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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 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

  • Horacio Galasso described the Stebbins like progression in Giochi de Carte(1593)
  • Stay-Stack System (or Mirror Stack or Reflected Stack) in The Cardiste no. 1, april and Zens-Ational Stack in The Cardiste no. 2, may 1957 by J. Russell Duck (Rusduck) (1957)
  • Bart Harding's Stack Deck (in manuscript from Alan Shaxon) (Algorithmic) (1962)
  • 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 in Genii 1970 October, page 75, Pat Hennessy.
  • The Berg Stack - A flexible card system that is simple in memorization, yet offers all the advantages of other memorized decks in Sleight of Mind by Harvey A. Berg (1997).
  • 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 by Richard Raven (2000)
  • The 15 Minute No Mnemonic Memorized Card System (aka the Charles Gauci Stack) - A card system that appears random, yet is easily memorized, from Reputation Makers by Charles Gauci (2002)
  • 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 from Concepts & Deceptions (Lecture Notes) and Act Two by Barrie Richardson (2005)

Dates needed:


  1. Conjuring Credits' article on cards:14_15_stack