Card deck memorisation - post your times here!

Hey Huggy, well done man, thats great.

I had stopped practising dard deck memorisation but I think I might try it again with your method (flashing 1 image per loci and adding vocals)



Great job Huggy.

I haven’t tried 52/52 yet, think I should, but I’ve been following some things that Divrom suggested to me with my PAO. So I’ve been using quarter and occasional half decks, then full decks on weekends, and have dropped my PB from 2;28 to 1:40. I think any combo of using the “language” will help. I’ve heard that you are not fluent in a language until you can count or do math in it first, w/o translating it. So any new way should be helpful. What do you guys think?


That is impressive I just dealt thru a deck of cards calling them by the names of the cards, it took me 48 seconds just to deal thru and say the name of the card. (not my character name but to see and call out the two of clubs etc…)

I am also a little bit curious as to what type of cards people use and if they find that it makes a difference.

for example dollar store cards don’t spread as well etc… has anyone tried to coat their cards with anything so they can spread them more quickly ?

(personally I don’t need to I also deal the cards face up onto the table to memorize them my personal best was after doing it a few months it was 2min and 40 something seconds. I don’t practice it anymore and now I am around 3:30-3:45 ish on a good day. which I don’t think was all that much of a drop off my best average other than the fluke was over 3min. (I never have used 2 decks I always recite the cards back I don’t know if that makes a difference.)

Thanks guys.

I don’t bother using a deck, I use the icue app for the iPhone, but only for simplicity whilst I am on the train! :slight_smile:

My new record is 1:30.725 using PAO!

I am a bit concerned about how long it takes me to just recognize my images. It normally takes me over one minute to recognize my images without memorizing, and I feel like its eating up way too much time as about 2/3 of my memorization time is just thinking of the images and only 1/3 is actually used for memorizing them. Do any of you have any advice on how to get better at this besides just practicing recognition more? Also, what percentage of the time would you say is ideal for recognizing images vs actually memorizing them?

Thats an awesome time, congratulations.
Yans training guide

suggests recognition (aka translation or fast reading) can/should be done at a rate of 100 numbers per 30 seconds.
I think he means 100 digits and that is my current goal. Its also possible that he meant 100 number pairs, but Im happy to leave that realisation until after ive met the first goal.
If you simply count each card as 2 digits, then 30 seconds is a reasonable goal for ‘fast reading’
30 sec is also faster than you can speak the names of the cards, meaning that to reach that goal, you must also stop the nasty, time consuming habit of sub-vocalisation. (something im working through now)

One bit of advice I took away from previous in these REALLY LONG thread, was from Nelson, he said he spent a day with each card (one on one time) I imagine that means if he sat down for lunch he took out the card and sat it next to him, when he let I assume he picked it up and put in in his pocket and took it with him or carried it outwardly to the next part of his day, and (i assume) when he drove home he put it on the dash board, or whatever. familiarizing himself with that one card all day long. That way he said he would know that the duce was Britney Spears for example.

I have been thinking about doing this, it would take the better part of two months but can be done with other practicing.

I thought it was a good idea and worth repeating in this same thread.

Thanks for the advice mnemattic and Brian!

30 seconds seems really fast for recognition for me right now, but hopefully I can at least get close to it. I think my next goal will be to eliminate sub-vocalizing as you said as I have become way to dependant on it. I am finding it a really difficult habit to break, but it is apparently pretty important so I am going to continue to focus on it.

Brian, your suggestion was a really interesting one, and I intend to give it a try. Even if I do not do it for every single card, I think I will focus on the ones that sometimes give me problems.

Practice with small enough chunks, 5 or maybe ten cards, just flipping the card and seeing the PAO immediately. Even if you just use two cards per day to practice this… You will never recognize a card in a pack FASTER than if you did this exercise, mixing and flipping only two cards one at a time, but you can recognize a card AS fast as if you were doing this, and the only way to get to that point is to have some practice time where you have already, during that practiced time, visualized a card immediately, hence the necessity of performing this kind of drill with few cards, in Nelson’s case, just 1. Does that make sense?

As long as subvocalization does not slow you down, it just isn’t a problem. Maybe you could give your characters and objects one-syllable nicknames. If you do that, then you won’t have to worry about minimizing subvocalization until you’re under 30 seconds, since a syllable can be uttered in a fraction. Of a second.

Great advice, I’m gonna do a few cards a day. I stopped practising when I was at about 4.5 mins and now I am back to 7.5 mins.



Great advice, I’m gonna do a few cards a day. I stopped practising when I was at about 4.5 mins and now I am back to 7.5 mins.



Just to be clear it was not my idea, I got it from earlier on in this thread. But thank you for mentioning me :slight_smile:

Hey Pwaish, actually, I do think I have some advice that might help your recognition speed, other than that I have given above, which I still stand by as advice moving toward mastery of recognition (where the card cannot be seen without conjuring the image.). This particular advice only applies if you have an IPad, IPhone, or anything else with “apps” on it. The goal is the same - to create a training atmosphere in which you are recognizing your cards immediately, in order to create a “floor speed” of recognition, that which you have proven you are capable of, and that you can move toward in actual practice. Adjust the specifics as needed, but here’s one way to handle it:

First, I spent a lot of time drilling persons, actions, AND objects, individually, when learning PAO. In retrospect, while I wouldn’t say this was a waste of time, it does appear inefficient. Probably better to see each card as a whole: THIS is who the ace is, what he does and upon which object, ALL of that is what this card always means. You won’t always use all of this information, but if you can believe that the images exist in this form, you only have to learn 52 images, NOT 156. This is speculative nevertheless… Here’s my advice.

As I say again and again, make flash adds on If you dare to be patient, make 1 set per day, 13 cards of a suit of your choice, over the period of 4 days. There may be other reasons for longer lists, but this is the best way to do this particular drill - in segments.

