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Topic: Mnemonica vs. Osterlind Stack
Message: Posted by: docelk (Aug 3, 2005 04:21AM)
Have both systems, and know basic logistics of each. Have not memorized either stack fully yet. I note that just about all the tricks in mneumonica use a faro or anti-faro (cannot do this, yet), and tricks are specifically described using tamiraz stack, and corresponding numbers, and corresponding cards (making it a little difficult to transpose into the O system.) Seems learning the faro will be difficult, and certainly another learning curve. The tricks seems intricate, but excellent, and the book is certainly a masterpiece.

OTOH, I like osterlings system (no faros), and enjoy the basic fundamentals a little better, along with the memory aids of the Lorayne memory system.

And, now, the question please.....If I'm willing to put in the time, but don't have a great memory, which system should I continue to learn and practice with. Does it pay to learn the O system, and try to transpose some of the effects from the M system, or just bite the bullet and learn the M system??
Message: Posted by: Jeff Corn (Aug 3, 2005 09:27AM)
It doesn't matter which stack you memorize, the effects will be the same. I'd suggest the Osterlind Stack because if your memory goes, you always have a backup and can do the normal routines that don't require memorization.
Message: Posted by: fazzer (Aug 3, 2005 09:35AM)
What is the osterling?
I would like to buy a set of osterlings...

PS: Mr. Osterlind, your name has seen so many variations on the web... Although it is so simple to spell and pronounce... I feel so sorry about this phenomenon...
Message: Posted by: Alan M (Aug 3, 2005 12:39PM)
If you are sure that you want to get into memorized deck magic, I would suggest taking a look at the Aronson stack also- you can find this in Simon Aronson's Bound to Please, which is a compilation of his early works. You may decide against his stack, but doing some more homework on the various methods/systems before you settle on the right stack will save you some headaches in the long run, just my opinion- and good luck with the stack you choose.
Message: Posted by: Richard Shippy (Aug 3, 2005 12:45PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-03 13:39, Alan M wrote:
If you are sure that you want to get into memorized deck magic, I would suggest taking a look at the Aronson stack also- you can find this in Simon Aronson's Bound to Please, which is a compilation of his early works. You may decide against his stack, but doing some more homework on the various methods/systems before you settle on the right stack will save you some headaches in the long run, just my opinion- and good luck with the stack you choose.
[/quote]

Yes, I'd recommend checking out Aronson's stack as well. In addition, you may want to consider creating your own stack which has all the components you need. You can pull components from the popular stacks and build them into your own. Just a thought.

I hope this helps.

Kind regards,
Rich
Message: Posted by: LeConte (Aug 3, 2005 01:24PM)
There is no question that [i]Mnemonica[/i] is the way to go. There are also many (almost infinite) applications of the Tamariz stack that do not require a faro.

The built in features of [i]Mnemonica[/i] are too numerous to list. Learning the stack only takes confidence. Yes simple confidence is what you need the most of to learn the stack, and when you do you will have the ultimate instrument.
Message: Posted by: mc_magi (Aug 3, 2005 02:11PM)
I disagree with you LaConte, although Mnemonica is definitely a superb stack, there are many others and its all about fitting the stack to your style isn't it?. and commiting stack to memory is quite a job.
btw, I DO use mnemonica and it is an excellent stack.
Message: Posted by: LeConte (Aug 3, 2005 03:36PM)
If you are to learn a stack then why not learn Mnemonica? Mnemonica can fit into any style and can be used for any general stacked deck trick. It can not be used for a few Aronson stack-specific routines (and obviously many stack-specific effects from other stacks) granted, however, the trade-off is the awesome built in power of the numerous feats possible with the Tamariz stack, including a clean "any hand called for" poker routine. Again, the overall list of the benefits of the Mnemonica stack versus other stacks is detailed in the book. Whatever works best for you.

Why would Mnemonica not work for you?

Learning a stack is quite a job, but it is not a difficult as many people might make it out to be. I just want people to be confident. You can learn Mnemonica. If I learned it, so can anyone else. I did not sing to learn it, nor did I draw on any cards.

The 33rd card is the Eight of Clubs.
Message: Posted by: Richard Shippy (Aug 3, 2005 03:41PM)
If the choice is between Mnemonica and Osterlind I'd definetly choose Mnemonica.

