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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Shuffled not Stirred » » Which stack? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Ross W
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I learnt the Nikola stack years ago but have more or less forgotten it, though I still have the book.

Is it worth investing in a new one (Aaronson, say) or simply refreshing my memory of the Nikola.

What are the relative advantages of each?

Thanks
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Sergey Smirnov
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Why do you want to learn the second stack anyway? Only if you would consider it better, perhaps.

If I were you, I would simply refresh my memory of Nikola stack. It would be much easier than learning a new one. I learnt Mnemonica some while ago, but stopped using it after a month or so and, just like you, I forgot it. A couple of months ago I decided to get back to it. It took me so much less effort to memorize it again than the first time.
Ross W
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Well, yeah. Are there advantages that the Joyal, say, or the Aronson have over the Nikola that make it worth the time and effort to learn the new one?
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LobowolfXXX
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The primary advantage of the Joyal stack is that it's fairly easy to learn quickly, because of the mathematical principles behind the stack itself. It's the stack I use, because I wanted to get up and running with memdeck work in a hurry, and it just took a few hours. The Aronson stack does not have that ease-in-learning advantage, but it has several built in effects (poker deals). I have friends who use the Aronson, and love it; I'm happy with the Joyal. I personally use a poker deal that plays well and can easily be set-up impromptu, so I don't feel I'm missing much with the built-in effects, but there are many good ones in Simon's stack.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
ddyment
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This topic comes up frequently, and with the usual predicatable responses (including this one). There are many published (and unpublished) full-deck stacks. Most people have their personal favourites, their reasons often amounting to no more that "this is the one I learned, and I like it".

There is no "correct" or "best" answer. There are lots of issues, the primary ones being how you intend to use the stack, and your personal learning style; most "promoters" of specific stacks focus on one particular aspect, and ignore the associated tradeoffs. I offer an on-line essay on the topic that you may find helpful in this regard. And you will find no end of suggestions from others.
Doug Dyment's Deceptionary :: Elegant, Literate, Contemporary Mentalism ... and More
Michael J. Douglas
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Hey Mr. Dyment, I really like reading your Deceptionary articles!

I, personally, use the BCS by Osterlind.

Maybe you could tell us what you're thinking of using it for, and then we can recomend a "suited" stack?
Michael J.
�Believe then, if you please, that I can do strange things.� --from Shakespeare�s �As You Like It�
Ross W
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I guess I just want it to create superb and baffling magic, and I'm wondering if any of the stacks are, say, more versatile, or have more built-in effects, or come with suggested routines etc etc. Of course, I could have done a search, but it ain't working! Doug Dyment: your essay is great - thanks!
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Michael J. Douglas
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I'd say check out Osterlind's BCS(it's a steal) and also Mneumonica.
Michael J.
�Believe then, if you please, that I can do strange things.� --from Shakespeare�s �As You Like It�
scorch
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I don't think that it's that difficult to memorize a full deck stack. Most people can memorize a stack in much less time than it takes to master most advanced sleights and most effects worth performing.

Even still, committing to doing memdeck work is a fairly major decision. No matter what you choose you're going to have to work with it a lot, and keep working on it, to take full advantage of it. But the way I see it is once you've made the decision to commit yourself to doing memdeck work, why begrudge yourself the full power of the Aronson or Mnemonica stacks just because it's a little easier to do something else? I say put in the extra few hours it might take to memorize the very best stack with the most inherent possibilities. For my money, that's Mnemonica, but Aronson is a close second.
jcigam
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http://www.simonaronson.com

http://www.loomismagic.com

Check out both of these sites as well. They both have excellent information to help you make a more educated decision.

Jered S.
"The mind has exactly the same power as the hand, not merely to grasp the world, but to change it."
Shane Wiker
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Link 1

Link 2

Link 3

Shane Wiker
Twins
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I’m trying an answer in English, and as I’m French it could be possible that you don’t understand everything, so sorry in advance for my poor English…

Systems: a stack where the cards and positions respond to a logical rule. This rule could be a mathematical rule (Bart Harding, Quickstack, Si Stebbnis, BCS, Boris Wild), or mnemonic sentence (8King).
Memorized deck: a deck where the position of the cards can only be determine by the memorization of all the deck (Mnemonica, Aronson, Rix, Brainstorm, Mimosa, Nikola, Green, Ireland…)

It’s better to know the positions and the cards without calculations. So if you want you can choose a system, and memorized it! If you choose this way, I suggest the Si Stebbins system, which contains a lot of properties (even the staystack and you can arrange it from new deck order too, like Mnemonica, see Cardiste 3, 1957, Rusduck).

In USA, the Aronson stack is the most chosen memorized deck, and in Europe it’s Mnemonica (Tamariz).
Aronson and Mnemonica are brothers because their structures have the same author: Russel Duck (Rusduck). Russduck create the Zensational stack, hide in Aronson and the staystack system (“The cardiste”) hide in Mnemonica! (I must say that staystack / mirror stacks were studying before Rusduck, but he was the first who associate this system to faro out).
The Zens is a powerful tool to perform “Any poker hand called for”, considered by Tamariz as the best cheating demonstration with a deck of cards, and he’s right. With Aronson, you can perform this effect with just a cut: the deal of any poker hand called for! You can also find 3 poker demonstrations (Vernon + 10 cards poker deal), a bridge game, blackjack and a lot of spelling tricks. You can also find methods to produce four of a kind in “Try the impossible”. If you like cheating performance, the Aronson stack is probably the best stack to use.

The structure of Mnemonica is different, because Tamariz use an idea with the Rusduck staystack principles, describe by Marlo. Marlo suggest to start with a new deck order (as a new deck order is a staystack, see Martin Nash “Ovation” routine for a good example) and to perform a series of faro-out to obtain a deck which can retrieve his new deck order by another faro out series (as the faro out is a cyclic shuffle where a 52 cards deck come back to is original order after 8 faro out). Tamariz start with a new Spanish deck order and perform 4 faro out: it’s the beginning of Mnemonica (he decides next to hide the staystack by adding a run and a partial faro out).
So in Mnemonica you have the staystack property, and from the staystack you can show a perfect new deck order if you want.
As there is no trick specific to the structure of Mnemonica, Tamariz and a group of Spanish magicians make researches and find beautiful effects, describe in the book Mnemonica. One of the most beautiful is the version of “Any poker hand called for”, available in Mnemonica with some adjustments. If you like coincidences tricks, prefer Mnemonica and its staystak.

So as ddyment said, there are no best stacks, but you need to find the best stack for your cardmagic. Anyway, I highly suggest you to read all the Aronson books, Mnemonica and M. Close “Worker 5”: there are a lot of tricks which are not specifics to a stack and that you can perform even with a system!
Murdoch82
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I worked with the Aronson Stack from his Stack to Remember (also in Bound to Please) Over all it took me about 3 weeks to get it down cold (adjacent cards and number location). A stack like this has meaning and special effects buit into it which allows an bonus with the memorization.
Jonathan P.
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Thanks to twins for those details.
Could someone who has read both Aronson and Tamariz on this topic let us know their personal preferences about the "built-in" effects that are specifically possible with one particular stack (I only talk about Tamariz' and Aronson's stacks)?
Many thanks,
Jonathan.
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