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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Shuffled not Stirred » » Learning a Memorized Deck (Memdeck) (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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owen.daniel
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What with all of the comotion about the long awaited Tamariz book, you may be thinking that surely there are no requirements for another topic about stacked decks. However in this topic I would like to hear what techniques you used to learn your deck.
I have not yet recieved my copy of Mnemonica, so at the moment I am unaware of the methods he suggests (well I know what they are vaguely). I have decided to learn the deck now, so that when it arrives, I will be able to get stuck in!
Here is the technique that I have been using.

Firstly I took the first 5 cards and I memorised them by saying (out loud) "The 4 of clubs is the first card; the first card is the 4 of clubs". I repeated this and then did the same with the second card, however I added on the last time "...the card before the second card, the 2 of hearts, is the 4 of clubs."
I did this for all of the cards (i have only learnt the first 20 so far).
Although this is not the best method I am sure, it is quite efficient, and I am moving at a speed where I can be sure that I have mastered a group of 5 cards, before introducing another group.
I think that one of the greatest problems with learning the stack is if you rush yourself, and thus I have taken my time.
I test myself in several ways, mixing the cards face up and face down, and saying what card/number it is (i write the number on the back of the card). Then laying them all face up on the table and rearranging them in the correct order. Writing down the number, then the preceding card, then the card that follows it.
These methods all help to build confidence when naming the cards.

I am interested to see what other methods people use, and to what effect. Did your method work?
owen
JimMaloney
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I followed the method you're using about 4 years or so ago, for the Tamariz stack. I haven't used the stack much in the intervening time, but I still remember it fairly well (though if I'm going to use it in a live situation, I'll need to study up). I'm currently working on the methods outlined in Mnemonica, which I feel will greatly reinforce my current memory of the stack.

-Jim
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BarryFernelius
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Tamariz provides several different methods for memorizing his stack in Mnemonica. I won't describe them here, but I'm convinced that his methods will work if you are willing to put in the requisite work.

Martin Joyal's approach in the Six Hour Memorized deck is a rule-based approach that I found to be very straight-forward. I've used Joyal's stack for years in most of my performances, and it works fine.

Or, take a look at Nikola's method, Simon Aronson's linked list of images, and so forth. Just about any good memory book (see non-magical works by Harry Lorayne, for instance) will have methods that can be applied to the problem.

In all cases the goal is the same: if someone names a number, you should instantly know the corresponding card. Similarly, if someone names a card, you should instantly know the stack number. In both cases, this should be possible with no extra thinking and no calculation. I'd also add that for any card named, you should immediately know its successor and predecessor.
"To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time."

-Leonard Bernstein
owen.daniel
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If you go to Simon Aronson's website, there is a downloadable manuscript about memdeck work, one of the things he says is that people often think that it is impossible to learn a deck of cards, and therefore do not undertake the challenge. I think that this is true, however anyone who has seen memdeck work in practice has a great advantage. I recently saw Michael Close perform at MAGIC Live; afterwards I spoke to him about a couple of effects and he told me that a lot of the stuff he performed in the show used the memdeck...I would never have known...
As long as you have a reason to learn it (not just learning it so that you know a deck), a specific trick etc. really spurrs you on to learn it more quickly as you have an incentive. My incentive is the arrival of Mnemonica...
All I can advise is: once you've started: don't GIVE UP!
Owen
LiquidSn
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Brute force memorize is the best.

put the deck into order and number them on the back

than seperate them into suits and memorize them.

So for example, take the spades and first memorize A-6 and mix and shuffle and get it into memory. than do it for 7-k.

do that for the 4 suits and then shuffle them all together and do it by looking at the card and naming the # and vise versa, than put the deck into order from just the face cards.

Doing this you can probelly get a general feeling of the cards by 4-5 hours.

The hard part is to see the card and the # pops in the head. that takes a while.
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Magicmike1949
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I used Tamariz's song method and had the stack down in 2 days. I now test myself several ways. Give it a try.
Zombie Qualified for Warfare
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The best way to learn a stack is to say the names of the cards into a tape recorder and listen to it while your sleeping.
amesgoddess
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It frightens me to see so many people claiming to know the best method to memorize anything. We all have different learning styles and some methods work better than others for each of us.

