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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Shuffled not Stirred » » Best way to memorize Aronson stack (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

scottthegreat
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I leard the Aronson stack the other day at a magic lesson. What is the best way to memorize the cards and numbers of there location. I have the 1st 10 down pretty good. Should I learn the 1st 13 for a whole week. Then do the next 13 and so on. After 4 weeks I would have learned the whole deck. That would be 52 cards. I have to learn the 1st 10 for class next week. Hope you guys can help


Scott
mkiger
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When I did this I took the stacked deck and numbered the backs. You really need to know it inside out. Use them like flash cards, then shuffle them face-up and face-down, going through them that way really gets the value/index thing pretty well. The numbers on the back also make for a quick reset.

I once grabbed this practice deck by mistake, I covered by telling them I was workng on a marked deck system.
scottthegreat
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I have been doing that now. It works out great

Scott
Jerrine
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I learned the stack by vocalizing the information.
"One is jack of __________. One is jack of __________. One is jack of ___________."
"Two is king of __________. Two is king of __________. Two is king of ___________."

By saying and hearing the information repeatedly it went in my head and stayed there.
After working through the whole deck I would then start with Diamonds and say "Ace of Diamonds is #___. Two is #___. Etc. Then clubs, then hearts, then spades. I had the stack down rather quickly and solid, in & out(MMMMMMMMM In & Out Burgers)up & down, and back & forth.

I think it's called the brute method. Not pretty or fancy but for me effective.
mr.toast
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I challenged myself to learn the stack in one week, and did. I wasn’t much fun to be around, but I’m still employed and married so…
Anyway, I used most of the mnemonics suggested in Bound To Please, and tried the numbered practice deck idea a little, but to meet my one week goal I needed a way to practice while at work without my co-workers and students being able to tell what I was up to. Being a teacher (not a very good one that week) I naturally made my self an old school pencil and paper “worksheet”. Simple enough (PM me and I’ll email it to you), two exercises; the first is the stack numbers in four columns and I would fill in the corresponding card, and the bottom half of the page was also four columns of thirteen, one for each suit listed A-K and I would fill in the corresponding stack number. I photocopied 40 or 50 of them and made it my mission in life to conquer it. I would start by filling in the ones I knew cold… top card JS, bottom card 9D, #26 QH…and then once I was stuck I would use as many of the mnemonics as I could remember to fill in as many more as I could. I would write down a score 1-52 for each section, review my mnemonics and then go at it again and again and again. It was easy to track my progress using the worksheet, and the use of the four column layout really develops a visual framework for the deck. For example, I knew that the other three jacks were near the middle of the third column before I could tell you exactly where each of them went. I still use that visual framework all the time when I do estimated cuts and deck stabs. The other thing I did that week and still do from time to time is to try and recall the card that goes with any random number you happen to see as you go about your daily business (i.e. speed limit signs, license plates, the numbers on the car radio, etc. etc. etc.). About Thursday of that week I was able to fill out the entire sheet, and by the end of the week I had the stack down cold… even the mnemonics were gone. I could fill out one of my worksheets in like two minutes. I really was a zombie that week but it worked, and it felt really good to accomplish my goal. The stack has served me very well in the years since then. Now that I have a five year old I doubt I could go into zombie mode for that extended a period of time again so heed my advise…do it while your young!
Patrick Differ
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The best way to learn anything is to deprive yourself of nutrition until you have it down cold. In my short stay on this planet, I've learned that starvation is a great motivator.

Just kidding. Find a way that works for you and don't eat anything until you have it.

Just kidding. Use any memory trick you can find. Humor, sing-song, rote, starvation, they're all good.

Just kidding. But see a doctor first before you make radical changes to your diet.
Will you walk into my parlour? said the Spider to the Fly,
Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I've a many curious things to show when you are there.

