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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Shuffled not Stirred » » Easy to learn and use random looking stack (card/position and next/previous) (23 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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ltrblst
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Dear all,

I've searched and read quite a bit here, and I need help understanding what's out there in terms of modern, fast to learn and use, decently random full deck stacks.

I've practiced with the Bart Harding System, BCS and settled with Si Stebbins (4 apart, SHoCkeD) mostly for easy of use even if the randomness of the latter is a problem for me.

According to the reviews there are some interesting product both new (Panacea, Karma Deck, The Solution, ecc...) and already well established like the above mentioned systems and QuickerStack (which I don't own yet but I've appreciated through its webpage and Mr. Dyment very interesting essay https://www.deceptionary.com/aboutstacks.html)

Since I'm an amateur mostly interested in mental magic with cards, I identified my needs as follows:
- easy on memory and learned fast
- random looking appearance (tetradistic could be ok, even if family and friends can be very picky!)
- easy to find next/previuos card
- easy to find card at position / position of a card

Desired:
- can be cut
- when cut, by looking at the bottom card it's easy to find card at position / position of a card

I really look forward to your help, knowledgeable community!
-- Lut
no2ss
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I find it not that hard to learn a full stack with a little bit of practice (or via the Memory Arts book). I learned Mnemonica that way. Prior to that I did use the Karma Deck which is neat, but after learning Mnemonica, I no longer needed Karma.
dclxvinyc
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Every stack has merit and there's a lot to discuss. But from my experience, you can't do much better than mnemonica and I'll tell you why.

1. It looks random and shuffled and it can be cut repeatedly.
2. It is exactly as easy to learn as any other full deck stack, and maybe more-so because of the good memory techniques outlined in the book. Learning a full deck stack is not as hard as it seems. And any time you cut that corner by learning a pattern based stack you sacrifice 'randomness' and actually knowing the position of each card (with Stebbins, can you tell me what card no. 48 is without counting from the top or doing math?)
3. It can be arrived at from New Deck Order and returned to New Deck Order by doing tricks, not sleights.
4. Many decks come in mnemonica order out of the box, so you can go into routines straight away from a sealed deck and a false shuffle or two. This includes Cherry Casino, Tycoons by Theory 11, White Lions/Black Lions, and many more.
5. The tricks outlined in Mnemonica the book are top notch, reputation making tricks. Mnemonicosis alone has paid my rent five times over. There are many tricks that are "built in" to mnemonica and many more that are stack independent.

6. (this one is my favorite point) The appendixes to Mnemonica are among the best resources in closeup, card magic that exist in print. From outlining how to return the stack to order after overhand, riffle shuffles, overhand AND riffle shuffles by the spectator; table washes to keep the order; controls and counts; misdirection; a great, thorough section on peeks --- even if you never learn the stack, but you study the appendix to the book, you will be better at card magic (and magic in general) from having read it.

Now, there will be people out there who have good things to say about other stacks. To them, I say: awesome. I didn't write this to tout mnemonic's superiority, but to show that it is wonderful, worthy of the work it requires, and has served me very well for many years and presumably many more to come. I can only write from my own experience.. Moreover, I welcome people who have similar experience in other stacks to reply to this and share their points and stories.

I will say one point AGAINST mnemonica, though.

It is being tipped -- Decks of cards being sold in the order, cheat sheets and devices publishing the order for quick access. Many magicians talking about it on youtube. Tricks being done in public light that showcase knowledge of large chunks of the order as a reveal...--- so, you probably won't fool magicians if you spread the cards and they see it.
I was in the closeup parlor at the Magic Castle and saw a wonderful, wonderful show that would have fooled me if not for seeing a run of four very familiar cards in a spelling routine. It still stands as one of the best shows I've ever seen, and the magician filled 20 minutes with a deck of cards, but I became impressed with his handling rather than in awe of the mystery.
So mnemonic's popularity may be its biggest downfall at the moment. That being said, I don't think it's that big of a deal but I'd like to be fair and offer a conflicting perspective.

IN ANY CASE AND WITH ANY STACK, your magic now sinks or swims by virtue of your other strengths. Personally, I never touch the cards. I use jazzing, estimation and crowd control to get to my reveals. Some people are technicians and can use stacks for completely different ends. Wherever your strengths are, you will see a use for them in stack work.
Your stack will be a tool you can use for the rest of your life.
Even once you are completely inside and out familiar with your stack, you will hit a point a few years later where you look back and see how far you've come.
Once you start performing with a stack, you will be in a state of bewilderment and disbelief how you went so long in magic before learning one.

Good luck
-J

Smile Smile Smile
ltrblst
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Quote:
On Jun 24, 2020, dclxvinyc wrote:
Every stack has merit and there's a lot to discuss. But from my experience, you can't do much better than mnemonica and I'll tell you why.


Thank you very much for your thoughful reply.

In the end I will probably give a shot to Mnemonica!

However right know (I mean in the following weeks and summer) I would like to have ready some stack either sequential or algorithmic in order to practice a few effects.

