the easy choice. I'm looking forward to the Tamariz works which are supposed to be coming out soon.
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Jan 9, 2004 11:11AM)
The easiest deck to memorize is a one-way force deck, assuming you can remember one card. :baby:

There are a variety of good systems for memorizing an entire deck. I use Martin Joyal's system for a variety of reasons but there's not one system that's best for everyone. You'll find a lot of information by using the search function.

Larry D.
Message: Posted by: Joshua Lozoff (Jan 9, 2004 11:29AM)
This is Darwin Ortiz' advice as well. I find it better than any specific stack.

[quote]
On 2004-01-09 02:10, usa wrote:
Take a deck, shuffle it well and memorize it.
it is the only way to be sure.
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jan 9, 2004 11:37AM)
The Si Stebbins is probably the easiest and you really don't have to memorize anything.

Whoever said to shuffle a deck and memorize it must not know anything about the subject as the stacks, such as Stebbins allow you to do some great effects.

The easiest, for example, is having a card selected, freely, and by cutting at that point, a look at the bottom card tells you the name of the selection.

There is MUCH MUCH MORE... if you are good with your memory, then the Aronson is used by many of the top guys... as well as the Nicola.

The big thing is you have to do it ALL THE TIME.

One of the really top guys told me "Now that I have a regular gig, working almost every night, I can start to use the Aronson stack. It takes daily use."
Message: Posted by: thumbslinger (Jan 9, 2004 12:24PM)
I'm not sure which system it is, but in Scarne On Card Tricks there was one that is pretty easy for specific effects.

You have a number system for the cards and suits and can tell fairly easily, for example, which cards have been removed from a large packet of cards...or the whole deck if you're fast at adding numbers! It's great because spades=0 and anytime your total is over 10, you drop the zero/tens spot ...14 is 4..10 is 0...12 is 2 etc so it's easy to keep track.
Message: Posted by: hkwiles (Jan 9, 2004 12:39PM)
Try Doug Dyment's QUICKSTACK

Howard
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (Jan 9, 2004 01:00PM)
[quote]
On 2004-01-09 02:10, usa wrote:
Take a deck, shuffle it well and memorize it.
it is the only way to be sure.
[/quote]

The only way to be sure about WHAT, exactly?! My vote is for the Joyal stack. It's not a hard one to learn, it appears random, and you know where every card is, unlike the 8 kings, Sy Stebbins, or BCS. You can do some wonderful effects only knowing the next card (check Osterlind's DVD #2) but for about 6 hours (according to Joyal; it took me less time)you can learn the positions of ALL of the cards relative to each other. If the former is good enough for the effects you want to do, then I'd take BCS over 8 kings or Sy Stebbins, because you can spread the deck face up (or leave the cards behind), and nobody would suspect a stack.
Message: Posted by: spatlind (Jan 9, 2004 01:07PM)
Isn't irony great?
Message: Posted by: Eddy (Jan 9, 2004 01:50PM)
At the end of the day you are going to have to sit down at some time and atually learn the order so its up to you. But personally I would go witht eh aronson stack as it can be used to perform miracles.
Message: Posted by: Joshua Lozoff (Jan 9, 2004 02:03PM)
Darwin Ortiz will be very surprised to hear that he doesn't know anything about the subject...

[quote]
On 2004-01-09 12:37, Pete Biro wrote:

Whoever said to shuffle a deck and memorize it must not know anything about the subject as the stacks, such as Stebbins allow you to do some great effects.
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: oldmanxxvi (Jan 9, 2004 02:19PM)
I am in the process of memorizing the Nikola system. The effects that are possible with it are almost endless. In a world where you can go into the corner magic shop and buy an unlimited number of tricks that you can perform within 5 minutes of buying them, I think it is great to see people willing to take the time and effort to actually LEARN something. Just remember, the easiest to learn may not be the best to learn.
Message: Posted by: PossumSlimm (Jan 9, 2004 02:20PM)
I memorized a "random" stack with only those built in features that I need. The Aronson is terrific but because I don't do gambling demonstrations etc it was largely superfluous.
Message: Posted by: cheesewrestler (Jan 9, 2004 03:13PM)
During your breaks from memorizing you will of course be practising your false shuffle ...
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Jan 9, 2004 04:58PM)
[quote]
On 2004-01-09 14:07, spatlind wrote:
Isn't irony great?
[/quote]

