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Topic: Should I go ahead with the BCS?
Message: Posted by: the dealer (Nov 20, 2009 06:11PM)
Ok so heres the thing...i just watched Mr.Osterlind's Mind Mysteries DVD...explaining the BCS...its not difficult at all...just a couple of minor steps to get through...would it be the same if I just shuffled a deck of cards and memorized their random order?...in fact that's what I did today. I took a deck of cards, shuffled them, memorized them, and in about ten minutes, I now have the deck memorized in complete sequential order. will that suffice?...i now know what cards comes next. love to get some feedback, thank you all!
Message: Posted by: The Futurist (Nov 20, 2009 08:32PM)
A fully memorised deck should be the same thing, providing your recall of both 'position from card' and 'card from position' is nice and fast. Mr. Osterlind's system is, I believe, a formula to both quickly work out the 'next card' and also have a random-looking deck to show people. The 'next card' in a memdeck should similarly be easily ascertainable if you are up to speed on the recall. Good work with the ten-minute memorization!
Message: Posted by: Double J (Nov 20, 2009 08:33PM)
WOW! You're terrific!

Thank me now
Message: Posted by: the dealer (Nov 20, 2009 10:33PM)
Thank you all for your comments! And I also thank you double J for your comments. Lol. Ok, well I think I'll stick with the stack I memorized today. It's a sequential stack and not necessarily a memorized deck. I'll also memorize the Tamariz stack as well with all it's applications. most of my studies now have been the techniques of domnic o Brien, Andi Bell, all the memory greats.I myself have never really used the major system, and always stuck with the Dominic system, it's done well for me, the fastest I've clocked myself memorizing a deck of cards has been a minute thirty. on the average now, it takes me about two minutes. I'm nowhere close to Mr. Pridmore's time, or even Dominic or andi for that matter, but getting there. Well, this is an awesome forum. Keep up the good work all you memdeck workers. I'd love to hear more from you all. Thanks again.
Message: Posted by: asgar (Nov 20, 2009 10:52PM)
That is great.

Another thing is it God given talent or with the proper help any hard worker can memorize the full deck? I use a memorized deck technique but I can't even imagine to memorize a random deck.
Message: Posted by: the dealer (Nov 20, 2009 10:59PM)
Which stack do you use Asgar?
Message: Posted by: Mary Mowder (Nov 21, 2009 01:36AM)
The advantage of going with a popular Mem. Deck like Aronson or Mnemonica etc...
is that so many World Class inventive minds are coming up with great material for them. It's worth a little look around before deciding.

These deck orders often have utilities worked into the stack.

If you do decide to go with your own stack and it would seem that you have NO trouble memorizing one (wow),
you might want to spend some time building in some tools beyond what random order might deliver. (Like a five hand Poker deal or a spell to the Aces or some such.)

I'm way impressed with your quick memorization of the deck though.

-Mary Mowder
Message: Posted by: Scott Cram (Nov 21, 2009 02:12AM)
Mnemonist, I put together a list of resources I wished I'd had when getting started with memorized decks. You should start with the resources listed under "Memorized Deck Starting Points":

[url=http://headinside.blogspot.com/2008/06/memorized-deck-online-toolbox.html]Memorized Deck Online Toolbox[/url]
Message: Posted by: The Futurist (Nov 21, 2009 11:59AM)
Scott, a big thank you from myself for this fine collection. Bookmarked! Also, many thanks for collecting pointers to all of Leo Boudreau's articles here. In fact, I'm going to be reading through your blog now to see what other good stuff is there :)

Mnemonist, as you're probably hip to at this point, a memdeck is good not only for "relative" position (what's the next card or what's the card five after this one) but also "absolute" position. This makes all the difference in a variety of effects that you can perform with ease. Mr. Osterlind's system, as I understand it, is a trade-off of the "absolute" feature for ease-of-use, and he's come up with a very clever and very workable "next-card" system. I look at the spread in Nick Pudar's StackView program and I'm stumped! (those two Jacks, eh?)

