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Cain
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A few months ago I agonized over choosing a stack. The typical reply is that it doesn't REALLY matter (agreed), but choose one that has built-in effects you will use.

I feel inclined to go with the idea (which I understand was used by Mike Skinner) of just taking a new deck, giving it five faros, and memorizing it. Although for an American Bicycle new deck, I wonder if I should cut the Ace of Spades to the top, or maybe cut more cards to the top from the bottom -- I'm not sure yet. This has at least one built-in effect that I will certainly use: New Deck Order as a closer. If I start from European new deck order then I will have a mirror/stay-stack to play with. I'm not really interested in going from new deck order to my stack, but rather from my stack to new deck order. It's my understanding this is difficult with the Tamariz stack, requiring complicated anti-faros, a setup trick, and other stuff. Is that true?

Since most of the best effects seem to be stack-independent, the only trick I can really get excited about is concluding in New Deck Order. I'm not big on gambling tricks (Routine Maintenance is nice but I can live without it), and I hate spelling tricks.

So here's my question, and I apologize if that has been covered before. What stack-dependent effects do you perform (or are in the process of learning to perform)? I know many are possible, but which do you do? Perhaps this is also relevant, does a particular stack facilitate you in getting into a non-memorized deck routine that you use? I dunno, maybe the Aces are readily accessible. With a five faroed deck the four queens are close to the top and bottom, and ace is at the top and bottom.
Ellusionst discussing the Arcane Playing cards: "Michaelangelo took four years to create the Sistine Chapel masterpiece... these took five."

Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes: "You know Einstein got bad grades as a kid? Well, mine are even worse!"
Dennis Loomis
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Hi Cain,
Well, this could be a long response, so I'll just mention that the Aces are relatively accessible with the Aronson Stack. That's the basic principle behind the effect Aces Awry which gets a lot of entertainment out of the discovery of a selected card (The Ace of Hearts) and the subsequent appearance of the other three aces as well. Obviously you could then go into Twisting the Aces, The last Trick of Jacob Daley, and many other effects using the Aces. And, the effect allows you to get back into order very easily. Aces Awry is explained in Simon Aronson's book "Try the Impossible."
Dennis Loomis
P.S. I'm not sure that "most" of the best effects are stack independent. There have been a good many stack dependent effects constructed for both the Aronson Stack and Tamariz' Mnemonica Stack.
I have worked out ways to do a great many non-memorized deck routines starting with and ending with the Aronson stack. These effects are nice throw offs. You can read about many of them on my web site. See below for the URL. Once there, click the link for "Memorized Deck Area."
Itinerant Montebank
<BR>http://www.loomismagic.com
The Amazing Noobini
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Cain, I have had the same thoughts as you. I could have written your post myself. In fact, I almost have a while back except at the time I was pursuing a stack that would let me do spelling tricks.

Since then I have found that the spelling tricks I like better do NOT require any stack order at all.

I have also discovered that the pulse reading trick I like better does NOT require a stack either.

In fact, the only stack dependent effects I now know (and I admit that I don't know too many so I'm sure there are tons of brilliant ones) that I think are phenomenal, are two effects by Aronson entitled Two Beginnings and The Invisible Card (both from the DVD Sessions With Simon 3). But these are not dependent on his stack order at all. You could do them with any system that lets you know the location of any randomly mentioned card.

I too would much rather have the possibility to end up in new deck order OR, better yet in any other order which seems neatly sorted than to have built in poker deals and such. (Ace through King in all suits would look better to the average spectator than this odd new deck order scenario of suddenly having cards going the other way.)

However... I'm not at all convinced that it's important to memorize a deck order which is a few Faros away from neatness. If you start with a sorted deck or end up on it after a few faros, then you already have a system for locating every card; they are in numerical order.

