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Topic: Aronson's stack vs. Tamariz's stack ?
Message: Posted by: elie brown (Aug 5, 2009 03:58AM)
Do you have any preference ?

If I want to learn one, what is the best one ?

Thanks a lot...
Message: Posted by: pearljamjeff (Aug 5, 2009 04:46AM)
Osterlind's stack.
Message: Posted by: The Amazing Noobini (Aug 5, 2009 04:48AM)
You are probably going to get a long string of conflicting opinions on this, so let me offer the first one; Mnemonica. (The first one to actually answer the question, that is).

Having now learned both, I feel qualified to say this (and don't learn both yourself as this is not without conflict).

The Aronson stack has a lot of built in effects, but I feel that for instance the Poker demonstrations I already know which are impromptu, are stronger.

I feel that Mnemonica is a more progressive system with more new young users and higher probability for future stack dependent material. This is partially because the stack can be easily shuffled into a Stay Stack so you really have two stacks in one.

As the order is also derived from (and can be returned to) a full ordered deck, then you should have a lot more possibilities to make other effects work, such as those based on a running order of cards.

There are more nifty Mnemonica features as well. An alarming number of people advice others here that it doesn't matter at all what you choose. But it does and very much so. If they say otherwise it is because they haven't yet found enough of the features under the hood. :)
Message: Posted by: Waterloophai (Aug 5, 2009 07:12AM)
What is the best one ?
That depends on what you mean with "the best".
There are TWO main issues concerning a MD.
1) What you can do with the particular stack-order of a stack
2) How easy, and more important: the system that is used to memorize the cards and what if I don't use the stack for a couple of months? What if a have a sudden black-out during a performance?

1) What you can do with the stack-order?
That is a very personal choice. If you like poker-routines, Aronson is the stack to have. The former poster (Noobini) states that it matter which stackorder you choose. I disagree with that. I respect his opinion but it is a personal choice. I for example have constructed my own stack. Why? All of the tricks (Aronson and Tamariz) who are embedded in their stacks are good tricks but... that's all. They are not killer-tricks. It is not for THOSE tricks that a mastered a MD. In my case, it is just the opposite of what is stated. I use my stack for more subtle reasons and for other tricks than those in the books of the main MD's.
2) The system that is used to memorize the cards.
I think (I am convinced) that this is very important issue too. Study the different stacks very carefully before you make a choice. I will not go in detail, but it is very reassuring if you have a "life-buoy" in case of a black out...
I know, if you use the system every single day, there is no problem. But hey, 98% are amateurs and don't use it every day.
Noobini is 100% right when he writes: "You are probably going to get a long string of conflicting opinions on this." All those "conflicting opinions" prove that it is a personal choice.
So my advize is: you cannot read enough about all the systems that there are before you make a decision and think good what you want to do with a MD.
And.... watch out: read the advizes with care: (almost) every magician thinks HIS chosen system is the best.
Message: Posted by: puggo (Aug 5, 2009 08:12AM)
Great posts from both Noobini and Waterloophai.
I learnt a stack about a year ago, and I learnt the Osterlind BCS, mainly because I had learnt the BCS sequential system, and was familliar with it (and liked the idea of a fallback). Oh, and some really strong effects with the BCS on the Mind Mysteries series.

For me, I don't do a lot of gambling stuff, and wanted to perform (imho)'killer' routines such as Michael Close's 'Luckiest Cards in Las Vegas', a variation of Sankey's 'Shape of Things to Come', and a variation of the 'Birthday Trick'. I have also recently discovered (years after everyone else!) Larry Davidson's Scripted Insanity, and am working on '808'.

I really respect Larry Davidson's thinking regarding stacks (and marking), and would recommend checking it out.

How will you be learning the stack? This may be a factor. Check out the shuffled not stirred section, you will find some really helpful advice there, such as MilesG stackviewer:
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=285240&forum=205
Or this:
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=318360&forum=205
and much more..
Aronson's web site is a great resource for learning (I can't comment on Tamariz).
Michael Close has some inspirational stack work..