You could work out "absolute" position with a recursive application of the "next-card" principle in BCS, or Si Stebbins for that matter, but it would take time, and it would take just one error to percolate throughout the calculation and ruin the effect. You can do "next-card" stuff, [i]and much more[/i], with a memdeck.

With your memory skills, as Mary says, you may find the Tamariz stack useful because of the body of work that surrounds it. If it's anything like the Aronson stack, I guess that Mr. Tamariz designed poker deals and the like into the stack, and then further interesting features are constantly discovered "after the fact" by the community. You may indeed find some interesting features in your own random card sequence. If you're up for it you might want to memorise the lot, and have stacks for all occasions!

Some valuable advice I was given here is to get good at false shuffling the cards. Just casually, and without fuss, make out you're shuffling the cards while in fact not perturbing their order at all. Then you can, say, appear to memorise a shuffled deck in two seconds as you riffle through them! S.W. Erdnase "Expert At The Card Table" has a few stack-retaining false shuffles.

Some sneaky deck-switching techniques might be pretty useful too: if the order of a stack does get perturbed through, say, letting someone shuffle the cards, you can bring in a cold and stacked deck secretly, and switch out the old one.
Message: Posted by: MemDeck329 (Nov 21, 2009 01:43PM)
I agree totally with Mary, Scott, and the Futurist. A "real" memorized deck has much more power and flexibility than the cyclic or computed stacks.

If you like DVDs, "Sessions With Simon, Volume 3" has an extensive introduction to the Aronson Stack. He also includes some dynamite routines that do not disturb the order of the stack. If you prefer the printed page, "Bound to Please" will get you going with some of the possibilities of a popular memorized deck.

It has been my experience that whenever calculations are involved, mistakes are sometimes made. This may or may not be true for you.

But, there are some earth-shattering effects that can be done only with some cyclic decks. For instance, with the Si Stebbins, you can get into it with a short sequence and two out faro shuffles. Also, while in the Stebbins setup, you can give one out faro and the deck is assembled into all fours-of-a-kind. One more out faro from there will separate the deck into all reds and blacks.
Message: Posted by: The Futurist (Nov 21, 2009 03:39PM)
On 2009-11-21 14:43, MemDeck329 wrote:
But, there are some earth-shattering effects that can be done only with some cyclic decks. For instance, with the Si Stebbins, you can get into it with a short sequence and two out faro shuffles. Also, while in the Stebbins setup, you can give one out faro and the deck is assembled into all fours-of-a-kind. One more out faro from there will separate the deck into all reds and blacks.

Good point! Of course a simple Si Stebbins setup ("that'th eathy for [i]you[/i] to thay!":)) might be all that is needed for certain performances. I guess you have to size up your target audience and what you are about to perform.

BTW, Scott, I'm loving the blog. I just followed the links to the Boondoggle app :) Now I am reminded of an SEO peculiarity I discovered a while back, that is not too good for SEO as such, but that might be of use in constructing a similar effect; indeed it could present it as a "Googlewhack", though maybe not a strict two-word one. It would need a simple client application, on the magician's own computer, so as the participant could indeed type in the search (the phrase is the same, uncontrived term, every time), and it would indeed be in the real Google, and... hmmm... My thinking cap is well and truly on! Apologies for the vaporware folks, I'm just thinking out loud :)
Message: Posted by: Double J (Nov 21, 2009 05:56PM)
I have a fantastic idea for you... Since you have such a great memory for cards, you could mix, lets say, 3 decks together. Each deck could be in a different stack order.

1st part-- Aronson, 2nd part-- Mnemonica, 3rd part-- Stebbins.. Just 3 examples, use what you want. Put in a short card at the beginning of each set-up so you can easily cut to it.

Now you can cut to, and perform any of the effects that lend itself to each stack.

156 cards = 30 min of your time.

