Card deck memorisation - post your times here!



Hey everyone,
I was active on here back in late March, when I got my best time of 1:52 using PAO. After those few weeks of training, I stopped practicing, and now I’ve forgotten most of my PAO’s. I’m looking to start fresh, and after reading more and heeding to the advice of others (particularly LociInTheSky), I’m making an arbitrary list of objects to use for cards rather than going back to my PAO list. It’s unfortunate that I have to start all over again, but hopefully going with a better method from the outset will help :slight_smile:

I’ll see how this goes.


4:15, best so far, staying under the 5 minutes now!

What put me off, if I've understood it correctly, is that it involves a variable number of loci.

Yes, that’s unfortunately true, Graham. And while it’s not the greatest thing in the world (it definitely put me off as well when I was trying to choose systems), I think in retrospect its many benefits far outweigh that disadvantage. As far as speed cards, I’m very comfortable with the variable number of locations, since it’s almost always somewhere close to 13. It’s a bit trickier for multi-deck, but still not terribly hard with some practice.

Alex, what is the consistency level of yours? I feel a great deal of revence about your performance.... speechelss, simply put.

Thank you, Milan :). I’d say my consistency is quite good, especially in comparison to how I used to perform with PAO. I’d put my speed card success rate around 85%.

As to the rest of your questions, I’m not exactly sure what you’re asking. It might have something to do with the fact that I did that 10m cards run digitally on Memocamp (my best with real cards is only 8 decks), and those guys only tend to practice with real cards and probably don’t practice 10m cards much anyway.

Is this current system you're using now different from that one?

Nope, same system :slight_smile:


36:52 seconds today. A few weeks ago I was stopping the clock at 31-32 seconds but making mistakes, however since I uped my metronome speed I’m in the zone where my times seem to slowdown till the new metronome speed becomes smooth. My goal is to break 30 sec by end of this year.



Nice one!


I got something that I guess is kind of like a PB, that’s 6 decks in 7:13 with 3 blanks. I can do up to 9 decks in 10m, but there will be lots and lots of blanks to figure out, so this one was really good.


Do it L! Get some! Hoo-rah!


Great to have you back Ryan! You’re a smart guy to take that advice! :wink:

Hey I thought of something great the other day. People will ask you to do memory demonstrations. I never know what to do when people ask me this. I think spoken numbers is the most impressive so I could ask them to read off the first fifty numbers in their phone excluding the area code. I’ve tried this more than once and thought it’d be amazing, but you just can’t get people to read numbers at 1 per second consistently, not even close!

You could memorize a deck. But how long will it take you to memorize a deck with perfect immediate recall, and how long will it take you to call them out loud and deal the 52 cards on to the table? A very cool skill, but maybe not quick enough for the ideal demonstration.

You could just tell someone to “write down a bunch of digits on a sheet of paper til you’re bored and don’t want to write anymore.” They’ll probably write 100 or less, so if you’re a good sprinter this one could be pretty cool. But it’s coolest if you use that line, so there’s a risk that they’ll just keep writing and writing, and then you have another too-long demonstration on your hands.

I was thinking up something that appeared to be an impossibly huge feat of memory but could be done in a matter of seconds, and here’s what I came up with. You have someone shuffle a deck of cards and then you ribbon spread them face up on the table.
One one thousand…
Two one thousand…
Three one thousand…

Scoop up the cards, turn them face down, and deal them out into two equal piles. Flip them face up to reveal that you have separated the red cards from the black.

To nail it with the kind of speed I’m talking about, 9 or 10 digit binary objects may be necessary. I can memorize 54 binary digits at my best in about 2.5 seconds. That doesn’t mean I can do 81 in 4 seconds. But I can quickly read the names of six images, shut my eyes, and visualize them after the fact. A deck of cards is 5 9-digit images and one 6-digit image, followed by a final, single card that you can note the color of visually. You must be skilled in binary to do this, but this is a great demonstration for anyone who would learn it.

It’s tricky though at first since reading off reds and blacks as 1’s and 0’s is not a quick and intuitive translation.


4:04 yesterday, almost under the four minutes! Second run I did yesterday was 4:36, as I had a hard time focussing, still under 5 minutes though.


