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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Shuffled not Stirred » » Getting into Aronson - suggestions? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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JanForster
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Loz, if you want to shorten your time, try to start with a deck in divided red and black condition, after having performed e. g. "Out of Universe" (Harry Lorrayne) considering to put down specific red and black cards while performing "OOU" Smile Jan
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Loz
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Yes its easy to start the search from different initial conditions and red/black is one of them. But exactly *what* red/black pattern (i.e. the actual card values) will determine whether its possible to get to Aronson easily. And you can't control that in any OOTW I know of (maybe I'm ignorant or being stupid at this time of night).

L
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As an aside, the only feature of Aronson I really like is the Zen's poker deal element - in particular the any hand called for at any position in a 5(?) person game. Since I'm not that keen on spelling tricks, the poker deal is the biggest benefit of Aronson. I can't remember (will check) how useful the Tamariz stack is for any poker hand at any position. If it is just as good (will check Mnemonica again) then maybe I should undo all my work on Aronson and move to Tamariz at least for the NDO component. End of random post.
JanForster
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Loz, I didn't talk about OOTW, but Out of Universe; in that handling you can do and lay down whatever is convenient. Jan
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lwc628
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This is the precise reason why I am thinking about using Mnemonica over AS.

4 faros from the new deck, reverse count, partial faro, and you are ready to go.

Seems like it's the less amount of work. Don't you think?
Loz
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Ah Jan I understand now. Sorry for my idiocy. Yes that is definitely a nice method - I'll ponder it further.

I've actually been working on a computer program to sample a set of shuffles and cuts from NDO to see how close I can get to Aronson. I have about 300 cpus available to me so I might be able to churn through a decent number of options.

However, current results don't look good.

lwc628: haven't had a chance to check Mnemonica yet. But if I wanted to deal any poker hand to any of 4(or 5) players, with AS all this requires is a cut/pass. What's the situation with Mnemonica?

Cheers,

Lawrence
Scott Cram
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You could play around with the Faro Shuffle Simulator, and see what you can come up with.

It only allows Fari Shuffles, cuts, and single card displacements, however, so that may be a little more restricting.

Mnemonica was designed to be accessible from new deck order, so there aren't any known poker deals from it.
dave burgess
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There absolutely are known poker deals available with Mnemonica. For those with the book, pages 17-20 list many of the possibilities built into the stack and 48-62 are all gambling demonstrations with most of them being poker. Many of them do require some extra work, such as a displacement of a card or two, but they are there.
Scott Cram
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I was referring to the Zen Poker stack, which is built in to Aronson, but not Mnemonica.
pnielan
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Loz,

There are 80,658,175,170,943,878,571,660,636,856,403,766,975,289,505,440,883,277,824,000,000,000,000
possible arrangements of a deck of cards.

If you pick two unrelated arrangements (i.e. new deck and Aronson), the chance of a short series of operations (faro shuffles and cuts) leading from one to another is very ... very small. Good luck, though. It would be great if such a method existed.
Loz
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Yeah I did that calculation too. But I work on large search problems in my research and am going to chuck some genetic algorithms and large compute resources at it (when no one is looking of course Smile ) so we may get somewhere. But yes pretty unlikely!


Its worth pointing out that that number is approximately the same as the number of atoms in the observable universe.
churken
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Aktino

I understand your frustrations and initially had similar reservations. I can tell you know, after using the Aronson Stack for over 10 years, that I can't imagine going to a performance without my stacked deck. In the beginning I think an effective method is to carry two decks - one stacked and one shuffled. Now if you are doing a three effect set (for example) begin with the shuffled deck and do your effect. Put away the shuffled deck and do a coin (or other type trick). End with a killer effect with your stacked deck. In this way you have no worries about doing covert deck switches, etc.

Another thing I do (as this fits my performing character, but possibly not yours) is that I would have some one shuffle, take the cards back and look through them in disgust and say "Well, you just messed up my whole act." and put the deck in the same pocket that had the stacked deck. Immediately I would remove the stack deck and say, "just kidding." I would uncase the stacked deck and say, "you shuffled the cards up really well, right?" They would always agree and I would proceed with my stacked deck effect. Believe it or not, I have never (in 10 years of restaurant work and other venues) been called on this ruse.

Next, work out several effects that use the Aronson stack and fit your performing style. When you approach a group perform those effects, put away the stack and move on.

Also, as you are working on this stuff make sure you are learning a good false shuffle and false cut. These will prove invaluable.

Next, begin looking at your shuffled deck effects and see how many of them don't displace too many cards (if you are using false shuffles, this may be more than you think). See if you can work those card effects into your stack work. Personally, if I can do an effect that displaces 4 cards or less, I have reworked it to use with my Aronson Stacked deck. It is easy to reset four or less cards while casually talking with your guests.