Just type the name of the character on the opposite side of the flash card for brevity, but when you use the flash are, see the WHOLE - not just the character. Then download the quizlet app.

One thing you can choose in the app is a “matching” game that is different than the one on the site. It has 8 cards, front and back, on 16 tiles. That means each time you do this game, you’ll be reviewing over half of the suit’s worth of cards. Move systematically down or across the same way every time, beginning on each CARD slide you cross. Then, resist the urge to hunt for the answer. Find the answer in your mind first, and SEE the action happening, and only then hunt for the matching tile. After 10 minutes of doing this, it will be very very easy (and it tells your score each time - keep trying to break it). If you can do this for 20 minutes, you’ll be bored to tears at how easy it is for you to recall the cards. Take a break after, and don’t do anything memory related at least for a few minutes. Then do it again for ten minutes before bed. The next morning, do it for the next suit, and do that next suit the next night, but also make sure that you save five or ten minutes in the day to repeat the exercise wih yesterday’s cards. The key to this is seeing each person doing his thing, and seeing each object involved, before hunting for the next tile. On the fifth day, do a ten minute session for each of the 4 suits, spread throughout the day, and afterwards, it’s probably to do each one for up to 5 minutes each day until it is a rare thing for you to not recognize a card immediately. All told, this is only about 4 hours of practice, but it is aimed 100% at recognition and visualization, and it will help a lot if you take the time. 1:30 is a really good time, and if you feel you are wasting time on recognition, you’ll really be flying through decks if you drill recognition like this or in some similar way.

How’s that working for you?

It’s just about the new month, so here’s the report for now. There are just so many images, that I need to know that I’ve seen them all, and played with them all, a good deal before worrying about speed. So I cut out the Face cards again. This is also helpful because with PAO I was remembering 17 images, and now I am remembering 26. It isn’t easy, and I’ll have to work up to it.

So impatient to become quick…I realized that is a destructive thought process and so today set a goal that I have never set before. Record the times while succeeding 5 times in a row. Usually when I hit a timer it’s followed by pressure, a kind of rushing forward, but today I said “don’t worry, it’s just for data…” And said I would succeed 5 times in a row, starting over if I ever made an error. I was interrupted after only 3 runs, but here they are: my comfortable and easy pace (for these 40 cards):

I’m happy with this! This is the drill I’m going to continue for a while - 5 decks in a row, making SURE to remember. If the times drop for these 40 cards over the next week, I’ll add in one face card set at a time and move forward. Going for “Personal Bests” makes bad form. From now on, my “personal best” isn’t going to be the fastest I could possibly do, it’s going to be the fastest time that I finished the deck KNOWING that none would be forgotten in the end.

Edit: that was 90 minutes or so ago. Just had time to do one more, uninterrupted:

4)1:22 - this was the easiest recall yet… Can improvement happen in hours?
5)1:22.0 again.
These images are so clear that I’ll tempt fate just once tonight and mix in an identical 40 cards, making 80 cards, two of each number per suit plus the aces. It should be roughly the same pace since it is comfortable. BBL.

80 cards)3:16 [fail]. Took my sweet time with this one, too, so I thought, but it looks like I am not skilled enough to make a guarantee when memorizing 40 objects without review. Will repeat experiment after more experience.

Of two runs today, (trying for speed today, accuracy tomorrow), my second (A-10, 40 cards) was 1:06.7. I forgot one image, but knew where it went, so it would have been easy to reassemble in speed cards, but the final event involves no reassembly, so it must be considered a failed attempt. Only having timed myself for 3 days, I am quite pleased, it is faster than I thought I could get to at this time, (deck time < 1:30) though not entirely surprised since I have spent a couple months drilling recognition, and these are the cards I know best. Will update if I cross a minute in the next 3 attempts, even if I don’t remember them :).

I think I’ll stick with 1352 this year. Getting fast recognition on the second half would be useful for WMC, but not necessarily for 2 decks maximum (USAMC). That’s time better spent on names and random words.

4th “speed” attempt) 57.6 with recall, w00t!!
Edit: Leaving my comfort zone, added in remaining 12 cards. Will do 3 attempts at ‘fast average’ speed - fast enough to where there is a very real chance of failure, but not so fast that my chances of success are negligible. Then I’ll have a baseline of about what I’m capable of and will go back to slow memorization.

1)2:01.2. Success! :smiley:

My personal best for 52 cards: 1:54 with no mistake
My personal best for 104 numbers is 2:16 with no mistake (Dominic)

I’ve started to practice since 2012.january. I hope I can reach the 1:00 limit at the end of the year…No rush:)

I knocked Boris off the top of the leaderboard today on the icue app! You have to be happy with that! :wink: :wink:

Wow Huggy that’s amazing what time did you get?


This is of course assuming that DoubleHelix was correct in stating that “BH” is Boris (which he mentioned at some point in this thread).

The time wasn’t amazing, 58 seconds, but the recall was instant, which is how I got the time. :slight_smile:

If I said BH was Boris, I was probably wrong. Those aren’t his initials. The last time I saw the boards, I thought the name “Boris” was listed on all of the top ten slots - each under 20 seconds.

That is an awesome time though, Huggy! Even better to hear you say that it “isn’t amazing.” It will be months more before I am at that level of comfort with all of my images. It’s a long process, so I’m just practicing cards casually right now and focusing on words digits, accepting that the only way to get where I want to be with cards is to keep drilling them and be patient. There’s no need to actually memorize them at this point, just trying to get recognition automatic for all of them.

But I tried a 78-digit timed run just once two days ago and clocked at exactly 40 seconds, though I forgot one loci (6 digits). Maybe next time. That’s the length of a deck, but it’s easier with digits, using just 1000 images.