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twistedace
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philadelphia
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How long did it take everyone to memorize their stacks? I'm just starting today because I was really inspired by Bill Malone's Hands Off Memory Test. It has so many great aspects to it. I'm VERY intimidated by learning the memorized deck.
BarryFernelius
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Four to five hours to get to a point where I knew every card's number and the number for every card -- but with a bit of thought.

It took about one month to get to a point where I knew the stack with no hesitation.
"To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time."

-Leonard Bernstein
The Amazing Noobini
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For me it took a lot longer. I think it was 3 or 4 months at least. Maybe 5 before I could recall the cards with some degree of speed. Then again I had been to a doctor complaining about memory lapses not long prior to this.

I have also noticed that certain things are taking a lot longer to learn now compared to when I was in my 20s. Especially linguistic stuff. I'm looking up the same words in my Spanish studies that I looked up last year. They don't seem to want to stick.

We all have different learning speeds really. It takes as long as it takes. Don't be surprised if some miracle memorization technique you read here doesn't work well for you at all.

But don't be discouraged. If I managed to learn a stack then you certainly can. Start now! Unlike a lot of other magic it doesn't cost you anything. You'll love knowing a stack, trust me. It is a wonderful thing.
"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)
spycrapper
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Does it matter? even if it takes many years I think it's worth very well..
as for myself, fortunately, I succeed in memorizing the whole deck in about 4-5 days. I can remember all the cards in order, but I have to think for about 10 seconds or even more each time. After a month or so I can remember all the cards rapidly, that is the card names and the stack numbers.
Memorize any (good) stack and learn memorized deck magic, you will not regret it!
Magic is life

Ario A.
visit my blog:
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Jon_Thompson
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Darkest Cheshire
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About 5 minutes. I use Si Stebbins.
Cohiba
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Jon must have a photographic memory.
Jon_Thompson
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I wish! It's algorithmic. Smile (The stack, not my memory!)
Cohiba
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Hi Jon:

There are MANY threads over the past 5+ years that explain why a memorized deck is much more powerful than an algorithmic stack. I'm sure the original poster knows that that you can learn the calculation for a cyclical stack in a matter of minutes. However, that doesn't accomplish what he wants to accomplish. It would be akin to responding "It took me 3 hours to master my double lift." That doesn't have anything to do with his original question.

Anyway, my memory is neither photographic, algorithmic, or stacked, unfortunately.
Cohiba
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Jon:

I just checked out your website - it sounds like you have some cool stuff on mentalism using stacks. I'm surprised you haven't memorized a deck! It seems that you especially (using mentalism with cards) would gain a lot of benefit from one. Any particular reasons why you haven't?
Jon_Thompson
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Hi Cohiba,

My memory is terrible!

It's something I want to get into, though. To overcome the memory thing, I realised I'd have to design my own. I began doing so a while back, but the project stalled due to other commitments. I got as far as defining all the hidden properties I wanted it to possess, and the handling I wanted it to be able to survive, and constructed a basic outline. Perhaps I should revisit it properly.
Cohiba
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Jon -

Definitely do so! I think you'll find it's not as hard as you think - it just takes work, as does anything worthwhile. I'd recommend the mnemonic method - that worked well for me. Figuring out which stack to use is the hard part - it sounds like you have something that fits your performing style. Now it's just busy work.

Good luck!
todsky
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Take your time memorizing it, there's no hurry. Took me about two months to memorize the Aronson stack. I did it in four parts: stack numbers 1-13, 14-26, 27-39, and finally 40-52. (Less intimidating that way). Now I have a secret weapon... moohahaha!
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scody
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The first time: Two or three days (5-7 hours)
The Second time (about three months after): one or two days (4-5 hours)
The third time (about three months after the second time): one day (2 hours)

I was an idiot and didn't commit to long term memory.
I am on my third try... and this time... am testing myself every morning, every night... and using the memdeck at EVERY CHANCE. I am doing a lot more cardwork these days... so I have more of an opportunity to use.

Anyway... that's it.
Don't forget to continue to use it... or you may lose it.

Plus... my problem is that I learn pretty roat'ly.
churken
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Hi,

I use the Aronson Stack. It probably took me about a month to fully memorize the stack. That is each cards numerical position in the stack. That is you can name either a card or a number and I know immediately either the position or the card at that position as well as the cards around it.

Bill Malone's Hand's Off Memory Test uses the cyclical nature of the deck only. In other words as long as you know the next card (or previous one) you are set to go. The memorization of this aspect of the stack should go a lot faster for you.

When I was first learning I practiced in the car a lot. I marked the backs of a normal deck with their stack position and then stacked the deck in order. I would run through 10 cards a day. I would just focus on those ten cards and learn their order. The next day I would add the next ten cards. Within a week I had the cyclical nature of the stack pretty much learned. Then I started working on the positions. I would mix up the cards and look at the number on the back and guess what it was. Again just 10 per day for about a week. Then I shuffled the cards face up and face down and would run through them.

That's how I did it, and it has been very effective for me. And it was worth every second of effort.

Paul
scody
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>>Bill Malone's Hand's Off Memory Test uses the cyclical nature of the deck only....

