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NeverMind
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Last weekend, I did the 100th performance of my "Memory, Mindreading, Magic" set which exclusively uses Karma Deck and its variations.

What an incredible deck this has been for me. Truly a game changer in the field of stack magic, imho. Over 5 years ago, just before I bought this, I was thinking that all those testimonials from the who's who of magic and mentalism greats was merely hype. But boy was I wrong !! And this turned out to be my best investment on stack magic.

First, of course I bought this https://www.lybrary.com/karma-deck-p-703810.html

Then I got this for some routine ideas https://www.lybrary.com/amazers-with-kar......954.html

Next, I boutht this too Karma Deck Pro https://www.lybrary.com/karma-deck-pro-p-834234.html
And this was the monster that actually devoured me

By now I was totally taken in by the Karma Deck 'multiverse' and just couldn't help go for https://www.lybrary.com/karma-deck-psyclical-p-842863.html

And then finally got this brilliant deckless stack tricks collection which I can carry in my wallet https://www.lybrary.com/kommando-kard-p-837350.html

And so after over 5 years of stack magic journey with the Karma Deck, I can only look back and say a big WOW !!!
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ltrblst
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Do yourself a favor and buy Calculated Thoughts by Doug Dyment, it is on another level.

I found the material from UM to be shallow and poorly edited, too much hype in my opinion.
NeverMind
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Quote:
On Feb 8, 2022, ltrblst wrote:
Do yourself a favor and buy Calculated Thoughts by Doug Dyment, it is on another level.

I found the material from UM to be shallow and poorly edited, too much hype in my opinion.


After 5 years of Karma Deck magic, I really don't need to 'calculate any thoughts'. I just get the cards and positions of Karma Deck and its variants instantly. Smile
Personally, I feel the genius of Karma Deck is difficult to beat.

However, please share specifically, which material of UM you find 'shallow, poorly edited or hyped' - so that I can be cautious, as he has released over 150 products, as per his author page on Lybrary.

https://www.lybrary.com/unknown-mentalist-m-460465.html
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NeverMind
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Quote:
On Feb 8, 2022, ltrblst wrote:
I found the material from UM to be shallow and poorly edited, too much hype in my opinion.


Over 5 years back, initially even I thought it was hype. But looking back now, I am happy I went for it. But all these testimonials are from legends who are not easily given to hype.

With an introduction by Richard Osterlind:

The new "KARMA DECK" is something I find very intriguing! Without having to memorize a single thing, the author has come up with a clever idea that will allow you to know the position in the deck of any card named or to know the name of a card at any position in the deck! As you read on you will see there is a stack, but there is absolutely zero memory involved in working it!

The experts say ...

"This is a fantastic idea. It's simple, elegant and practical. At last an age old problem has been solved and we now have a real world alternative to actually memorising 52 cards. Excellent!" - Marc Paul

"The Karma Deck is an ingeniously simple memorized deck system. It is a powerful tool that every magician and mentalist should have in their armory. It is to a magician, what a hammer is to a carpenter. Highly recommended" - Charles Gauci

"This is an amazing system. I like it a lot" - Doc Eason

"This is a new system that I have never seen before. Very easy to remember, you can really learn an entire deck in 5 minutes! Well done!" - Luca Volpe

"Wow! You've actually done it! Your Karma Deck System is an elegant synthesis of concepts that have long been at odds... but now you have them working together harmoniously! I had always hoped that some genius would come up with a rule-based system for quickly knowing the position of every card in the deck, and still allow me to perform all the cyclical-stack material I love. You are that genius! I'd be quite happy to endorse and promote it. In fact, I'd like to start using it in my act right away!" - Dan Harlan

"It shows originality and workability. I really like it. This is a delight to perform and a real fooler. Though I don't use cards, I was tempted to try this and happy I did." - Marc Salem

"It really took less than FIVE MINUTES!! This is astounding when you think of how many complicated systems are out there. This is, by far the easiest method I've ever read and I for one will be using it!!" - Paul Romhany

"I want to say that the concept is brilliant and it is amazing to me that such a pattern would be hidden in the cards - truly mysterious" - Christopher Taylor

"The Karma Deck is quite intuitive and very visual thus making it quick, simple and easy to learn and master the stack in a matter of just a few minutes. It will become your second nature. A great innovative idea." - 'Ustaad' Col. Narendra Singh

"You have developed a totally new approach to a Memorised Deck System. The method can certainly be learnt in a short time, and will appeal to many who find the traditional methods difficult to master. Highly recommended." - Graham Jolley.

