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Inner circle
Portland, OR
3545 Posts

Profile of Turk
I love using a memorized deck in both performing and/or in practicing a number of non-memorized deck effects.

Two obvious uses during actual performances are:

1) Knowing what card was taken by looking at the card above it as you casually cut the upper packet to the bottom of the deck, or,
2) Eliminating the use of a crib sheet.

In addition, I have found that using a memorized deck is extremely helpful when practicing complicated or multi-phased procedure-based effects.

For instance, in the August, 2011 issue of Genni (at pages 34-37), Jim Steinmeyer has published an effect entitled "The Tuzot Sensu Mystery". When practicing and learning that effect, you normally would need to deal out ten 2-card packets and then write down the names of each of the cards in each of these ten packets so that, in performance, when you know the name of one of the two cards in a certain packet, you can eventually know (and confirm) the name of the other card in that particular packet.

I have found that, without making any hand-written lists of these ten pairs of cards, if you use your memorized deck and pair the cards in known pairs (i.e., such as 1&2, 3&4, 5&6...19&20), you will instantly know the identity of the two cards in each pair. Hence, if you know one card is card #6, you now know that its mate is card #5, and so on. (I make it even easier by using a memorized deck of flash cards. Hence if I see the face-up card #6 and its #5 mate is not also face-up, I instantly can confirm the location of its face-down mate by looking for the #5 written on the back of that #5 face-down card.

By using the "memorized deck flash card" method for this Steinmeyer effect, just by looking at the face-up cards and the numbers on the backs of the face-down cards, without turning over any face-down cards to check their identities, I am now able to instantly confirm that all of the 20 cards are indeed in their proper location within the 5X4 grid of 20 cards.

Another advantage of using the "memorized deck flash cards" deck in practicing and learning this effect is that you are able to confirm "in real time" that all of the cards in each pair and in each "group of 10" remains in its proper order during all of the shuffling process.

Finally, another advantage of using the "memorized deck flash cards" deck in practicing and learning this effect is that it is remarkably easy to "reset" the ten pairs back in order merely by reassembling the flash cards back into 1-20 order and then having another practice "go of it".

In sum, as in this Steinmeyer effect, I have found that, when practicing many effects, using a memorized deck can be very helpful by 1) eliminating the need to write down any lists of cards, and, 2) in keeping track of cards as they "move about", and, 3) confirming ("in real time") that you are correctly performing the required methodology.

I would respectfully suggest that similar strategies and uses of the memorized deck can be utilized in many other non-memorized deck effects.

Just, IMHO, your mileage may vary...and probably does.



P.S. Of course, in performance of the afore-referenced Steinmeyer effect, you would not be using a memorized deck because one of the real strengths of that effect is to let a spectator shuffle the deck and then having him randomly deal out any 20 cards into 10 face-down pairs. My afore-described use of the memorized deck with that effect was for practice purposes only.
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Inner circle
Germany ... when not traveling...
3818 Posts

Profile of JanForster
Mike, you are so right! It does help in so many contexts even not related to MD work. Just think about a Tossed Out Deck with 5 cards, think e. g. about learning numbers (Lotto?) and translating them secretly into a sequence of cards... I think only someone not doing MD work can not imagine what powerful tool he would gain. Jan
Jan Forster
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6 Posts

Profile of churken1
Eric Mead has a wonderful essay about this in his book The Tangled Web.

Using your MD for non-MD effects not only gives you the advantage of instantly knowing chosen cards, etc - it also throws off suspicion of an ordered deck. So if for example I do a two card transpo effect, followed by The Ambitious card and end with Malone's Memo Trick all three are so different and random that by the time you are naming a sequence of cards it seems impossible that the deck was ever in any sort of order. Especially if you throw in a few false shuffles between the effects.

I have gone through my entire working repertoire and found those non stacked effects that I can use with the memo deck without compromising the stack or the effect. Now I have several effects that can be done without messing up my stack, but they are not necessarily effects that even use the principle of the stack itself.

Scott Cram
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Inner circle
2677 Posts

Profile of Scott Cram
One of my favorite ways of using an MD in a non-MD effect is Fred Braue's approach to "MUTUS NOMEN" (January, 1960 issue of Hugard's Magic Monthly). You only need to set up a partial MD, and unlike the regular MUTUS NOMEN, you can let the audience shuffle after they've mentally picked their pairs.
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