However it seems that an easy solution that allows both the determination of previous/next card AND card-at-position / location-of-a-card doesn't exist... yet :-D
-- Lut
ltrblst
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On Jun 24, 2020, no2ss wrote:
Prior to that I did use the Karma Deck which is neat, but after learning Mnemonica, I no longer needed Karma.


May you elaborate about the randomness of Karma deck? May you deal up to half of the deck face up? (like in some ACAAN)
-- Lut
Harry Lorayne
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I wonder how many here have never heard of The World's Foremost Memory-training Specialist" s (NY Times) books on memory training that have sold over 18 million copies, in many languages, all over the world for over half a century, been on best seller lists (including the NY Times) many times, and so on. Just curious. (Time Magazine called me "The Yoda of Memory Training.")
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MC Mirak
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Quote:
On Jun 23, 2020, dclxvinyc wrote:
...the good memory techniques outlined in the book. Learning a full deck stack is not as hard as it seems. And any time you cut that corner by learning a pattern based stack you sacrifice 'randomness' and actually knowing the position of each card (with Stebbins, can you tell me what card no. 48 is without counting from the top or doing math?) ...


I like Mnemonica and the book. But the memory techniques outlined in the book are not good at all. They can work but are, quite literally, the hardest approaches to memorizing a set of information (brute force). Learn a memory system from one of Mr. Lorayne's books or, if that seems daunting, pick up the Mnemonica Trainer from Penguin. It's a great way to learn Mnemonica and should encourage you to then pick up a memory book.
ltrblst
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On Jun 24, 2020, Harry Lorayne wrote:
I wonder how many here have never heard of The World's Foremost Memory-training Specialist" s (NY Times) books on memory training that have sold over 18 million copies, in many languages, all over the world for over half a century, been on best seller lists (including the NY Times) many times, and so on. Just curious. (Time Magazine called me "The Yoda of Memory Training.")


Thanks for replying to me Mr.Lorayne, I really look up to your work and contribution to the conjuror community

What book of yours do you suggest for a total beginner wanting to memorize a deck?
-- Lut
tom_stamm
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There is really excellent advise here. be careful not to confuse the effect with the tool. Do you have a specific effect in mind? Are you looking for a memdeck? or an algorythmic stack that doesn’t look like a tetradistic stack? memdecks are simply memorised. I’ve never seen a random looking algorythmic stack that didn’t have a bunch of exception and rules to make it all work out. The closest thing to that would be a half stack like Lewis Jones’ Memory Stack (later published under the name wayne Goodman’s Prism Stack — (I’m sure there is a story there, but I don’t know it).

tetradistic stack like Si Sbbins is fine. Just manage the deck.

Personnally I am a Aronson guy. But any memdeck is great< just a lot of work. Get one of Harry’s books.

please note: I CAN’T spell...I just can’t type.
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dclxvinyc
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Quote:
On Jun 24, 2020, MC Mirak wrote:
Quote:
On Jun 23, 2020, dclxvinyc wrote:
...the good memory techniques outlined in the book. Learning a full deck stack is not as hard as it seems. And any time you cut that corner by learning a pattern based stack you sacrifice 'randomness' and actually knowing the position of each card (with Stebbins, can you tell me what card no. 48 is without counting from the top or doing math?) ...


I like Mnemonica and the book. But the memory techniques outlined in the book are not good at all. They can work but are, quite literally, the hardest approaches to memorizing a set of information (brute force). Learn a memory system from one of Mr. Lorayne's books or, if that seems daunting, pick up the Mnemonica Trainer from Penguin. It's a great way to learn Mnemonica and should encourage you to then pick up a memory book.


A fair point. Lorraine's work on memory is without equal, but I only discovered it after having learned Mnemonica by the methods in the book.

Respectfully I wouldn't call Tamariz's methods brute force. Though we may just disagree on terms and not on effectiveness. There are certainly better memory systems out there and everyone learns differently. For me, almost a decade after illustrating little pictures on the card faces to remember their values, I can still see the cartoons when I think of the cards, despite the fact that this deck has been lost to the ages.

I will say this, and it's important to point out: I was very excited to memorize the order.

Many people struggle with dates and figures in books for school but have no trouble to remember the players in the current baseball season or all the actors from Twin Peaks or the Marvel Universe.

The truth is: if you're not excited about putting in the work, yes, you're going to need a good memory system.

There was a magician at a bar on 8th Street in Manhattan who was consistently blowing me away. Eventually he told me he was using a mem-deck, but at that time the mnemonica book was impossible to get. I spent longer tracking down the book (a magic store in the Netherlands who still sends me newsletters) than actually memorizing the order. But it was a magical time. I remember picking up each card to illustrate it and thinking about what wonderful things would be possible when I had this under control.

Maybe that's a long winded way to say that work doesn't feel like work if you enjoy it.

best,
-a
ddyment
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Two things.

First, too many people continue to confuse the method used to initially learn card value/position relationships with the concept of a memorized deck. There are four different ways to learn these relationships, classical mnemonics being but one of them (and not necessarily the best one, depending on your learning style). Ultimately, of course, you will memorize the stack and your initial learning system will fall away (or at least recede thoroughly into the background). As you might expect, each method has its advantages and disadvantages, so it pays to invest some time learning about these issues before embarking on the path to deck memorization.