A combination/choice of blind shuffles and perfect Faros will let you either show them a deck being shuffled, which would imply it being in random order, or Faro it into what seems like random order if you show the faces. Along the way you pass by several different Stay Stack possibilities. (I don't actually know a single Stay Stack effect yet, but this is how I understand it works; any mirrored stage you end up on between Faros)

So for me at least, I will hold on to the Aronson Stack. It is a clever thing in itself and just because I don't currently know or value the full potential of it, I have put in too much work in the memorization to just dismiss it for another.

But for these ending up in order-ploys, I think I will merely shuffle and false shuffle my way there without memorizing anything at all.

By the way, I haven't tried this because I don't have a PC, but the StackView software can Inverse Faro from any finished order into what it will be like sans a few Faros. If that made any sense. http://www.stackview.com/
"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)
Nick Pudar
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Cain,
I have stuck with the Aronson Stack largely due to the excellent poker deals that are embedded. However, if you are interested in designing your own stack, as Noobini suggests, my StackView software can be a nice tool to explore things in a simulation mode.

Noobini,
Yes, you are correct that StackView can provide complete control of Faros and Inverse Faros. In an earlier blog post (see http://www.stackview.com/musings.html to learn how to get access), I explore some items of Faro interest at http://musings.stackview.com/stackview_m......erc.html

Nick
Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.
www.stackview.com Version 5.0 is available!
Cain
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Thanks for the replies.

Dennis: I did for a time attempt to memorize the Aronson stack, and I think I became fairly proficient at recalling them one way. You mention this one-way phenomenon in one of your articles, which I committed to my hard drive a long while ago Smile. I saved'em because who knows if one day you get in some unfortunate car accident -- let's hope not -- and they disappear forever. I know one of the selling points of the Aronson stack is that the aces are conveniently "conveniently" located in the top half. They didn't really seem so accessible to me, but I supposed the usefulness of their position could only be determined by experience. See also my italicized comment below.


Noobini:

I'm glad to see my circumstances are not unique! I bought Aronson's Memorized Deck DVD soon after it came out, and I thought the Invisible Card was a charmer. The advantage, as I see it, to using one of the "established" stacks is that smart people have spent countless hours uncovering the hidden possibilities, and of course some effects are consciously built-in.

Quote:
I too would much rather have the possibility to end up in new deck order OR, better yet in any other order which seems neatly sorted than to have built in poker deals and such. (Ace through King in all suits would look better to the average spectator than this odd new deck order scenario of suddenly having cards going the other way.)


Are you familiar with Allan Ackerman's "Ackerman's Opener"? He concludes a lovely routine where cards have been shuffled and mixed by "culling" out any named four of kind from an apparently thoroughly mixed pack. Then he shows that he has culled out all the four of a kinds. At least in his video "Las Vegas Card Expert" I think he does this second, bigger reveal -- ALL the values bunched together -- a bit too fast: it diminishes the free choice of the spectator. But I have been playing with a tetradistic stack, and I noticed that, once you've grouped together the fours of a kind, you can give the deck two sloppy straddle faros and deal yourself (or any named player 1-4) a four of a kind. Better still, the other three players receive hands like two-pair, three-of-a-kind, full house, and four of a kind. I haven't experimented with it enough to see through what consistently turns up in my out-faros, but I think it would make for a slightly stronger ending than just having four-of-a-kind on top. Plus culling any named four-of-a-kind allows for a perfect transition, "Getting any four to the top is good, but I want to deal myself a winning hand in an actual game." Then bring the aces to the top -- you should know where their approximate location -- and you're set.

I've experimented with a tetradistic stack because I, like you, agree the deck doesn't necessarily have to be in actual new deck order (most people don't know what new deck order IS). It just has to look as though it appears in some totally impossible condition -- such as grouping all the values together as in the conclusion of "Ackerman's Opener." There's an immediate emotional reaction to the visual order. Now that trick, or something ending in new deck order is what I consider one of the strongest things you can do with a deck of cards, which is why I'm inclined toward that type of stack-specific effect.