All of the above just my 2pence / cents, so good luck!
Charlie
Message: Posted by: Cohiba (Aug 5, 2009 08:16AM)
Rather than suggest a stack, I'm going to offer some conclusions I've come to. While they seem like common sense to me, people disagree all the time with me (in forums like this). Already in this thread there is disagreement, so I would recommend reading up on these things before making a final decision.

1 - Just as with any sleight you're working on, don't perform with a MD before you're ready. If you don't have it memorized, you're not ready. On the other hand, once you have it memorized, even a hobbyist running through the order once every week or two will not lose it. To me it seems like an incredible waste to memorize a deck for it's built-in "crutch" capabilities, especially when once memorized, the crutch won't be needed.

2 - As Waterloophai stated, the strongest effects with MD's are typically ones which aren't tied into the stack itself. However, my thinking is that if you're going to memorize a stack, why not have as much built into it as possible? With the effort you're putting in, let's max out the reward as much as possible. Aronson and Tamariz are probably the two most influential MD workers ever, and they took this same approach.

3 - Though most of the built-in effects are not as strong as the MD independent effects, there are effects that can rival them using a stack of their own. As an example, suppose you were a fan of the original Out Of This World. You could take a deck, shuffle the reds, and shuffle the blacks, put them together, and do some faros. Pick an iteration that appeals to you. (Maybe set up some other random looking things that you can take advantage of while you're at it.) If you use one of these iterations as your MD, you now have the ability to close your MD work with OOTW, a routine which is one of the strongest out there. I've had discussions with others on the Café about this, and others have done this or very similar things. Do a search on MD on the Café - there's some good stuff out there.

4 - I don't think this is debated much anymore - but standard (non-memorized) stacks - while powerful - cannot accomplish what memorized stacks can. Don't let anyone fool you otherwise.

5 - I'd recommend reading up as much as possible before deciding. Definitely check out Aronson's work and Mnemonica. There's some other stuff out there as well worth digging into - again, the Café search would bring up a lot of it.

Happy hunting!
Message: Posted by: Steven Keyl (Aug 5, 2009 08:30AM)
Everything stated here is sound advice. My contribution is simply a link dealing with various types of stacks. It's an essay written by Doug Dyment and may help you think about other considerations as well:

http://www.deceptionary.com/aboutstacks.html
Message: Posted by: Waterloophai (Aug 5, 2009 09:22AM)
I can understand that all the advizes, where some on the first sight maybe in conflict with each other, may confuse you.
It sounds maybe strange, but all the advizes have their own merit and are in a certain sence all true.
Let one thing be clear: whatever system you choose, choose one and learn a MD !!!
It is a mighty waepon and with the years you learn more and more the benefits of it. You will not regret it. It is one of the best investments that you can do.
After years and years of use you will experience the fact that a MD is much more than a pokerdeal or a stupid spellingtrick.
Message: Posted by: The Amazing Noobini (Aug 5, 2009 12:10PM)
The problem with making your own stack is that you're on your own, whereas with any of the more widely used memorized decks you are going to have hundreds, if not thousands of very clever people worldwide who look for new features and possibilities within that stack.

I would love to make my own stack with a few built in things that I like, but frankly I'm not as smart as those other guys. And they have that huge team working with them.

For instance, the final thing that won me over to Mnemonica is a feature that Denis Behr reveals in his book Handcrafted Card Magic (page 20) which is not stack independent. You could obtain the same result with the Aronson stack, but not with the same speed and ease and without disturbing more of the stack. It is not a ready made built in feature, but a result of what in my opinion is a more flexible system.

For the record, both stacks offer several Poker features, but they are not the same ones. So what you choose certainly matters. (Mnemonica has the feature of dealing any Poker hand called for, but it involves more "work" than simply cutting to a specific place in the deck).

But like the others state, most likely you will find the most use out of the simple stack independent fact that you know where all the cards are. But the differences in structure still matter a lot.
Message: Posted by: Cohiba (Aug 6, 2009 08:15AM)
Hey Noob, what is the effect of Dennis' that you refer to?
Message: Posted by: The Amazing Noobini (Aug 6, 2009 11:29AM)
Cohiba, I didn't want to go into detail here as the book mentions that it is a little known feature of the Mnemonica stack, this certain little thing. For instance, it isn't mentioned in the book Mnemonica, as far as I can tell.

