Guessing picked cards - Post your times here!

[This post was manually copied from the old forum and all of the comments are in this top post.]

Simon Luisi 24 September, 2012 - 13:32

Hi Everyone!
Guessing a couple of randomly picked cards from a pack of playing cards is a fun exercise. This skill can also give you an advantage in some card game.
So, I’m suggesting that you post your best times here along with the technique you used to achieve your score. There is no limit on the recalling time.
My best time now stands at 90 seconds for a pack with 2 picked cards.
I used my peg system, 5 sets of ten pegs on 5 walls of a room. There pegs represent all the cards but 2 (the king and queen of spade). These last 2, I just put them aside visually when they come up. The room needs to be fresh (not recently used) and then I just see the image representing the card when it comes up. To find the missing cards, I just review all the images and the ones that has not been “seen” stand out from the others.

Guessing quickly a single picked card out of a suit of 10 cards is also an interesting challenge, although it is a much easier one. Feel free to post your best time here for that as well.


Geoff 24 September, 2012 - 23:44

Could you be a bit more clear about what the rules for this challenge are?

Simon Luisi 26 September, 2012 - 08:37

Hi Geoff,

I guess that mixing my own technique along with the rules didn’t help to make things clear. So here are the specifics for this memory challenge:

  1. You need a freshly shuffled pack of playing card with 52 cards in it. No jokers.
  2. Remove 2 cards from that pack without looking at them. These are the cards you will have to identify without ever having looked at them.
  3. Keep the remaining 50 cards in your hands face down or you may also keep them face down on a table. Then, start the stop watch. At that point, you start looking at the cards, one at a time or you may slide them a few at a time in your hands. As you look at them, you memorize the cards you look at. No rearranging of the cards is permitted.
  4. When you finished going through the pack of 50 cards, put them face down on your table and then stop (or split the time if you want your total time for this memory challenge) your stopwatch. The use of a speedstack timer is permitted but not knowing these devices, I’m not sure if they will allow you to split your time to get your total time, if you want it.
  5. Try to deduce which are the 2 missing cards from remembering the 50 cards that you have seen and then state them out silently in your mind (you may also do this out loud). Then turn over the 2 cards you have put aside to verify if your deductions allowed you to guess them correctly.
  6. If you were right with both missing cards, then congratulation! Please post your time here.
  7. You may also indicate the amount of time it took you to figure out the two missing cards after the memorization of the 50 cards. This can easily be done with a stop watch that has a split time option to it. As soon as you call out the missing cards, you can hit the stopwatch for this second time. This will give you your total time for this memory challenge
  8. Please also indicate the technique you used to achieve your results.

Haplo 27 September, 2012 - 09:58

I heard of this game in Tony Buzan’s book and i think it is quite funny and got for party entertainment.

I am just the beginner, so now i am focusing on recalling proper character after the card pop up, so i will not post any of my times (now, give me few weeks;)) but i have one question - what will be more impressing - take out 2 cards or maybe more? My gf proposed 8 cards and for me it was better because i done that faster and recalling cards that have been taken is really fast and easy. I will make my own research (ask family and friends) and tell you what they say, but i am interested in your opinion.

i am using burn/freeze technics - i imagine my character in flames, and then when i recall i know that normal, non burn characters were taken;)

Simon Luisi 28 September, 2012 - 08:46

Hi Haplo,

I’m personally not a beginner with this challenge. My first recorded results dating back about 2 years ago indicate I was doing it then in over 20 minutes. I learned this game from a Harry Lorayne’s book, Super Power Memory, I think it was. This memory challenge is indeed much easier than the card deck memorization challenge. This way, you get to find out just how fast you can flip the cards and still have some degree of recollection of them.
As far as the number of cards you want to take out, I suggest that you decide what works best for you and use that number of picked cards. When posting on this thread, simply indicate the number of cards you have picked out (if it is different from what I have suggested) and make sure that you were indeed able to recall them all correctly.