Oh no, no, said the little Fly, to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair
-can ne'er come down again.
Socalesq
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There's a great program that you can download called Stackview -- makes memorizing Aronson or other stacks pretty easy.
icuryy
Robert Apodaca
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Quote:
On 2007-01-03 03:44, Socalesq wrote:
There's a great program that you can download called Stackview -- makes memorizing Aronson or other stacks pretty easy.


I have this program, yet I don't know how you could use it to help you memorize a stack. Just stare at the picture?
Socalesq
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No, you have to run the test program that gives the card's stack number or value (randomly) and you have 5 seconds to name the value or the stack number.
icuryy
todsky
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Anyone use a crib sheet?
I've also heard that starvation helps.
Todsky's Magic Shop: over 15,000 tricks, books, DVD s and Card decks. www.magicstore.ca
kerpa
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Also, once you have it down, make sure to review periodically. When I practice or rehearse , for example, 2 Beginnings (from the recent superb Aronson DVD and one of the books, might be the collection Bound to Please), I will mentally select a random card to check my recollection.
Another nice exercise is to see how quickly you can reassemble the stack from a randomly shuffled deck, going one card after another at a time without skipping, and putting it in its proper place.
Another thing to do is to recite to yourself as quickly as you can the stack numbers for unshuffled new deck order. (6-41-17-37-20 etc ending with 12-29-7-4-22). Then do the same type of exercise for 4 of a kind in CHaSeD order, sequentially starting with aces, and then odd numbers followed by even numbers (starting with 51-4-41-13), etc. Finally, to reverse this type of exercise, think of every 2nd card, then every 4th card, etc.
As many effects involve a glimpse at the bottom card, recalling the card a*f*t*e*r a given card is also good to add to the above exercises, from time to time. (If you see a 7H on the bottom of the deck, after the spec has selected a card and you have cut below his selection, then he has selected QH, so if an exercise above calls for 6-41-17-37-20 when you think of each number think also, for each individual number 6/3H-41/9H-17/AD-37/10H-20/QD etc.
Hope this helps.
kerpa
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Michael Miller
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Patrick Differ
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I really believe in starvation. It worked for me!
Will you walk into my parlour? said the Spider to the Fly,
Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I've a many curious things to show when you are there.

Oh no, no, said the little Fly, to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair
-can ne'er come down again.
kerpa
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Michael Miller
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Well, I'm way too much of a foodie, so I propose eating a piece of chocolate for each card memorized.
Michael Miller
(Michael Merlin: original family --and stage-- name)
Dennis Loomis
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Memorization is a personal thing. What works for one person may not work for another. But it you'll think of all of the relatively useless trivia that you have rolling around in your head you'll understand that learning 52 numbers associated with the cards of a deck is not a big job. In school we all had (have) to learn lots of stuff and usually its a case of rote memory. Mnemonics is wonderful and I love using associations, but some people don't. In Mnemonica Juan Tamariz has lots of suggestions about how to pound this stuff into your head. The important thing is to get started and have a little discipline and work regularly on it. In less time than you think you'll have it down. You may not be very fast, but that will come in time.

On this forum there is a veritable fetish for the "best" in so many things. Usually the concept is meaningless. There is no "best" card trick or rope trick or book test, or way to accomplish many tasks. Find something that works for you. I've seen threads on this topic so long that in the time it takes to read them you could have learned 15 or 20 cards in the Aronson Stack. There are talkers and doers. (And those that do both.) Be a doer first, and then you'll really have something to talk about.

Dennis Loomis
Itinerant Montebank
<BR>http://www.loomismagic.com
The Amazing Noobini
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I have just discovered the Aronson stack yesterday and haven't decided yet which one to memorize; either Aronson or Tamariz. I guess I need to figure that out first. Seems like an important choice at this point.

I do have some general thoughts on memorization though. As a student I have found that writing something greatly improves your ability to learn something quickly, as opposed to simply reading it or seeing it on flash cards.