As this reading for me was what was worth the price of the book more than anything else, I didn't want to take that "treasure" away from him by posting it here.

But of course, it isn't like it's the world's most intimate secret, so I'll send you a PM. :)
Message: Posted by: dfeder (Aug 7, 2009 07:52AM)
My 2 cents - I've been using the Aronson Stack for 6 years and don't find a need to learn anything else. I've also marked my deck using Boris Wild's marking system. For me, the bottom line is that you use what you are comfortable with. Especially when working out there in front of an audience. Simon also has a lot of material in his books about his stack including great routines.

Dov
Message: Posted by: Waterloophai (Aug 7, 2009 09:55AM)
[quote]
On 2009-08-07 08:52, dfeder wrote:
I've been using the Aronson Stack for 6 years and don't find a need to learn anything else. I've also marked my deck using Boris Wild's marking system. For me, the bottom line is that you use what you are comfortable with. Especially when working out there in front of an audience.
Dov
[/quote]
Indeed, why should you learn something else when you are comfotable with what you know very good. A MD and marked....the only problem with that combination is that you become a sorcerer instead of a magician. :). You can perform miracles instead of tricks.
Message: Posted by: Dennis Loomis (Aug 8, 2009 02:55PM)
Lots of good thoughts here already. You will not go wrong, in choosing a stack to memorize in selecting either the Aronson or Mnemonica. These are the two stacks for which the most material has already been worked out. I use the Aronson, but that's because when I took up mem-deck work, I knew little about mnemonica. But I'm happy with the Aronson stack.

In another thread the possibility of memorizing more than one stack is discussed. I was concerned that it might create a conflict and water down your speed with the first stack, but there are individuals that have learned two stacks and I'm sure it can be done.

Osterlind's Breakthrough was not originally developed as a stack to memorize. It was a stack which allowed you to CALCULATE the next or previous cards. And Richard does some great card magic with it. Later, he published a book outlining the mnemonic devices you can use to memorize it as well.

The marking system that Boris Wild uses is based on a principle by Ted Lesley. It is available in a printed version, but alas only as a stripper deck as well. I wish they would sell it with only the marks. There are many wonderful effects that you can do with a deck that is both marked and memorized. See the work of Larry Davidson for some good examples. And don't forget, after doing an effect or several based on the memorization, you can have the deck legitimately shuffled, but still have the marks to assist you in further effects.

Dennis Loomis
Message: Posted by: DustinF (Aug 9, 2009 01:17AM)
Personally I like the Aronson stack. The primary reason I chose this stack over the Tamariz stack is the gambling routine that is built into the Aronson stack.
Message: Posted by: Bobby Forbes (Aug 9, 2009 07:00PM)
Jaun Tamariz has a ton of gambling demo's "built in" as well. A few displacements of a couple cards and you have miracles with this stack. Not to mention the whole new deck order thing as well as stay stack. I've learned the Joyal, aronson, and mnemonica stacks. And I'm currently memorizing the hacker stack by Steven Youell. I think my primary stack will always be mnemonica with the hacker stack coming in at a close second. Mnemonica is just too darn good. And by the way, a big thank you to Harry Lorayne for his memory techniques. Now memorizing pretty much anything is becoming an addiction of mine. It's actually fun lol.
Message: Posted by: Harry Lorayne (Aug 9, 2009 07:55PM)
Hey Bobby: My pleasure! HARRY L.
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Aug 12, 2009 05:14PM)
Puggo and Dennis, thanks for the mention! Yup, a deck that's both marked and memorized can be used to produce some incredibly powerful effects.
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Aug 28, 2009 08:18PM)
You could learn my stack here in the secret sessions. Not because it is mine but because it is a palyndromic stack (or mirror stack) and this offers possibilities which neither Juan (who knows the principle very well: I learned it from him) or Aaronson stacks do not offer.

