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tedski
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I recently thought I should put some attention into learning some basic stack work.
I know there are probably many systems; is one easier to learn than another? How long did it take you to learn it?

I have info on Si Stebbins, but this months linking ring mentions a "dragon stack". I also have a Tamariz video to watch. Pros? Cons? Does much of Steve Beam's semi automatic literature rely on these types of concepts? I guess there might be as many stacks as there are card sharps Smile

I don't know how deep I will go into this type of work, but I would like to hear from those who are familiar with this stuff and find it practical in real situations and get some opinions on where I should start.
Michael J. Douglas
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Do a search for each stack. They've all been discussed before....numerous times. Well, with the exception of the "dragon stack." I've not heard of that one, and I haven't received this month's TLR yet. So, I can't help you there.

FWIW, I use Osterlind's BCS.


Best
Michael J.
�Believe then, if you please, that I can do strange things.� --from Shakespeare�s �As You Like It�
TheAmbitiousCard
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I'm lazy,
Si Stebbins

Being able to get to Si Stebbins one minute after opening a box of cards is just too juicy to pass up.

... can't help myself.
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scorch
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I'm semi-lazy, Mnemonica.

Getting into and out of new deck order within one minute after opening a box of cards is indeed too juicy to pass up, and you can do it with Mnemonica. And Mnemonica has so much more to offer than Si Stebbins, well worth another faro or two.
TheAmbitiousCard
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Like?

no, don't answer. I don't want to go there.
I'm happy the way I am.

ok. give me one example.
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Hideo Kato
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In July 1952 issue of Linking Ring, Rufus Steele wrote that "Memorised Stack" is one of fundamentals of Card magic". He also mentioned that Bruce Elliot had used to say "the stack of even 10 cards gave a performer the basis for 20 or more tricks".

In Mnemonica, Juan Tamariz has many tricks with Half Memorised Stack. And those tricks with Half Memorised Stack motivated me to start to use Memorised Stack. I have believing using Full Memorised Stack is not practical for my act.

Hideo Kato
tedski
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So how long before you all became comfortable using your stack of choice?
BarryFernelius
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Frank,

Just so I can understand, have you memorized the Si Stebbins setup? That is, if I name a number, can you instantly (with no calculation) tell me the card at that number? Conversely, if I name a card, can you instantly (again, with no calculation) tell me the number corresponding to that card's postion in the deck?
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tedski
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That would be the goal for me....I don't want to appear to be doing a math problem while trying to entertain someone. It looks very impressive, but I get the feeling one has to really "live" with these systems to get comfortable.

Hey, where are my silver dollars anyway...
Nathan Kranzo
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Hi Barry,

You bring up a great point! Si Stebbins is a stack. Not usually memorized. Memory work usually doesn't go hand in hand with that stack.

There really are so many incredible effects you can do with ANY stack. Most effects aren't stack dependant. This meaning that it doesn't matter what stack you are using as long as you know the order and the stack number of each card.

Now there IS stack dependant effects for each stack. Namely the Aronson and Tamariz stacks have effects built into them that aren't possible with others OR with each other.

Often times stacks are designed with certain effects in mind like spelling to certain cards or poker deals etc.

So the bottom line is it will take you MUCH more time trying to figure out what you want to do with the stack and then picking which stack than it will to actually memorize the stack.

It depends on your goal. If your main interest is to just be able to quickly locate a card when it is named than any memorized stack will do. Just pick one and go to town. But this may not be the case.

The topic is "stacked deck" so you may not even be interested in memory work. Are you? : )

All the best,

Kranzo
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Canvey Card Sharp
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What do you need to do with the stack?

What effect are your aiming to achieve?

I personally use the Bart Harding system as it fits the effects I perform BUT also the Al Smith system is excellent and very easy to learn (and overlooked unfortunately, along with many other items this fantastic English card magician has produced).

However, for overall usefulness for a 'routine' using a stack, my money has to go to Simon Aronson. He has some very useful thoughts on his website:

http://www.simonaronson.com/home.htm
Barry Allen



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TheAmbitiousCard
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Quote:
On 2006-06-08 21:38, BarryFernelius wrote:
Frank,

Just so I can understand, have you memorized the Si Stebbins setup? That is, if I name a number, can you instantly (with no calculation) tell me the card at that number? Conversely, if I name a card, can you instantly (again, with no calculation) tell me the number corresponding to that card's postion in the deck?


Absolutely not. I was well on my way and gave up. Perhaps I'm not cut out for that type of mental exercise ?
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Jim Mullen
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I had been using the Eight Kings stack in doing Ron Wilson's version of the Whispering Queen, which is in his book, The Uncany Scot. When all the rage was to learn the Stebbins and Aronson stacks, I ran out and bought Aronson's A Stack to Remember, which is a sort of Swiss Army Knife of stacks: it does everything but kiss your wife as you go out for your show. It facilitates eight zillion tricks, none of which I was doing. In the end, I returned to the Eight Kings stack, which takes five minutes to learn and which has never let me down. I have never missed naming a card because I temporarily forgot the stack. I think the best approach with stacks is to decide upon what TRICK you want to do, and then select the simplest stack that will provide the required effect.