"This certainly has the potential to be the easiest and most versatile stack ever. It's too early to crown it as such right now, but it is definitely the one that I'd recommend to anyone who needs to learn a stack and hasn't already or who isn't satisfied with the stack they know and wants to learn a different one." - Jheff

"I think this is one of the very best methods for memorising the order of a deck of cards without any memory work. For those who know the power of using a stacked deck then this will make life so much easier. It took me less than 5 minutes to understand the system and know where the cards are. This has other uses from stacked deck, memorized deck and algorithmic deck so you have lots of ways and effects you can do using this system. This is a great purchase." - Vanish magazine

"The Karma Deck is indeed a clever and different approach from anything else I've seen. I don't use a memorized deck, but if I found a need, I would certainly consider your method seriously." - Bruce Bernstein


Personally, I strongly feel that learning a stack is NOT the end but just the means to an end. So the less time needed to invest on the MEANS, the better for me. The quality time invested in actually learning WHAT TO TO WITH THE LEARNT stack is more worthwhile - just my opinion, of course. I've seen people investing days, weeks or even months to learn a stack and still struggling with it. And then forgetting the stack due to non-frequent usage. Karma Deck checks the boxes on all these counts. I learnt the Karma Deck in just under an hour. It is truly a game changer, for me.
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Alexander2701
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Perhaps I agree with you, I think this is just a way to achieve your goal
ltrblst
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Quote:
On Feb 13, 2022, NeverMind wrote:

After 5 years of Karma Deck magic, I really don't need to 'calculate any thoughts'.


After this I think there is no point in arguing, especially with something more resembling a landing page full of marketing copy.

Some friends of mine initially liked the unkown mentalist approach, but as they got experience they gravitated toward more mature material, like I did myself.

Maybe he is good for a newbies, but honestly I see no point in starting with less than the state of the art, which for me is:

- Doug Dyment Calculated Thoughts, as far as cyclical, tetradistic and algorithmic stack.
- Aronson, Tamariz and Redford material for stack work.

So if it works for you then we will just agree to disagrre.
ddyment
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For the record, my views on all this haven't changed since I first posted them in 2009:

1. No stack is "best" for everyone, though any particular stack may be "best" for your needs. Anyone who claims otherwise is either naive, or marketing.

2. Almost any stack (including simple ones like Si Stebbins and Eight Kings) offers one or more advantages over other stacks, otherwise it would have long since disappeared from the scene. You might not consider such elements advantageous, but that's to be expected (see point #1).

3. 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. If not, you might.

4. There is no compelling reason (other than marketing) to campaign for others to use the same stack that you do. Quite the opposite, in fact: the fewer people who use your favourite stack, the less widely it's known, and the more deceptive it will remain.
"Calculated Thoughts" is available at Vanishing Inc. and The Deceptionary :: Elegant, Literate, Contemporary Mentalism ... and More
dclxvinyc
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Quote:
4. There is no compelling reason (other than marketing) to campaign for others to use the same stack that you do. Quite the opposite, in fact: the fewer people who use your favourite stack, the less widely it's known, and the more deceptive it will remain.


Doug, this is well said and well observed. This is true not just in stacks but in other areas of magic. People get spicy trying to push their techniques onto other people's plots and scripts.

Not just magic. I run as a hobby. And I don't care if you run or not. But so many runners feel like they need to convince you to run so they can feel justified in running themselves.

It makes no difference to me if you run or which stack you use or if you use a stack at all.
Of course, if you have questions about running, stack work or my specific stack, I can wax philosophic. But this seems to be the exception and not the rule.

I have a friend in magic who has been trying to get me to convert from my own stack to Redford now for years. Why? Who cares? What is at stake here?

I converted from mnemonica to my own stack a few years ago as a personal project. I loved mnemonica and I stand behind that book being a masterclass in magic -- especially the underrated appendices. But none of the tricks I was doing were stack dependent. It was estimation work, jazzing, key cards and MNEMONICOSIS --- which, unrelated, I view as one of the strongest tricks in card magic.

So I decided after a year in mnemonica that it wasn't too late to just make my own stack and have something completely unique. That way I could do all of my mem-deck stuff infront of my mnemonica friends and still fry them. Not only that, but also there was pride in the time spent creating it.

In any case, my point is: I agree with everything you're saying. My stack has weaknesses. There is no literature concerning it because it's unique. There is no one to bounce ideas off of, nor anyone else creating a body of work with it or thinking differently around it. But, I know every card by its position in an instant and my estimation is dead on. And no one else uses it. I don't know what compels people to convince others to convert. Insecurity?
NeverMind
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Quote:
On Feb 14, 2022, ltrblst wrote:
Quote:
On Feb 13, 2022, NeverMind wrote:

After 5 years of Karma Deck magic, I really don't need to 'calculate any thoughts'.


