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Loyal user
Honolulu, Hawaii
249 Posts

Profile of BWind
I am very new at memorizing a deck of cards. Already purchased the Tamariz & Aronson books. Here is my Q: Is there any significance to the grouping of cards when trying to commit to memorization? For example, the Tamariz system suggest breaking into 4 card groups (not sure about Aronson). Any assistance would be greatly appreciated, thank you.
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New user
30 Posts

Profile of WooG
I think everyone will have their own approach. I learned based on the recommended process in mnemonica. I found focusing on first 13 then first 26, etc was the best way to start. Then drilling backwards from 52 and randomized orders. However more important is putting to test and being able to recall the card and card before and after immediately on the fly during a routine. I did this by practicing routines with timers. Focusing on performing out loud as well.
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Veteran user
354 Posts

Profile of JBSmith1978
My advice is to use a peg system as you’d be tackling two birds with 1.5 stones.
Not only can a peg system facilitate the memorizing but it’s far more reaching in life.
IMHO learning a peg system and how to apply it greatly outweighs memorizing the deck.

Beside that most will say tackle somewhere between three to seven at a time.
Woody suggests that one memorizes the first 26 cards then tackle the second.
This is to easily keep in mind the two halves as separate . Great advice in the long run.
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Elite user
421 Posts

Profile of Nikodemus
I did quite a lot of research before choosing a stack to learn.
Here is a quick summary -

The most popular stacks have been designed around certain features - NOT around how you would learn them.
Eg Aronson has lots of built-in tricks.
Mnemonica also has built-in tricks, but also Tamariz wanted to be able to get from new deck order into stack order with a (fairly) simple procedure. (This actually involves multiple faro shuffles - so not for beginners.)
I believe Patrick Redford's stack was also designed to be easy to set up, plus other features.

Any advice they give you about how to learn their stack is NOT dependent on the stack itself. So if you like Tamariz's idea of drawing pictures on the cards, you could use that to learn Aronson's stack.
The best way to learn any stack is to find the method that works best for you.

LOTS of people use Harry Lorayne's peg system. He is a great magician, but his work on improving your memory is a separate area of expertise. The Memory Book is brilliant. As mentioned above, it is really useful for life in general.

There is a separate category of mem-deck stacks that have been created specifically to be easy (hopefully) to learn. These are designed around their own memory system, rather than around tricks or faro shuffles.
I evaluated several before choosing Martin Joyal's 6 Hour Memorised Deck, which works really well for me.

Most magician's agree that most great men-deck effects can be done with ANY memorised stack - so it is worth considering one of the "easy" ones.
On the other hand, many people say that it is not so hard to learn ANY stack - IF you use a good system (such as Harry L's).
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Inner circle
Gibsons, BC, Canada
2285 Posts

Profile of ddyment
If you haven't yet discovered it, you might want to read my essay on full-deck stacks. It lists the four different ways to learn memorized stacks, and gives examples of each, along with the pros and cons.
"Calculated Thoughts" now available at The Deceptionary :: Elegant, Literate, Contemporary Mentalism ... and More
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