Yes, but more importantly, where would the world be without rhetorical questions?
Message: Posted by: oldmanxxvi (Jan 9, 2004 05:37PM)
A stacked deck without a false shuffle is like a car without wheels. You are going no where.
Message: Posted by: S2000magician (Jan 9, 2004 05:56PM)
"Best" and "easiest" are no more compatible in memorized deck work than they are in sleight-of-hand. Arguably the easiest is having the cards separated into suits with each suit in numerical order (you'll be taxed with remembering whether aces are high or low, so beware); it is also likely to be pretty useless. The "best" is arguably the one that will allow you to perform the types of effects you want to perform with a memorized deck.

I've chosen to memorize the Aronson stack, although I have never used any of the poker deals or the bridge deal or the spelling setup inherent in the stack. I chose it because I wanted to learn some specific memorized-deck effects in Simon's books, and he kindly sent me a pamphlet describing his stack and a method to learn it. For me, "best" was defined as "most convenient at the time."
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Jan 9, 2004 07:59PM)
My vote goes to Aronson's stack. I found a fairly rapid system for memorizing it, and once it is in your head, there is need for a review perhaps once a month if you are not actively using it in performance. This is also the one that Michael Close chose to employ.
Message: Posted by: James Fortune (Jan 9, 2004 08:32PM)
Ok. I've got the lowdown on Alan Shaxon's NAME A CARD.

Check out ...
http://www.peterscarlett.com/html/product_description_16.html

Also, this is a great article of stacked decks:
http://www.oratory.com/deceptionary/aboutstacks.html

Hope this helps :)
Message: Posted by: andre combrinck (Jan 9, 2004 11:33PM)
Osterlind's is the best,but Si Stebbins combind with CHaSeD is the easist.Many great mentalism routines can be done with these.
Andre
ajcombri@telkomsa.net
Message: Posted by: thehawk (Jan 10, 2004 12:59AM)
Watched Richard perform on his vol 2 with his break through system and all I can say is that it is excellant. Vol 2 is worth the price of the entire set.
Message: Posted by: spatlind (Jan 10, 2004 07:45AM)
[quote]
On 2004-01-09 17:58, Larry Davidson wrote:
[quote]
On 2004-01-09 14:07, spatlind wrote:
Isn't irony great?
[/quote]

Yes, but more importantly, where would the world be without rhetorical questions?
[/quote]

LOL! Touche Larry!
Message: Posted by: Tom G (Jan 10, 2004 08:28AM)
One stack I didn't see mentioned is Boris Wild's. I don't stand a chance of memorizing a deck, but his is
within my realm.
Message: Posted by: MarkFarrar (Jan 10, 2004 02:10PM)
My vote is for just learning a randomly shuffled deck, either using a mnemonic system or by rote.

I know people think it's difficult, but it's only 52 things to learn, and if you consider how much you already know, this is a mere drop in the ocean! Go on, give it a try - you may be pleasantly surprised!
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jan 10, 2004 02:52PM)
[quote]
On 2004-01-10 15:10, MarkFarrar wrote:
My vote is for just learning a randomly shuffled deck, either using a mnemonic system or by rote.

I know people think it's difficult, but it's only 52 things to learn, and if you consider how much you already know, this is a mere drop in the ocean! Go on, give it a try - you may be pleasantly surprised!
[/quote]

A lot of this has to do with what you want to do with the memorized deck. I learned the Nikola stack because it gave me some extra possibilities -- you can do a poker deal, a bridge deal, lots of things, just from the stack.

OTOH, if you want something that nobody will recognize, memorising a shuffled deck is just as good an option as anything.

It all depends on how functional you want it to be.
Message: Posted by: magicbyswh (Jan 10, 2004 05:02PM)
Bob Solari's No brainer memorized deck is the Best!
Message: Posted by: 10cardsdown (Jan 10, 2004 05:31PM)
Mark Farrar wrote . . . "I know people think it's difficult, but it's only 52 things to learn . . . "

Actually, there are 104 things to learn, the 52 cards and the 52 positions. :wavey:
Message: Posted by: MarkFarrar (Jan 11, 2004 10:20AM)
Fair enough - I almost wrote that but decided not to -, but I still stand by what I said.