It's not that I'm so keen on having many people using it. But it has something more, it's even easier to learn, and there are no color sequences to detect.

Look it up and I will feel perfect if you decide to go to Simon Aaronson's or Juan Tamariz's excellent stack. If you intend to use a stack for gambling demonstrations however, I would suggest you not to pass by Claude Rix's published stack
Message: Posted by: EdgarWilde (Aug 29, 2009 05:15AM)
Lawrence, don't you mean stay-stack?
Mnemonica DOES offer a way to get into that with a bit of work (either twiddling or a nice effect).
Message: Posted by: korttihai_82 (Sep 24, 2009 05:23PM)
A minor thing that I didn't see mentioned in this topic yet howeever is that if you make your own stack, it will have YOUR favourite effects build into it and YOU are only one able to regonize it ;) Sadly most magicians know at least the first few or last cards from Aronson and Tamariz stack and flashing of nine of diamonds on the bottom of the deck starts to be a huge give away if you ever intend to use any stack routine to your fellow magicians.

That said, I am still happy with my Tamariz stack =)

J-M
Message: Posted by: The Amazing Noobini (Sep 25, 2009 05:13AM)
True but you probably need a great many years of performing experience before you know which effects the audiences never get tired of. Something so good that you want it built into the deck. Also it would have to be effects with a setup that you cannot just as well do impromptu. Or there would be no point.

For instance, I can set up my current Poker effect and let the spectator shuffle twice and then do some minor repair adjustments and go into it. So it doesn't need to be built in. And when eventually you improve upon your effects you are stuck with an outdated version in the stack.

I agree about the 9D. I've thought about maybe ditching it in certain settings. The 9D is a conflict card for me as I have it strongly crimped. For effects following the memdeck work I will not be able to improvise a quick crimp and cut to it without looking because the 9D will always be stronger. So I would have to cull it into place instead and any key card flashes would still be the same 9D they saw before.

Some interesting Faro possibilities with a 51 card deck too.
Message: Posted by: tomboston (Oct 4, 2009 08:53AM)
I have just memorized the Mnemonica stack and am having fun playing aroung with it and learning some of the routines in Tamariz's book. I like the "any hand called for" poker routines but I haven't found a good way of resetting after each deal. If anyone can help me please let me know. Thanks!
Message: Posted by: Dennis Loomis (Oct 4, 2009 04:02PM)
A quick comment about the techniques used to memorize various stacks. If you choose the Aronson Stack and get his book "Bound to Please" he explains the mnemonic system he used to learn it. However, there are some very different learning exercises in Mnemonica. You can adapt them to help you learn the Aronson Stack as well. There are quite a few different memory systems and techniques available. When I learned the Aronson Stack I used Harry Lorayne's key words for playing cards which in some cases are different from the ones that Simon Aronson suggests. I did that because I had already been working with the Lorayne code words and saw no reason to change. Some people may find they prefer to just use rote memory, simply drilling on the stack numbers and the cards associated with them. What method you use is up to you, and in the end, unimportant. What's important is that you memorize the stack. Remember, the Aronson Stack and the Mnemonica Stack are NOT memorized decks for you until you memorize one.

As to the effects which are built into the Aronson Stack and the Tamariz Mnemonica Stack... many of them can be done even if you don't have the deck memorized. For example, you can certainly learn Simon's wonderful three phase poker deal (or any one of those phases) even if you do not have the deck memorized. Also, never forget that it's a pretty easy thing to switch decks in front of lay people. Then you could do something like this: Start with a deck in Aronson Stack order which you do NOT have memorized and do his three phase poker deal. Have the deck shuffled. Do any of the many effects which allow you to switch the deck in the process. After the switch, you now have a deck in Mnemonica order which you DO have memorized so you can do any of the great Mnemonica effects, possibly ending with the cards back in New Deck Order as your finale.

