Lance Tschirhart Card System - Needing some help with numbers beyond 1000

While Lance and Alex Mullen kindly explain their 2-card systems, I have read over their posts numerous times and still don’t understand the later parts of the system. Basically just the exception rules, the 352 beyond the 000-999 and the 400’s/800’s.

Is there anybody who could put it into different words to see if it helps me understand?


A trouble area is, the rules change with face cards.

QxQx: 440,441,442,443,,445,446,447,449
How do you show Qx4x? Or Queen first, 4 second?

Seems like the mapping of cards to numbers applies to the normal rules:
Suit, Face Value (1-10), Face Value (1-10) OR (Suit, #, #)
to the exception rules for queens and jacks
Face Value (J,Q,), Face Value (J,Q,), Suit OR (#, #, Suit)

I’d like to start with understanding the mapping of Queens and Jacks for now, and then Kings from there.

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You have to figure it with logic, example:
say you read QS 4S which is rehearse (a mike) for me, you know it can only be either
QS 4S or QS QS, but Q of spade will only appear once, so you know its QS 4S

but say you read QS 4D which is rarity (a green gem) for me, then you have to place in the QS first, and try and find another image that contains 4D in the palace after remembering the deck, if you cant find it, it means its QS 4D, if you can, then its QS QD, either way only one of the scenario pair can happen in a correct 52 card deck as QS can only happen once.

P.S. this is my faulty interpretation of the Shadow System, please scroll down for the proper one XD


Woah. I am surprised that is the answer you gave. And you sound quite confident in your answer.

I intuitively don’t like the idea of that extra mental note or step in recall… although maybe it’s not as bad as I imagine. And I wouldn’t like having to recall through the entire deck to find it… I imagine that could be tricky on long form events like hour cards with multiple decks…

Thanks for your answer!

Just so know I completely believe you’re right Oscar and know what you’re speaking of, but is there anyone who can confirm that is their interpretation also?


I would also like to encode the card images to the numbers. 1000-1352. I assumed that every 1352 card combination had an associated number… now I am doubting that assumption and considering maybe beyond 1000, people only conceptualize these images as being card specific with the phonetic rules, and not with a linked number.

If anyone wanted to explain their thoughts or if they have a number associated for the cards found from 1000-1352 and if so give an example? For example, what is your card pair for 1111, or 1352?

While this won’t be helpful in competition events, it may provide useful in every day memorization… for example in the carpentry cut lists I used to make, I would be able to make most metric measurements using 1352 x 2 = 2704mm, (below roughly 9 feet), with a single image.


13 52 - “Arrow”, inside “Ace-Of-Hearts”.

My digits and actions are based on shapes. So it wouldn’t help you in a competition using the shadow system.
However, what might help is; I use an image of a “Mirror” for all double digits. Such as 11 11. If a digit is the same as the first, I simply place a mirror in front of it.

11 11 - “Drumsticks”, drumming on the “Mirror”.

I assume you want to learn the shadow system to compete in competitions. It’s proven to be a great system for competing at a high level.

If you have the right reasons and a lot of time to invest into such system, then you are on the right track. I personally would find people on the forum and in private to ask related questions as most of us don’t use the shadow system. It’s hard to learn, prepare and apply. But it’s obviously one of the best system out there.

Oscar can probably answer all your questions. But you can also try to get in touch with Lance, Johanne, and Alex if you can.


Thanks Erol! That mirror idea is cool. I’m definitely going to use it!


The 400’s are Queen first card pairs and 800’s are Jack first card pairs. Remember that if a face card is 1st or both cards are face cards, then it supersede’s the suit combination.

For Example:
Q♦2♣ = 492
J♦2♣ = 892
Q♦Q♣ = 449
J♦J♣ = 889
Q♦J♣ = 489.
J♦Q♣ = 849

This is why 444,448,484,488,844,848,884,888 can’t be generated in this system. There are no suit pairs that spell out R (4) or F/V (8).

The rules are WAY different when it is JUST a Jack 2nd or Queen 2nd and a # card 1st, so I suggest you reread that part again.

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Wow! I think I actually just had a small ‘aha’ moment.

Okay, I was thinking up until now, of the Queen or Jack 1st or 1st and 2nd as a flip of the hundreds place digit (representing suit) to the tens place digit.

I thought if queen first then:
Queen, Suit, Number
4, suit (base 8), 0-9 (base 10)

If queen first AND second:
Queen Suit Queen (but didn’t understand how this worked)

but if it is queen first and queen second it is actually:
Queen, Queen Suit
(in other words, 4,4,Suit)

So to show Qx4x vs QxQx is the difference between:
4, Suit, 4
4, 4, Suit

So if 4/8 is first you know the first card is one of those combinations!!
And if in the tens place, the numbers are 0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9 it is a suit pair value, and if 4 or 8 then it is a face card, with the suit in the ones place!

I see now that it’s not a trade but the use of the word “supersede” is very literal here.

Is what I’m reiterating as you meant it?

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Yes I think you got it.

Just to clarify too,
Q♥4♥/Q♠4♠ = 404
Q♥Q♥/Q♠Q♠ = 440
The face cards when 1st or 1st & 2nd superseding the suit combination is how we can make the above work.

Face Card Value > Suit Combo > # Card (But if face cards are 2nd only, totally different rules apply)


ahh seems I have misinterpret lance’s note big time there, to me:
Q♥4♥ = Q♥Q♥ = hierarchy
Q♠4♠ = Q♠Q♠ = rehearse
the only why I tell them apart is by the process of elimination through finding another image that contains either the QX or 4X

Thanks for sharing Braden, really helped here.


My Pleasure!

Just curious @Oscar4, do you not use Lance’s phonetics exactly? :heart::heart: = :spades::spades: which is 0 or S,Z in the Major System. Or did you pair the suit combos up in a different way than Lance while applying his principles? I would think using ‘H’ words might get confusing too as Kings 1st card combos start with ‘H’.

Same applies for Jacks
J♥8♥/J♠8♠ = 808
J♥J♥/J♠J♠ = 880

@woodrow-m let me know if you any other questions moving forward. I built my own shadow system from the ground up with some help from a couple people who had done this already and I’ve been using it since last summer with great results. The most important thing is rereading Lance’s post and breaking it down bit by bit until it makes sense.


Good for you man, that rules. Thanks!

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So I decided I would enjoy using my own system. So I build my own rules for a 2 card system yesterday.

Any feedback would be appreciated! @BradenExplosion (if you wanted to check it out)

Great! I’ll check that out! I’ll mention I live in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia myself!
Not to get off topic but you should compete in the Canadian Mind Sports Association events when they can happen again. You can read about my victories and what the CMSA is all about here:

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Yes, I decided to pair the diamond with the spade (pointiness with pointiness) and heart with clubs (round with round) as I reckon I identify the phonetic for the suits more quickly that way, and also I decided to have J make the ‘F’ sound universally as I prefer a consistent standard.

Aside from these changes, everything else is the same as Lance’s has described after the face and number card phonetic adjustment :smiley:

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Oh, you’re that Braden. Yeah I’d like to compete! Maybe see you there! :smiling_imp:

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