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TheAmbitiousCard
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I started to learn the Aaronson stack but quit. If I'm going to re-take up the hobby I don't want to learn one and then later find that a different one is better for some wonderful reason. I'd hate to learn two.

What is the best stack to learn.
Nikola
Aaronson
8 Kings
6 Hour Stack (or whatever it's called)
Tamariz

Here are some things I can think of...

1. The stack is easy to remember
2. There are automatic tricks set up
3. The stack is easy to assemble from a new deck.
4. The stack does not look suspicious

Thanks,
frank
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TheMagician
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Get Craig Dickson's lecture notes. He has a stack that will blow you away along, with other great stuff. Contact him at http://www.magiccraft.com. The stack is invisible and he has some funny ways of "remembering" it.

And for even thinking of the 6 hour stack... get a life!!! Smile
-Robert
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ddyment
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First, there is some confusion here between two very different types of stacks.

Sequential stacks, such as the venerable "8 Kings" and "Si Stebbins", permit one to determine the card following (or preceding) any given card. There are mnemonic sequences other than "8 Kings" (such as "hungry jackass"), but the notion is the same. The basic "8 Kings" and "Si Stebbins" stacks show an alternating colour sequence that is not very desirable, but there are schemes for dealing with this. Probably the best sequential stack, though, is Richard Osterlind's "Breakthrough Card System"; this is easily learned and displays no obvious ordering.

The second type being referenced is the so-called "memorized deck", in which you know the position of every card, and -- conversely -- the name of the card at any location). Clearly, this can be used for anything that a sequential stack can do, but it opens a much wider realm of possibilities. There are two approaches to learning such a tool...

The first solution is to use a truly memorized deck, where you have learned every card and its corresponding position by rote, and can recall the association instantly. This is generally considered the "best" solution (as it allows for the most random appearance, and also permits a stack that has been "wired" to perform certain effects, such as poker deals and the like), but it is not a simple thing to master (indeed, an impossible task for some), and unless you are regularly doing a lot of memorized deck work, it is easy to forget an association in the heat of performance (in which case you're in trouble, as there's no backup). Probably the best currently available such stack is Aronson's, described in a couple of his books. Tamariz' stack is also a contender... it has been published, but not yet with much description of its functionality.

The second solution is an algorithmic one, in which a formula of some kind is used to relate card values and positions. This approach is popular among those who want to do memorized deck work, but not make it a life's work (particularly mentalists and others who don't do a lot of card work, but recognize the miracles that can be performed with a memorized deck). Although it's possible to compute card positions with Si Stebbins, it's not very easy, so few consider using it as such. Probably the best three candidates here (any of which can be learned in half an hour) are the Bart Harding stack, the Charles Gauci stack, and my own "QuickStack" (not just my opinion... see the many "testimonials" at the Website listed in my signature). They compare as follows:

Harding: most random-appearing, greatest number of calculations necessary
QuickStack: middle ground, almost as random as Harding, but significantly easier to do
Gauci: easiest to do, but least random (alternating colours, rotating suits, detectable sequences)

Note that the recent Boris Wild stack (which is an algorithmic "memorized deck" stack) described in his marked deck book is (in my opinion) quite poor, comprised as it is of 13 four-card groups, each in strict sequence, both numerically and with respect to suit; it is thus unlikely to survive any but the most cursory examination. This is not necessarily a showstopper (Wild apparently uses it successfully); any card arrangement can be hidden by a sufficiently skilled performer. But the computations necessary for the name/position conversion are no simpler than those for "QuickStack", which offers a considerably more random presentation.

An algorithmic solution always works; and if you use it regularly, you'll find that you soon "know" all the card positions anyway, but it's nice to be able to calculate them if you forget!

For the sake of completeness, I should also note that if you don't need to "memorize" the complete deck, both Barrie Richardson and Lewis Jones have published systems that are extremely easy to learn, but only cover half the deck (either all the even cards, or all those of one colour, depending on the system).

... Doug
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phonic69
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Aronson has more inbuilt gambling effects than you could shake a stick at, is not suspicious and if you know the order then it's no problem to assemble from a new deck.

It's the one I use and I enjoy working with it, so that would be my choice!


Smile
Scott Cram
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Frank -

Read Doug's post again, and think carefully about what you really want to do with a stacked deck, and why you want to do it. Doug truly has some great advice there.

For myself, I learned the power of memory in college (remind me to tell you about my art history mid-term sometime), and thus picked it up as a sort of "sub-hobby" in magic.

