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Cohiba
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The stack I chose years ago was Aronson's, due to the many built-in effects. However, with the exception of some of the cards you can spell to, I've really used very little of the built-in effects.

I'm curious about those of you that do MD magic - do you do very many stack-dependent effects, or like myself, have you found that most of the really strong stuff (that I usually stick with) is stack independent? This question applies regardless of the stack you use.

If you do use stack dependent items, and don't mind sharing, please let us know which stack you're using.

Thanks!
Cain
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Cohiba,

I asked a similar question nearly one year ago:
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......m=205&21

Therein "The Amazing Noobini" wrote: "Cain, I have had the same thoughts as you. I could have written your post myself. In fact, I almost have a while back except at the time..."

It's a common question, and here's my own answer. Screw stacks with lots of built-in features. Choose a stack with ONE fantastic trick you can see yourself doing for years. For me it's basically five-faros from NDO (and given a cut) to put the aces in the top half (a little tip I picked up from Eric Mead in Tangled Web. I actually do not regularly perform many tricks using the memorized properties of the stack. Only two come to mind, one from Ackerman/Ehlers and the other Vernon/Tamariz, both of which are stack-independent. People will often say the best memorized deck tricks have are stack-independent, so it doesn't matter which one you choose to memorize. This is both right and wrong. The best memorized deck tricks ARE stack-independent, but the conclusion does not follow.

Find ONE trick you will never tire of doing. Think Nietzsche's eternal recurrence:

Quote:
This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh and everything immeasurably small or great in your life must return to you-all in the same succession and sequence-even this spider and this moonlight between the trees, and even this moment and I myself. The eternal hourglass of existence is turned over and over, and you with it, a grain of dust.


In Classic Sampler, mah homeboy Mike Skinner discusses a memorized stack that has built-in "Mental Selection Speller" and "Vernon's Poker Demonstration." Additionally he also used a five-faro stack. This is exactly the right view, in my opinion: go for a blockbuster. I do not personally care for gambling demonstrations, and I am even less enthusiastic for spelling tricks. My own inspiration is Allan Ackerman's "Ackerman's Opener." In Las Vegas Kardma Ackerman says he's been doing it for 22 years! If he's still performing it, then he's been doing that trick for thirty years!! It never gets old. I hate to sound like a psychopathic John Doe, but this is something that needs to be puzzled over, studied, and followed... forever.
Ellusionst discussing the Arcane Playing cards: "Michaelangelo took four years to create the Sistine Chapel masterpiece... these took five."

Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes: "You know Einstein got bad grades as a kid? Well, mine are even worse!"
molsen
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Cohiba, you may want to post this question in the 'Stirred not Shuffled' section which deals with stacked decks.

I'm afraid I've never used a stacked deck myself.

Michael
Cohiba
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Sorry about posting this in "Workers" - I must have been brain dead at the time.

Cain - thanks for those comments. Your thinking there is exactly why I asked the question.

As I mentioned earlier, the stack I learned was Aronson, because I felt it was the best at that time. When Mnemonica was published, I loved the idea of being able to end up in new deck order. I was about ready to scrap the AS and go for Mnemonica. However, to get into his stack from NDO (not a high priority to me, but nice if it's there anyway) is clumsy with American decks, and the process of getting out of it (back to NDO) isn't as clean as I'd like.

Recently I came across the suggestion of using the same stack that you do - 4 faro's (or 5) and a cut from NDO. This idea appeals to me immensely. Not only that, but with some thought, I bet there's a fair number of built in effects in that stack as well.

I also do very little with gambling effects - and if there's one in particular I'd want to do, I would do it with ASDIU. My biggest concern is that in scrapping the current effort to learn the AS, or in reinventing a wheel (and scrapping Mnemonica, and others), I might miss out on that one blockbuster that's built-in to one of those (that I may have overlooked).

I like your thinking on picking one blockbuster that you will use forever, rather than having a ton of mediocre (and some really good stuff, but that doesn't fit my style) built into a stack.

Do you have a chapter or page from Tangled Web that you can point me to? - I'll dig into that, because if I do opt for this route, I want to make sure my "cut" is in the most advantageous location.

Thanks again - your comments are always intelligent and worthwhile.
Cohiba
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Cain -

I just finished reading your thread from last year. Did you end up starting from American NDO, or from European? I'm curious if you felt the Staystack principles were worth including. In a sense, I'd like to include as many options as possible, but in another, I don't know if I'd end up doing any Staystack stuff that doesn't kill the entire order. In other words, my guess is the Staystack effect would be the blockbuster closer.