Remember the stacks which were created to be memorized, more mathematically based stacks like Osterlinds or Si Stebbins, and the "doggerel" stacks are all just tools for magicians to use. Depending on the shows you are doing and the routines you want to do in a particular show, you select the proper tool for the job. Many people on the Café act as if they use one particular stack, that's all they can ever use. Poppycock. I have some tricks I do with a Si Stebbins Stack, One that I do with the Eight Kings Stack, and lots that I do with the Aronson Stack. It is silly to say that one stack is "better" than another. That's like saying a screwdriver is better than a hammer and so a carpenter should use a screwdriver and not a hammer. Good carpenters will have uses for both of those tools and many others.

And don't forget... there are advantageous to tricks that can be done with a shuffled deck. I would suggest that any good card magician should know some of those so that they can use a borrowed deck should they be caught without their own deck, or for those times when their stacked deck is disarranged either accidentally or purposefully.

Dennis Loomis
Message: Posted by: The Amazing Noobini (Oct 4, 2009 04:21PM)
[quote]
On 2009-10-04 17:02, Dennis Loomis wrote:
It is silly to say that one stack is "better" than another. That's like saying a screwdriver is better than a hammer and so a carpenter should use a screwdriver and not a hammer. Good carpenters will have uses for both of those tools and many others.
[/quote]

I think that image is very subjective though... To that I would answer "but what if you're not a carpenter but an electrician?"

Depending on your style and material preferences, one of the two would IMHO be clearly better than the other. As we are talking about choosing just one to memorize here.
Message: Posted by: Richard Osterlind (Oct 4, 2009 08:46PM)
[quote]
On 2009-10-04 17:02, Dennis Loomis wrote:
A quick comment about the techniques used to memorize various stacks. If you choose the Aronson Stack and get his book "Bound to Please" he explains the mnemonic system he used to learn it. However, there are some very different learning exercises in Mnemonica. You can adapt them to help you learn the Aronson Stack as well. There are quite a few different memory systems and techniques available. When I learned the Aronson Stack I used Harry Lorayne's key words for playing cards which in some cases are different from the ones that Simon Aronson suggests. I did that because I had already been working with the Lorayne code words and saw no reason to change. Some people may find they prefer to just use rote memory, simply drilling on the stack numbers and the cards associated with them. What method you use is up to you, and in the end, unimportant. What's important is that you memorize the stack. Remember, the Aronson Stack and the Mnemonica Stack are NOT memorized decks for you until you memorize one.

As to the effects which are built into the Aronson Stack and the Tamariz Mnemonica Stack... many of them can be done even if you don't have the deck memorized. For example, you can certainly learn Simon's wonderful three phase poker deal (or any one of those phases) even if you do not have the deck memorized. Also, never forget that it's a pretty easy thing to switch decks in front of lay people. Then you could do something like this: Start with a deck in Aronson Stack order which you do NOT have memorized and do his three phase poker deal. Have the deck shuffled. Do any of the many effects which allow you to switch the deck in the process. After the switch, you now have a deck in Mnemonica order which you DO have memorized so you can do any of the great Mnemonica effects, possibly ending with the cards back in New Deck Order as your finale.

Remember the stacks which were created to be memorized, more mathematically based stacks like Osterlinds or Si Stebbins, and the "doggerel" stacks are all just tools for magicians to use. Depending on the shows you are doing and the routines you want to do in a particular show, you select the proper tool for the job. Many people on the Café act as if they use one particular stack, that's all they can ever use. Poppycock. I have some tricks I do with a Si Stebbins Stack, One that I do with the Eight Kings Stack, and lots that I do with the Aronson Stack. It is silly to say that one stack is "better" than another. That's like saying a screwdriver is better than a hammer and so a carpenter should use a screwdriver and not a hammer. Good carpenters will have uses for both of those tools and many others.

And don't forget... there are advantageous to tricks that can be done with a shuffled deck. I would suggest that any good card magician should know some of those so that they can use a borrowed deck should they be caught without their own deck, or for those times when their stacked deck is disarranged either accidentally or purposefully.