Not sure if this is a true statement.
Can you weigh the cards and tell how many there are if you are using the Cyclical Stack without peaking the first card?

I don't know cyclical stacks... but imagine this is better apropriated for a memdeck... no?
Cain
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I can't remember how long it took me to memorize the stack. Personal results will vary due not only to native abilities, but intensity of study. If you're just casually trying to commit a stack to memory, then I suspect it's going to take longer. I think the best advice to give is focused training, particularly for the first 3/4/5 hours. THEN when it comes to reinforcing what you know you can be open to more distractions, doing other things. It's sort of like learning any sleight. You can practice your pass, palms and side-steal while watching a movie because you've developed the muscle memory. But it would be sort of stupid to begin training in this way. When first learning you're checking your angles, making sure the mechanics are correct. People who "sort of" do things, taking the half-hearted approach, end up squandering their time.

Also, you could do the "Hands off memorized deck" without memorizing (the position numbers of) the whole stack.
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!"
double_lift
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It took me a couple of days (the first day I memorized the first 26 cards in about an hour or two and the next day I memorized the other 26 cards).

However, the key here is to use it and practice every day even if you cannot perform in front of a live audience. Stack a deck in memorized order and play with it trying to guess what card is on top by looking at the bottom one. Cut and repeat. Then try to remember the positions of the aces, then the deuces, the threes,... Then all the Spades, then the Clubs,... Then try to remember the cards at positions 1, 3, 5, 7, 9,... Then the ones at positions 5, 10, 15, 20, 25,... Work with it every day for at least a month or two. Then you won't forget it, even if you don't think about it for another two months. The moment you take your memorized deck, you'll see you can remember the order.

I have a friend who doesn't believe in God and every night, insted of praying, he would call out all the cards in his memorized deck a few times before going to bed Smile
"There's a world of difference between the spectators not knowing how something is done and them knowing that it can't be done."
(Simon Aronson)
Turk
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It took me about 1 week to kind of learn the deck. My OCD a*n*a*l retentive personality required me to implement the following learning sequence:

1. I worked by memorizing all the aces, then the aces and the twos, then the aces, two and threes, etc. I deliberately used this procedure to simulate "randomness" in numbers.

2. After "learning" the deck that way, I then started learning the deck from 1-52. (I made up a "flashcard" deck by writing the appropriate stack number on each card.

3. Next, I shuffled up my sequential 1-52 deck and started doing the numbers and then naming the cards. Then I turned the deck over, reshuffled and then looked at the card faces and recalled the stack number on back.

4. I also made up a flash card deck where I kept the cards ace-King order (by suits in CHaSeD order) and I practiced running through that deck "faces to numbers".

5. Next, I began working the deck backwards 52-1.

6. Finally, while in bed at night (or during the day while waiting in lines, etc.) I would practice running through the cards in my mind (1-52 and then 52-1).

All this has been on-going for the last 4 months but I really started learning the deck very well after about 2 months of the above exercises. It was at that point that I became aware of Harry Lorayne's memory books and that they had sections in them for memorizing a full deck of cards using mnemonics (i.e., a "peg" system). AAARGH! Having come so far and invested so much time and effort in the brute rote memory method, I was hesitant to switch horses in mid-stream.

For any of you people out there who have used mnemonics to memorize a deck, do you find that the conversion (from the mnemonic peg to the actual card identities) slows you down, speeds up your knowledge or doesn't make a difference "in the heat of battle"? Does mnemonics cause a conscious "extra step" that must, by definition, take extra time to arrive at the desired information?

Mike

P.S. What I am essentially (and constantly) working on now is "instant" knowledge of the information. I've got that down for approx 95-97% of the cards, but some cards continue to sometimes temporarily bedevil me and it might occasionally take me 2 seconds to gain the infomation.

Hint: Additionally, I have found it really helpful to pay particular attention to the cards in 52-40 order and to know these "52-40 cards" backwards and cold. I especially practice exercises in this regard. Why so? Because I have found that a lot of the Aronson memorized deck effects seem to depend on first going face-up through an indeterminant bunch of those cards (i.e., the "C" or "3" pile) before getting to the next disparant group of cards. Knowing and being able to instantly recognize the cards as "belonging" in this group helps me when spreading through the cards looking for the first card in the "next group". In that way, the first card in the "next" group stands out like a sore thumb and I find that I spend less time looking at all the cards in that 52-40 group or the need to specifically recognize each of their respective stack numbers. (Hope this last comment makes sense to you.)
Magic is a vanishing Art.

This must not be Kansas anymore, Toto.

Eschew obfuscation.
spycrapper
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Quote:
On 2008-04-21 18:26, scody wrote:

Anyway... that's it.
Don't forget to continue to use it... or you may lose it.



very true.. I got trouble of remembering each card in fast speed after a few months (maybe 7-8 months) off using the mem deck magic.
Magic is life

Ario A.
visit my blog:
http://amagicblog.wordpress.com
edh
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I found that once I had memorized the stack. I shuffle the cards(flash cards) run through them face down calling out the name of the card. then shuffle again and run through the cards face up calling out the number. I do this once a day and it keeps the stack fresh in my mind.
Magic is a vanishing art.
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