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Chris M

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Reply with quote  #1 
I'm wondering about whether cyclical stacks (like Stebbins) have any advantages over non-cyclical stacks (like Aronson).

The only one that comes to mind is that spectators can make true cuts with a cyclical stack.  Are there any others?  Can a case for the utility of cyclical stacks over against memorised decks truly be made? [smile]

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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #2 
Allan Ackerman addressed this in his recent TMF lecture. He uses a "Tetradistic" stack as his mem stack. You take one of each of Ace through king of varying suits and shuffle them into a random order. You memorize this order including suits. Now you take another group in the same order except with new suits following a CHaSeD pattern let's say. So if the first card had been the 3C, then the first card of the second group of 13 would be the 3H.

You do this four times with groups of 13. So you know that the card at 17 is the same type as that at 4 but of a different suit. This pattern makes memorization a lot easier than for a totally random deck.

And there are great advantages to the cyclical nature of the deck. For example, two faro shuffles put all mates together i.e. all four aces will be together etc. If you deal 26 cards, reversing their order, the deck is now in Stay Stack which has some great mathematical features.

In the lecture Allan taught a really nice any card named sandwich routine that needs a cyclical stack.

Si Stebbins is a cyclical stack but the alternating red/black still bothers me. The more random look of Allan's stack has a lot of appeal. 

Mike
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Chris M

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Reply with quote  #3 
Very cool reply. Cyclical stacks have access to mathematical properties that non-cyclical stacks do not. Cheers [smile]
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Mind Phantom

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Reply with quote  #4 
Ackerman's Opener is very strong. It won't work if you miss on the 26/26 faro to "cull" the four of a kind together...I also like the blackjack premise with the book Beat The Dealer to do a demo of card counting which puts the deck back in order again.

Strong stuff..
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MorrisCH

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Reply with quote  #5 
With the Si Stebbins stack, the downside is you can't show the deck face up, it is much easier to figure out position and so on of a distant card, But a repeating stack has features that non-repeating stacks do not have:
 

1.  A few faros and you can go from NDO to Si Stebbins. one can argue that Tamariz Stack bear such features but the faro sequence is far more complex compare to Si Stebbins.
2.  A few faros and you can get four of a kind together easily as Mike pointed out.
3.  The alternating colors puts you in a good position for effects like Neither Blind Nor Stupid. I performed Chaos by Pit Hartling when I have colour alternating.  
4.  The alternating suits means dealing out four hands will immediately separate the deck into suits. 
5.  Clever folk like Nick Trost use the principle that a card 13 away from a given card will have the same value as the given card, and a card 26 away will have the same value and color. Unknown Mentalist published few hidden features from Si Stebbins that have never been thought off, Steven Beam and Allan Slaight came up with few cleaver revelation of selected card from Si Stebbins, and much much more 

If you memorized a Si Stebbins stack you could do most of the effects in any of Aronson's or Tamariz's books. 

That said, I strongly recommend reading Patrick Redford's Temporarily out of Order, the Redford Stack gives you the best of both worlds, by doing few overhand shuffle, you can easily alter both Stack easily.

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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #6 
Pat Page worked out a very nice system for learning to memorize a Si Stebbins stack. I don't remember the details but it's probably in print somewhere

Mike
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luigimar

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MorrisCH

If you memorized a Si Stebbins stack...


Don't forget that Steven Youell did exactly that with his Hacker Stack...

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Jeremy Salow

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MorrisCH
With the Si Stebbins stack, the downside is you can't show the deck face up,


You absolutely can show the deck face up. I argue that in general, no one would ever notice the red/black alternations in a brief look, or even in an extended look if you don't act guilty about it. If someone is that concerned, then make it a messy spread and it doesn't even look alternating anymore.
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Chris M

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Reply with quote  #9 
Interesting responses guys, thanks [smile]

So the question now becomes: do the advantages/disadvantages of a cyclical stack outweigh the advantages/disadvantages of a non-cyclical stack?  Seems pretty tough o answer, and largely dependant upon individual magician and performance contexts.  Thoughts?
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Tom G

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Reply with quote  #10 
I think a lot has to do with memorization also.  For me a cyclical stack (with 4 banks of cards) is much easier to get into my memory, plus there are rules/or math that help out.  I've tried rote on Aronson and Redford but the breaking point is about 30.  For me and my way of seeing things mnemonics doesn't work at all.  For cyclical stacks  Quickerstack or Requiem are my favorites.
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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #11 
I think if I had it to do over I might memorize a cyclical stack like that used by Ackerman (tetradistic). The pattern is well hidden and the math features are very cool. Redford stack has a load of built in features too. The fact that you can get from Redford to Stebbins through a series of overhand shuffles has a lot of appeal. You can also return to Redford from Stebbins with exactly the same sequence of overhand runs of cards. Also Patrick has a system for memorization. Very nice!

Mike
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Blathermist

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy Salow


You absolutely can show the deck face up. I argue that in general, no one would ever notice the red/black alternations in a brief look, or even in an extended look if you don't act guilty about it. If someone is that concerned, then make it a messy spread and it doesn't even look alternating anymore.

Fully agree. Meanwhile for what it’s worth, and for anyone with an iron constitution and few weeks to spare, my extended thoughts (some of them) can be found here. 

 http://www.themagiciansforum.com/post/stebbinism-8058006?highlight=stebbinism

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Chris M

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Reply with quote  #13 
Cool thread; cool thoughts! [smile]  Cheers for the link, Blathermist.
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Blathermist

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris M
Cool thread; cool thoughts! [smile]  Cheers for the link, Blathermist.


You're very welcome! [cool]  [smile]
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