Also, a clarification might be in order. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding one or both of you, and/or my terminology has been unclear. By "stack-dependent" I don't mean dependent upon a memorized stack, but dependent upon a *specific* stack. I see how the above three posts could conceivably be read either way. I consider "Routine Maintenance" stack-dependent (i.e., dependent upon Aronson's stack). I do not consider "The Invisible Card" stack-dependent, as it can be done with any (memorized) stack.

I'm familiar with Stackview. In fact, I have it open right now!
Ellusionst discussing the Arcane Playing cards: "Michaelangelo took four years to create the Sistine Chapel masterpiece... these took five."

Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes: "You know Einstein got bad grades as a kid? Well, mine are even worse!"
The Amazing Noobini
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I haven't seen Allan Ackerman's "Ackerman's Opener". I will try to get that one as soon as I can (which means putting it on my 200 mile long wishlist of DVDs and books). Smile

Actually I have never heard of tetradistic stack before. I don't think I have at least. I get confused easily. I don't know what sloppy straddle faros are either. Lots of new stuff for me to look into here. Thanks.

I was thinking of Fernando Keops just now, who has a clever thing on his second DVD of gambling effects (which I don't have yet but have seen the beginning of).

In it he keeps a sorted deck in order through various false shuffles and cuts. The first clever thing about it is that he has the spectator either pick a card, or name it, I don't remember and then has her riffle shuffle the deck once herself too. He then discretely color separates it back into order in the process of supposingly finding their card. (Digression: Thinking about it now, that should work with for instance an Aronson stack as well, you would just have to know it really really well in order to sort it as fast as you can separate red and black normally.)

The cleverest part is that he doesn't reveal the perfect order at that time. He saves it through at least one other trick which makes the final reveal seem completely impossible since we have had so many seemingly random things happen to the deck by then. I don't quite remember how it all went, but it is on that same wishlist of mine, rather high up.
"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)
Cain
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I composed my last post without seeing Nick's reply; I know there's a reference somewhere in there to "the above three posts" (argh) which my further compound confusion. Nick, let me just say I'm another person who loves your program. Thanks.

Noobini,

That idea is not new of course, but it is worth considering! I understand Lennart Green has been doing it in his act for awhile. On one of his videos I think he says you can rearrange the deck the "heroic" way: letting them riffle shuffle two times. With a memorized stack it's not too difficult: you just distinguish 1-26 from 27-52.
Ellusionst discussing the Arcane Playing cards: "Michaelangelo took four years to create the Sistine Chapel masterpiece... these took five."

Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes: "You know Einstein got bad grades as a kid? Well, mine are even worse!"
The Amazing Noobini
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Quote:
On 2007-05-31 19:49, Cain wrote:

With a memorized stack it's not too difficult: you just distinguish 1-26 from 27-52.



Yes... although I find that my brain will go on autopilot when it comes to visual things like colors and images, but it needs a little thinking time when it comes to other things. I'm still too slow with many of the cards in the Aronson stack. I know them all perfectly, but sometimes I notice that I still rely on whatever concept I had when remembering that card. So I have to go via that "formula" to get there.

Like for instance: #44 is 6oS - I think of a 44 Magnum revolver that holds six black bullets. At this stage I cannot bypass having to think of all of that.

BTW... I had the idea to make an instructional video or flash animation for cramming memorized decks using rapid cut imagry, animation, text and soundbytes of music snipplets and narrator voiceovers. I know just how it would work. It would have been less than 45 minutes long and anyone should learn a deck in three viewings or so. Well, that's for another discussion.
"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)
panimen
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Quote:
On 2007-05-28 12:47, Cain wrote:
I feel inclined to go with the idea (which I understand was used by Mike Skinner) of just taking a new deck, giving it five faros, and memorizing it. Although for an American Bicycle new deck, I wonder if I should cut the Ace of Spades to the top, or maybe cut more cards to the top from the bottom -- I'm not sure yet. This has at least one built-in effect that I will certainly use: New Deck Order as a closer. If I start from European new deck order then I will have a mirror/stay-stack to play with. I'm not really interested in going from new deck order to my stack, but rather from my stack to new deck order. It's my understanding this is difficult with the Tamariz stack, requiring complicated anti-faros, a setup trick, and other stuff. Is that true?