Keep this secret between us mnemonist, wouldn't want it to fall into the wrong hands.
Message: Posted by: the dealer (Nov 21, 2009 08:20PM)
WOW..thank you all for your replies!!! I wish we could all get together and have a round table discussion. lol. I think ill go through my material again, BTW, thank you Mary, youve given me the idea of creating a stack that has a poker deal built into it, thank you Mary!...Mr. Cram, Futurist, and MemDeck329, thank you for your comments,youve all been helpful! I also want to memorize either the Aronson or Tamariz stack, however, I am leaning towards the Tamariz stack simply because of the climax of achieving new deck order, I know that the Aronson stack does a bridge deal, but I don't know if it does all suits. To Double J...did you mean having 3 decks in my pocket and doing a couple of deck switches?...lol...i thought about doing that, doing some quick surefire effects with my sequential stack, then a deck switch to introduce a memorized deck(Tamariz or Aronson)...then finishing! I might as well learn a couple different stacks, I do have a few "journeys" that I havent used yet...To everyone...a million thanks to all your comments, you guys are awesome, its so much fun to read your posts...hope to hear from all of you soon
Message: Posted by: Double J (Nov 22, 2009 10:16AM)
You should get in contact with Harry Lorayne, He's the greatest teacher in magic and he also has done extensive memory work. Not that you need it of course, but he has some very creative ideas.
Message: Posted by: MemDeck329 (Nov 22, 2009 11:51AM)
Keep in mind that there are MANY other super effects you can perform using memory, that DO NOT involve playing cards. Although magicians are enamored with card tricks, MANY spectators HATE card tricks. A few that come to mind are Giant Memory, day of the week for any date, cube roots, magic squares, etc.

A long row of tricks involving spelling and/or counting cards can be seen as merely "puzzles", rather than magic.
Message: Posted by: Scott Cram (Nov 22, 2009 01:21PM)
If you're looking for a good reference for card and non-card memory effects, check out [url=http://www.scribd.com/doc/397402/Memory-Effects]my [i]Memory Effects[/i] list[/url].
Message: Posted by: Harry Lorayne (Nov 22, 2009 01:46PM)
Okay, since DoubleJ brought it up --- just yesterday I received an email from an old magic friend (Michael Raeburn), which led me into describing a memory thing I did with cards about six decades(!) ago. I don't do memdeck things. When I was quite young I would do some with a SHUFFLED DECK - I'd surreptitiously take it to the bathroom with me, and memorize it there! Anyway, this may give you something to work toward. Also, you might check out the final hour of the fourth volume of my "Best Ever" DVD set, wherein I do some memory stuff for a large lay audience - that, too, may give you something to work toward.

Now, I'm a lousy computer person; I am going to try to copy/paste Michael's question and my response here. Scroll down to read his email first, then scroll back up to read my response. I think! Best - HARRY L.

Sent: Saturday, November 21, 2009 8:43 AM

Hey Michael: Good to hear from you. You have the basics right but not the details. The actor was Victor Jory. Most today won't know him, but well known back then. He was a bit into magic. Came into The Little Club one night and I did some stuff for him at his table. I was doing only table magic there. He came in a few nights later with a different friend. So it went. He came in whenever he was in town, always with different people - to sort of show me off.
I was doing basically the same stuff at each table, but I always threw in one trick just to fool Jory. The problem was that I was running out of stuff - remember I was very young at the time.
So, since I was always interested in memory work, one evening I had to sort of scratch (in my opinion, at the time) the bottom of the barrel. I did a memory thing for him. Actually, it's one hell of an effect, but I didn't really realize it then.
Basically - he called off all the cards of the deck he'd just shuffled. Quickly. Then he'd name any card and I'd tell him where it was in the deck. He'd call any number, 1 to 52, and I'd tell him the card at that position. The finale: I asked him to name the strongest poker hand. Royal flush; what suit? As soon as he named that - I'd rattle off five numbers, and the royal flush cards of that suit were at those positions. Strong. I doubt if I could, or want to, do it today!
Anyway; that's when the "turning point" occurred. Jory stood up and started to applaud - loudly. And speak loudly. Saying things like, "Harry; your sleight of hand is marvelous, etc., etc., but this - what you just did, that's unbelievable..." And he raved on for a few minutes. That did it. I realized the strength of the memory stuff. Changed my thinking, my attitude, my life. I think I've told you more than you wanted to know about this, Michael! Stay well. Best - HARRY,

