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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Shuffled not Stirred » » How much 'work' in a memdeck? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

volto
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How much 'work' in a memdeck is too much? One locator card, four, eight, twenty, or fifty two? I've seen one short card, four short cards, Ralph Hull's "any card called for" involves five modified cards.
I can see how having absolutely no work in the deck at all is nice, but equally it seems to me that if you're going to gaff, you should gaff to the hilt.

Right now I have a relatively subtle four locator deck but I'm considering going up to twenty and I can think of situations when 52 would be great (and still fairly subtle).

So, how much is too much? Smile
Woland
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"too much aint enuf"
Cain
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Some people mark every single card. It just depends. My only concern is that you're going to try to get comfortable with two new things at the same time: 1) working with the mem-stack; 2) subtly reading marks.

I mark the first card and the 11th card, though I hardly use the latter. I can't remember for certain -- but I *think* that one time I marked every 10th card in the stack. That practice didn't last for very long.

It's been said most memorized deck tricks are stack independent. I guess it should be noted that most of those do not require markings.

It might be useful to include the markings, but try not relying on them, at least initially. It's like how if you want to get comfortable palming four cards, you should practice palming ten.
Ellusionst discussing the Arcane Playing cards: "Michaelangelo took four years to create the Sistine Chapel masterpiece... these took five."

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S2000magician
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I wouldn't put any work into a memorized deck, but I'm a mathematician; by definition, we're lazy.
Atom3339
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Depends on your style. Do you want a card that will ALWAYS be your Key Card? Do you want the entire deck marke or maybe half the deck? Also depends on the effects you're doing. I don't like confusion, too many "bells and whistles".

You can have SEVERAL mem decks set up for different purposes.

I fooled several magicians last week because instead of glimpsing the top card, I put the 4C on top of the deck, the first card in the Mnemonica Deck. Yes, I used ONE card that was memorized. No tricky moves needed. EACH one of those seasoned magi said, "I have no idea how you did that." As simple as possible, but no simpler.
TH

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Dennis Loomis
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In my Aronson Stack the JS (top card) is a scallop short with scallops on both of the short ends. That facilitates getting back to home position when that's necessary. (I don't routinely go back to home position for no good reason since I don't want the same card to be seen on the face repeatedly.)

Recently I've been working with a memorized and marked deck to discover the possibilities. Neither of them were new to me, but the combination is a powerful tool. Of course this precludes giving the deck away at the end of a show. But, if I really wanted to do this, I could switch decks.

As Cain suggests, there is no "right" answer to the question. It depends on how you work and what your requirements are. I will say this: if you work with all of the cards marked, you probably don't have to put any work in the deck. The markings will tell you where you are in the stack and with practice you can move to any position you want. I could probably do without the scallop card on top of the deck, but I've become so used to using it to get home that I'll probably stick with it.

It's common practice to have a locator card at position 26. But if you do faro work, you can eyeball a cut to 26 with great facility, so the work isn't necessary.

If you want "removable" work in the deck, then use a crimp. Learn two or three good ways to put a crimp in. When you want to hand out the deck, or give it away as a souvenir, you can remove the crimp.

Dennis Loomis
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<BR>http://www.loomismagic.com
Steven Keyl
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It seems that most of us evolve into some final pattern from which we rarely deviate. For me, I mark the back of the top card of my stack, and I corner short the bottom card. This is true whether or not the cards are in mem deck order. That way I can always locate a card by the backs and of course I think we all know the value of a corner short.
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baobow
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Volto,

It depends on what effects you are trying to achieve. Personally, up until recently I only had a breather crimp on the 52nd card and for about 5 years, that's all I ever needed. To be honest, I under utilise the mem deck, 1) I don't use any of the inbuilt functions (I use Arsonson), up until recently I didn't do a lot of think a card, then reveal type of tricks. (in any performance it should only be done once or twice anyway else it becomes transparent to the method i.e. you know the order of the cards somehow, well unless your false shuffles are that super convincing, which all of magicians aren't!). I have recently been playing around with an gimmickless brainwave and invisible deck routine ultilising a mem deck but again the deck does not require any customisation. Up until two months ago, I added a couple of extra things so I could perform Wayne Fox's knockout prediction in my set. BUt in saying that I'm not gonna do it to every deck I perform with because I'm not going to include it in every performance or set, its for special formal occasions.

I would say to get more specific feedback to your request I would suggest you list down the effects that you would want in your routine here on this topic so the mem deck gurus here like Dennis and Jan can give you specific advice on those effects. Else you are building a 5 bedroom double story house, with 2 kitchens, 4 en suites and a panic room, when all you really needed was a one bedroom condo to fit your needs.