Second, tom_stamm commented:
Quote:
I've never seen a random looking algorythmic [sic] stack that didn't have a bunch of exception and rules to make it all work out.

Well, far be it from me to deprive you of the pleasure, so I'm attaching a photo of an algorithmic stack that is pretty random in appearance, and the fastest solution of which I'm aware. Conversion from position to card (or the reverse) is a simple two-and-a-quarter-step process (there are actually three steps, but one is trivial to the point of nonexistence for 3/4 of the cards). Only one of these steps involves arithmetic: the addition of a digit no greater than three. The algorithm is 100% consistent for every card, with absolutely no exceptions.

Click here to view attached image.
Doug Dyment's Deceptionary :: Elegant, Literate, Contemporary Mentalism ... and More
ltrblst
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On Jun 25, 2020, tom_stamm wrote:
There is really excellent advise here. be careful not to confuse the effect with the tool. Do you have a specific effect in mind? Are you looking for a memdeck? or an algorythmic stack that doesn’t look like a tetradistic stack?


Yes, I have some specific effects in mind and a full deck stack with the requisites described in my first post would help a lot.

Of course maybe there is no such a thing so I will have to compromise. However being a begnnner I don't know what's out there and I'm discovering every day some very smart solutions, also thanks to the help of this community.

Quote:
On Jun 25, 2020, tom_stamm wrote:
The closest thing to that would be a half stack like Lewis Jones’ Memory Stack (later published under the name wayne Goodman’s Prism Stack — (I’m sure there is a story there, but I don’t know it).


Unfortunately a partial stack (like Jones' or Richardson's) has some limitations for what I have in mind, for example you cannot calculate the next card.

Quote:
On Jun 25, 2020, tom_stamm wrote:
tetradistic stack like Si Sbbins is fine. Just manage the deck.


I like the tetradistic setup for some of his intrinsic capabilities, for example faroing to all pairs and faroing again to all quadruplets.

However I'm not a professional, I do tricks mostly for my family and friends, which are very curious about looking into the deck.

I try to apply the concepts explained by Roberto Giobbi in Card College vol.2, about audience management and routine presentation in order to minimize being challenged, however it's not easy with people so close to you.

So a tetradistic stack would be ok, but the more random, the better.
-- Lut
hcs
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On Jun 24, 2020, Harry Lorayne wrote:
I wonder how many here have never heard of ... "The Yoda of Memory Training."
Although it's hard to remember, the topic of that thread is "Shuffled not Stirred » » Easy to learn and use random looking stack (card/position and next/previous)"!
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MC Mirak
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Quote:
On Jun 25, 2020, ddyment wrote:
Well, far be it from me to deprive you of the pleasure, so I'm attaching a photo of an algorithmic stack that is pretty random in appearance, and the fastest solution of which I'm aware. Conversion from position to card (or the reverse) is a simple two-and-a-quarter-step process (there are actually three steps, but one is trivial to the point of nonexistence for 3/4 of the cards). Only one of these steps involves arithmetic: the addition of a digit no greater than three. The algorithm is 100% consistent for every card, with absolutely no exceptions.



Sorry if I missed it but which stack is this? Doesn't seem like your QuickStack and I don't own QuickerStack. Thanks.
JBSmith1978
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Looks great Doug!

Would love to see what you would come up with augmenting Quickerstack with Card Kindergarten by Weber.

Quickerstack is a pretty straightforward sort to stack, not sure how many take advantage. How does the one you posted compare?
ddyment
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The stack whose photo I posted ("Q Stack") is unpublished, though this may change later this year.

QuickStack is designed to be tetradistic, and tom_stamm wanted to see a completely random-looking stack using a 100%consistent algorithm.

The Q Stack requires less calculation than QuickStack, but of course has none of the tetradistic features. Card magicians will likely prefer QuickStack, but anyone who wants a fully examinable stack will prefer Q Stack.
Doug Dyment's Deceptionary :: Elegant, Literate, Contemporary Mentalism ... and More
tom_stamm
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Ddyment:

I stand corrected by your image. I would be interested in seeing the details when it is published. Would you let us know when it become available?

:Tom
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Six Fine Ladies to Fight a Great Jackass -- me."
JBSmith1978
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On Jun 25, 2020, ddyment wrote:
The stack whose photo I posted ("Q Stack") is unpublished, though this may change later this year.


^^^Hope so. Always a privilege to read your work.
tom_stamm
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Hey Doug,

I'm curious the Q Stack you posted only has 51 cards. Where does the Queen of Clubs go?

:Tom
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"For Seven Tons of the King's Tea,
Six Fine Ladies to Fight a Great Jackass -- me."
ddyment
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Tom_stamm wrote:
Quote:
I'm curious the Q Stack you posted only has 51 cards. Where does the Queen of Clubs go?

Ha! Told you I wasn't a card guy; did you think I could do a decent table spread? Smile

The Queen of Clubs is hiding between the Ace of Clubs and the Six of Diamonds.
Doug Dyment's Deceptionary :: Elegant, Literate, Contemporary Mentalism ... and More
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