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Profile of aktino
For quite some time, I was of the view that Si Stebbins was an inferior alternative to a fixed stack such as Mnemonica.  More recently, however, I have come to the insight that a mastered Mnemonica is a complement to, not replacement for, Stebbins. For all its weaknesses (red-black, rotating suits), Stebbins allows you - through its cyclical nature - to do things that a fixed stack can't do.

Since it is the cyclical nature of Stebbins that is its chief attraction to me,I have to live with red-black and rotating suits.  I do, however, want to get away from the sequential values (ie 1-4-7-10 etc) since they are, in my opinion, the biggest give-away to spectators that you are working with a stack and, since they, somewhat counter intuitively, in any event are not needed for many interesting effects.  I therefore tend to use a random sequence of values (or a sequence that appears to be random) repeated four times.

Which, at long last, gets me to a question to other Stebbins users: What, if any, non-sequential card orders have you worked with?  I am aware of (but I have never worked with) formulas that  allow you to calculate the position of a given card in a normal Stebbins stack; any ideas on how to tackle this in a stack where the values are not sequential?
Dennis Loomis
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1943 - 2013
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Profile of Dennis Loomis
I believe you are absolutely correct in that the Si Stebbins is NOT a replacement for either the Aronson Stack or Mnemonica. Nor are they replacements for Si Stebbins. They are tools available to us as magicians to use whenever we wish. Just as a carpenter does not have to choose between a Phillips Screwdriver and a straight bladed screwdriver, we are at liberty to use whatever tool is best for the particular trick or routine we wish to perform.

You asked about what non-sequential card orders we have worked with. I have used the Eight Kings stack upon occasion when it was the appropriate tool for the job. It is not hard to calculate the position of any card in the Eight Kings Stack, althought a true memorized stack such as Aronson is a better tool for that job.

Dennis Loomis
Itinerant Montebank
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Toronto, Ont.
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Profile of scott0819
I'm not sure I understand, what things can you do with a cyclical stack that you can't also do with a 'fixed' stack? I now use the Aronson stack but if I were going to use a 'non sequential' cyclical stack, I would use the Osterlind Breakthrough Card System hands down.
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Profile of aktino
Scott081: Examples of effects that require a cyclical stack (eg Si Stebbins), and where a fixed stack cannot do the job, include Nick Trost's Automated Lie Speller, CAANDY by Chris Mayhew and Up the Ante by Martyn Smith (the latter two are marketed effects). There are many others.
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Gibsons, BC, Canada
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Profile of ddyment
A few other examples of effects that require a cyclic stack: Roberto Giobbi's "Cheers, Mr. Galasso!" (from Card College Lightest), Stewart James' "Vocalculate" (from The James File: Volume One), and my own "PokerFace" (from Tricyclic.
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