Jan Zoń - A New Revolutionary Cards Method

Hi, my name is Jan Zoń.

I am a 20 years old memory athlete from Poland. I have been interested in memory sport since 2013 and since 2016 I am an active memory athlete. Speed cards was always my favourite discipline and I started learning a basic 1 - card method with 52 images. I have known that some people, especially from Mongolia use PAO system and other top athletes 2 - card system. I was wondering if there is any other method which will allow you to achive the same. In 2018 I have come up with the idea of this new method. I learned it but didn’t believe it made sense to train it. in 2019 I went back to this method and reached 60s. In the spring of 2020 I decided to train it until I manage to go below twenty seconds. Here is the result of my attempt from November 14th :

I had several attempts like this :

So finally how my system works.

As we know every card has its own value like 2, 7, A or K for the king and so on. They also have 4 suits : :clubs: :diamonds: :hearts: :spades:. If you take 2 cards, the number of possible combinations of suits is 16 for example spades and hearts. For 4 cards it is 16*16 = 256. I created one image for each of the 256 combinations of suits to memorise 4 suits using only one image. I assigned one letter to each combination of two cards so like I mentioned before, :spades: and :spades: = Z, :hearts: and :diamonds: = N. I create one image from 2 letters. This means that I have to look at 4 cards at once. I can’t memorise them like 2 + 2 which is a disadvantage.
After I recognised the suits and my image, I look again at the cards but this time I focus only on the values. There are 13 different values from A to K. For 2 cards there are 169 different combinations and again I created one image for each of them. To memorise 4 cards I need two images.
Here is the example :
Zrzut ekranu 2020-11-14 173156
The suits are : Diamonds, Clubs, Hearts and Spades. Diamonds + Clubs = H, Hearts and Spades = R
H + R = Chór - choir. It makes more sense in polish. Then values are 10 + K = grass, 5 + 6 = book. Final image is : choir is singing from a book laying on the grass.

Now about the recall phase:

  1. The whole method require 169 + 256 = 425 images. More than PAO (153) but less than two card system (2652 or 1326).
  2. If I forget something, I don’t need to go through all images in my mind. I go either through 169 or 256 images.
  3. If I remember the suits but forgot the values I can figure it out easly for example : last 4 cards remain and I remember that it was hearts hearts clubs and spades. There are two options for first image but only one for second image.

I still strugle with recall. Sometimes I run out of time with all suits in correct positions but with mixed up values in some locations. This method is deffinitely better in long cards event where you have much more time for thinking and going through your system in mind.

I proved that there is a method between PAO and 2 - card system.
I’m not sure if I was the first person who came up with this idea but I’m pretty sure that nobody else went that far to memorise a full deck of cards in 19s. If anybody of you want to learn this, I would be very happy. If you have any questions or doesn’t understand something, let me know. Thank you everyone for reading this. Memory sports is a new sport discipline and I’m happy to be the one who invented something new like a method for cards.


Great idea! I want to use it! :clap: :muscle:


Looks great. What are some of the pros and cons of this system that you have noticed when you transitioned from your old system to this system? Were there any difficulties in having 4? How did you overcome those challenges and become adjusted? Is it easier on software? Have you also tried with physical cards?


Good luck Ilya :slight_smile: If you have any questions on how to create your own system then let me know.

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I believe that you can improve your method by adding clue shapes to it and by that you will always know the order of the images which will improve your accuracy and speed of recall,

You can improve your Speed of learning with this method by adding Chained Pair linking to your method

You can find more about them near the end of these two topics below -



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Thank you Ronald
There were no problems in switching to this system. I’m still able to use my old system with similar results like before. I used to put 3 images in a location and I still do so with this method. It took my 2 or 3 days to reach 3 minutes probably. It took me few weeks to go from 3 minutes to 1 minute and then I did pause till spring this year. The only problem was to do it fast, to quickly analyse the suits patterns and corresponding images but after some training my recognision became faster and I could see my images almost immediately.
It’s deffinitely easier on software but tomorrow I will do one attempt with physical cards and let you know about my score. I haven’t done this for a long time because I practise only on a software now.

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Can you tell me your average time to memorize cards?

I think that if you will expand your system then you may be able to create a world record in memorizing cards as I suspect that you are memorizing cards in less than 20 seconds with your system and if you will expand your system then I think that you can memorize a deck of cards at twice the speed in less than 10 seconds which is a world record.

However, your system has 425 images and I think that by using a block method you can reduce the number of images you will need by half and if I am correct using the block method increases recall or speed or both.