From your previous posts on mem decks, I think you were mainly looking for effects where you could produce or locate any named 4 of a kind right? Problem with this effect is that it is probably the most difficult to do of all mem deck work as you need to cut/cull/control 4 seperate cards from various parts of the deck whilst looking non suspicious, that is challenging task even for the best of cardmen.

Alternatetively, just go an order a pre-printed mem deck for 25 bucks such as the Boris Wild Marked Deck or GT Speed Reader Deck and play with that for afew weeks with the effects that you are trying to achieve and see if that makes your life easier.

If your high level requirement is that you want to cut to any card named easily, other than having 4 crimps at 13,26,39,52 or 7 crimps by adding at 7,20,45 to limit your estimation to maximum of 7 cards, the bare basic skill is that you need to practice a hell of a lot on your estimation cutting skills. Do drills such as cutting to suits i.e. Cut to the Ace of Hearts, get back to 1-52 order, then cut to 2 of Hearts, and so on til the Kind of Hearts, then move to another suit. You'll end up realising that it isn't that hard to start hitting the right card called for after a while, but you have to practice regularly to keep the skill.

Alternatively look into gimmick decks that are designed to allow you to cut to any card easily such as Dennis Loomis' Any Card called for or Marc Oberon's Master deck.

Baobow
volto
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Thanks to all you guys, that's extremely helpful. Baobow - you're right about the fours of a kind, but I've also been looking at my stack as an opportunity to get into other effects requiring a setup fairly easily. The truth is, I don't really know what I want to do, so I'm playing around with it.
In case it wasn't clear, I'm an amateur, so this isn't for a formal show. In terms of what I can do right now, there's no memdeck or setup work - mostly just cutting to the aces, a four ace routine and ambitious card. I have a couple of variants on three card monte - the old school version for tabled presentations and the standing "Three card monkey business" version (that Color Monte is derived from). Palm-based Card To Wallet. Standard stuff, really.

This memdeck/setup exploration for me is really about trying new effects. I'm light on poker material and the Trost routines are great. There's a Pat Page "Do As I Do" requiring a bit of setup that I really like. Shuffle Bored looks like a great closer. There's a bunch of material involving four of a kind setups that a good method of cutting to fours would make doable. Plus, there's all the stuff that a memdeck is actually for. Smile

I guess I could be accused of looking at things the wrong way round - trying to go from method to effect - but I'm looking at the memdeck more as a standard tool that should be in everyone's toolchest, like a good DL or palm. The "which stack" and "gaffed or not" discussions are really just playing around with the idea to see what the limits are and what some good effects would be with the various tools available.

I guess maybe I need to practice more with estimation and all the related stuff - peeks, adjustments, etc. - and see how accurate I can get, before going gaffed.
Atom3339
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There's really no "wrong" way. You just make your decisions your way as you go along. I use a mem deck NOT as a mem deck all the time. But I'm ready to use a mem deck for it's possibilities all the time. You can do miracles with KNOWING just where a few cards are or a larger stack, i.e. 13 cards. I've also found using 26 cards instead of the traditional 52 cards for "longer" effects such as OOTW can be strong.

One experiment I'm doing is starting with the 26th card as the first card (the KD in Mnemonica Deck).

IMO the creativity is what it's all about.

Pre-setup packet tricks are a breeze with a mem deck.

Check Denny Loomis' Website for fantastic info and insights.
TH

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Dennis Loomis
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Thanks for the plug, Atom3339. I appreciate it. I'll put the link here for those that don't have it bookmarked:
http://www.loomismagic.com

Right under the title at the top is a line of links. In the middle of that list is the link to "Memorized Deck Articles."

Denny Loomis
Itinerant Montebank
<BR>http://www.loomismagic.com
nathanmorris
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One short card at the 26th position and a breather crimp on card 52 , this is what I use.
JohnWells
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One card: corner shortened, barely pencil dotted, and very, very lightly crimped. I can cut to it (above or below makes no difference), spot it when the deck is squared, beveled for a peek, or spread.
Dennis Loomis
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To Volto,
"Getting to" four of a kind in the Aronson Stack is covered in great detail in Simon's book "Try the Impossible." Aces Awry is the title of a routine which lets you quickly and quite easily get to the 4 Aces. It's a favorite of mine. But there are methods to get to the Fours, Jacks, Sixes, Nines, Sevens, Twos, Kings, and Threes.

Dennis Loomis
Itinerant Montebank
<BR>http://www.loomismagic.com
Mary Mowder
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It's probably already been mentioned here but Dennis Loomis is on the cover of MUM this month (January 2013) with two related articles.

Check it out.

Congratulations Dennis!

-Mary Mowder
Dennis Loomis
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Thanks for the plug, Mary. Right now the MUM cover is on the front page of the Loomis Magic website. In a day of two the interview that Mike Close, the Editor, did of me will be available as well.

Dennis Loomis
Itinerant Montebank
<BR>http://www.loomismagic.com
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