> Dear Harry,
> I was telling a story about you last night and wanted to make sure I got my
> facts straight.
> If I remember correctly, you had told me that while you were doing your
> magic act at 'The Little Club', you had, one night, performed some strictly
> memory stuff for a celebrity and he was floored and encouraged you to pursue
> that, rather than card magic.
> I seem to remember that the celebrity was Royal Dano. Given that I have
> been, for most of my life a film fanatic, I remember Royal Dano as being the
> 'guy-that-is-in-every-film'.
> Am I remembering this right?
> Anyhow, hope you're both OK. Think I'll be home relatively soon, but that
> depends on how long this sweet gig lasts.
> Drop me a line when you can.
> M
> Michael Raeburn
> Digital Identity, Inc.
> Michael@digitalidentityinc.com
Message: Posted by: MemDeck329 (Nov 22, 2009 02:01PM)
Scott, this is an amazing compilation. It must have taken you a long, long time to put all of that together. It is a treasure.
Message: Posted by: the dealer (Nov 22, 2009 04:25PM)
I'm awed by the responses on this post!...the ever so gratful and tremendously talented MR. Lorayne even dropped by!...thank you Mr.Lorayne, in fact I briefly met you at a magic convention here in las vegas, and you told me that you would take a random deck of cards and memorize it secretly!...awesome stuff. you are indeed THE MAN, I also own your dvd with the memory demonstration in it. I'm also trying to come up with a series of effects in which I would memorized the deck in front of spectators, ive done some close up memory demonstrations before, nothing ever on stage though(memorizing a list of 10-30 objects, reciting 100 places pi, etc) huge reactions as Mr. Lorayne pointed out, a big shout out again to Mr. Cram and his information, I'm really a magician first and a memory guy second, although most of my time now has been mnemonics...in fact I was training to compete in the US memory championships last year...but man!, do you know how much the cheapest hotels are in Manhattan!...even motels aren't that cheap! SHEESH!...well, maybe next year, I have to get up to speed on speed numbers and names and faces...we shall see!...thanks again, I'm always so excited to hear more responses...DOUBLE J and MEMDECK, I'm ever so thankful for your responses!...thank you all!
Message: Posted by: MemDeck329 (Nov 22, 2009 06:06PM)
I'm curious to know what you have decided to do. It is BCS or something else?

If you learn either the Aronson or the Tamariz stack, you will have several built-in miracles. I chose the Aronson over the Tamariz because there are probably more effects in print by genuine experts in the field. New ideas are coming forth all the time.

I like the idea of the built-in Poker Deals. You have Draw, Stud, and the 10 Card Jonah Poker Deal. Years after this stack was published, forum member Dennis Loomis came up with a nice Texas Hold'em deal. There are many counting and spelling tricks built in also. If you use something like this you can save countless hours re-inventing the wheel to discover similar sequences in your own random shuffled deck. Since you live in Las Vegas, the Blackjack demonstration will be popular in your area. The effects in this paragraph are stack-dependent. But, MOST memdeck tricks can be done with ANY stack.

For the most part, I call these built-in effects "Self-Working, No-Skill Miracles"! With only a couple of convincing false shuffles and cuts, you can come across as a card expert. You can spend your time working on presentation and routining instead of living in the woodshed for a year trying to master the pass and the side-steal, etc.......
Message: Posted by: The Futurist (Nov 22, 2009 06:52PM)
BTW guys, I found this interesting approach to stack design not so long ago: http://www.benjoffe.com/holdem

Not something that would necessarily require "memorising" as such, unless you wanted to put one together a few minutes before the effect... even then you could have a little crib sheet. One of these would make a nice cold deck I think, also it deals with the popular and contemporary game of Holdem... possibly synonymous with "poker" in the minds of many people today.

Not something you'd lug around with you everyday ("not [i]another[/i] extra deck!!") but something that would be cool every now and then, to false shuffle and let someone else cut, and, then, with no funny moves, deal your way to poker mastery (for entertainment purposes only, as Mr. Joffe states!)

