Derren Brown Black jack system...whats better?

Im wondering if anyone has ever heard of a system better than this or can think of one that may be easier to use…

I dont know if anyone has seen the episode of Derren Browns show where he counts cards in blackjack and proceeds to win a lot of money, but later he goes on to explain how he did it. He used mnemonics. What he explained was that he visualized a large room that had many very distinct objects like pictures on the wall, vases etc. Each one of the objects represented a specific card. Everyone of the objects had 4 stickers on them which represented all 4 of that card in the deck (black jack uses 4 decks at casinos). Everey time a card was played he walked into that memory room and removes a sticker from that object to account for the card being played out of the deck.

Thats his system.

I can count cards with one deck easily using a method i read in The Memory Book which i think was called the mutilation method if im not mistaken. Where everytime a card is played you mutilate the image that the card represents. Example if 5 of hearts is a horse, then imagin the horse on fire.

My problem is that I would like to keep count while playing a game using 4 decks like derren did but my only problem is that if i use his method, ironically, i wont remember how many stickers are leaft on each object as im taking them off.

I also cant really see an effective way to use the mutilation method either.

Does anyone have any alternate methods or ideas?


Derren Brown is very misleading. I highly doubt that is the technique he is using if one at all. He might of filmed that scene 20 times before that result happened. He is very mischievous

that could be true. either way. I still would like to know if anyone has any ideas for keeping the count on 4 decks

If you read Derren’s books like “Pure Effect” you get some insight in how he perform some of his tricks.
One of his best strategies is to first make a relatively simple trick with one method (for example memorizing cards), then make a complicated trick with a different method (while claiming both tricks use the same method) in order to divert the attention, and make the trick more genuine.

So I would guess that the card counting trick is performed just as otengam wrote: by trying until it works out in front of the cameras (or simply building a custom built casino room with actors, just as he most likely did in the TV-show “The System”).

Card counting as it is commonly performed is not done by memorizing all cards but merely keeping count of a number with the goal to know when the remaining decks have a high percentage of high cards. When the percentage of high cards increase the player odds increase. You do that by adding and subtracting numbers for each card that is being dealt.

So to the technical question on how to keep track of cards. I use a method where I set the cards object on fire the first time the card is being delt, and maybe freeze it the second time, make it made of stone the third etc etc. In that way you can keep track of multiple decks.

I saw the same Derren Brown program - the system that he used to count cards is completely unecessary. There is no advantage in knowing exactly which cards have been played as you still won’t know which cards will be dealt next. All you need to do is keep a running count of the cards played to extrapolate what the value of the cards left in the deck are. A high count gives you, the player, an advantage - a low count gives the house the advantage. This is what all card counters do. Otengam is right in that Derren does use hypnosis to get these kind of results in his show.
Counting 4 or even 8 decks is completely possible using just a high-low simple count. These counting systems are two a penny if you google.

Stickers ? Why do you need stickers when you have a system for numbers.

Let me explain, you have your room full of your object representing your cards.
In my system ( i use it in french so english words doesn’t correspond to the good letter ).
1 = Tea, 2 = nuts 3 = mountain and 4 = king.

Now at the beginning, since they are still every cards in each of the 4 decks, imagine a king in front of each object representing a card ( if its only in one room you may need more space because you have to put each king in front of all object ).
And now the first card is 4 of diamond for exemple, you go to the 4 of diamond cards place, you remove the king and place the mountain ( a little one ). And you continue to do that at each card. I think that you will need some training to do that. And you will have to create very living images to not confuse ( but its very easy).

For the other that thinks that this is useless… It is not.

Because if you know that you need a 4 to go to 21, knowing that there is still 3 of all the four or 1 of all the four in the deck multiply your chance.
If you are enough intelligent to remember the cards, count the cards, and analyse the situation ( while doing some probabilities, involving some addition, soustractions and multiplication ) and act natural, i think that you can be pretty rich ;).