After this I think there is no point in arguing, especially with something more resembling a landing page full of marketing copy.

Some friends of mine initially liked the unkown mentalist approach, but as they got experience they gravitated toward more mature material, like I did myself.

Maybe he is good for a newbies, but honestly I see no point in starting with less than the state of the art, which for me is:

- Doug Dyment Calculated Thoughts, as far as cyclical, tetradistic and algorithmic stack.
- Aronson, Tamariz and Redford material for stack work.

So if it works for you then we will just agree to disagrre.


I respect your views and you are entitled to them, of course - as am I.....so

1. Arguing never gets us anywhere. I was simply sharing MY thoughts and MY experiences with the Karma Deck on a thread meant for Karma Deck. And there can simply be no argument about THAT. Unless, someone wants to derail a thread meant for Karma Deck.

2. After close to 1000 paid gigs, I do not consider myself a newbie, by any stretch of imagination. And I am very happy with the Karma Deck for my needs, so far.

3. Do you actually have the Karma Deck and studied its full range? Or are your opinions based on your friends opinions?
Smile
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NeverMind
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Quote:
On Feb 14, 2022, ddyment wrote:
For the record, my views on all this haven't changed since I first posted them in 2009:

4. There is no compelling reason (other than marketing) to campaign for others to use the same stack that you do. Quite the opposite, in fact: the fewer people who use your favourite stack, the less widely it's known, and the more deceptive it will remain.


Doesn't this apply to your stack, Doug? Going by that logic, you should never have promoted your stack and kept it to yourself so that you are the only one on the planet using a unique stack. Please don't get me wrong. All I am saying is there is nothing wrong in sharing something which I may find to be good. Magicians helping magicians, isn't it?

And I just shared my views on Karma Deck on a thread meant for Karma Deck. Also, if I had your stack, I would have surely shared my views on that too - but on a thread meant for your stack.
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ltrblst
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Quote:
On Feb 15, 2022, NeverMind wrote:
3. Do you actually have the Karma Deck and studied its full range? Or are your opinions based on your friends opinions?
Smile


Yes I have studied the Karma deck, and dismissed because it doesn't look random, to me and to the people for which I perform.

That means that I'm sharing my views about Karma deck in a thread meant for Karma deck (not marketing ads copy-pasted by others...).
ddyment
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NeverMind asked:
Quote:
Quote:
On Feb 14, 2022, ddyment wrote:
For the record, my views on all this haven't changed since I first posted them in 2009:

4. There is no compelling reason (other than marketing) to campaign for others to use the same stack that you do. Quite the opposite, in fact: the fewer people who use your favourite stack, the less widely it's known, and the more deceptive it will remain.

Doesn't this apply to your stack, Doug? Going by that logic, you should never have promoted your stack and kept it to yourself ...

It certainly does apply to me. It's not my logic that is flawed here; perhaps NeverMind did not understand the parenthetical portion of that sentence.

Also, I have published many full-deck stacks (including The DAO Stack, The 4D Stack, QuickStack, SnapStack, The Q Stack, The Zenith Stack, The Chroma Stack, The ChroMem Stack, and others), not just one as NeverMind implies. Most of these I kept secret while employing them in performance; now that I have retired, there is no need, and I am happy for others to know and use them).
"Calculated Thoughts" is available at Vanishing Inc. and The Deceptionary :: Elegant, Literate, Contemporary Mentalism ... and More
IMAGINACIAN
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I've been using Karma Deck for 6-7 years now. And I've used Stebbins and 8k stacks for decades now.

The ebook to get is NOT Karma Deck. But Karma Deck PRO https://www.lybrary.com/karma-deck-pro-p-834234.html

This is a massive tome of 11 ebooks over 120 pages in total (I think). It describes 7 different Karma Deck Stacks and 3 different Suit Order Systems. If you cross them you get 7x3=21 different Karma Deck stacks. Massive range of choices.

One of the ebooks in the bundle Gaspers - has several routines with the Karma Deck stacks

There is a little book in the bundle - Karma Deck Multiverse, which I especially like. The author give a simple yet killer process to learn all the 7 stacks in one go. And I could literally learn all 7 stacks in under 30 minutes. Please note that although, it is easy to learn all 7 stacks and I did, I actually use only one of the stacks regularly.