I would add also that, although many stacks such as the Aronson one do include built-in effects, many of these tend to relate to poker deals, and they don't, in my experience, tend to be that popular over here in the UK.
Message: Posted by: Craig Chamberlain (Jan 11, 2004 06:43PM)
I was just wondering, is there anyone here who has learned two different stacks and stays in practice with both of them?

I've learned only one (Aronson). I created my own associations between cards and numbers instead of using any mnemonic system. In my experience, memorizing a stack is easier than gaining proficiency with most card sleights. I think many people are too intimidated by the thought of memorizing a deck and never even try.
Message: Posted by: Close.Up.Dave (Jan 11, 2004 06:59PM)
My suggestion wouldn't be to shuffle a deck and memorize it, nor to memorize the Aronson. Aronson has features built into it, yet I don't use any of them except for Allan Ackerman's Another Quick Coincidence. So basicly what I'm saying is instead of shuffling one and memorizing it, or memorizing someone else's, make your own with features that you will use. It may take a while, but it would be worth it (for me at least).
Message: Posted by: eric6 (Jan 12, 2004 03:28AM)
[quote]
On 2004-01-10 15:10, MarkFarrar wrote:
My vote is for just learning a randomly shuffled deck, either using a mnemonic system or by rote.

I know people think it's difficult, but it's only 52 things to learn, and if you consider how much you already know, this is a mere drop in the ocean! Go on, give it a try - you may be pleasantly surprised!
[/quote]
This exactly how I learned my deck and was really surprised at how easy it was. Give it a TRY.
Eric
Message: Posted by: PossumSlimm (Jan 12, 2004 10:04AM)
[quote]
On 2004-01-11 19:43, Craig Chamberlain wrote:
I was just wondering, is there anyone here who has learned two different stacks and stays in practice with both of them?

[/quote]

I learned the Aronson first, then memorized one of my own. Admittedly, my mastery of the Aronson is a bit stronger, but the other is coming nicely.
Message: Posted by: Great Domino (Jan 13, 2004 12:17AM)
As mentioned, the Osterlind Card System is just awesome. If you want to do some memory work, read Harry Lorayne's books on the subject.
Message: Posted by: ASW (Jan 13, 2004 12:21AM)
Actually, if you are already familiar with the names of every card in the deck, then it's only 52 things to learn.

But why quibble?
Message: Posted by: S2000magician (Jan 13, 2004 12:45AM)
[quote]On 2004-01-13 01:21, George Devol wrote:
Actually, if you are already familiar with the names of every card in the deck, then it's only 52 things to learn.[/quote]

So, if you also know the numbers from 1 to 52 then you have nothing to learn?

;)
Message: Posted by: usa (Jan 13, 2004 01:53AM)
"So, if you also know the numbers from 1 to 52 then you have nothing to learn? "

hahaha, people also forget that not knowing %^!+ is not the same as knowing that one doesn't know !!#$
Message: Posted by: ASW (Jan 13, 2004 03:18AM)
Wait - if you don't know the numbers 1 - 52, and you don't know the cards either, are you saying you need to learn 156 things or 104? Do you see what I'm saying? Just following your logic...

Or maybe not.

But, hey, why quibble?

