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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Shuffled not Stirred » » The Bart Harding stack. (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Andy Moss
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The advantages of this 'hybrid' stack seem manifold.

If you have memorized a 'memory' stack such as Aronson or Tamariz etc you will need to practice regularly with it or run the risk of coming a cropper when performing under pressure in a live performance. This is the case especially for effects where the brain is working hard (such as ACAAN, card distribution or card calling effects).

Alternatively if you have learnt the mathematical approach for algorithmic stacks such as the B.C.S (Richard Osterlind's Breakthrough card System)then you have a stack that is limited in it's applications revealing only the card preceding or the card after (depending upon whether stack is reversed in order or not).

The Harding stack is also relatively easy and quick to recreate from a messed up deck of cards.

It is not random looking enough you say?

Just switch the 5 and 45 around.
7 and 47.
9 and 49.
17 and 37.
19 and 39.

The result will be a stack that is extremely random looking and will pass any muster(unlike the Si Stebbins stack).

Does anyone else rate this particular 'simple to understand' stack highly?
Atom3339
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Inner circle
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Where can we find it?
TH

Occupy Your Dream
ddyment
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Folks new to this topic should be aware that there are other algorithmic stacks. Harding's stack (published in 1962) was an early foray into this area, and produces a nice random appearance, though it is pretty complicated, uses an inconsistent algorithm, and has no special functionality.

There are certainly advantages to learning an algorithmic stack (just as there are advantages to the rote memory, classical mnemonics, and rule-based approaches). I cover all of this in some detail in my (free) essay on full-deck stacks.
"Calculated Thoughts" now available at The Deceptionary :: Elegant, Literate, Contemporary Mentalism ... and More
Andy Moss
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Thanks for that Doug. Yes,there are a great many stacks on offer.... In fact so many that it can be confusing.Your sum up is useful information for all. I especially agree with your following advice...

"If the stack that you are using appears sufficiently random (no obvious recurring sequences of values, suits, or colours, say), and you can call out the stack in sequence (for a sequential stack) or randomly (with positions, for a memorized deck), at a cadence of not worse than about one second per card, then that stack is probably sufficient for your needs (though it may lack some feature for a specific trick), and you likely have no reason (other than intellectual curiosity) to explore others."

I started off with B.C.S and then moved to Aronson. But over time I reverted back to the reliable and flexible old chestnut the Harding stack.

Your 'Quickstacker' system looks to be interesting, especially if the 'rules' for it are more consistent than for the Harding stack and if the brain work involved is indeed slightly quicker.The layout of the first few cards seems to be random enough to pass the muster as well.
ddyment
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The "QuickerStack" algorithm is a lot simpler (thus faster) than Harding's, and is completely consistent.
"Calculated Thoughts" now available at The Deceptionary :: Elegant, Literate, Contemporary Mentalism ... and More
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