Memorized Stacks?

mmm… I am thinking of inventing my own memorized stack. Alot of the features associated with the Aronson and Tamariz stack are not ones I particularly need. For instance – I don’t need to go from NEW DECK ORDER to a memorized stack since I don’t like using brand new decks of cards (they feel weird). Still – a NEW DECK ORDER can make for a nice kicker at the end of certain effects. But – it is not a deal breaker for me. Particularly since I like the idea of building in some Gilbreath Principle type effect into my stack. Having a deck of cards shuffled by the spectator seems like a nice way to end a memorized deck routine. Also – it will make for a nice ‘out’ should a spectator suddenly demand to shuffle the cards during a memorized stack effect…

I guess I am just going to have to see what stacks I need for certain tricks I like, and then see how I can combine them into the same stack. The tricky thing is working out when to create a stack. It would be a shame to go to all the trouble of inventing and memorizing a stack, to only then discover a clever trick requiring preset cards which you really want to make part of your stack…

I once considered memorizing THE ROBOT DECK by Stewart James. This makes sense since most of the best memorized deck effects are stack-independent. And since there is just so much going on in THE ROBOT DECK it seemed like fun to have all that ingenuity at your fingertips and ready to go. But – ultimately – I decided that THE ROBOT DECK whilst being very clever, isn’t a particularly good trick.

I also like the idea of having a stack that can bend in different directions. That is something the TAMARIZ stack allows. For instance – with Tamariz’s stack you have RED/BLACK order, NEW DECK ORDER, SI STEBBINS ORDER, STAY-STACK ORDER all at hand. Anyone of those possibilities opens up hundreds of effects…

A routine that can head down multiple paths is definitely something I will aim for. Or something modular in structure. For instance – have things so that the spectator can shuffle the deck at any part of the routine, and things can still be concluded successfully. Gilbreath might be one way – but ‘pointer cards’ might be another. And the advantage with ‘pointer cards’ is they won’t effect the stack too much and the cards can be shuffled in absolutely any way the spectator wants…

Still – I may be over complicating things. Get two or three nice tricks – combine them in a stack and just memorize the damn thing. That may be the best way to go since 99% of the best tricks really are stack-independent. Indeed – one of the best features of the memorized stack is the ability to have spectators name cards instead of picking them…

I dunno’ this is all up in the air at the moment. I may ultimately just plump for the TAMARIZ stack and be done with it. But – probably not. If nothing else I really like having some of my favourite tricks set to go in my stack, so I will probably go down the ‘original stack’ route…

And to guide me I will take inspiration from this mysterious quote from Jon Racherbaumer. He was writing about a card stack that Frank Thompson mentioned – but refused to give details of…

Frank Thompson also talked about something he called the OTTO STACK. It was never tipped or published. Its title, because of the “Otto” palindrome, suggests a type of Stay-Stack or Mirror-Stack; however, Frank, when asked, merely said, “Close! But no cigar!”


2 Comments Add yours

  1. justin says:

    Tamariz to si stebbins? Where could that be found, if you don’t mind me asking.

  2. cardmagic10 says:

    Well – firstly – I have read a few books about memorized stacks, and played around with them quite a bit. But I have yet to memorize one so I can’t guarantee anything I say here…

    So – the thinking with the Tamariz Stack is that you can put that stack into NEW DECK ORDER – and from there you can use Darwin Ortiz’s SI STEBBINS SECRET to place the deck into SI STEBBINS order. I haven’t used Darwin’s SI STEBBINS SECRET – but I believe it mostly consists of a couple of overhand shuffles and then a couple of faro shuffles.

    However – I believe the TAMARIZ stack can only get to EUROPEAN NEW DECK ORDER – so that may throw a spanner in the works, since I am sure Darwin’s SI STEBBINS SECRET is done from AMERICAN NEW DECK ORDER. But – I haven’t played with any of these tools before, so I may be wrong here…

    Also – I want to ‘cut and paste’ something that Jamy Ian Swiss wrote in his GENII review of MNEMONICA. He talks about Tim Conover’s unpublished stack which may one day be released. Hard to say if that will happen since Tim recently died (very tragic). Anyway – here is the ‘cut and paste’ – it may be of interest:

    He is also an expert with the memorized deck, and some
    years ago, after hearing the rumors about the Mnemonica,
    he set about devising his own stack. Knowing that the
    Mnemonica included Stay-Stack and the ability to go to
    new-deck order as a finish, he developed a similar
    approach, but designed for English spellings and American
    new-deck order (Sr. Tamariz describes in the book the extra
    step required in order to get into his stack from American
    new-deck order as opposed to European.)

    Says Mr. Conover, “My complete and only inspiration for my stack
    were the stories and legends about Juan Tamariz.”

    He was able to effectively match the Mnemonica almost
    feature for feature (with the exception of Sr. Tamariz’s extensive
    work on “Any Hand Called For”), and has also made one
    remarkable addition: the ability to readily go to Si Stebbins
    order. This is a powerful tool and a remarkable feat.

    All the best,


    PS I am unsure if I will ever invent my own memorized stack. Memorizing something like THE ROBOT DECK could be fun – and the deck is mixed up quite alot during the routine which is nice since I like the idea of letting a stack be shuffled towards the end of a routine. So – it is an idea – but equally I would be tempted to just put together the Roy Walton trick (A STRAIGHT SHUFFLE) along with the set-up required for a couple of other effects and then just memorize that…

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