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Revision as of 08:32, 8 November 2007 by Bradmagic (Talk | contribs) (Published Stacks: Added interwiki links for future articles)

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A Stack is prearranged deck or part of the deck of cards.

Full-deck stacks

  • Sequential stack permits one to determine the card following any given card. Such stacks are circular, sometimes termed rosary stacks. The pack may be given any number of single complete cuts without destroying the sequence. Examples include the Si Stebbins and Eight Kings stacks as well as Richard Osterlind’s Breakthrough Card System.
  • Memorized deck permits one to know the position and name of every card in the deck. There are four basic approaches to learning a memorized deck:
    • Rote memory - Decide on the stacked arrangement and memorize it.
    • Mnemonic - Using well-known mnemonic alphabet (T/D=1, N=2, M=3, etc.) called the "Peg" system to devise images for each of the 52 positions in the stack.
    • Rule based - Enabling the learning of remembering the necessary relationships.
    • Algorithmic - Using a formula of some kind to relate card values and positions.

Partial-deck stacks

  • Barrie Richardson and Lewis Jones have published algorithmic systems that cover only half the pack. For example, either all the even cards or all those of one color.

False Shuffles are usually a necessity when performing with a stacked deck. Deck Switches can be a valuable tool too.


There are several software applications that help with comparing and learning stacks

Published Stacks

(I'm still working on this!)
  • Si Stebbins in Amateur Magician's Handbook (sequential)
  • Eight Kings (sequential)
  • Bart Harding stack (1962) (in manuscript from Alan Shaxon) (Algorithmic)
  • QuickStack (a.k.a. The Half-Hour Memorized Deck) in Mindsights by Doug Dyment.

"Hacker Stack" as Youell refers to it) in 'Weapons of Mass Destruction" notes.

stacks, “Combo II”, Karl Fulves (Trick by Robin Robertson)

  • “15 Minute No Mnemonic Memorized Card System, The” - A card system that appears

random, yet is easily memorized, “Reputation Makers”, Charles Gauci

  • “Berg Stack, The” - A flexible card system that is simple in memorization, yet offers all

the advantages of other memorized decks, “Sleight of Mind”, Harvey A. Berg

  • “Card Verb System” - A unique system of mnemonics for the Si Stebbins stack that,

given only the bottom card, will allow you to know where any other card in the deck is located, or which card is at a given location, “Genii” - October 1970, Pat Hennessy

  • “Lazy Magician’s Memorized Pack” - An excellent random-looking stack that easily

allows the performer to know the exact location of any given red card, “Concepts & Deceptions” and “Act Two”, Barrie Richardson

  • “Raven Magic’s Memorized Deck Made Easy” - A simple memorized deck system,

including some built-in poker effects, is taught along with effects using the system, “Raven Magic’s Memorized Deck Made Easy”, Richard Raven

  • “Marked Memory,” Pallbearers Review, Jan. 1968, p. 152
  • “Memorizing a whole deck in an hour” - Davide Brizio’s approach to the memorized

deck, using a method that takes less than an hour,, Davide Brizio

  • Hungry Jack Ass setup that John Mulholland 1944 book Magic for Entertaining. It showed up again, with basically the same supporting material in his Book of Magic,

Favorite effects with a stacked deck

  • (add yours here) using Edit above


Dennis Loomis' Memorized Deck Page
Simon Aronson's Memorized Deck Area
Introduction to Full Deck Stacks
Genii Forum thread on Memorized Deck Systems
MagicTalk thread on Memorized Decks
MagicTalk thread on Stacks
Martin Joyal on the Memorized Deck
Memory Effects (list of memory-related effects)
WikiHow: How To Memorize A Deck of Cards