Tamariz speaks (I have read somewhere) of recording yourself singing a stack order in different silly voices and then listening to that recording. That will of course not work for me since I am not a clown like him (I mean that without any disrespect) and I would die of shame. If someone had released a musical track of a stack order, that system would still be a good idea.

Learning spanish I have discovered that variety is another shortcut. You read a phrase but you don't remember it until you suddenly see it in a movie or hear it in a song. Then you suddenly associate it with something and from there on you remember it. I have immediately learnt things I have heard if I have been in a special location or situation at the time of hearing it. If someone has told me then I will remember the situation and what they told me. The mind needs little pegs to hang things on.

For phase one which would be cramming, you don't really need any conveniences like songs, I would think. You just need a deck of cards and maybe a pen and paper. For phase two which would be to test if you can see a order number and then name the card, or see a card and then remember it's order number, a simple marked deck would probably be sufficient. I might still make myself a card set for my favourite flash card software iFlash for the Mac, since I could then sit in my local café or wherever and work on it without having people stare at me and my card deck. Such a software can also be set to give a card a score so that if you have answered correctly maybe ten times on one card, then that card leaves the stack. So you always work on the ones you have most trouble with.

Finally... I remember seeing a memory expert on Larry King many years ago who looked through a shuffled deck during a commercial break and was then able to call out each card's order, having only seen the cards for a moment each. His system consisted of having a mental route, such as from his house down to the store. Each card was associated with a person he knew or knew of. And each number a stop on his way.

So for instance he would open his front door and Kevin Spacey would be standing outside it. Just as an example. He would walk past him and to his next natural stop; the elevator. Outside the elevator door stands another person, let's say Bruce Willis. And inside the elevator a third, for instance Jack Nicholson. And so on. All the way down to the store or local pizza parlor or workplace or wherever. If necessary you could take a bus or train. And go wherever you like. I think that is an interesting concept. I bet you still remember who is standing outside your door. Smile
"Talk about melodrama... and being born in the wrong part of the world." (Raf Robert)
"You, my friend, have a lot to learn." (S. Youell)
"Nonsensical Raving of a lunatic mind..." (Larry)
David Bond
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I used the Mnemonics suggeste by Aronson to initially memorize the stack. To review I have two methods, both mentioned before: Flash cards with the stack numbers on the back of an old deck of playing cards and, if I don't have the flash cards with me, going through the numbers 1-52 mentally and identifying the associated card and then going through the cards by suit and value and identifying the stack number. If I was smart I would laminate a card with card->stack number on one side and stack number->card on the other.
The Amazing Noobini
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You mean everything on one card that would fit in a pocket? That is a good idea. I grabbed myself one of the screenshots from the page of the StackView software that PC owners use ( http://www.stackview.com/screenshots/deck1.html ). That seems like a good layout for a one card project. There are of course also mini decks and ultra mini decks that are pocketable. Maybe I will finally get some use out of that horribly ugly Bicycle Mini deck I bought.

For some reason I never have what I need around when I start on something new. Todays problem is that I don't have a simple marker pen and it is sunday. Just when I had enthusiasm enough to sit down and mark every single card neatly.

I'm starting to lean towards Aronson, by the way. Mostly since it is so accessible and I don't have to order books and wait weeks to start.

Posted: Feb 1, 2007 6:10pm
After a little over week on the Aronson stack I really haven't gotten all that much furter than I did during the first few hours. I'm being reminded about a few familiar traits about my memory:

First of all I've always had a difficulty articulating the card faces. If I know that the top card (face down) is a Queen of Spades, I can instantly see her in my mind. But I need at least 4 seconds to find the name Queen of Spades and say it. I've always had a difficulty articulating the different names of the suits. I know the difference between Diamonds and Clubs but I need some time to prepare the sentence. So in this memorisation process I wasn't able to learn a single card by reading "Queen of Spades" or "QoS". I don't see that as card values. I need to see the cards themselves. A bit odd that.

