Card deck memorization : challenge to get below 2 minutes at speed cards



Hello guys !

Here are the results for the weekend…

2:40 17 errors at 30BPM
2:58 19 errors at 30BPM
2:57 18 errors at 30BPM

2:59 23 errors at 30BPM
2:43 28 errors at 30BPM
2:47 26 errors at 30BPM

Today was not so great.

Also I feel I need to work hard again on the memorization of the mnemonics.
Since some of them still take a long time to recall.



Yes, don’t worry for this challenge.
Your finals are the priority !


Hello !

Here are my results for yesterday and today…

2:34 8 errors at 30BPM
2:36 7 errors at 30BPM
2:39 13 errors at 30BPM

3:07 16 errors at 30BPM
3:11 19 errors at 30BPM

I did some nice scores yesterday.

But today was not so good.

Actually I have been distracted by internal thoughts today.

Tomorrow will be a rest day.

(Nicholas Mihaila) #64

Nice times! Your progress is very clear.

Finals have been going well so far. I just have one left, which is today at 2:30. I already studied, so I thought I would practice cards for a little while. After about 5 times of 1:01 for image recall, I finally managed to reach my short-term goal of sub one minute with a time of 59 seconds. My next goal is to get sub 50 seconds. Currently, my fastest pace would give me a time of about 40 seconds, but the variance is extremely high due to the number of images I have, so an actual time of 40 seconds is still a ways off.

Anyway, I’m happy with my progress. I’ll also be posting deck memorization times soon now that I can get through the deck in a reasonable amount of time.

(Léo Lebarque) #65

Hello everyone.

I came across this topic, and it was interesting to read about your experiences because it’s also my goal to memorise a deck of cards under 2 minutes.

So, i will be posting my times too, so we can share experiences and motivate each other.

I created a really basic system friday 14th of December. It is just four categories, one per suit, and one image per card, so it’s only 52 images.

First, i wanted to focus on regognition speed :

  • 12/15 : worst time was 400+sec, normal at the begining. My best time was something like 150 sec i think.
  • 12/16 : it was about 120 sec on average.
  • 12/17 : i managed to get below 90sec wich was de goal of the day, around 100sec on average i think.
  • 12/18 : my times were between 70 and 80 sec an i did a best at 69sec, it was goog to be near the 60sec mark.

I used memory league as a timer for those times, but i practice both with memory league and a real deck.

For Today,

I went for a personal best of 56.5 sec and some times around 60sec , wich means that i achieved my mid term goal, wich was sub 60 sec for recognition, i can now try to memorise a deck. And that’s what i did in 179sec with no error. so really happy about that, maybe i had luck , i only did one try so i can’t know but let’s see if i can improve my times in the folowing days.

Last thing, i did that on a real deck because i tend to have a better feeling for my images with real cards.

it is cool to share that with you, thank you for your time.


Congratulations ! That will give you a head start for memorizing a whole deck !

Glad we have a new companion :sunny:

179secs is such a great time !

I guess you will progress very quickly.

My times for today…
2:57 14 errors at 32BPM
2:56 9 erros at 32BPM
2:57 22 errors at 32BPM

Which is not good compared with my times on monday.

The metronome is 2 beats higher today.

I manage to follow it at the beginning, but soon run behind, and then can’t keep up the pace.

I hope tomorrow will be better.

(Nicholas Mihaila) #67

That’s awesome. It’s great to have more people, and excellent job so far!

Well today was my first actual timed run, and unfortunately it was a disaster. I couldn’t remember two of my images, so I had to look them up. I know most of my images very well, but there are still some that get me. If you exclude the time it took me to look up the images, my final time was 3:15, but there were errors. I couldn’t remember two images upon recall, and then I couldn’t remember the last two images either, although I was able to figure them out by playing around with different combinations of the remaining cards. Recall for everything else was fine. I guess it actually wasn’t too bad, but it felt pretty bad.

I also noticed that I have the habit of looking away from the deck while placing images in a locus, so that’s something that I’ll have to work on. My short-term goal for now will be sub 3 minutes.

Going through this whole process has given me a much greater appreciation for some of the incredible times that other people here have achieved. It’s quite impressive.

(Silvio B.) #68

Today was not a good day for me in terms of memorizing. I tried to memorize a deck on memory league and was stuck at the Jack of Clubs for a few seconds before I just quit the try out of frustration. For some reason the head-cards still are my biggest obstacle when it comes to memorizing cards.

(Léo Lebarque) #69

Thanks guys !

RubiksKid : it’s pretty good since you have a very large system to master

Corbanicum : Why do you use a metronome ? Is it to go at a consistant speed ?

Today i went several times throught the deck to practice my images and i memorised a deck in 156sec with no error.
I only memorise one deck because i only have one palace for cards, it would confuse me if i do another attempt right after the first one. So, i will now do several attemps spaced in a day, because i’m to lazy to create another palace for the moment.


It’s still a great time ! I’m sure you will get to 3 minutes in no time.

Sometimes it happens to me as well. Usually when I’m tired.

That’s an excellent time ! Your level is now better than me. I expect you will get below 2 minutes in the next few days, if not tomorrow !