An example, I'm highly auditory so hearing something repeatedly is a very efficient way for me to learn. My partner, who is highly visual, learns better with flash cards, which just confuse me.

There is no one best way to learn anything. If you are having trouble memorizing a stack or anything else, keep trying different methods until you find a method (or combination of methods) that works best for you.
Peder Andersson
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Amesgoddess is right. Depending on your person you may prefer different methods. I would just like to add one which I think is interesting that was described to me by Yves Doumergue while I was living in France.

He suggested that writing the number on both the back and face of the card would serve the dual purpose of in the first round teaching you to associate cards with numbers (faces) and then provide a means for testing your memory by using the backs. The final test would be to use a different deck with numbers only on the backs and go through it as one tries to divine the numbers on the backs. The idea with putting numbers on the faces is interesting since it creates a mental image of each card with its associated number.

I would also like to share my way of keeping the stack alive in my mind. I commence each session at the gym with a quick bicycle ride to warm up. This is the time to repeat the stack - number order first and then by suits. I do this two to three times a week. This way I never perceive warming up as a waste of time.

Peder
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I Cast No Shadow
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I've used the Nikola system before (which can be found in "Encyclopedia of Card Tricks" by Hugard) to know any card at any number or vice versa and it works fairly well. You will have to tailor it to your own stack of course. However, the stack I've used more than any other is the old "Eight kings threatened to save..." stack. At a casual glance the deck appears to be mixed, not to mention the fact that it is SO VERY EASY to use! Big points for that! It will allow you to cut the cards anywhere and know what the next (face down) card will be, and with a little counting in your head it is still good for knowing any card at any number (or the number of any card). It's tried and true, and again very easy to use. Definitely my favorite. If you aren't familiar with it PM me and I'll explain how it works. Smile

Another neat use for these stacks (in case you didn't know) is this.... Have someone cut the cards anywhere into two piles. Based on the visible card they cut to (the one you can see) you can tell them how many cards are in either (or both) stacks. Of course you will know the predecessor and successor of the cut card as well. Just figured I'd toss that in (as obvious as it may seem).
"It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious" - Murphy's Corollary
LiquidSn
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I personally think that brute force is the best way to go.

why? becuase anything else requires a extra step in memory.

in brute forcing you associate the name of the card to the number

# = Name of Card.

If you used a thing like associating it to words like

three of hearts = three hearts in 7 baskets.

you require a extra step becuase you have to think of the phrase than the card than the #

audio learing is too. you won't link it visually, only with hearing. you see like the 10 of hearts and than your mind says it in your head and you play the little "voice" and it says "10 of hearts is 38".

I know I am blabbing about this, but in Tamariz's book there are some tricks that you ribbon spread 13 cards and you have to know the # right off associated to the cards.

And the only way you can do that is when you see the card and the # pops in your head automatically. no silly phraze or anything else, just # and card.

Tony C.
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owen.daniel
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I personally am not a great fan of the associating method. I find that it takes too much time for me to remember the links...I prefer to learn the ways that I detailed at the beginning.
Another usefull method of learning, will be to use the test facility of Nick Pudar's Stack View program. This is a great program to get on your computer, and is a free download from http://www.stackview.com

amesgoddess,
You will see that at no point in my original post did I mention anything about the best way to remember, and as a matter of fact only 1 person used the word best in any of there posts! What people are saying is what their preffered methods of learning are. Therefore we are sharing ideas which may be original to ourselves to others, or for those who have little knowledge of memory work, then this may be a good place to look before commencing on a stack.
Owen
Nick Pudar
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Owen,
Thanks for mentioning StackView. I would like to mention that the Test feature can be found under the "Tools" menu, as I've learned that quite a few people had not noticed that feature.

On the topic of learning... there has been some research over the past 20 years about how the brain functions for learning, and what kind of stimuli supports the right kind of learning focus. In a nutshell, it was found that there are three kinds of stimuli: visual (V), auditory (A), and kinisthetic (K). For each person, one of these will keep you focused on learning, one will tend to put you into daydream mode, and the third will try to bring you back to focus. And it was found that the population is fairly evenly divided in the six possible combinations of learning styles. For example, I am VKA -- which means that V keeps me focused, A puts me in daydream mode, and K helps me get back to focus. When I'm in business meetings with just talking going on, I have a hard time staying focused, but if you put a chart or some visual in front of me, I have no trouble staying on point. And I fidget around (K) to stay focused.