I did manage to learn almost half the deck without really trying. Once I had numbered them, a great many of them stuck in my mind by themselves. I was simply doing other things with my numbered cards and I found that I was curious about some cards and what numbers they had. Such as the previously mentioned Queen of Spades. Once I had looked once, I remembered it.

The rest however. Uff. I have worked on them without much success so far. It was easy to remember them in order but that is just a sort of link memory. You see a card and at that moment you know the next one. The same way I (and probably everyone else) always know what the next song on the record will be just as the current song is running out. I don't know until the final moments, then I can hear the beginning of the next. But I would not be able to write a numbered playlist for the record.

Another odd thing is that I would learn some cards well with my blue Bicycle deck and then I wouldn't be able to get them right using a deck with different face design.

I have also had some success using Wikipedia to hunt for natural links between cards and numbers. I think a constant number such as a historical date is better than just a made up imaginary character.

For instance: Card #29, the 4 of Hearts. There are 29 days in February every four years. (Well, roughly speaking that is). You still have to remember hearts but it helps.

With other combinations you get one easy thing to remember but not neccessarily a matching fact for both the card and it's order number.

For instance: 43... The Romans founded London (Londinium) in the year 43. Remember that and you get a future pub quiz point for free as well. But what does that have to do with the King of Spades? I draw a blank. Looking at other events for various years I see that the guitarist Keith Richards was born in 1943. He could easily be The King of Spades, but what would make me remember 1943? By combining it with an event I know happened in 1943? Hmmm.

So far I'm finding that some of the cards I have learnt really well also disappear after a few days. It is NOT true that you remember something forever once you have learnt it well. If that was true I would for instance know German grammar quite well today.

So far I haven't pushed myself all that much. I'm merely ranting about the process as it appears when I'm in the middle of it. Interesting how some numbers just won't stick no matter what, just like some spanish household words are still completely alien to me after having read them every week for a year. I've had a couple of days where my goal was to learn 2 cards. No luck. They are gone again.

Well... it's a work in progress. I'm going really slow now since I have plenty of time. If I could do 2 a day it would be fine.
"Talk about melodrama... and being born in the wrong part of the world." (Raf Robert)
"You, my friend, have a lot to learn." (S. Youell)
"Nonsensical Raving of a lunatic mind..." (Larry)
Harry Lorayne
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I've written only about 12 books in which I teach how to remember cards. But, what the heck - go with the "starvation" system!!! HARRY LORAYNE.
[email]harrylorayne@earthlink.net[/email]

http://www.harrylorayne.com
http://www.harryloraynemagic.com
churken
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I also use the Aronson Stack. When I memorized it, I used his mneumonic (sp) system. I now believe it would've been easier to just learn it by rote memory. Just do it as the nike ads say. As in a post above I also numbered the backs of a red deck and used them as flash cards to improve speed and test myself. This is great once you have the stack learned pretty well.

All that follows is based on the Aronson stack, but the principle is the same for any cyclical stack. I recommend learning cards 1-10 on the first day. On the second day add cards 11-20 and practice all 20 cards. Add ten more each day until you are practicing all 52 cards. Also make sure you are using the numbers as well as the card value. #10 is the AC, or start with the card, the AC is #10. This will give you the basics of the stack. Each time you look at a card imagine what comes before it and which card comes next. Also as soon as you are pretty comfortable with the stack, so you can glimpse the bottom card and know what the top card is, start doing some effects for people. Using it in front of people is the only way you will ever truely get it. Michael Close has several good effects in Workers #5 that are great for someone just starting memdeck work. And once you see how strong it is, you will be addicted to it for life.

Also, the memdeck is a perfect thing to practice while you drive. You can just run through the order aloud as you drive. Or break it down by suit and try to run through all the hearts, then the spades, etc. Or (and this will help later when you cut to any four of a kind named by the spectator) go through the cards by naming the four of a kinds. i.e. AS is #5, AC is #10, AD is #18 and AH is #22, then do the 2's and 3's etc.
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