When I was decided that I wanted to memorize a deck, I chose Tamariz because the Nikola seemed dated to me, and I'd never heard of Simon Aronson. Besides, as I was familiar with Juan Tamariz's work, it seemed a safe bet. It was, but waiting for his memorized deck books wasn't. Smile

Should you decide to go the truly memorized route (no algorithmic stacks), here's a few tools that can help make the learning and use somewhat easier:

1) Read "On The Memorized Deck" by Mike Close in "Workers 5" (available through your favorite magic shop). This is a great look at all aspects of the memorized deck, including the learning process, the stack of choice, the tools and concepts that can be used with it, and much more!

2) Check out "Memorized Deck Magic" by Simon Aronson, at the "Magicians Only" section of his website.

3) You'll find a lot of mnemonics suggested to represent each card, but none quicker and easier to learn than Bob Farmer's Card Mnemonic System. It has a looser feel to it, and it's quicker to learn. This is great to use with ANY memorized deck system.

4) If you're either at your Windows computer everyday, or carry a PocketPC or PalmPilot handheld with you, check out SuperMemo. It's a great little "flash card" program that quizzes you more often on things you have trouble remembering, and quizzes you less on things you know better. This will speed up your learning of the memorized deck - and you don't even have to carry the deck around! It's cheap (I use the $16 PalmPilot version), and I've even developed some memory-related SuperMemo databases.

I hope this has been of some help. We'll be interested to hear what you chose and why you chose it!
gerard1973
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Frank:

I would learn the Si Stebbins Stack and the Eight Kings Stack. Both are easy to learn and there are many, many magic tricks and mental tricks available for both of these old and very popular stacks.

Gerard
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Scott F. Guinn
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Frank,

I've posted on this a number of times before, but I'll do so again now. You can easily learn and use either or both of the Si Stebbins and 8 Kings, as each allows you to tell what a the next card (or selected card) is by simply doing a glimpse or peek. Ortiz' Si Stebbins secret allows you to quickly and easily get into the Si Stebbins from a brand new, unopened deck. I use it often and do a full 7 minute card act with it, the final effect destroying the setup.

I have learned and used Aronson's "Stack to Remember," Martin Joyal's "Six Hour Memorized Deck" and Tamariz' "Mnemonica." I agree with Tamariz and others that the word association route used with the Aronson Stack is not worth the extra time and effort. Personally, I find it much easier to memorize 52 cards and their respective positions than to memorize a word for each card, a word for each position and an associtaion between two words correlating to a particular card at a particular position.

So, my answer for memorized decks is:

Ease of learning: Tie: Joyal & Tamariz
Most effects already published for a particular stack: Aronson
Most "built-in effects": Tie: Aronson and Tamariz
Overall best IMO: Tamariz, especially with the new book containing a number of effects by the creator.

Many of the effects published for one memorized stack can be easily adapted to the others.

So, my short answer: Get Mnemonica by Tamariz, and learn the Si Stebbins and Ortiz' "Si Stebbins Secret."
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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Erdnase27
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Breaktthrough card system or Osterlind stack Smile
I rest my case
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docelk
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Agree---osterlind stack---for a beginner it was not the nightmare some have described, and you can do it in an hour for the basics, and then practice to refine it and gather speed
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Richard Osterlind
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I respect each person's opinions and do not doubt that each individual "thinks" differently. But I have to add that for me, and a whole lot of other people, a standard memory system such as those taught by Harry Lorayne allows you to memorize any deck very quickly. I published my "Memorized Breakthrough" to illustrate this point. With some practice almost any individual could memorize ANY deck sequence upon hearing the order ONE TIME. Yes, it does require a bit of initial work and application, but once you have that ability, YOU HAVE IT FOREVER. And not just with a memorized deck, but countless applications in life.

To take the time to learn a basic peg system gives you a "power" that you can use over and over in countless situations. To take it one step further and apply it to a deck of cards is simple once you have the system mastered. The benefit of using the Breakthrough Card System is you have TWO methods to work things out. If you only require knowing the next card, you use the basic math. To find any card at any number, you can use the memorized method. In addition, if you have a slight relapse of memory, you can fall back on the basic system to "work out" the card you are going for. You can also, as I have done, work out the memorized system from the basic stack while driving in your car. Doing it this way really drives home (a pun!) the information.

Cordially,
Richard
ithomson
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Quote:
On 2005-05-22 11:43, Richard Osterlind wrote:
I respect each person's opinions and do not doubt that each individual "thinks" differently. But I have to add that for me, and a whole lot of other people, a standard memory system such as those taught by Harry Lorayne allows you to memorize any deck very quickly.


I agree with this whole heartedly. I first studied memory systems thirty years ago, and I've used them constantly ever since. The system taught by Lorayne, and adapted in Aronson's work, has countless applications - from PINs to birthdays to phone number to addresses to chemical equations .... and (of course) memorised decks.

Personally I use the Aronson stack. But I don't really use any of its inherent properties, so I could happily switch over to another. And with the use of memory systems, that wouldn't be a problem.