So, as I said, one third of us will learn best with visual methods, (StackView, flash cards, etc); one third will learn best with auditory modes (singing, listening to recordings, etc); and one third will learn best by doing something physical (riding a bike while warming up for a workout, reciting the stack while walking, etc.) You just have to find out which mode hels you stay focused, then pick a method that will work for you.

Nick
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david_a_whitehead
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Yes, I learnt the aronson by brute force. Funnily enough, it wasn't too difficult. I am thinking of switching though because I REALLY like the benefits of Tamariz' stay stack qualities and the fact that you could shuffle into it from NDO and end in NDO.
Bennettjc
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I learned the Aronson stack by using the word association technique he uses. I did modify it a bit because I didn't like the fact that in certain cases different letters are associated are associated with the numbers. (For example #9 can be a "p" or "b." My rule was 9s can only be "p"s.)

In my opinion the "Brute Force" method is the best way to go if one can pull it off. As other members have mentioned it eliminates the many steps that are otherwise needed in figuring out the next card and so on. It still takes maybe 5 seconds in many cases for me to determine the next card in the stack.

The advantage of the word association for me, though, is that it simply takes less mental work. I was able to casually learn the words, the association, and practice while riding on the bus without taxing already overextended mental resources.

And, as time has passed, the middle mental steps in getting from the card to the stack numbers have disappeared for many of the cards.
amesgoddess
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********************************************
amesgoddess,
You will see that at no point in my original post did I mention anything about the best way to remember, and as a matter of fact only 1 person used the word best in any of there posts! What people are saying is what their preffered methods of learning are. Therefore we are sharing ideas which may be original to ourselves to others, or for those who have little knowledge of memory work, then this may be a good place to look before commencing on a stack.
Owen

********************************************


Not to get into too much of a shouting match, but actually two people had used the word best, the post immediately prior to mine and the post two prior to that one. It seemed like a worrying trend to me.

Next time I will point fingers so the "innocent" don't think I'm talking about them and take umbrage at the remark.

andrea
JimMaloney
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Quote:
On 2004-09-24 00:22, amesgoddess wrote:
It frightens me to see so many people claiming to know the best method to memorize anything. We all have different learning styles and some methods work better than others for each of us.


This is exactly why I think Tamariz's methods are the best -- they combine several modes of learning: auditory, visual, muscular, and conceptual. By layering all those methods on top of each other, you're using your whole brain, or at least a large portion of it. That forces your brain to develop multiple neural pathways, which makes recall much easier.

-Jim
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owen.daniel
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Nick,
It is interesting what you say about learning the stack, and the different learning techniques. I had heard of the different types of learning, however I had never though of having the third "to help you focus"...i had previously thought that you only had one preferable learning method, and that others you should leave...Sounds as though my learning patterns are similar to yours...I just wish my teachers saw this argument (they are always confiscating my cards and coins)!

amesgoddess,
I was not trying to start a fight with my comment, I was just clarifying the point in the topic that I have started. Of coruse there is no best method, as you pointed out, and I agree totally, that it seems strange for people to say that they have created "The Best" method of anything. The point in this topic is to compare methods, so that we may find something of interest.

Owen
ddyment
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I agree with the assertion that there is no one "best" way to learn a stack (just as there is no one "best" stack to learn). Each has different benefits and drawbacks, and as our needs and abilities differ, so should our selections of methods.

What concerns me is that many people fail to recognize the tradeoffs among the various methods. Just as it's important to realize that there are different approaches (there are four fundamental techniques), it's equally important to understand the benefits offered by each. I discuss this at some length in an essay on the topic, for those who care to read further.

... Doug
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amccrawford
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Doug

I have read your essay before and generally agreed with and enjoyed it. My only major disagreement with it is that you say that there is no backup strategy if memory fails for the rote method. I find that, having used the brute method myself, you actually do subconsciously or consciously create associations.

For instance in my case with the Aronson stack - 16-8C is two times eight, 28-7C is four times seven, 21-QD is receiving diamonds for her 21st birthday etc. etc.

I also found that using the rote method was easier than the mnemonics method, simply because there was less to learn.
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