Nightwalker 1 November, 2012 - 00:14

Hi. I wanted to post to this topic earlier, when it was created, but I didn’t have enough time, and then it disappeared, so I “forgot” about it.

My system for this is nothing special, but I don’t see it in this topic, except to simon. L’s system with 5 walls.

I can do this challenge in 30 seconds without problem, and I don’t even train it, maybe one trial per week. And it doesn’t matter whether you pick two, or three cards, of course, when you pick more, the time would be better.

However, I used to use “mutilating” system, as a lot of us would do, so nothing against it, I like that idea, but when I tried to go faster, in less than 50 seconds, I realized, that sometimes I didn’t visualise that particular mutilated image properly, and thus, I was doing mistakes. I thought I could’t go any faster. I can memorize the order of the cards in 25-30 seconds, but I cannot do this simple challenge at least that fast?

I was using 52 images / 52 loci system, but the problem appeared - not enough loci for marathon disciplines, so I switched to 52 images / 26 loci for speed cards, and 52 images / 18 loci for marathons. In the beginning, it took me performance, but then I tried to use similar system for this discipline, and it worked great!

I don’t use loci, I just link together 2 images. In my opinion, it is far more stronger memorizing. I can make those two images interact to each other, and I can be sure twice more that I memorized it, because it’s less likely to forgot strong association of two frequently used images, where you can add emotions, moves and so on. And one image tells me which two cards there were, so I can check my recall twice…

Maybe this won’t work for everyone, but when someone is stuck at some time, and cannot improve the time, try this. :wink:

Hope this helps.

Simon Luisi 14 November, 2012 - 10:30

Hi everyone,
There is another active thread about finding missing cards that is getting much attention. The thread’s author is seeking a method to count cards so it is possible to know the last card almost instantly. I have attempted such a method using binary numbers in the past and never got past 14 minutes for a successful memorization. Even then, my method would not be entirely additions but a mix of methods involving images.
So, in my opinion, card additions are a great exercise for practicing your addition skills but I would definitely not recommend this method as a means to find one last missing card quickly.
However, the objective of the thread’s author namely to know the missing card almost immediately after all the 51 cards have been observed is a worthwhile challenge, in my opinion. As a matter of fact I am currently working on this challenge regularly. Again, I use my grid system but without any images in them, just numbers. With a single grid, I do believe it can become easy to find almost instantly one missing card out of a suit of 10 cards. It’s just a matter of looking for series of blocks, corners, edges, etc. When I do reach a point where I’m very good with one grid, I’ll try to go for two grids at a time or one missing card out of 20. This method may never succeed but I think there is more hope with this approach than with the addition method.


msl 23 April, 2013 - 01:35

Nightwalker: I didn’t get exactly what you are doing. Are you using the regular journey method? I don’t see how you quickly find the missing cards along all the other cards.

Nightwalker 23 April, 2013 - 10:05

msl wrote:

Nightwalker: I didn’t get exactly what you are doing. Are you using the regular journey method? I don’t see how you quickly find the missing cards along all the other cards.

No, it’s regular linking, I would say… I link just 2 cards together. Example:
Ace of Spades, Queen of Hearts, 2 of Diamonds, 5 of Hearts.

  • So when I see this, I link AS with QH, and then 2D with 5H.

When I’m “recalling” the cards, so finding for the missing card, I just go through the all cards and see which object in “marked”. This improved my memorization because when I just mutilated the single object, it wasn’t as effective as now, when I link together two images, what I do regularly, because I use system 2 images per one locus.

I used to do it the way probably everyone would do it… Mutilate the object in some way. It worked for me too, but sometimes it wasn’t strong. Of course, if I trained it this way it would improve, no doubt about it, but then I tried the system explained above, just for fun, and it improved my performance at this immediately.

My objects for cards are major system-based. There are of course few people among them, but everything else are just objects.

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