Cheers

Ian
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I just wanted to say that last night I took the time to learn Osterlind's system, and I found myself being absolutly amazed by it... For 2 hours I just ran through the deck again and again naming the next card that would come up. Best of all, unless you SERIOUSLY study the cards and know I large amount about mathamatics, the system is invisible.

To sum it up, Osterlind's stack = 30 minutes of work for the basics, and about 2 hours of work before you just KNOW what the next card in the stack is.

On a side note, I've just recently become aquainted with his work within the past week, and I have to say that I'm already a fan. The material that he presents is 100% gold, and can be modified to anyones performance style.

If you want good material, go buy everything that he has put out... Trust me.
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TheAmbitiousCard
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Richard, what is your memorized breakthrough?
Is this supposed to be the same as the Lorrayne method?

Sorry, I'm confused (and don't want to be).

Frank
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sullivanl
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I feel the Tamariz stack is the most versatile and he provides a technique to learning it which only takes one day. It took me about a year to fully remember the Aronson stack.

The benefits of the Tamariz stack is that it can be reached from new deck order with a couple of faro shuffles, and can also be reverted back to NDO. It can be easily converted to a stay stack. Plus there are many more features which are outlined in the beginning chapter of Mnemonica.

-Lawrence
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I agree that everything Mr. Osterlind puts out is worth having, and I do have just about all of it and have told him on more than one occasion how much I appreciate and respect his work. The same goes for Harry Lorayne. Having said that, for ME, it is easier to just memorize by rote, but then (as I've said before on these forums) I have been blessed with an excellent memory, due in no small part, I'm sure, to having to memorize large passages of the Bible, Shakespeare, presidential speeches, etc as a kid growing up in a very strict, accamdemical strong Baptist school. So all the extra "hooks" and "systems" are, for ME, simply unnecessary "busy" work.

Also, it's true that the Tamariz stack is easily attained from new deck order, but be advised that it is from European/Asian new deck order. With US decks, you will have to do quite a bit of "running" in overhand shuffles first. This can easily be overcome by putting the deck into the "other" new deck order ahead of time and showing it to the audience as being in NDO--few if any will know the difference between this and an actual USA NDO.

The reason I picked the Tamariz and Si Stebbins is precisely because both are easy to set up quickly right in front of the audience, making them, for ME, more useful. This in no way lessens the worth or value of the Aronson, Joyal, Nikola, Osterlind, 8 Kings, etc for YOU. I am familiar with and have used ALL of these stacks at some point, and ALL are very good with their own merits that may make them better functionally for you.
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Richard Osterlind
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Quote:
On 2005-05-23 18:02, Frank Starsini wrote:
Richard, what is your memorized breakthrough?
Is this supposed to be the same as the lorrayne method?

Sorry, I'm confused (and don't want to be).

Frank

Frank,

We put put an ebook called "The Memorized Breakthrough" on our website at http://www.osterlindmysteries.com.

It teaches how to memorized the stack using Harry Lorayne's memory system (with his permission). The work is done for you so all you have to do is read it and apply it.

Best,
Richard
Erik J
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I just learnt the Joyal Stack by Martin Joyal, it said 6 hours memorized stack, but as I was tired when I started, and took pauses and everything, without stressing, it took me two days to memorize it, I can't call out every position of the cards fast, but most =)
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Eric Falconer
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Quote:


Nikola
-- A good stack with a few built in tricks. Not so easy to get into. Relatively difficult to memorize.
Aaronson
-- Also a good stack with more built in tricks. Not so easy to get into. Relatively difficult to memorize.
8 Kings
-- Not a true stack. This is a system. You can know the position of the next card at any position in the system. Top to Bottom. Cut face to selected. But you couldn't know the postion of the 43rd card from the top (without some mental calculations). No built in tricks (that I'm aware of). Not so easy to get into. Easy to memorize.
6 Hour Stack (or whatever it's called)
-- This is a good stack. No built in tricks. Not easy to get into. Easier to memorize (compared to Nikola and Aronson).
Tamariz
-- This is a good stack. Lots of built in tricks. Easy to get into (from NDO right under the spectators noses). Difficult to memorize.

Funny thing here. I've tried working with most these options (not the Aaronson). I started with 8 kings. Then I decided to try the Nikola stack. My problem with the stack was the memorization technique it suggests. First you have to remember a word or image for each number... then for each card... that's 104 different words or images to remember... now each number word associates to one card word... creating 52 card/number word pairs. These associations must be memorized. Fortunately they kinda make sense, kinda. The problem is then when you are trying to recall a card or number, you first have to remember the word, then the association and then the other word and finally the answer. This can be a lot to remember. Then I tried Martin Joyal's 6 hour memorized deck. The memorization is easier (relatively). The mnemonic system consists of 14 rules that help you associate cards to numbers and viceversa. This works. There's less to remember when you are trying to recall. Unfortunately there are no built in tricks or can you get into the deck easily. Lastly and currently I used the Tamariz Mnemonica stack. Juan offers no mnemonic devices to help in the memorization. What he does offer are memorization techniques to commit the card/number associations to memory.