However, between Mnemonica and Aronson it would be a toss up for me. Mnemonica seems to have many more built in features but there are a lot of people publishing things they have discovered within Aronson's stack as well. Dennis Loomis has some excellent routines on his website devoted to Aronson's stack.

In any case, I highly recommend memorizing a stack. The magic that can be performed with a memorized deck is awesome! It is well worth the effort and anyone can do it. In addition, a deck of cards make for great notecards. I remember learning Organic Chemistry in college using notecards. Just put the numbers on the back of the cards and quiz yourself often. Go both ways form card to number and then number to card. You'll get it down in no time!

Take care,
Rich

P.S.
The Eight of Clubs in Aronson's stack is 16. ;)
Message: Posted by: scott0819 (Aug 3, 2005 03:58PM)
I actually prefer the aronson stack to the Tamariz stack. the aronson stack has many similar features to the Tamariz stack, poker deals, spelling tricks and an 'any hand called for' feature.
simon aronson's latest book also contains a large chapter on built-in tricks that begin and end in aronson stack order.

learning the stack using the phonetic alphabet as described in 'bound to please' also gives you a back-up if you have a memory lapse while learning the stack.
Message: Posted by: scorch (Aug 3, 2005 08:20PM)
Here's a link to an excellent essay on memdecks by Doug Dyment: http://www.deceptionary.com/aboutstacks.html

I'd go with the Tamariz system. You can do a lot more with it than the Osterlind system, which is not a memorized stack but one based on mathematical principles. As such it is far more limited in its applications, although somewhat easier to learn initially.

There is a myth that a memorized stack like the Aronson or Tamariz is difficult to learn and retain. That is good in a sense because it discourages many people from using them, but it's an unnecessary fear. It takes the better part of a day or two of focused study to memorize the Tamariz stack, and there are so many effects that you can do with it that are in the miracle class. It's well worth the effort. You will probably want to learn a good false riffle shuffle if you don't do one already, but you don't need to do a perfect faro to do most of the stuff.
Message: Posted by: Dennis Loomis (Aug 3, 2005 09:23PM)
It's hard for me to be objective because I work with the Aronson Stack and have for some time. A memorized deck is a far more powerful tool than a stack like the Osterlind BCS or Si Stebbins. However, you can do some amazing card magic with those stacks, as Richard Osterlind has proven. You can, of course, memorize the Osterlind Stack. And, there's nothing wrong with doing so. However, if you are going to start using a memorized stack, it seems a good idea to use one which has some built in effects that you can do. The two richest memorized stacks (IMHO) are the Aronson and Tamariz. There may be a little more material available for the Aronson, but there are many wonderful routines built into Mnemonica as well. You might also take a look at your repertoire of card magic and create a stack which incorporates the preset for one or more of your favorite effects. Then memorize that and you'll be ready to perform those routines at any time.

There are no built in routines with the Osterlind Stack, although people who work with it will no doubt discover some real treasures. It's just a matter of searching.

If you feel that you work in venues where Poker based card routines will be appreciated, you'll definitely want to use the Aronson Stack. Not only can you deal ANY poker hand called for, but if a Royal Flush, a Full House, or Four of a kind is called for, you can ask whether they would like there to be four hands or five. There's also an excellent Bridge deal, and a blackjack deal. (Simon did not build the blackjack deal into the stack, it was discovered later. But it's there for you to use.)

There are numerous card effects which can be done with ANY memorized deck. For Example, Simon's Histed Heisted can be done with others memorized stacks, not just his. It's a marvelous "mental-magic" routine for parlour or small platform shows. I've even done it is some fairly good sized theatre shows.

If you do decide to get into memorized deck work, I invite you to visit my web site. (URL is below) In the section on memorized deck work, I've posted all 20 of the articles I've written for the E-zine "Smoke and Mirrors." They are all about memorized deck magic and while many are Aronson Stack dependent, many are not.

If you do Faro Shuffles, you can incorporate them into your memorized deck magic, but it's not a necessity. You will benefit from knowing at least one good false shuffle, but again, it's not an absolute necessity. And, working on estimation will benefit your memorized deck work enormously.

Good luck. Jump in... it's not as hard as you think, and the rewards are enormous.