I just wanted to comment that I don't currently perform many stack-dependent effects, and for this reason, I have stuck to Juan Tamariz's Mnemonica stack. IMHO, some of the best and strongest stack-dependent effects have been discovered to apply to both Tamariz's and Aronson's stacks. For example, Aronson's Shuffle-Bored can be applied to Tamariz's stack (with a simple cut and in-faro) which can be found here http://www.websitetoolbox.com/tool/post/joyalstack/vpost?id=121208. My memorized deck routine consists mainly of stack-independent effects that cause minimum disorder to the stack.
It is actually not hard at all to go from Tamariz's stack to new deck order (the anti-faros are merely another option if you do not want to do the out-faros). You actually have 3 choices: you can either go to new deck order, perform a grand bridge deal (four bridge hands of all four suits), or end with any stay stack miracle such as Marlo's Matching Routine. Also, the spectator won't even realize you're doing any setups to the deck as long as it is presented correctly. I end my routine by doing a simple mental divination to get into stay stack order, then I perform the first two phases of Marlo's Matching Routine while retaining the stay stack, and finally I complete the faros to get into new deck order. For the finale, I don't reveal yet that the deck is in new deck order. Instead, under the guise of a shuffling demonstration (faro, riffle, slop), I perform Henry Evan's Perfect Triumph to conclude with the wonderful kicker ending.
To conclude, it doesn't really matter which stack is chosen because many of the strongest effects are stack-independent. I would recommend Juan Tamariz's Mnemonica stack because of its stay stack and new deck order capabilities.
Jay Elf
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Hello Cain,

To be honest, 5 faroed stack is the best. Period.

Reason?
5 faroed stack has built-in 3 different stacks!!!
1)New Deck order
2)Si Stebbins stack(Tetradistic)
3)Stay stack(Mirror stack)

What else do you want more?
Dennis Loomis
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To Cain,
I apologize for not having returned to this thread for a long time. I generally try to respond when someone addresses a post of mine and certainly when they use my name.

I didn't actually say that the aces were conveniently located in the Aronson Stack. I said they were relatively accessible. I suppose that's a judgement call as they are located at positions 6, 10, 18, and 22. Certainly it's easy to sight count to the Aces of Spades and Clubs at positions 6 & 10. In fact, by pushing card in blocks of 3 then 2, one can quickly and quite reliably count by fives to any position in a deck. For my brother magicians, I sometimes have a card taken and as I spread the cards I do a running sight count. If they take the card from the section where I'm spreading, I know it before they even look at it. Of course, sometimes people take a card from someplace else. No problem, I still know the card at my count and simply have the selection returned there. The known card is now a key and I can proceed to find the selection because of it's proximity to the key.

A part of the reason I say that the aces are "relatively accessible" is because I use Simon's Effect Aces Awry from Try the Impossible. In this effect a card is selected and ultimately the performer locates it. Along the way he apparently misses three times. The selection turns out to be the Ace of Hearts and the three "misses" are the other three aces. Simon has worked out the effect so that you only need locate the Ace of Hearts before you start. You riffle force it and then the other three Aces just fall into place. As Simon points out, you don't even have to have his stack memorized. You can just set the deck up in Aronson Stack order and perform the effect. (And many other effects contained in the same chapter of Bound to Please.)

I think we were in sync about what a "stack-dependent" effect is. However the term itself is a bit ambiguous. I believe that most people understand it to mean that the deck has to be in a particular order like Mnemonica, Aronson, Si Stebbins, etc. But, when speaking of Stacks like Aronson, most of us assume that the deck must be memorized. As in the case of effects like Aces Awry, Joshing with the Threes, and others, this is not always true. Perhaps we need another term for this?