I haven't studied Staystack effects enough - but I can see where maybe they would be of blockbuster caliber, and at least provide the option for a variety of blockbusters.

On the other hand, I like the idea of opening a deck, 5 faro's and a cut, and I'm in stack order, without having to run a bunch of cards, etc. Then again, I never open a new deck in performance, so this is not the smartest thing upon which to base my stack.

Thoughts?
Cohiba
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After looking at a new deck, I believe all that is needed to get the deck into Stay Stack is to move one suit as a block. No run shuffle is necessary. So this would be a simple thing to do from NDO.
Cain
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Cohiba,

Eric Mead uses an Aronson stack, but I took his experiences into account before finally deciding upon what exactly to memorize (he mentions it, I believe, in passing while explaining his cut to the aces trick). Therefore I take NDO, give it five out-faros, and then cut the nine of diamonds to the top. I would have liked to cut the nine of diamonds to the bottom, as an homage to Aronson and Tamariz, but utility triumphed over sentimentalism. I also marked the AH, so it's easy to locate (the aces are in positions 2, 10, 11, and 19). I feel one of the weaknesses of my stack is that the AH and AS are right next to one another, which can form a memorable association in the mind of a spectator, so it's something I work around.

Quote:
I'm curious if you felt the Staystack principles were worth including. In a sense, I'd like to include as many options as possible, but in another, I don't know if I'd end up doing any Staystack stuff that doesn't kill the entire order. In other words, my guess is the Staystack effect would be the blockbuster closer.


This part is tricky because whenever memorizing a stack you want to include not only what you know you will want but what you think you will want. The trouble is that you can only really know after using a stack. Since you've already used Aronson's you're ahead of the game. For me, in the above example of getting the aces into the top half, I had no plans for utilizing that property at the time, but I figured it was something I was going to want. I knew the stay stack was not all that important to me. The main thing about my stack is that I wanted to be able to perform an entire routine, one concluding with a phenomenal blockbuster, without the assistance of a table and using only a regular deck of cards. A table unquestionably aides the final spread display , i.e., showing the cards are in order, so I will take advantage of it, but I wanted to be able to do something incredible purely in the hands.

Obviously everyone is going to have different values and priorities. Same as you, the fact I can get to my stack from a brand new pack was/is not that important to me. The fact that I can reset without much difficulty has proven more useful than I first imagined, but it's hardly a critical value. However, I can see how certain professionals might find these properties very important indeed.

So, even though I love Marlo's obscenely powerful matching routine (see for example Martin Nash's "Ovation" handling), the need for a table caused me to quickly dismiss it. I have not investigated the stay stack properties, perhaps in part because they are off suit. Nash's particular variant consumes quite a bit of table space, but if that environmental condition does not phase you, then I should think you could forget about five-faro stack and build something around a stay stack of your own making. My own main emphasis, again, is having just ONE ridiculously powerful effect built-in.
Ellusionst discussing the Arcane Playing cards: "Michaelangelo took four years to create the Sistine Chapel masterpiece... these took five."

Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes: "You know Einstein got bad grades as a kid? Well, mine are even worse!"
Cohiba
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Thanks Cain - good stuff!
Steve Burton
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Hi,

I use the Nikola Stack and on several occasions met bridge players who are knocked out by your being able to deal a perfect hand seemingly as an impromptu demonstration of your skill. The same with the inherent Poker stack that comes up quite often in the form of, "I'd never want to play Poker with you."
Cain
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With a five-faro stack you can deal all of the suits (in order) to each of the players in a four handed bridge game.
Ellusionst discussing the Arcane Playing cards: "Michaelangelo took four years to create the Sistine Chapel masterpiece... these took five."

Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes: "You know Einstein got bad grades as a kid? Well, mine are even worse!"
S2000magician
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Quote:
On 2008-03-26 20:29, Cain wrote:
With a five-faro stack you can deal all of the suits (in order) to each of the players in a four handed bridge game.

Almost.

The order of the cards within each suit in most (all?) new-deck orders is A-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-J-Q-K. However, in bridge, the ace ranks above the king, not below the deuce.
Cain
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Noted. In American NDO, obviously, the spades and diamonds run A-K (from the face) and clubs and hearts go K-A. Though I prefer to end with a completely different routine, you can conclude a five faro stack with a strong gambling demonstration.
"Do you want a good hand or a great hand?"
Naturally the spectator insists on a "great" hand. Cut the aces from the bottom to the top and deal four hands, positioning the spades to fall in a called hand, and turning them face up as you deal. So they get A, K, Q, J, 10. Continue dealing saying a royal flush is in fact only a "good" hand and proceed to show a "great" one in bridge (clearly more improbable). I think it's a good thing the suits do not all go in the same order because in the beginning you have the option of flashing another player getting, say, a four of clubs. Anyway, the final kicker is turning over the other hands, and it's easy enough to displace the necessary cards. The only "problem" is that two hands will run from A-2 while the others go 2-A, but I doubt anyone would notice AND care. So the cards you deal face up (the spade pile) will show in correct order. It's my understanding (I know next to nothing about bridge, which is a little more than most people) that spades are the strongest suit.
Ellusionst discussing the Arcane Playing cards: "Michaelangelo took four years to create the Sistine Chapel masterpiece... these took five."

Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes: "You know Einstein got bad grades as a kid? Well, mine are even worse!"
Dennis Loomis
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I have used the Aronson Stack for about 12 years now. I do quite a lot of the built in effects. (Some of the original ones, and some figured out afterwards.) Often, when I take out a deck, I will ask people if they play cards. In today's world, not too many do. But occasionally they will mention Poker or Bridge. If there is a bridge player present I'll do the built in Bridge deal. It destroys the stack, but is worth it for the impact it has on a bridge player. If the circumstances are right I do the complete three phase Poker Routine Simon built into the stack. I've made a couple of adjustments to it which you can find detailed on Simon's Web Site and on mine. I often do the Aces Awry Routine from Try the Impossible and my Kruskal a la Aronson which you will also find on Simon's Site and mine. I also do a quick spelling sequence of mine which is unpublished.

The Aronson Stack has stood me in good stead and is the backbone of my card work. Right now, I've started to play around with the new memorized deck of Flashcards from Creative Magic. I don't have enough good close up stuff for kids in my repertoire and hope that this interesting deck will allow me to do a couple of card effects for them. Younger kids today don't play cards much and many don't know the names of the cards... but they know the characters on the flash cards. I did a review on these cards under the topic "Flashcards." The system they provide only allows you to memorize the order of the cards... they did not address the topic of stack numbers, but I'm working on that myself.

Dennis Loomis
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S2000magician
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Quote:
On 2008-03-27 03:12, Cain wrote:
It's my understanding (I know next to nothing about bridge, which is a little more than most people) that spades are the strongest suit.

Spades rank highest in the bidding (the order of the suits in bidding is alphabetical: clubs, diamonds, hearts, spades, followed by no-trump), but in the play of the hand the strongest suit is whichever suit is named as trumps: the suit named in the last bid. (If the last bid were no-trump, there is - surprise! - no trump suit: the suits rank equally.)
Dennis Loomis
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The Aronson Poker Deal is better than the old one in Nikola. With that, you bid seven spades. However, that bid can be topped, even if it's only a preemptive strategy. Simon has set up, at every fourth card, a No-Trump hand which cannot be over bid and which will be made. You can control whether this hand falls to you on the deal or to your partner with a simple undercut of a few cards. You can even set it so that one of your opponents is the dealer if you like. I think of it this way: one of the cards in that winning hand is the Ace of Spades, and that is six cards from the top of the deck. So, if I deal from the Aronson home position, that card, and all of the others in the hand will fall to my partner. If I want to deal it to myself, I need only double undercut two cards from the top of the deck to the bottom. Similar reasoning allows you to set it so that one of your opponents can deal.

Dennis Loomis
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S2000magician
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Quote:
On 2008-03-28 12:49, Dennis Loomis wrote:
The Aronson Poker Deal . . . .

Bridge Deal, I think you mean.

While it's true that Aronson's "perfect" bridge hand is a cold seven no-trump (which, you rightly point out, cannot be outbid), it is equally true that most spectators who aren't bridge players (and, alas, most aren't) will not recognize inherently that this is a perfect hand; even people who don't play bridge can recognize that a hand consisting of a single suit is somehow special.
Dennis Loomis
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Yes, sorry, I did mis-type. I was talking about the Bridge Deal. Sure, you're right, everyone would recognize a hand with all one suit. But that would mean the stack would have to have a spade as every fourth card which would not only be suspicious, but which would spoil some of the other features built in. This deal is meant for knowledgable bridge players and that's who I do it for.

This is a special feature which I do not use regularly. But, if you ask spectators if they play cards, you will sometimes find Bridge players and can do this routine for them. I would not use it for just a normal run of spectators, because S2000magician is right: many people would not understand why its such a great hand.

Dennis Loomis
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<BR>http://www.loomismagic.com
S2000magician
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And it's so nice, when you do get a group of bridge players, to see the looks on their faces when you start to reveal the hand one card at a time.
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