That does sound like a cool trick, Loci, if you’re strong in binary. Now, for 10-digit binary numbers you need 1,024 images, right? And then you’ll have to be quick at converting the binary string to digital. Unless you’re using a Ben system binary, where you start with a 10-digit chunk, but then re-chunk into 4-3-3, and use a consonant-vowel-consonant encode (or 3 consonants) to get your image. [Which I just now realized is sort of the same thing as that first method I mentioned.]

Another thing that would be of major importance would be to get a good ribbon fan, because missing just one card would wreak havoc on the Black versus Red show.

(Simon Luisi) #1112

Feb 6/2015 Alex M. wrote : ”Well, I’m no speed cards master, but a couple of things have worked well for me in the past.”
Then June 19, you break the 22 second barrier.
Now, Oct. 28, 17.59. but digitally? I see.
One young asian woman, Shuhan, claimed to have done in in 15.96 sec. I wonder if that was digitally.
My namesake and Wang Feng also claims to do these kinds of times, I believe, with Wang Feng doing a sub 20 second on TV once, manually!
Is there anyone else claiming to have hit the sub 20 seconds with no mistakes?

Way to go Alex! Where do you think you can take this? From not being a speed card master this Feb. 6 to reaching Speed Card Speeds never achieved before in America this past Oct! Mastering memory is obviously something one must do quickly!

Are sub 15 sec. times possible?

What do you mean when you say, “I love it, but it still doesn’t seem to have taken much of a foothold.”?



I do something similar, but I get longer to see the cards.

I deal them out face up one at a time. I get the spectator to say the colour aloud as I do so. I speed up, so that I’m going too fast for them, which makes it look like they are dictating the speed.

Them simply recall them.

Are sub 15 sec. times possible?

Simon, I do think that sub 15 sec times are possible, although perhaps not sub 10 (which a few Chinese competitors claim to have done recently mind you :P).

What do you mean when you say, "I love it, but it still doesn't seem to have taken much of a foothold."?

All I meant by that is that as far as I know, Johannes Mallow and I are the only ones who use this kind of system.

(Simon Luisi) #1115


By following your advice, (read only the cards very fast) I’ve shaved about half a minute from my time, going down to 2:18, from 2:52.
But recently, my progress really seemed to have tapered off, so I’m now going to be trying the last bit of advice you gave me that I didn’t use so far: doing multiple packs for some time. I didn’t use that advice at first because I was/am afraid going slower is bad and should be avoided. I now realize it doesn’t have to be that way.

My plan is to do this for a week and then return to the single pack to see if it helped. So with my first double decks this morning, I did them in 13 minutes, double read, 95 good cards, about 22 minutes for the recall. I hope I can do better.

I think my mistake this morning was that I slowed down my normal single pack pace, hoping for a perfect recall.

Any way, Alex, when you did your multiple 10 decks in 10 minutes, did you do a triple read with each deck? Or did you slow down with a double read?


(Suzy Du Pont) #1116

new achievement,
memorized 2 decks for the first time and was able to recall with 0 mistakes. Sadly didn’t time it. but was between 6-7 minutes memorization. Didn’t push for time.
Did have brainwave stuff in the background. Felt good. Since I am new into this kind of stuff. Created third journey and striving for 4 decks at the same time.

How are you guys doing?


Single deck down to 2:37. I haven’t done two decks in quite a while, but I did two decks in about 10 minutes a month or more ago. I need to start working on those multiple decks again.


Nice times!

I just got down to 53.01. Grrrrrrr! Really trying to get to 52 seconds.


Best single deck time is 3:02, mostly sitting around 3:30-3:10 though.


That sounds good, Simon, I hope it helps. I’d add that speed comes from two things basically: being able to recognize the image and being able to place it in the locus and move on. It sounds like you’ve improved at the first, but what about the second? The best advice, in my opinion, is to always be pushing your speed in every way. If you feel comfortable placing the images, you’re going too slow. Everyone’s much faster than they give themselves credit for. I used to place my images carefully and think, “Oh, I don’t think I could go much faster than this.” Wrong, haha.

As far as 10m cards, I’m always doing a single review.



One day, I’ll get down to 52 secs!