Dennis Loomis
[/quote]


Excellent post, Dennis, that is right on the mark! (And not just about card stacks)

Richard
Message: Posted by: tomboston (Oct 5, 2009 09:49AM)
Great post Dennis,

Love your idea of using one stack in a non-memorized way and then doing a deck switch to the other stack which you have memorized.
Message: Posted by: Dennis Loomis (Oct 5, 2009 11:02AM)
To Noobini,
Yes, the question posed was which of the two stacks is better. My whole point is that I reject the premise that either one is inherently better. A great magic act is about entertaining and fooling the audience. Making them want to see you perform again. I've seen Juan Tamariz do that with the Mnemonica Stack, but I've also seen Mike Close and Simon Aronson do that with the Aronson Stack, and Richard Osterlind do it with the Breakthrough System and Gene Anderson do it with the Si Stebbins deck. There are areas in life where you can make such absolute judgements. Two runners have a foot race. Somebody wins and is, at least on that day, better. But magic is a performing ART and judgements of superiority are by necessity subjective.

I would agree that one might ask the question: which is better FOR ME. But the rest of us can't answer that for Mr. Brown.

To Richard Osterlind and tomboston,
Thanks for the kind words. I appreciate them.

Finally, you don't have to choose one. I currently have three stacks memorized.

Dennis Loomis
Message: Posted by: tomboston (Oct 6, 2009 09:15AM)
Dennis,
Which one of Simon Aronson's books contains his poker deal? I think I want to look into this and some more of his stacked effects that are stack independent to use with Mnemonica.

Thanks,
Tom
Message: Posted by: JanForster (Oct 6, 2009 09:20AM)
You find in three of his books material for poker deals, "Bound to Please", "Simply Simon" and "Try the Impossible". But mostly they are stack dependent while most of the other stuff is not. But anyway, IMHO all his books are a must read for MD workers. Jan
Message: Posted by: tomboston (Oct 6, 2009 09:23AM)
Noobini,

Could you please PM me also regarding the Denis Behr effect you were referring to above? I just memorized the Mnemonica stack and am very interested in any effects with this. This could help me decide whether or not to get Behr's book also. Thanks!
Message: Posted by: tomboston (Oct 7, 2009 07:22AM)
Thanks Jan,

I am going to get some of these books.
Message: Posted by: Dennis Loomis (Oct 7, 2009 06:03PM)
To tomboston,
The Aronson Poker Deals are in Bound to Please. A methodology to reset the Aronson Stack after the Draw Poker Deal is in Try the Impossible.
Dennis Loomis
Message: Posted by: tomboston (Oct 8, 2009 04:37AM)
Thanks Dennis,

I'm going to get these Aronson books. Maybe I will have to memorize another stack (!)

Tom
Message: Posted by: matt-g (Oct 11, 2009 02:22AM)
For the iPhone users there's an appliction from the app' store to assist with learning of Mnemonica
Message: Posted by: Sean Macfarlane (Jul 14, 2011 03:26PM)
Is the any poker hand called for in any of Aronson's Books? Thanks.

Sean
Message: Posted by: Dennis Loomis (Jul 14, 2011 03:47PM)
Rusduck (J. Russell Duck) created a stack which allows you to deal any poker hand called for. In "Cardiste #2" he published this stack, calling it "Zensational." Simon Aronson incorporated this stack into his memorized deck stack; it's explained starting on page 125 in "Bound to Please." You can deal any poker hand from a single pair to a Royal Flush.

Incidentally, there are setups for two different ace-high straight flushes in Simon's stack. The one in hearts I just mentioned, and also one in spades. There's also a King-High Straight Flush in Hearts in the stack.

Dennis Loomis
Message: Posted by: edh (Jul 14, 2011 05:36PM)
Are all of these mentioned in Bound to Please?
Message: Posted by: Dennis Loomis (Jul 15, 2011 08:11AM)
All of the Poker Deals are explained in Bound to Please. The Royal Flush in spades is part of the Draw Poker deal and is part of a five hand poker deal. The other ones I mentioned are part of the Zensational stack and are explained in a different area, but they are all there.
Dennis Loomis
Message: Posted by: edh (Jul 15, 2011 05:13PM)
Thanks Dennis.