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


(Miguel) #101

Hi all,
You guys are very impressive,
I am fairly new in this memorizing a deck of cards thing. I am not able to memorize a whole deck yet, but I am getting closer, and my times for memorizing 36 cards are in the 15+ minutes.

I have some doubts:

-Are you strictly follow the PAO system when going through the desk? Example: If I have a Homer Simpson(Kclubs) burning(9clubs) an Oscar Statue(9diamonds) Can I use Homer Burning Meryl Streep instead?

-Do you have to remember the name of the person of just the image? Example: I never remember (quick enough) by 9 of diamonds, Megan Fox, but I can visualise her straight away. Should I wait till I remember the name or just keep going?

-The actions that you use, are they all simple like burning, jumping, swimming? Or can they be complex like fighting on wwe?

Thanks in advance

(Nicholas Mihaila) #102

Welcome!! It’s always great to have more people. :slight_smile: Feel free to post any questions, progress, or anything at all.

No, I wouldn’t think so. One of the advantages of smaller systems is that the actions, etc. are predetermined, so linking can (in theory) be done faster because everything is prememorized. Also, every action should be compatible with every object, so there should be no motivation to substitute a person for an object.

You don’t have to remember the name of the person per se, but if your system is phonetic you absolutely must know the “name” of the card. Sometimes the card name and the name of the corresponding image are the same, and sometime they’re not.

Probably a better question for Corbanicum as I don’t actually use a PAO system myself. I strongly suspect though that simple, unambiguous actions are best. You just have to make sure that whatever the action is, it can be received by all of your objects in a clear way. For instance, instead of fighting in general, you may want to reduce the action specifically to punching (ex: Michael Jackson punching a vase).

(Miguel) #103

Thanks for the quick answer I have made some changes and I have finished del list of cards. This evening I will try to memorize my first deck of cards, I will let you know how it goes (It will probably be a disaster).

(Nicholas Mihaila) #104

Let us know how it goes!

As for me, my short-term goal is to get more consistent at image recall. Specifically, I’m going to aim for 10 consecutive runs of 1:10 or less. Once I can do that, I’ll come back to actual attempts. Currently, practice consists of going through 10 - 20 decks a day. Consistency has improved, but it’s still nowhere near where I want to be. At this point I’m focusing more on consistency than speed. I’m sure that with enough attempts I could get a new PB for recall speed, but it’s the poor consistency that’s hurting me most in actual runs.

I was also experimenting with memory league for the first time today. It was really cool and a lot of fun. Definitely something I’ll be doing more of.

Also, Corbanicum, how’s the progress been going?


A warm welcome to you ! We all start there :slight_smile:
You will get better as you master your system.

I almost always follow strictly my PAO system. The only exception is sometimes when I feel that the person of the third card is better suited for the action of the second card than the object of the third card. In that case I will use the person.
If your Meryl Streep is the person of your 9diamonds, I think that’s the same you are using here. And I think it would work well.

Until now, I only needed the image. And you can do well that way. Don’t worry.
But now I’m experimenting with phonetics, so I try to remember the phonetic name (I use only one syllab for each person/action or object).

Normally, I try to get as simple as possible with my actions. I think it works better because it is quicker to imagine and more flexible.

I still have some fairly complex actions, like Michel Jordan dunking. And it is not so great because it needs a basket and it is done in the air. Now I prefer to imagine it like throwing something in a bin.

The most important I think is to have actions as diverse as possible so that you don’t confuse each other.

It will certainly happen to you, as it happens with everyone. And you will need to make some adjustment along the way.

Since my last message, I’ve been focused in making my images phonetic.
As I said earlier, each of my images : person, action and object are one-syllabe long.
And it took me some time to have a unique syllabe for each one.

My time with syllabes is not as great as with images alone for the moment.
It takes me about 2 minutes and a half for eather the person, the action or the object of the deck.

My goal is reduce it to less than 1 minutes by next weekend.

Also, today was my goal for the 2 minutes mark.

So I am extending again this challenge by 3 weeks.

I hope to get below 2 minutes by 28th january with a video.

Which means I will need to get to 1 minutes 45 I guess, as usually we are not as good when someone (like for example a cam) is watching.

(Nicholas Mihaila) #106

Out of curiosity, how did you structure the phonetics? Is it based off the major system? Maybe something like suit-index (ex: san (Santa) = 2 of spades)?

I know I’ve made a ton of adjustments along the way. In hindsight they were all worthwhile though.

I definitely understand that. I find that making a video of anything makes the task twice as hard. :confused:

I should give my goal a specific timeframe too. I’m going to shoot for two weeks, although I think that’s pretty ambitious. So that’s 10 consecutive runs of 1:10 or less for image recognition by 1/20/19.

(Léo Lebarque) #107

Hi guys, it’s been a while !

@RubiksKid you talked above about logical links between images, i don’t think a “logical” link is always the best, i try to take what comes first to my mind even if it’s not that logical. I think that help to go faster. suggestion coming from a non-creative person at all by the way.

Update on my progress from today :

  • I reached level 10 at cards on ML
  • I set a new PB of 78.13sec

(Nicholas Mihaila) #108

Are we talking about linking in the context of a PAO system or just in general? It’s a little ambiguous, but outside of a PAO context I would consider “logical” to usually be whatever is most common, in reference to a use/action. For instance, if scissors followed a person, I would have the person use the scissors to cut whatever image will come next, and I’d probably do this in every similar scenario. But if something else comes to my mind first, I’ll usually stick with that. As you said, it saves time.