:P
Message: Posted by: Breather (Jan 13, 2004 12:50PM)
Here's another thread on the subject:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=46157&forum=2&26
Message: Posted by: FTAMagician (Jan 13, 2004 02:26PM)
Well...I have the Aronson Stack so I KNOW what every card is if somebody gives me a number from 1 to 52!! That's GOOD!!! But...and I'm having trouble seeing some cards and knowing what number they are!! That's bad!!
I guess until I LEARN it both ways (two goods!!!) I'll have to stick to effects where "just" knowing them by number is good enough!!!
But there ARE some in Simon's books where this is enough!! His one effect from "Bound to Please" is a KILLER and, like he says...as close to mindreading as you'll get!!
Imagine handing out 5 cards to 10 people and having them mentally select ANY card in their group of 5 that they want!!! Then all the packets are collected and totally SHUFFELED by another spectator...then you thumb through the cards and name 'em in groups of ten...and if they hear their card after each ten...you tell them what the card IS!!!!!!! Think about this!!! I can't wait 'til my magic group has another "mental night"....so I can KILL with this...unless they have Simon's book!!!
Message: Posted by: Jonatan B (Jan 14, 2004 08:09PM)
FTAMagician, this is exactly one of the systems Harry Lorrayne teaches in his memory books, connecting numbers through associations to anything...cards inclusive. And much more.
You can learn a decks order by number after shuffling after say, 10 minutes. go to harrylorayne.com to see some fun demonstrations or go to your library for any of his memory books..you will be amazed by yourself.
Message: Posted by: Jason Bay (Jan 15, 2004 10:14AM)
Learning a *memorized deck* takes a fairly large initial time investment, AND a lot of maintenance if you want to be able to use it at a moment's notice -- you have to quiz yourself on a nearly daily basis to really stay snappy with the stack.

Remembering a card *system*, on the other hand, takes a few minutes, and you're not likely to forget how it works. Ever.

That said, there are probably more effects that you can do with a memorized deck (including the previously mentioned gambling demos), but I would submit that they are no more impressive to a lay audience than the effects you can do with a card system.

I mention this distinction because your initial post includes the word "easiest", and a card system is definitely much easier to mentally acquire than a memorized deck.
Message: Posted by: Nick Pudar (Jan 15, 2004 09:31PM)
FTAMagician, in a recent Smoke and Mirrors article, Dennis Loomis talked about the six requirements to truely know your stack cold. 1) stack position (number) to equivalent card value; 2) card value to equivalent stack position; 3) stack position to next card value; 4) card value to next stack position; 5) stack position to previous card value; and 6) card value to previous stack position.

I have incorporated this thinking in the latest version of my StackView software. It has a full featured quizzer (called "StackView Test" in the tools menu) that you can use to fully test your knowledge of your stack. It works with any stack, including your own.

Nick
Message: Posted by: saturnin (Jan 16, 2004 07:09AM)
Jason Bay wrote:
"Learning a *memorized deck* takes a fairly large initial time investment"

Hi Jason,

I completely disagree with your statement.

First, have you learn a memorized deck?
(if so which one?)

Because, I do use a memorized deck, and it did NOT require any large initial time investment. Especially, if you compare the time you need to learn many sleights (false deals, different passes, double-lifts, etc...)

I knew my memorized deck after less than 3 hours and with 5 other practice sessions of about 20-30 minutes, I knew it cold (just like Nick Pudar says in his post)!
And I still know it cold to this day!

And as for your second argument ("lot of maintenance if you want to be able to use it at a moment's notice") is also completely false. Mostly because if you recite it only once a day it is enough to keep it fresh in your memory since you already know it by heart. Try forgetting something you already know!
(I still remember my time tables I learned when I was a kid, and even though I do not use them every day, I still remember them very well.) The best part is that you can recite your memorized stack during "down times", by which I mean when you are stuck in taffic, in the shower, while waiting in line at the bank, in a boring class, etc... When on the other hand, it would be almost impossible to practice card or coin sleights during these moments!

And about your third argument; "Remembering a card *system*, on the other hand, takes a few minutes, and you're not likely to forget how it works. Ever. "

Well I learned never to say "ever", but I will not go into that. Please we must not compare apples with oranges, because a system and a memorized stack are 2 totally different things. With a system you do NOT know the position of every card in the deck at all times!!!

Now, I am not saying that systems are not good, because I do use some (Si Stebbins mostly) and there are excellent routines with them.

But then again, it is all the better for me if people keep (falsely) thinking that memorized deck magic is out of their reach, as this way I can keep those gems for me!!!

Ronnie Lemieux
Montreal
Canada
Message: Posted by: 10cardsdown (Jan 16, 2004 07:34AM)
Nick,

If you already have Stackview downloaded, do you need to upgrade it to receive this feature? Thanks! :wavey:
Message: Posted by: Dennis Loomis (Jan 16, 2004 10:19AM)
Initially learning a good memorized deck stack (I use Aronson) will certainly take an investment of time and effort. But, I think a lot of magicians think it's harder and more time consuming than it is. If you just jump in and get started, I think you will find that it will be easier and less time consuming than learning the Zarrow Shuffle, for example.