It takes some work, but I testify to you that the work is worth the effort.

I will agree with an above poster (sorry, I forget who it was and don't know how to go back and check now) but I too can re-stack from a shuffled deck within 2 1/2 minutes. I start with Lennert Green's Angle Seperation (which can be incorporated into a trick for the guests if you choose to do so) and then just quickly cull the cards in order.

These days when I go to a show, I carry two decks in Aronson Stack order. I try to work stack effects and non stack effects together while maintaining the stack from my main deck. if it gets destroyed beyond quick repair (I also agree with Dennis that if someone wants to shuffle the cards, you MUST let them) I will follow the advice above and do certain effects from the shuffled deck and use various methods of ringing in the stacked deck as needed.

I know I have rambled a long here for awhile, but hopefully you will find something of value here.

Paul
Loz
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Paul I think that was a great post and I've copied the full text to my puter for future reference.

Something David Regal said has had a big effect on me. Switching decks is NOT the big deal it is made out to be. Sure, in a serious poker game it is probably the boldest and most dangerous thing one might do. But doing magic?

And of course this doesn't apply only to stacks but to ringing in any gaff or gaffed deck one might require.

Most of the hurdle seems to be psychological and/or procedural in terms of ensuring the heat is totally off the switch.

Lawrence
Cohiba
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Great post Churken, and that's a good point about deck switching Loz.

Psychologically we want to get away from a deck switch and get into the stack from a shuffled deck or NDO. (I am a purist, so I'm always looking for these methods as well.) However, the effort required to stack a deck compared to that required to switch a deck makes the question almost silly.

I still think the question is valid, and a worthwhile challenge to work on, but probably the smartest route is to figure out a good deck switch or two (several simple great ones have already been mentioned), and work on the challenge in our spare time for fun.
Dennis Loomis
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Missed this earlier: someone said that doing A Subtle Game is "gutsy." It needn't be. If you are doing a close-up show, you will not have a need for a Subtle Game. You start with a couple of stacked decks in your pocket. Should someone drop the cards, once they are picked up you put them away and do a coin trick or a rope trick... whatever. Then you remember another card trick you would like to do and you take your deck back out. But it's your stacked deck. There are many other deck switches, of course, but this one works well.

If you are doing strolling magic and your deck gets disarranged, you can do A Subtle Game as your LAST card trick. Either end your set with it, or finish with a non-card effect. (Many sponge ball routines are strong enough to make a good closer.) Then leave the group and go entertain a new group. Since you have not done anything more with the cards, there seems to be no reason to think that you were arranging the cards in some special way. Even if an astute spectator is suspicious about that, they will not have their suspicions confirmed.

Dennis Loomis
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Damon Zale
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I also thought about how to efficiently stack a deck. This is what I currently do: I go through the cards once, and divide the stack in half (numbers 1-26 from 27-52). I use Green's Angle separation –this more for practice , I think this can work just as fast if you up-jog the cards.
When done, sometimes I turn these 2 packets away from each other , more often I just mark the place with the Queen of Hearts (26) in between. I then go through the cards again separating 1-13 from 14-26 and 27-39 from 40-52. So I have 4 groups of 13. I then just set the cards in place (very easy) amongst each group.
It just seems a good way as it reminds me of Quicksort in computer science... or maybe its inspired by it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sorting_algorithm#Quicksort
aktino
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Dennis, Churken, dimazales-

Thanks for your posts. This is exactly the kind of feedback I was hoping for when I submitted the OP.

Aktino
Damon Zale
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No problem. Please post which way you end up stacking your deck .
Avocat
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Anyone tried the Nikola re-stack?

In 15 years of memorized deck work, I've performed it four times. Maybe five. It got great reactions each time, but it somehow feels a lot harder to do BEFORE you start than it does during and after. In all but one of those occasions, I used a borrowed deck.

Also, it doesn't make logical sense - why shouldn't you be able to find any card or perform any number of memorized deck effects after you've just called out the name of every single card in the deck? But audiences don't realize it or care, I guess.

Still stacking,

Jim Kawashima


P.S. - forgot to mention, if you want to switch an entire deck, there's a Dean Dill trick you should definitely look into. I use a Deck Shell in place of Dean's gimmick, but it's served me well, especially when fooling around with other magicians.
Damon Zale
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Jim you mean you did the 'subtle game' and people didn't catch on later that the deck was memorized as the result? It shouldn't be THAT surprising. Even if someone thought you had the list memorized (which they likely won't ) it still doesn't mean you have every position memorized . For example, quick what is the 15th letter of the alphabet? Smile
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