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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Shuffled not Stirred » » A stack or a pre-arranged deck (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

elliott_6388
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South Korea
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Hello one and all,

I have a question regarding stacked decks. Is it the same as a pre-arranged deck? I initially thought so but have become unsure recently because after I learned the Erdnase memorised deck from EATCT I started seeing a lot being said about mnemonica. Which by most accounts seems fairly difficult to learn.... where as the Erdnase 'stack' (do correct me if this is not what a stack actually is) was pretty darn simple to learn and enables me to know the order of the whole deck.

And once these matters have been cleared up.... what are your thoughts on pre-arranged decks in general? And what kinds of effects do you enjoy doing with them. So far I have enjoyed the ease of having a card selected and not having to force it or control it to the top; I just know what it is and can reveal it in what is hopefully an interesting way. That being said the effort to set up and shuffling restrictions make it seem to my inexperienced self, kind of not worth it.

Appreciate your thoughts and wisdom
ddyment
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Gibsons, BC, Canada
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You'll find some information on this topic here.
Doug Dyment's Deceptionary :: Elegant, Literate, Contemporary Mentalism ... and More
mlippo
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Trieste (Italy)
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Elliott_6388,

read carefully what suggested by ddyment, which is the perfect answer to your question.

As for the power of a stacked deck, it's my opinion you can do great things with it as long as you can convince your audience that you're not using a stacked deck!

As you've seen, there are many kinds of stacked decks. With a mem deck you can really do miracles. With a cyclic stack (Si Stebbins for example) you can do great magic, some of which cannot be done with a memdeck, because of the structure of the cyclic stack.

Currently I'm working on a great routine called Mating Season and which I found in the book Handcrafted Card Magic 3 by Denis Behr. It requires what he calls a Power Stack and fortunately for us a Si Stebbins IS a Power Stack!
Great routine, really.

Try Learning a simple stack first (Si Stebbins is a good start) and then, if this just whets your appetite, you may study a memorised stack Mnemonica is one of the more used ones and the one of my choice. But there are others as Memorandum, Redford's Stack, Aronson's Stack and more ..

Mark
elliott_6388
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South Korea
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Very interesting article thanks very much!
Pierre Cardinlemon
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Budapest, Hungary, EU
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As a relative beginner in mem deck magic, let me share some of my fresh experiences that might help you. My first impression was that it is a lot of work for a little benefit. One has to learn a stack and do perfect faros, just to be able to deal any poker or bridge hands (which I can manage to do with some sleight of hand anyway). Furthermore, the deck must be rearranged in some awkward way after.

When I read Tamariz's Mnemonica, I realized that I was completely wrong!

The half stack can be memorized quite effortlessly, which is enough for a lot of amazing effects. It can be arranged secretly from a spectator-shuffled deck during a memory demonstration trick. A couple of days after I read the chapter on the half stack, I could completely astonish my family, which is extremely rare, since they've seen hundreds of very strong effects already.

This was more than enough motivation to learn the whole stack, which is not as difficult as I thought. And it is a one time investment that is well worth it.

Currently, I use almost only stack-independent tricks, I'm planning to learn the faro shuffle and thinking about the infinite possibilities of combining the memorized deck work with trick decks, swami gimmick and other tools.
mlippo
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Trieste (Italy)
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Quote:
On Feb 21, 2019, Pierre Cardinlemon wrote:
As a relative beginner in mem deck magic, let me share some of my fresh experiences that might help you. My first impression was that it is a lot of work for a little benefit. One has to learn a stack and do perfect faros, just to be able to deal any poker or bridge hands (which I can manage to do with some sleight of hand anyway). Furthermore, the deck must be rearranged in some awkward way after.

When I read Tamariz's Mnemonica, I realized that I was completely wrong!

The half stack can be memorized quite effortlessly, which is enough for a lot of amazing effects. It can be arranged secretly from a spectator-shuffled deck during a memory demonstration trick. A couple of days after I read the chapter on the half stack, I could completely astonish my family, which is extremely rare, since they've seen hundreds of very strong effects already.

This was more than enough motivation to learn the whole stack, which is not as difficult as I thought. And it is a one time investment that is well worth it.

Currently, I use almost only stack-independent tricks, I'm planning to learn the faro shuffle and thinking about the infinite possibilities of combining the memorized deck work with trick decks, swami gimmick and other tools.


Pierre,
after reading the first sentence in your post, I was ready to jump on the keyboard and start typing how much I disagreed with you!
Fortunately I went on reading and discovered we actually see eye to eye!

I'm also newish to mem deck magic. I learnt Mnemonica, by pure rote memory, in three months, from September-November 2017, with no pressure and no hurry at all (I'm 54 now). And I stopped for some time on cards 1-26 before going on from 27 to 52. It was a good idea, because it certainly helps separating in your mind forever the first half from the second and this is particularly useful, not only because you can do excellent magic with just half stack.

Besides, mem deck work gave me the urge to start really working on Faro shuffles. I've improved a lot, but I'm still non consistent...

So definitely good advice from you
Mark
Melephin
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Using exactly the method suggested by Juan Tamariz I was able to learn Mnemonica in an afternoon (as promised by Juan Tamariz). And it is actually burned in my mind probably for ever. Even if I haven't used it for quite some time, I have no problem to use it if I want to.

I still struggle with the faro shuffle. But even if I use the stack a lot these days, none of my routines require a faro shuffle and the set up in front of the audience, even the entire stack, is no problem. I use a lot of false shuffles but I let the audience shuffle as well a couple of times in my show and then restack the deck again.

Since you can do miracles especially if you combine basic slide of hands with the mnemonica qualities it is absolutely worth it, to learn a stack.

I love producing cards that were just named by the spectators or four of a kind chosen by the spectators but I also like the build in effects like incredible poker deals, ending in mirror stack or even in new deck order. Knowing where all the cards are without looking for them puts you in a great position. Combining this with the Juke Box Principle, you can do true miracles.
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