And here is the truth (in my opinion): Ultimately you don't want any mnemonic devices in your head. They are a crutch that you lean on, but ultimately you will want to be rid of. The quickest route to having the card/number's completely memorized is the method you should choose.

This is what I did. I tackled the Tamariz stack with brute force. My mind formed it's own associations. But they were mine. I remembered them because I formed them in my mind. Now I can recall any number to card or vice versa quite quickly. I like the Tamariz stack alot.

I recommend the Mnemonica Stack by Juan Tamariz.

1. The stack is easy to remember
-- once it's memorized any stack is easy to remember
2. There are automatic tricks set up
-- yes a whole book full... my personal favorite is the 8 handed poker deal... Juan has a great presentation for this trick (if done for the right audience you could even get lucky doing this one)
3. The stack is easy to assemble from a new deck.
-- Yes. A few out-faro's, partial out-faro's and cuts
4. The stack does not look suspicious
-- No.



Just my 2 cents worth
Eric Falconer

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Dennis Loomis
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There continues to be much confusion about the different deck stacks available... even within this thread.

It makes no sense to suggest that Si Stebbins or Osterlinds Breakthrough is "better" or "Worse" than a memorized deck. That's like saying a hammer is "better" than a screwdriver. They are different tools for different jobs.

If you seek clarity, reread carefully the postings of Doug Dyment and Richard Osterlind above. These gentlemen know what they are talking about.

Frank, my friend, the question is what do you wish to use a stacked deck for? If you want to learn a few good card tricks that can be done from a stack, then Study the effects that Richard Osterlind has created for his Breakthrough Card System. What matters is that the TRICKS are marvelous. Watch Richard perform them on his DVD and you will see how powerful and entertaining stacked deck magic can be. Be aware, however, that you can do these tricks with most of the stacks already mentioned in this thread. I do some of them with the Aronson Stack, because that's what I know and carry with me. But, you don't have to use a true memorized stack like the Aronson. You can use Si Stebbins, or Eight Kings, and of course, Osterlind's Breakthrough Stack. If you use the Osterlind or Aronson Stacks, you can allow the audience to see the faces of the cards and they won't spot anything. With the Si Stebbins, Eight Kings, and other suit/rotational stacks, they might notice the alternation of red, black, red, black, etc.

I would quibble with my friend Doug Dyment a little when it comes to the memorized deck. Doug's a far better mathematician that I, but I think I have more experience using a memorized deck in real performances. I am not dependent on remembering the original menmonic associations in performance, because I no longer need or use them. I couldn't even tell you what most of them are. This was the path I used, guided by Harry Lorayne and Simon Aronson's writings to memorize the deck initially. It's been a very long time since I've forgotten a card in a performance or practice. I'm not bragging, just explaining that you get to a point of mastery if you stick with memorized deck work, and by just a little drilling from time to time you have a RELIABLE tool. Doug is right, however, that if you are just a dabbler, not willing to master the tool, and to do a little occasional drilling, than you could get into trouble.

I would also disagree with Doug about there being "no backup" if you forget a card briefly in the heat of performance. If you understand what memorized deck mastery means, there are two, independent backups available. These are fairly subtle, but if you are really interested, go to: http://www.loomismagic.com . Then, if you click on the Memorized Deck page and scroll down and click on article 14, you can read my detailed writeup about this. To find the information on these backups, scroll down to the paragraph which begins: "There’s a hidden piece of good news buried in this analysis."

Finally, I still maintain that it's easier to memorize a deck of cards than to master a lot of sleights. And, as Richard Osterlind pointed out, if you learn the menmonics behind the process, you will have a tool that will help you learn anything for the rest of your life. I started in mnemonics when I got a copy of Harry Lorayne's "How to Develop a Super Power Memory" in about 1958. I wouldn't have my college degree, I'm sure, if I hadn't learned the fundamental principles of memory by association, and the "link system, "peg system," and the "phonetic alphabet."

So Frank, my bottom line recommendation, considering your goals is: go back to the Aronson Stack. If you didn't get along well with all of the mnemonic associations, try it for a couple hours with just brute force learning using flash cards. And, I'm happy to help. We don't live too far apart, and I'm still anxious to get some of your wonderful leather creations for magicians.

Dennis Loomis
Itinerant Montebank
<BR>http://www.loomismagic.com
weepinwil
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Quote:
On 2005-05-22 06:11, MichielTummers wrote:
Breaktthru card system or osterlind stack:P
I rest my case


Best I have seen. I rest your case as well.
"Til Death us do part!" - Weepin Willie
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