Incidentally, the Eight Kings stack is as old as the hills. The order is easy to remember by the mnemonic, "Eight kings threatened to save ninety-five queens for one sick knave. That reminds you of the stack, 8, K, 3, 10, 2, 7, 9, 5, Q, 4, A, 6, J. I use the suit order spades, hearts, clubs, diamonds. It is difficult to get something simpler than this, and in 15 years of doing the Whispering Queen, I have never had anyone even HINT that I had used a stacked deck, and that is even though I allow the spectator to look through the cards.

Good luck.
Jim Mullen

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otter606
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I have learned the Tamariz deck and it takes about 4 evenings , doing 13 cards a night. It is much easier to learn a stack, any stack, than a new sleight! And it opens up a whole new world of effects, and makes many existing tricks even more
miraculous.
Also you can practice your mental gymnastics anytime - driving, walking on the bus etc so keeping 'performance ready' is easy too.
The main skills in mem deck tricks - glimpses, estimations and false shuffles, take much more time to master than learning the stack, IMO.
So I would recommend learning any memorized deck, rather than a stack system,
as there are many more possibilites with the former for little extra effort.
scorch
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Quote:
On 2006-06-09 00:07, Canvey Card Sharp wrote:
What do you need to do with the stack?

What effect are your aiming to achieve?


I don't think this is the right mindset to enter into the world of memdeck. The thing is, until you learn a stack and start playing around with it, you don't know what you don't know. I would just dive in, learn a full deck stack like Aronson or Mnemonica, and start playing with it. The Tamariz book is the best single resource to start with.

As has been mentioned, the full deck stacks have many advantages over the mathematical stacks, and for only a little more effort up front. It takes far more time to master a typical sleight than it takes to memorize a full stack. And since only about 2% of card magicians (my wild-ass guesstimate) work with memdeck, and since so many memdeck effects are so powerfully impossible, it's probably the single most productive thing you can do with your time to learn a stack and start working it into your magic.
clamon86
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The search button is there for a reason. There are many useful threads already posted on this subject, including the different types of stacks, different ones, and favorite tricks with them..

Remember that in the end, choosing the stack is up to your personal preference and what you want to do with it. I prefer Mnemonica because of the effectes built into it.

For more useful information try searching.
Canvey Card Sharp
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Ref: I don't think this is the right mindset to enter into the world of memdeck.

Well I assumed the post was from a guy that didn't realise the benefits of a stacked deck and may have been new to the craft; hence I asked what he was aiming to achieve.

To learn a stacked deck for no reason is probably not the first thing on anyone's agenda that actually has a life!
Barry Allen



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BarryFernelius
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Barry Allen,

Since the guy was a magician, I had already assumed that he didn't have a life!

:)

I agree that learning a memorized deck for no reason isn't a high priority. I learned the memorized deck for a simple reason: a number of years ago I met Michael Close at a magic convention. During a late night session, Michael fried everyone with material that seemed impossible. I had no explanation for how Michael had fooled me. Several years later, I found out that many of the effects that had made a strong impression on me were accomplished, in part, with a memorized deck.

I've found that the memorized deck is one of the most powerful tools that I have in my arsenal. I don't think that I realized its true power until I had put in the time to memorize a deck. The memorized deck was a major paradigm shift for me. It changed the way that I think about magic.
"To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time."

-Leonard Bernstein
Canvey Card Sharp
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I couldn't agree more Barry and I'm an advocate of stack decks and have been for around 30 plus years (after my Dad taught me Eight Kings).

I've similarly seen Joe Riding fry magicians with the Si Stebbins set up in Blackpool; and we worry about laymen spotting the red/black 3+3 formula; not a chance!

I know my post was a bit sarcastic but the point was that the guy initially said that he was newish to cards and didn't know about stacks; hence I was trying to establish what he wanted to achieve in order to put him in the direction of the best system to meet his needs.

Along with the thick card as a locator, stacked deck magic can produce awesome effects with very little in the way of knuckle busting.
Barry Allen



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tedski
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Okay guys - I am not a newbie. I have done searches on this topic, you needn't suggest that further. And I (that guy?) never said I am new to cards - I was trying to get feedback on progressing into this area of cards.

All these responses made me focus on what is my perforance goal, in addition to being entertaining, with cards. My answer was to expand my repetoire on effects that are powerful, but don't rely heavily on sleights or gimmicks. Perhaps the Steve Beam material is what I should look into. What prompted my question was seeing a few effects that were done with Aronsons system, and Si Stebbins that I couldn't figure out. Perhaps that is thinking like a magician, and trying to learn more stuff. The lay person probably doesn't really care how, if it is done well.

Do you memorized/stack deck afficionados carry two decks to switch between non stack effects....or do you just focus on the mem/stack concepts?

Thanks for your thoughts, Ted
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