One of my favorite effects with the Aronson Stack, but not requiring that it be memorized, is Simon's Draw Poker Deal from Bound to Please. In fact, you can do the complete three phase Poker Deal (ending with the Draw Poker hand) without having the deck memorized. You will have to learn the hands which come up, and some of the individual cards in order to be able to do the patter, but this is true of many Poker Deals deal from a stacked deck.

Dennis Loomis
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The Amazing Noobini
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Speaking of Mnemonica... how important would that book be for me who use the Aronson stack? I mean, if you take all the stack learning material out and also the Mnemonica stack dependent effects, are there any brilliant things left which can be used with the Aronson stack straight out of the book?

I'm asking because a lot of the Aronson stack effects I have read so far are of the type where several spectators cut off packages or hand their cards to the next person who then... I'm not especially attracted to that type of trick and would love to see the alternatives.
"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)
Cain
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OK, I finally sat down to learn this yesterday, and it came rather easily. While watching the second season of "The West Wing" I numbered an old red deck of cards and memorized'em in groups of ten. Since I have been messing with the faro quite a bit in the last months, I probably subconsciously came to remember the relative positions of many cards, and there are clear patterns w/ a five-faroed mem deck -- jacks next to threes, kings next to fives, nines next to aces, tens next to deuces, Q7Q pattern repeats, and so on. It's probably one of the easier setups to remember. As for the routine for the big, big finish I have been practicing what is essentially "Let's Pretend"(?) by Michael Close.
Ellusionst discussing the Arcane Playing cards: "Michaelangelo took four years to create the Sistine Chapel masterpiece... these took five."

Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes: "You know Einstein got bad grades as a kid? Well, mine are even worse!"
jennings
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Hi Dennis,

Firstly I want to say that I don't think you get the credit you deserve for your mem deck work. You are up there with Simon, Juan and Michael.

I performed Aces Awry (From 'Try The Impossioble'.)for many months but I found the unconventional dealing and spelling procedure was sometimes commented on and for that reason I abandoned it. (Along with several other routines which use the same dealing / spelling procedure.) However, I still wanted an ace production from Aronson Stack so I came up with my own. I have a method which allows me to deal the cards into a face down pile, produces each ace at the end of a plural spelling of each suit and leaves all the cards back in Aronson Stack order with the aces still on the mat. I then have a handling of Marlo's Bluff Ace Assembly which gets the aces back into the deck and leaves the stack back in order.

Are you or anybody else interested in seeing this stuff ? If so then I will do a video of the routine and stick it on youtube or something.

Hope to hear from you soon.

ANDY
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With Mnemonica, you can deal any poker hand a spec ask for; a high pair, low triple, middle straight...whatever.

I have not studied Aaronson's material so I don't know if this can be done with the Aaronson stack, but there you go. If I stay interested in memorised deck enough after I finished studying Mnemonica, I would really like to check out the Aaronson stack.
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Aronson also has the 'Zensational Stack' by Mike Zens (I hope I spelt his name correctly.) built into it which allows you to deal any poker hand called for. In addition there are 3 seperate poker deals built into Aronson Stack.
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Thanks for the info Mr Jennings. How does the Aaronson stack look like by the way? Is it in absolute randomised order?
Scott Cram
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None of the prominent memorized deck stacks are in absolute memorized order, as they were all designed to include certain features, which required at least some cards in particular places.

However, the Aronson stack does appear to be random. In Appendix B of Memories Are Made Of This, you can see the stack order for yourself.
jennings
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Whenever I use the Aronson Stack I always make a point of doing a face up spread to show the random appearence of the cards. Of course this is done without actually mentioning the cards are in a random order. No layperson would ever suspect an order to the cards in Aronson Stack.
Scott Cram
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I've just learned that it may not be a good idea to get into an argument over whether something is completely random or only partially random:

http://www.philberts.com/2007/10/06/itun......t-charge

;)
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