So I promised myself I'd write (and optimise: there's some serious number crunching afoot with these things!) some code myself to explore stacks, half-stacks and stacklets of this sort; haven't got round to it yet. I'll let all you lovely people know if I make progress on this.
Message: Posted by: Double J (Nov 22, 2009 06:59PM)
Hey mnemonist, how long does it take you to un-learn a memorization?
Message: Posted by: the dealer (Nov 23, 2009 01:54AM)
Hey guys! thanks again!...ive decided to just go with the stack I came up with rather that the BCS...and since I know every card that comes next, I can do most of the BCS effects, except I'm not using the BCS stack!...i just tweaked it up a lil yesterday, so now I have a built in texas holdem poker deal as well...the blackjack idea is great, in fact M.Osterlind has a great deal in his vol.2 dvd. I also thought that I might as well make it a true memorized deck instead of just a sequential stack, I went ahead and learned the positions of the cards(well not really, I just know every fourth card in deck)...

On 2009-11-22 19:59, Double J wrote:
Hey mnemonist, how long does it take you to un-learn a memorization?
its not hard to unlearn say a stack of cards. since I use the journey method, I just empty everything out again. I can use a same journey twice and memorize a first set of cards, then the second set a few minutes later. I have a general use journey for when I borrow someones cards and have them shuffle it then I memorize it. I have another journey for that stack I came up with, now I'm going to use a new journey for when I decide to learn either the Tamariz stack or the Aronson stack. so short answer, couple minutes.
Message: Posted by: Dennis Loomis (Nov 23, 2009 04:42PM)
To MemDeck 329,
While I do have an article on a Texas Hold'em Routine with the Aronson Stack on my Web Site, I was not the one to create it. It was the work of my pal Sterling Dare, and is so credited in the article.

Dennis Loomis
Message: Posted by: MemDeck329 (Nov 24, 2009 12:54AM)
Thanks for the clarification Dennis. It's always good to give credit where credit is due. The modern generation thinks Hold'em IS poker, since it about all you see on TV. It's a good option to have for memdeck work. I like the idea that several of the built-in effects can flash a different card on the bottom now and then.
Message: Posted by: sdmagic (Nov 24, 2009 10:49AM)
If you have an iphone, there's a GREAT application available called "Stacked Deck". It provides a way to learn and practice the Aronson and Tamariz stacks. You can add any stack manually. It goes for around $5.00

Head for the App store.

Message: Posted by: Scott Cram (Nov 24, 2009 02:53PM)
I like "Stacked Deck", sdmagic, but it should be mentioned that you can enter ANY stack in there to memorize. It does have several stacks, such as BCS, Tamariz, Aronson, Si Stebbins and so on built in.
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Dec 2, 2009 03:36PM)
Yeppers, under fire, you just cannot be too careful. Same with SSK, you could do it with regular bills but why chance it in front of a valuable client?
Message: Posted by: Bobby Forbes (Dec 16, 2009 07:21PM)
Steven you'll's "hacker stack". And with a little tip from Darwin Ortiz you can have a miracle. Just think about this. You open a brand new pack of cards give it a few shuffles, and BAM! You have your memorized deck looking you right in the face. A mem deck from a brand new pack of cards in about 15 seconds. Doesn't get any more convenient than that my man.
Message: Posted by: MemDeck329 (Dec 16, 2009 08:14PM)
Bobby, yes that is certainly one way to go, especially if you can do two perfect faro shuffles "under-fire". And, the cyclical Hacker/Stebbins stack is only a mem deck if you actually take the time and effort to memorize it.

Another option is to secretly open a new deck from the bottom, set the stack, and re-seal it. This way you can open the deck and perform a few false shuffles and cuts. Now, the deck can be spread face up, without showing any obvious order. This is assuming you are using a stack such as Aronson, Tamariz, etc.

I'm not knocking the Si Stebbins arrangement. I used it for years. Great things can be done with either of the various stacks.....
Message: Posted by: fyi2 (Mar 20, 2010 08:37PM)
MemDeck329 Thanks for the idea of re-sealing a memdeck into a new package. I could never justify it because the cards are not in new deck order. I just forgot the obvious, do a few false shuffels!! (Duh!). Thanks for the tip.