This is even more surprising to me, since it shows you are still a beginner, and yet you perform so well. Can you share your age with us ?

As to myself, I use the PAO system. So I memorize 3 cards per loci. And I only need 18 loci palaces to memorize.

Usually, I split a bigger memory palace in 3, and that makes 3 times to memorize in each part of this palace. Currently I train with several of such bigger memory palaces, that I alternate each day.

This is to force me to go at a higher pace than I am confortable with.
Joshu Foer talks about it in the book : “Moonwalking with Einstein”.
It is especially helpful when you reach a performance plateau.
At the moment, you progress quickly. So you might not need one yet.
But if you feel you are hitting a wall, then it can help you get past this plateau.

As for my times today…
2:32 22 errors @32BPM
2:33 15 errors @32BPM
2:29 10 errors @32BPM

I’m slowly getting accustomed to the 32BPM mark.
But I have been slowed down by some cards I had difficulty to recognize.
So basically, I trained harder on the recognition of cards.
This was also inspired by your example guys :slight_smile:

It is especially motivating to see so much activity here ! Thanks for your time !

(Léo Lebarque) #71

Sure, i’m 18 and french too by the way. Yes i starded 1 month ago memory league.

Ok, that’s interesting.

I think it’s important to do that everyday to get a feeling for images and be quicker to memorise.

I didn’t memorise cards yesterday, but today i did two attemps :

  • 151 sec but i swapped 2 cards
  • 144 sec perfect recall

looking forward to hearing from you again guys.


Corbanicum, how do you do your recall? Do you use a second deck and try to put it in the same order as the memorizaton deck? Or do you write down every card individually, with the risk of writing the same card several times?

Cool to see that there’s a growing french community :slight_smile:


I could tell with your name :slight_smile:

So you can read my article on the performance plateau. It explains this phenomenon in depth.

Taking into account your age and your performance, I think you are on a the right track to compete in the french memory championships !

That’s a great time ! You’re on your way to the 2 minutes mark.

Nice to meet you Sylle. I’m using a second deck.

Here are my times for today…
2:57 24 errors at 32BPM
2:35 15 errors at 32BPM
2:43 33 errors at 32BPM

Not great.
I had a hard time to memorize today.

Don’t know why.

I hope tomorrow will be better…

(Léo Lebarque) #74

It was interesting !

Glad you said that because that’s my goal accually, do you know where i can find informations about it ?

Did you analysed your errors ? What type are they ?


Hopefully there’ll be information about the French open very soon. I’ll make sure to post something here when there’s something to post about!

(Nicholas Mihaila) #76

A made decent progress today. I did two runs:
3:15 no errors
2:50 no errors
For recall after the first run, I went through the deck in order while recalling each card before flipping it over. For the second run, though, there were some cards I was unsure of, so I skipped these sections (leaving them face down), and once I recalled everything else I shuffled the remaining cards and then successfully recalled the pairs after trying different combinations. This approach basically simulates using a second deck, like tournament conditions.

Anyway, I’m happy to be sub 3 minutes without errors. Although not necessarily reflected in my times, I feel that I’ve gotten much more proficient at quickly placing the images into loci and coming up with interactions impromptu. My next short-term goal will be sub 2:45 without errors.

Great time! You’re improving very quickly.

I wouldn’t worry about it. That was me yesterday. Some days are just better than others for no apparent reason.

(Léo Lebarque) #77

Cool, thank you sylle.

Good job
For myself two attemps today :

  • 160sec no error
  • 137sec no error

(Nicholas Mihaila) #78

Woah! It looks like you’ll be passing that 2-minute mark really soon. I don’t think there’s any hope of me beating you at this point. You’re going too fast. :wink:


They are of different nature.
Sometimes I remember the image, but can’t remember where exactly in my memory palace I have placed it, because I did not have enough time to put the image to the locus during memorization.
Sometimes, the image was not memorable enough, too boring or too illogical.
Sometimes, I even don’t remember trying to memorize this image. This happens mostly because of stress. When I’m stressed out because I spent too much time recognizing a card, or if I find out during memorizing that I confused too cards, or if I lose too much ground to the metronome, then I stress out, and my memory can’t work normally anymore.

That’s great news ! I was searching about this information lately, but could not find anything on the web.

At least you are ahead of me by now with your new PB. Congratulations :slight_smile:

Here are my times for today…
2:31 19 errors at 32BPM
3:04 39 errors at 32BPM (so bad, this is where I confused two cards, and found it out during memorizing)
2:23 29 errors at 32BPM

Even if the session was not so brilliant, I was happy to manage to finish the deck below 2:30 !

Tomorrow, I’ll have plenty of time to sleep.
It might help for my next session.

(Léo Lebarque) #80

I hope so !

Interesting. Aren’t you stressed by the metronome ? Did you ever try to memorise without it ?

3 attemps today :

  • 141sec 0 error
  • 143sec 0 error
  • 100.1sec, ( yes i went quick on this one ), the recall was really hard and my sister came to me several times like " what are you doing time to eat" but i managed to get 48 cards correct out of 52. I had the good pairs but swapped the loci. So the challenge is almost done !