I do use Nick Pudar's Stack View Test most every day. I set the parameters to:
Deck Range: Full Deck
Stack Sequence: Random
Test Value: Random Mix
Test Card: Current Card
Test Duration: 1.75 seconds
Show Duration: .5 seconds
And, it takes exactly 3 minutes and 34 seconds to drill every card in the deck in a random fashion. I don't think that's a big investment in time for maintenance... do you?
Additionally, I use little blocks of time that are often wasted to just drill myself. Example: I'm driving and pull up to a red light behind a car. I glance at the License Plate. Let's say it's 4KMC113. The last two digits are 13, and I just recall that number 13 is the Two of Diamonds. The two digits before the last form the number 11, so I just recall that 11 is the Ten of Spades. I reverse the last two digits, forming 31, and recall that 31 is the Four of Diamonds. I look at the initial digit and recall that 4 is the Two of Hearts. If the light still hasn't changed, I'll couple that 4 with the 1 and 3 at the end, and just recall the cards at positions 41, 14, 43, and 34. By now, I'm probably moving again and I drop it for now.
When I'm practicing other card tricks, I'll just recall stack numbers as I work. I may, for example, work on a one handed top palm. I palm the top card, and then put it on the bottom of the deck. But before I do, I glance at it and bring the stack number to mind. Then I palm the next card and do the same thing. It only takes a moment more, and I'm simultaneously practing both the sleight and drilling on the Aronson Stack.
A few random reactions to this thread. The Poker Deals and Bridge Deal in the Aronson Stack are far superior to the ones in Nikola. I see NO POINT in memorizing a randomly shuffled deck. Since you can take advantage of any features that are built in, it makes more sense to me to go with a deck that has some tricks or effects built into the stack. If you have some special tricks or effects that you do a lot and they require a stack, it's a great idea to make your own stack incorporating them. Years ago I decided to learn the Aronson stack and I've NEVER regretted it. Some of the build in effects serve me very well.
Finally, to get a bit technical: Si Stebbins, Eight Kings, and the Osterlind Breakthrough Stack are NOT true memorized decks. They are marvelous tools for many things, but they lack the essential feature of a true memorized deck: each card is associated with a numerical position so that you know where EVERY card is located.
If you haven't worked with a memorized deck, I urge you to just jump in and give it a try. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at how quickly you'll be on your way and at how powerful a tool it is.
Dennis Loomis
http://www.loomismagic.com
Message: Posted by: ASW (Jan 16, 2004 03:36PM)
[quote]
On 2004-01-16 11:19, Dennis Loomis wrote:
A few random reactions to this thread. The Poker Deals and Bridge Deal in the Aronson Stack are far superior to the ones in Nikola. I see NO POINT in memorizing a randomly shuffled deck. Since you can take advantage of any features that are built in, it makes more sense to me to go with a deck that has some tricks or effects built into the stack. If you have some special tricks or effects that you do a lot and they require a stack, it's a great idea to make your own stack incorporating them. [/quote]

I agree that if you have a killer stack effect that you want to do, then it is an excellent idea to make that your mem deck - or the arrangement of your mem deck after giving it a couple of faroes. This idea is presented in Mike Skinner's much maligned (but brilliant) book - he describes the fact that one of his two mem deck sequences left him in position to do Dai Vernon's Poker Deal.

But getting back to the "shuffle any deck" comment that started this thread... I posted the following in another thread, but it really deserves to be here too:

Can I just make an aside regarding the oft quoted (here at least) bit of advice regarding memorised decks? What Darwin said was that he is often asked which stack he uses. His response is "take a deck and shuffle it, then learn that sequence". Since I know Darwin pretty well (he is one of my best friends in or out of magic) I think I can expand on what he was saying.

The thing is, the stack (per se) isn't important to Darwin - it's the effect that's important. All you need is a pack of cards that looks random, but isn't. This is self-evident, but magiciians are always longing for the perfect stack, the holy grail. Just as they want the perfect, invisible (and easy and self-working!) pass. They want it now and they don't want to work for it...