And I think that you can add chunking to your method by adding actions to the last object such as burning, For example-

“choir is singing from a book laying on the grass.” with actions can also be “choir is singing from a book laying on a burning grass” and as soon the action burning or some other action happens to the final object in a final image that image can be chunked which will increase both speed and recall but maybe 13 actions will be needed for that because I suspect that using one action many times while trying to memorize a deck of cards will lead to inference,

However adding Chunking to your method will increase both time, speed and capacity of your recall,



My thoughts on improvements of your system are-

  1. Adding Clue Shapes to it
  2. Adding Chained Pair Linking to it
  3. Adding a block system to it or a location system where your position in a location will determine the order of the cards.
  4. implementing Chunking to it

And I think that implementing all of these things on your system will give you a big speed boost,

And then there will be a total of 213 images, 52 actions and 52 spots in your system which will be needed to memorize a deck of cards,

And I think that if you want then instead of using a block system you can use a location system in which the order of images is determined by your position in your memory palace and also if you want to implement all the above suggestions in your system then I recommand you to implement in your system a location system instead of a block system,



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Hey, thank you for the comments
I like you ideas but now I don’t want to change or improve my system in any way. I will practise as it is now. Maybe someone new will add something from what you mentioned. My average times are 22 - 24s when I don’t go for full speed.

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169 for the values, and 256 for the suits. Total combinations of PAO would be 169x256 = 43.264.

You did a great job finding 425 images with all the suits and values. I think it is a good system for those who likes to improve on speed-cards. Nice job!


Well. Generally, I would say that your method is a bit similar to three digit numbers and having images for each. You practise three digit numbers - you get better times at numbers; you practise a system with more images when it comes to cards - you get better at cards. The question in both cases is the amount of time one has to practise memorizing new images. If one has little time - he won’t be able to learn your system.

This method is not to just memorize a deck of cards but do do it faster or more cards in the same amount of time. If your goal is just to be able to memorize one deck then this system is not for you, if you want to be a good memory athelete then you can consider this system. If you want to be good, you must sacrifice yourself and devote your time.

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I would rather rephrase it as “if you want to be exceptionally good”, being good is already possible with one card system. So, “if you want to be exceptionally good, you have to put in exceptional effort”. Sounds accurate enough.

Hi Jan,

nice job. I haven’t seen someone transforming 4 cards into 3 images and especially in terms of the number of images that’s an improvement!

What I was doing a couple of years ago was transforming 3 cards into 2 images. I encoded the images using my 3 digit system. Also, I know from Christian Schäfer that he was doing it for a while.

Memorizing a deck of cards with your system needs 39 images per deck. Memorizing with the 3 cards 2 images approach needs 34 images per deck. But of course, your system requires fewer images in total.

Here is how I did it: The first image comes from the 3 values of the cards. I.e. As 5c 9h = 159
The second image comes from the suit: Spade=1 Hearts=2 Clubs =3 Diamonds =4
So for the example above that gives = 132
One problem with that was that there are 13 values instead of 10. A-K I used

And in addition, I used:

Let’s check the combination above: As 5c 9h = 159 and 132
The problem for: Qs 5c 9h we would also get 159 as the first image! So we need to store the information somehow what it exactly was.

J,Q,K are face cards. The rule is.

  1. Use the code above for the first image: A&Q=1=t,d, 2=2=n, 3=3=m,…,6&J=6, K&7=k,g (classic Major)
  2. For the second image you use: Spade=1 Hearts=2 Clubs =3 Diamonds =4
    BUT if the card is a FACE card you add +5

So you get:
As 5c 9h = 159 and 132
Qs 5c 9h = 159 and 632

So from the second image you now that the first card must be the Q and not the A.

More examples:
4c 9h Jh = 496 and 327
4c 9h 6h = 496 and 322

Ks Qc 5d = 715 and 684
7s Ac 5d = 715 and 134


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Hi Johannes,
Great job, very creative. I think as many systems as athletes. The goal is the same, to memorise the deck but we search for the best method and it is still hard to say which one is the best :slight_smile:
I personaly never liked PAO and also two card system because there are so many images. I decided to create something in between.

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Very interesting system. Thanks for sharing!

It’s just a small detail, but I wonder if it would make any difference. You could try to start with the first two values, then go through the four suits and finish with the last two values.

Let’s take the example from above:

So you would proceed like this:

  • 10 K
  • :diamonds: :clubs: + :hearts: :spades:
  • 5 6

This way it would be enough to look at only two cards at once, plus you don’t have to jump back and go through all the cards again. I think this could be beneficial at non-digital competitions and maybe also speed up the system in general a bit.

It’s just an idea of course :slight_smile:

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Thanks, I also considered this but for me suits part is harder because there are two red and two black suits, which I sometimes don’t recognise correctly. I prefer to focus and memorize them at first glance and then memorise the values. When I memorise suits I can also see my first image for values and speed up memorisation part a bit. I still work on that.

Very good system as I want to use but i not really understand that system can you explain more how you mean? I have always think if I want to change to a twocardssystem or not?

256 values are 2 digits in hexadecimal wich are 8 binary digits, that is two blocks of 4 binary digits :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Also works for normal PAO from 00 to 99

next step with more cards you go to a 1024 system if my memory doesn’t fail.

He used what it is done in informatics to code old chipset instructions into binary.

The method is backed by math. Sorry don’t have time to explain but with 256 PAO it exactly fits 4 cards.

I’m also working on it.