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SpareTopChange

Inner Circle
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Reply with quote  #1 
A few ideas I've picked up regarding learning a memorized deck:

1. Scott Aronson mentioned this on one of his DVDs.  I scoffed at first but then I realized how smart it was: If you play cards a lot or if you practice card magic a lot, write the stack number on the *face* of each card.  That way you get used to seeing each card along with its stack number.

No, it's not as efficient as quizzing yourself, but it's a great passive way to learn the numbers while you're doing something else anyway.  I think a lot of what we learn (in general) is acquired this way. 

2a. Take an old pack of cards and write the stack numbers on the *back* of each card.  (And use a red pack, not a blue one.  You want the black marker ink to show up.)  And then shuffle the cards half face up and half face down before you start quizzing yourself.

Maybe this whole hint is obvious, but I'm concerned that some people just try to quiz themselves by running through the cards in order.  And you have to be able to go in both directions.

2b. If you work out in a gym, then at the *end* of your workout when your energy is depleted, get on the treadmill, turn the incline up to the max, and start walking.  I do 3.5-4 mph at a 15 degree incline; it's much harder than it sounds.  And now start going through your flash cards.  Go through the deck twice so that you see the front & back of each card. 

This way you get used to recalling stack numbers under stress (and you might even be hungry by that point too).  The whole exercise should take about 6 minutes (about double what it would if you were just sitting at your kitchen table, partially due to the physical stress, and partially because you have to be careful not to drop the cards).

3. I'm getting concerned that I know a lot of the stack numbers only by seeing the card, not by hearing the card's identity.  For instance, if a spectator calls out "7 of hearts", I first picture it, then convert it to a stack number.  I think this is because I learned the stack by using actual playing cards and by using an app that shows a picture of each card as it quizzes you.  This isn't terribly bad, but it does slow things down a tiny bit.

I think it might be worth making a simple google spreadsheet that prints out the identity in words instead of showing a picture and quizzes you this way. 

4. Adding 52: In some effects, you have to get a particular card to roughly the 7th position.  So you cut the deck, glimpse the bottom card, and then see how close you got by doing subtraction. 

So if your target card is the 20th card, you'd cut about 13 cards to the bottom and look at the bottom card.  So if the 12th card is now on the bottom, then the target card is 8th from the top.

But let's say your target card is the card #2 in the stack?  Without thinking about negative numbers and modular congruence classes, how do you get that card to by roughly 7th from the top, and then after you've cut the cards, how do you know how far down it is?  Try doing this under the pressure of a performance.

Here's what I do: I just add 52 to the stack number and get 52 + 2 = 54 and imagine that the actual stack number is 54.  So I cut a few cards from the bottom to the top, glimpse the bottom card (let's say it's the 49th card), and subtract that from 54.  So the spectator's card is 5th from the top.

(I was surprised that Aronson never mentioned this.  Or maybe he did somewhere and I missed it.) 

Hope you found this helpful.

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Harry Lorayne

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Reply with quote  #2 
         I'll solve it all for you in one sentence - JUST PICK UP ANY ONE OF MY BOOKS ON MEMORY TRAINING.

         Please! Learn my systems and then remember a stack - position of every card, etc. - in MINUTES.
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SpareTopChange

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Reply with quote  #3 
Harry, I actually do own one of your memory books and I learned the whole system of converting numbers to words and back.  That's actually how I learned the Aronson stack in the first place, and eventually I stopped using the memory pegs.  Now I just know that 7H is 25, 8C is 16, etc.

It still took me a couple weeks to learn all the cards.  I cannot understand how you can do this in minutes!  (Heck, you can do this in the time it takes to run to the bathroom.  I just don't get it.)
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Harry Lorayne

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Reply with quote  #4 
       I guess it boils down to practicing to form mental images quickly. I did this stuff on stage for decades, and I hate silence on stage - so just had to form those images - for numbers, names/faces, etc. - instantly. 

       When my wife and I did the act together - (for twenty years!) - she would talk for 20/30 seconds while I locked in the 26 shuffled giant cards that'd been called off to me (so that I could remember not only their numerical positions on the board but also the 26 cards that were NOT on the board. Anyway...
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magicmann

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Reply with quote  #5 
I find that just running through the pack a few times shuffling and putting back into the stack order helps.

Also beginning with Aces CHSD and going through the deck I recall the number. That way it is easy to cull or fins any four of a kind.


Paul 
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SpareTopChange

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicmann

Also beginning with Aces CHSD and going through the deck I recall the number. That way it is easy to cull or fins any four of a kind.
Paul 

That's a great idea.  It doesn't involve raising my pulse to 80% of max though, but I'll still consider it.  [smile]
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KenTheriot

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Reply with quote  #7 
To learn Aronson - get the Aronson Trainer App. Seriously, this helped me get to the point where I almost "dream in Aronson"[smile] (the sign you've learned a language relly well is when you dream in that language). It's a game with levels. It works.

For when you've already got the learning done - and that means no thinking about the stack number of any card or card for any stack number. You just know it....

Michael Close does estimation cuts. He says this is one of his airplane exercises. He goes through the deck trying to cut exactly to the card in the stack. If he is within one card either direction, he'll move on to the next card. If not, he cuts again. 

The ability to estimate a cut and get straight to the card is, as MC puts it, "uncanny." But even getting to within 4 or 5 cards is helpful. Several awesome Aronson tricks use this ability - Invisible Card, MC's Luckiest Cards In Las Vegas, etc.

Ken
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