Another issue is that Darwin just doesn't want everyone else using his sequence. Not that it's better or worse than any other stack - I think he feels that performance choices are personal and, in that sense, secret. Darwin doesn't want to create a legion of magicians who use the exact same double lift, pass, shuffle, blind cut, etc, etc. Because that would be boring - and if that happened it is implicit that those magi-clones would probably have similar performing personas and effect choices. Darwin has worked hard at developing his own persona, selecting and developing the effects and sleights that suit him - that sum him up. This extends all the way from the wallet he uses to the clothes he wears, to the stack he chooses to use. He doesn't want to establish a "McDarwin" franchise.

Besides, all of these choices are hard-fought. There is great personal satisfaction in developing your own persona. I imagine that Darwin's view on this is a dichotomy between selfishness and generosity. It's selfish because he doesn't want you to know everything he knows - but it's generous at the same time because, if you get off your gluteus maximus and labour at developing your OWN personality you will be rewarded by learning lessons about performance in a way that is far more meaningful and enduring than if you were handed them on a plate.

That's not to say that Darwin hasn't shared a lot with us. He has - just as people like Whit Haydn, Dai Vernon, Michael Vincent, Juan Tamariz and on and on have shared much that is of value. The problem is that we can develop a "glass half empty" mentality, rather than prizing the information that is available. (Already far too much for us to assimilate in our lifetimes). So we sit around griping that Darwin deflects our interest in his stack (and it is clear to anyone with half a brain that Darwin is merely deflecting interest from HIS stack)...

One more thing - Darwin specifically says that if his advice is not to your liking, you should investigate his survey of memorised deck systems in The Annotated Erdnase. He's not stopping you from coming up with the ultimate stack - just from copying his stack.

So - to summarise - Darwin's advice is not literal. To translate: find a stack that works for YOU.

All the best
Andrew
Message: Posted by: Nick Pudar (Jan 16, 2004 09:10PM)
10cardsdown,

StackView Test first appeared in version 3. I have added many new bells and whistles in version 4. If you have either of these two versions, just select "StackView Test" from the "Tools" menu. You should check out version 4. It is free to download.

Nick
Message: Posted by: Dennis Loomis (Jan 16, 2004 09:36PM)
To "George Devol" or Andrew,
Thanks for clarifying this about Darwin's advice on the selection of a particular stack to memorize. I have great respect for Darwin and admire his incredible discipline and creativity, but never understood why he said this. Now I do. I appreciate it.
Dennis Loomis
http://www.loomismagic.com
Message: Posted by: ASW (Jan 16, 2004 11:43PM)
You're most welcome, Dennis!
Message: Posted by: JordanB (Jan 17, 2004 01:38AM)
Personally I use Osterlind's System, it was very easy to learn, the hard part was mastering the Zarrow shuffle that I taught myself to make it look extra convincing. I like the Aronson stack, I don't know the mechanics of it, but I like the effects I've seen done with it. I guess I'll have to get his Bound to Please book.
Message: Posted by: steiner1000 (Jan 17, 2004 09:26AM)
I have to put another vote in for Osterlind's Mental Breakthrough System, I have not had a lot of experience in memorized deck, but this one has served all of my objectives.
Message: Posted by: FTAMagician (Jan 17, 2004 02:01PM)
Somebody on some thread (maybe this one???) said that a card system and a memorized stack are two different things...I guess that's right!?

I mean with a memorized stack you know the number of every card from top to bottom where with a system it's like the "series" of the cards...something like that????

I'm working with the Aronson stack right now and have it pretty well memorized...especially when it comes to the number of each card! I figure why memorize just a shuffled deck when a famous stack has all the features this one does!? Besides, if I run into a magi somewhere that also knows the Aronson stack, he could borrow my deck and do the Aronson or Mike Close effects...and visa versa too!
Message: Posted by: Close.Up.Dave (Jan 17, 2004 02:29PM)
FTA magician, not all of Simon Aronson's tricks need to be done with his stack, same with Mike Close's effects. But let me ask you something, do you use a lot of Simon Aronson's built in features? I never have which is why I made a stack of my own with my own built in features. I think that is the best way to go about it, use a stack that has features that you will use.