For those who may be into mega memory card routines - this method of learning all 7 stacks in one go may be useful, I think.

I have several other releases of Unknown Mentalist and I've seldom been disappointed. The books I got are mostly genius and sometimes brilliant and have been using several of his ideas to actually make money for me.

Overall, Karma Deck is working very well for me, although I still use Stebbins and 8K as well fairly regularly where necessary.
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IMAGINACIAN
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Also want to add that all Karma Deck stacks are quite random in values as well as suits. And easy to learn and recall. Been doing that for over 6 years now.

The first few cards of one of the Karma Deck stacks are as follows: 2S, AC, 9H, 5C, 4S, QD, 8D, 7H, 3C, JH, 10D

The first few cards of another Karma Deck stack are as follows: JD, 4C, 9H, 2S, 7S, QD, 5H, 10D, 3C, 8C, AH

The first few cards of yet another Karma Deck stack are as follows: 4S, 5C, 9H, AC, 2S, QD, 10D, JH, 3C, 7H, 8D, 6S

Of course, what works for me may not necessarily work for everyone else, of course Smile
There is no better freedom than choice and no better choice than freedom.
Alexander2701
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Honestly, I disagree with you that they are easy to remember.
IMAGINACIAN
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Quote:
On Feb 15, 2022, Alexander2701 wrote:
Honestly, I disagree with you that they are easy to remember.


You are not supposed to REMEMBER them by rote memory. No. That is difficult, I agree. But if you are aware of the Karma Deck principle, you can learn any Karma Deck stack in under 5 mins and all 7 stacks in under 30 mins - I did it. I guess, that is why the legendary Richard Osterlind was so impressed with this.

Osterlind says "The new "KARMA DECK" is something I find very intriguing! Without having to memorize a single thing, the author has come up with a clever idea that will allow you to know the position in the deck of any card named or to know the name of a card at any position in the deck! As you read on you will see there is a stack, but there is absolutely zero memory involved in working it!"

This is a stack worth knowing, whether beginner or advanced, amateur or pro. Ultimately, it is always down to the individual preference.
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ltrblst
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I dunno why, but all those "Karma deck" pro posts sound like sales pitches...

What's up with the testimonial thing? Are you the author?

Let's move the discussion to our own personal experience and give honest feedback.

The "karma plrinciple" is not new at all, to the best of my knowledge it dates back to Gaspar Cordozo in 1612. However here the important thing is HOW this principle can be developed and applied to help us now.

The pairs from the original "Karma deck" are really easy to remember and internalize, but the resulting stack is not random at all (with ascending and descending sequences).

The subsequent "Karma deck" variations look random, but I found that the proposed pairings are much less intuitive and, coupled with additional suite rules, much less practical.

That's why, after trying all the relevant stacks I could (Si Stebbing, Bart Harding, Panacea, Shadow Sequeira, BCS, Dao, Karma, Q, Common, ecc...) I settled on QuickStack 3.0, which I found to be the perfect balance for me.

Your mileage may vary, of course.
IMAGINACIAN
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Quote:
On Feb 16, 2022, ltrblst wrote:
I dunno why, but all those "Karma deck" pro posts sound like sales pitches...


I was just sharing links to product pages, providing references, expressing my views etc on the topic of this thread. If you are smart enough to decipher that as sales pitch, you do have the option to ignore 'sales pitches'. After all, you are not the 'pitch bearer' over here, right? Smile
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IMAGINACIAN
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Quote:
On Feb 16, 2022, ltrblst wrote:
What's up with the testimonial thing? Are you the author?


Well, I am as much the author as you yourself are Doug Dyment or his alter ego Smile

And just in case you missed it, here is another testimonial from the Karma Deck product page by a leading light of magic, Dan Harlan "Wow! You've actually done it! Your Karma Deck System is an elegant synthesis of concepts that have long been at odds... but now you have them working together harmoniously! I had always hoped that some genius would come up with a rule-based system for quickly knowing the position of every card in the deck, and still allow me to perform all the cyclical-stack material I love. You are that genius! I'd be quite happy to endorse and promote it. In fact, I'd like to start using it in my act right away!" Smile Smile Smile

Btw, the Unknown Mentalist is one of my fav 3 recent mentalism thinkers. The other 2 being Matt Mello and Sudo Nimh.
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IMAGINACIAN
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Quote:
On Feb 16, 2022, ltrblst wrote:

Let's move the discussion to our own personal experience and give honest feedback.



Sure, but correction - personal experience of Karma Deck which is the topic of this thread Smile
There is no better freedom than choice and no better choice than freedom.
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