Dennis Loomis
Message: Posted by: Mesquita (Aug 3, 2005 09:28PM)
[quote]It doesn't matter which stack you memorize, the effects will be the same.[/quote]
?????

I think you need to read at least the Juan Tamariz Book "MNEMONICA", and I'm sure you will change your mind.
Message: Posted by: Mano (Aug 3, 2005 09:53PM)
I also go with Mnemonica, it took me 8 hrs to memorize the whole 52 cards, it did not took me that long,because I use to be a speedcubist and I had to memorize hundreds and hundreds of algorithm in other to solve the rubiks cube in the low 20s senconds.

Peace out there.

Mano.
Message: Posted by: Richard Shippy (Aug 3, 2005 09:57PM)
Dennis,

Your website resource for memorized deck routines is fantastic!!! Thank you for putting out this excellent material. I really enjoy working with Aronson's stack.

Take care,
Rich
Message: Posted by: drumdemon420 (Aug 3, 2005 10:54PM)
I'm not sure if I should post this here, but here goes. I know the osterlind stack and I love it. it just makes sense to me. However, I am very interested in Mnemonica. I can hit a perfect faro about 85-95% of the time, but I have no clue what an anti faro is. Is it in the book? If not, where can I learn it? How hard is it compared to the faro? I learned the faro from marlo's RCT, so I know many varations but I cant find that one. Am I missing something? Some help would be appreciated. Feel free to get in touch with me.

peace,
the demon
Message: Posted by: graemesd (Aug 4, 2005 02:36AM)
Si stebbins -very underrated
easy to stack
easy to unstack
simple to calculate

Ps easy tos tack with the si stebbins secret
Message: Posted by: LeConte (Aug 4, 2005 02:48AM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-03 23:54, drumdemon420 wrote:
I'm not sure if I should post this here, but here goes. I know the osterlind stack and I love it. it just makes sense to me. However, I am very interested in Mnemonica. I can hit a perfect faro about 85-95% of the time, but I have no clue what an anti faro is. Is it in the book? If not, where can I learn it? How hard is it compared to the faro? I learned the faro from marlo's RCT, so I know many varations but I cant find that one. Am I missing something? Some help would be appreciated. Feel free to get in touch with me.

peace,
the demon
[/quote]

The anti-faro is described in the book to answer your question.
Message: Posted by: rickmagic1 (Aug 4, 2005 08:42AM)
I'd have to answer that like this...it depends on what you want to do!
I've been using the Osterlind system (not stack) for years. It is a powerful tool. The biggest difference for me (beside knowing the location of a particular card) is that it only takes 10-15 minutes to learn.

Now, having said that, I'm working on the Tamariz memorized stack now. My desire is to learn that and add some of Juan's beautiful material to my repertoire. Do I feel that it's better? No, it's just another tool in my arsenal.

Rick
Message: Posted by: Jay Elf (Aug 4, 2005 10:45AM)
Hello.

Stacks with built-in effects:Aronson, Mnemonica, and Hacker stack.

If you want strong built-in gambling demos, go Aronson's. If you like to perform New Deck Order climax, go Mnemonica. If you have already particular favorite effect with Si Stebbins system, go Hacker.



Stacks with no built-in effect:Joyal stack and Osterlind stack.

If you have trouble memorising stack by ordinary mnemonic method (used by Aronson's and Osterlind's), go Joyal's. Joyal stack is easier to memorise without using ordinary mnemonic method. If you want mathematical back-up system, go Osterlind's.


Happy memorisation.
-Jay-
Message: Posted by: Alan M (Aug 4, 2005 02:42PM)
Hi Dennis,
Your post on this topic is very informative and I will visit your site to read the articles as I am working on the Aronson stack currently. I have all 52 cards memorized, but I don't have them down cold. Regarding estimation, and your suggestion to work on it - what resources would you suggest for that? Thanks for any input you can offer,
Alan
Message: Posted by: Nick Pudar (Aug 4, 2005 03:52PM)
Time for a shameless plug for my free software called StackView. You can download it for free at http://www.stackview.com. It has a Test feature that can help in keeping your memorized knowledge fresh. You'll also find quite a few other features to explore the depths of your stacks.