That’s awesome!! Very well done!! You’re closing in on the sub-one-minute mark, which I’ve always considered to be the line between good and very good. :slight_smile:

I know my pace is slower, but don’t count me out yet. When you least expect it, that’s when I’ll get a sub-1-minute run. :laughing:

By the way, how’s the progress on your 3-digit system going?

(Miguel) #109

I just memorize my first deck today. It took me an hour(I am in the office and people is annoying) but I think that i could reduce it to 20-30 minutes next time if I do it in a place with no distractions. And I got 4 mistakes.

I have to say, I feel really proud of myself, It’s a really cool achievement. When I first hear about people been able to memorize a deck of cards I thought it was impossible, and now I can.

Another good thing is that I think the spanish speed card record is 130 seconds, so with a bit of training I could become the fastest spaniard in memorizing a deck of cards!! Long way to go, though.

(Léo Lebarque) #110

I was saying in general. My point was that sometime what come first is weird and not possible in real life, that’s what i would call “non logical” linking but since it’s only imagination it works as goog as a logical linking. Just telling that we have not to overthink linking while we are actually memorising.

That’s normal that i get better times quicker than you because of the huge difference number of images. I think you will improve really fast

I started it but i didn’t put enought work on it so far but i will soon

New PB of 70.90sec today

(Miguel) #111

24 minutos, 2 errors
I spend most of the time tring to remember wich character is the card that I have to memorize, is there any trick for that or just practice, practice, practice?

(Léo Lebarque) #112

Just practice images recall by going through the deck without memorising just seeing the image or saying the mnemotic associated with the card. I’m still doing it.

(Miguel) #113

That’s what I thought.

(Léo Lebarque) #114

Today i only did Memory League here are the number of cards i memorized in 60sec

  • 36 ; 43 ; 41 ; 40

Pretty constistent but my PB is still 44 for the moment

(Nicholas Mihaila) #115

I haven’t been able to practice the past two days because I’ve been traveling for a funeral. I got back into it today though and here are the results:

13 decks for image recognition
Fastest time: < 1 minute
Slowest time: > 1:25
Highest consecutive decks below 1:10: 2

Approximately every other deck was below 1:10. Honestly, I think this is the best I’ve done. It looks like my goal will be achievable within the timeframe I set.

Thanks. :slight_smile: I think that after I improve my image recognition consistency, progress will speed up. Things are looking good so far.

Nice! You cut your time (and errors) in half!

As Wist said, practice is key. I would add though that phonetic systems make practice more effective. Is your system phonetic?

That’s excellent consistency! I bet you’ll get a time below one minute pretty soon here.

Oh, and I wanted to mention to you that after you complete your 3-digit system, you should use Anki to learn it. Have you heard of Anki before? It’s probably the single most useful tool for committing large volumes of information to memory.

(Nicholas Mihaila) #116

I got a new PB for image recognition: 49 seconds
My consistency was about the same as yesterday but I practiced quite a bit more, going through a total of 25 decks.

My next goal for image recall time will be sub 45 seconds. I think I’ll just go in decrements of 5 seconds because at this point 5 seconds is a lot. I’m still waiting until I achieve my goal of 10 consecutive runs of 1:10 or less until I resume memorization.

(Léo Lebarque) #117

Thank you for the suggestion, i’m actually using it for school already.

(Léo Lebarque) #118

Number of cards i memorized in 60s on memory league : 42,48,34,48,42 ; the symmetry is funny but it really came in this order. For the 34 i actually had 46 but i messed up on the recall.

For the first 48 :

I memorized 49 cards and placed the last three randomly but in the right order but unfortunately i swapped two pairs i wasn’t sure about…

Still a new PB of 48 two times wich is good.
Really close to the 1min mark.


Hi guys !

It’s been a while.

No. I don’t use the major system.
This is because I chose the persons/actions/objects first, without considering any phonetic rule.
So what I did is add a phonetic syllab for each image.
For example…
-Mister T is Mi
-Lady Gaga is Ga
-Madam Doubtfire is Dou
I spent quite a while making sure each syllabe is unique among all the images.

I wish there were other methods !

What I did each day of this week was going through the deck 10 times saying the mnemonic, for each type of image (using my phonetic system).

But unfortunately I haven’t improved much…

Best time for image recognizition of one deck was 1:56 on thursday, down from 2:30 on monday, and no progress on friday and saturday.

That’s still very long, considering my efforts.

What do you think guys ?

It might be because I’m burned out right now.

So today I took a day off.

But this evening I wonder if it was enough.
I can still feel a slight nervous breakdown in my body…

(Nicholas Mihaila) #120

I’ve been going through 25 decks a day for image recognition and the time spread is dropping steadily. Approximately 40% of runs are under 1:10, with many of them under 1 minute. If I didn’t slow down at all, my theoretical fastest pace would be ~35 seconds.

edit I almost got a PB of 4 consecutive sub-1-minute runs, but I messed up on one pair in the 4th deck. If I didn’t mess up that one pair it would have been sub 50 seconds too. The pair was 2​:diamonds: 6​:diamonds:, deg → degrees → a sextant. Ugh :disappointed_relieved:

edit again I was on pace for a run around 43 seconds and then I hesitated on one pair and got 50 seconds. Bummer

last edit, I promise New recall PB of 47 seconds

Monosyllabic names is a good idea. I think having a phonetic component will make the image/card associations stronger, although I’ve never heard of names that didn’t follow some sort of rule. Maybe this is common. I’m really not sure. I’m curious what Wist’s approach was.

Very impressive!! I have no doubt that you’ll get below one minute very soon.

Also, I wanted to ask you, is your card system phonetic, and if it is does it follow some sort of rule or are the names arbitrary?