I hesitate to do this, but will mainly to put some extra pressure on myself. For the last year, in my spare time, I've been working on the next version of StackView. It has a lot of new features that I'm looking forward to releasing. I'm in the final stages of error-proofing and testing. Then the least favorite part - writing the manual. I'm contemplating doing away with the standard Help format and going to a more detailed PFD file that reads like a normal manual. Any input at this stage would be timely.

Nick

On the topic at hand, as many have said in the past, the most important thing to do is actually use the stack that you've memorized. And keep it fresh in your mind.

Clearly, Aronson and Tamariz provide you with some nice built-in material. But there is a tremendous amount of stack-independent material out there. As Dennis Loomis pointed out, Aronson's Histed Hiested is a killer routine that plays for huge crowds and is a definite closer. And it is stack-independent. Dennis provides some very nice ideas for that routine on his referenced website -- if you do this routine, or are contemplating it, be sure to check out his ideas.

Nick
Message: Posted by: Dennis Loomis (Aug 4, 2005 09:50PM)
I think that the most comprehensive work on estimation is probably Ed Marlo's Revolutionary Card Technique. It's not specifically related to mem-deck work, however.

When you have your Aronson Stack down, just practice cutting to particular cards from "home" position. Since you know the stack number, you know how shallow or deep every card is. You'll probably surprise yourself. It's not hard to get within three cards with a very small amount of practice. Mike Close hits "dead" on over 90% of the time. But you don't have to be that accurate. Since you know where every card is, is you are cutting to get to a position, a quick glimpse of either the top or bottom card tells you exactly how close you are and then you can quickly adjust. In this way, you can force any card in the deck at any time without obviously looking through the cards to find a specific one. This is incredibly valuable to a card worker.

To Richard Shippy,
Thanks for your kind words. Feel free to use any of this. Perhaps someday I'll pull all of this material and more together into a book. But for now, it's just there on my site for all to use.

To Nick Pudar,
Your Stackview Utility is a GREAT tool to any card worker. For those of you working on memorizing a deck, get to Nick's Site and use it. It's very helpful.
Nick, I'm glad you share my enthusiasm for Histed Heisted. I think it's about the closest thing to real mindreading that you can do with a deck of cards. I've never had a layman suggest any possible solution, much less the right one. This is one of those memorized deck routines where no one is going to even consider that having the deck memorized would help in any way. I often leave the deck with the spectator that does the final shuffle of the cards. I just put the deck into the card case for him, adding back in the two cards which are not used. He's now got an ungimmicked deck to take home.

Dennis Loomis

P.S. I'm always looking for new effects and routines with memorized decks, or ways to do standard effects with a memorized stack and keep it intact. If you have any thoughts along these lines, please feel free to contact me and I can use your ideas in both Smoke and Mirrors and on my web site. (With your permission, of course.)
Message: Posted by: Eric Falconer (Aug 4, 2005 11:12PM)
I'm a Mnemonica fan. I like that it can be shuffled into. I like that you can shuffle out of it back into New Deck Order.
There are a lot of built in tricks but I don't do many of them. I do do a lot of stack independent stuff. A lot of Michael Close's material as well as Simon Aronson's stuff. I also use a marked deck that is stacked so that I can use the marks without having to peek.
Yeah it requires The Faro Shuffle (Out). But this is a useful shuffle anyway. All it takes is a knack. Just practice practice practice. You can tell when you miss. You can tell as it happens and just back up the cards and start over. I always finish 100% because if I sense a miss then I just open back up and start over.

BTW. The difference in an Out Faro and In Faro....
Out-faro: means the top card always stays on top and the bottom card always stays on bottom no matter how many out faros you do the top and bottom card never change. 8 out faros return a deck back to it's original order.

In-faro: means the top card is woven into the bottom half and the bottom card is woven into the top half thus you have a new top card and a new bottom card. I think it's like 32 in-faro's will return a deck to it's original order. I wouldn't know I never do the in-faro.

Just practice practice practice. Learn the Faro Shuffle. Set up your stack (whatever one you are going to use) and do 5 out-faro's. Then when you go to perform do 3 more before beginning... It looks like you've thouroghly shuffled the deck but it is in memorized order!!

Eric Falconer
Message: Posted by: Dennis Loomis (Aug 5, 2005 11:51AM)
Just a reminder: New Deck Order is different for European Decks than for American Decks. If you go from the Tamariz Stack into new deck order, it's doubtful that Americans will notice the difference. But you can't go into Tamariz stack order starting from a newly opened American deck. Perhaps there's an adjustment to the procedure that will allow that? Any of you Tamariz Stack workers know?

Dennis Loomis
Message: Posted by: LeConte (Aug 5, 2005 01:58PM)
You can get into Mnemonica order from a newly opened North American deck. There is an adjustment that can be made. I must admit this is not easy but in the hands of a master, well, it is no problem.

Another very important feature of Mnemonica not really mentioned yet on this thread is the ease at which you can get into stay-stack order. There are many stay-stack miracles, including some big closers(Super Poker and Everything in Order)!

Never forget the stay-stack!
Message: Posted by: Steve Suss (Aug 5, 2005 03:04PM)
One of the real nice features of the Mnemonica stack is the ability to put the deck back in full deck order. This is certainly one of the greatest climaxes in magic and it blew me away when I first saw Tamariz do it on a video tape.

My question is if there is anything comparable with the Aronson stack ? Can the entire deck be brought to some order? I presently work with the Aronson stack and would rather not change or learn another stack, but putting the deck into full deck order is one of the most impossible effects I have ever seen and had me thinking about it for the last 10 years. How many card tricks can do that?
Message: Posted by: LeConte (Aug 5, 2005 03:20PM)
The ability to finish in perfect order is a feature of the stay-stack and I don't believe many other seperate stacks allow you to easily get into stay-stack like Mnemonica.

I don't use the Aronson stack but I'm almost certain that it does not offer this feature.
Message: Posted by: Steve Suss (Aug 5, 2005 03:24PM)
Thanks for your reply. I didn't think you could get the deck back to new deck order with Aronson but I'm curious if you could get it back to some other order that looks almost as good.
Message: Posted by: Dennis Loomis (Aug 15, 2005 07:46PM)
It's a common misconception that stay stack means that mate cards are in the complimentary or mirrored positions. That's only one kind of stay stack. Any memorized deck is already a stay stack. This means that any full deck memorized deck will stay in stay stack order throughout repeated faro shuffles. This leads to some remarkable locations effects. The advantage is that since the relationship between the stay stack pairs is not known to your lay audiences or to most of your brother magicians, effects which would give themselves away when you have a mated stay stack deck will not be obvious when you start with an Aronson Stack. To read more about this, check out page 114 in Simon's book: The Aronson Approach.
Dennis Loomis

To Eric Falconer,
It takes 52 "in Faros" to return a deck to it's original order. Not very practical for real world use. Only 8 "out Faros" are needed.

But, along the way, stay stack is maintained. That means that cards in mirror positions are complimentary. (Their stack number total 53)

Dennis Loomis

[quote]
On 2005-08-05 16:20, LeConte wrote:
The ability to finish in perfect order is a feature of the stay-stack and I don't believe many other seperate stacks allow you to easily get into stay-stack like Mnemonica.

I don't use the Aronson stack but I'm almost certain that it does not offer this feature.
[/quote]

I don't mean to quibble, my friend and I'm not criticizing. But, to be accurate, the ability to end in New Deck Order is a feature of Mnemonica, not stay stack in the general sense. Any full deck stack in which you know the stack position of every card by number is a stay stack as I mentioned earlier. And most of them won't get you to New Deck Order. As you correctly stated, the Aronson Stack does not offer this procedure. Which is not to say that someone won't figure out a series of shuffles, cuts, and other moves which get you there. I fear, however, that the path would be long and complex.
Message: Posted by: LeConte (Aug 17, 2005 12:06PM)
Mr. Loomis thank you so much for sharing the expert knowledge that you have. I picked up a copy of [i]The Aronson Approach[/i]. I'm a little confused because Tamariz speaks of arriving at Stay-Stack and then going into new deck order.
Message: Posted by: Dennis Loomis (Aug 18, 2005 10:36AM)
You got it, LeConte. Mated Stay-stack is an excellent term. Thanks for thinking of it.

Glad you got the Aronson Approach... it's a marvelous book, as are all of Simon's books. With this one and Mnemonica, you have a wealth of powerful card magic at hand.

Best to all.

Dennis Loomis