Memorising cards for Bridge PAO

Forget tournaments or when not familiar with a player. But imagine placing only one card per location, but using only your Action or object used by the player himself. I would definitely try this for the fun of it, but all these ideas seem a bit much for the given objective.

I think the simplest and best way would be to use palaces where there are 11 clear locations on the left (hand to memorize on my left) and 11 on the right.

My kitchen is the first place that comes to mind.

On my left is stove, shelves above, countertop, shelves below, sink, toaster, microwave, freezer, fridge, tv, door to WC.

On the right are just as many places I can place one card per location and theres no way to mix the two up…

P.S Ive simply placed them wherever I thought of first (generally close to the player playing it) , one card per location, no linking, without trying too hard, and it has always been enough to remember what had been played and by whom.


I’ve spent years attempting to improve my ability to remember cards at bridge. It also is valuable to remember how many HCPs (A=4, K=3, Q=2, J=1) each opponent has played. That’s because if an opponent did not open the bidding, then they have fewer than 12 HCP. If they have played 10 HCP so far, then they don’t have an outstanding K. So, you know which opponent to play for that card.

Back to remembering cards, one needs to remember how many cards in a “key” suit are still out. Key suits are trumps and the one or two (at most) other suits that you want to “set up.” If you can, it would be super to be able to remember which key cards are still out.

I’ve used a memory palace with four rooms, one for clubs, another for diamonds, then hearts, and lastly spades. I’ve then used the Major System (hat, hen, ham, hero, …) to place “cards” in each room. The honors are jack, queen, king, and ace, so a picture for one of each works.

As an opponent plays one of the key cards, you “whoosh” it out if its room.

Very much will appreciate comments and improvements!



That looks like an excellent system.

I was an engineer. Nobody memorized lists (errors would be too dangerous or too expensive). But I’m prepared to start with my first palace. (Although bridge can be a dangerous game :slight_smile: )

I have some “low-level” questions.


How exactly do you “see” a room. I have a choice from 8 upstairs rooms that I can use. I can “see” these rooms in sequence without difficulty. If I choose 4 consecutive rooms, how do I know which room is Clubs? Do you see the actual 3-leaf Club icon on the door? Or do you simply do the sequence C, D, H, S?


I’m assuming that I need to place each card in its correct numerical sequence. Assume the opening lead is C4. So C4 would be in the fourth position. Is that correct?


I just start with my bedroom, the room in which I start the day, and move through my house. The first room is clubs, the second room - the kitchen - is diamonds, living room is hearts, and my office is clubs.

I just want to remember which cards in each suit are still outstanding; don’t need to know which have been played or my whom or in what order. As a card is played, I “whoosh” it from the room.

I’m still experimenting.

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Thanks. I’m going to give your system a try.

I started to master the bridge. This is really a great card game. Why do I need to remember cards? To know what cards are in the hands of opponents at the end of the game. You can memorize the person-action-object of the first three cards and already create the image of the fourth person. When the next trick will be, the first two cards will be the action and the subject for the fourth card from the previous trick, and the next two new person and action. I think there is no need to memorize cards in blocks of four, just remember all the cards. Absolutely enough that you will always remember the cards issued. Of course, I may not know any subtleties of this game. I’m just a beginner in it. But it seems to me that remembering all the cards that have been issued, considering trump cards, gives you a huge advantage in building a strategy.

Indeed, remembering which card have yet to be played gives you a big advantage in bridge. Some top players just naturally remember every card played, who played it, and which ones are still out. Once an opponent shows out in a suit (a “void”), you then know the cards in your other opponent’s hand.

I’ve struggled to come up with a good system, one that does not bog you down during the game. If you do, please share it with all of us.


I read about the phenomenal memory of Tim Seres.Typically, this ability to memorize cards is based on an exceptional talent for card games. For such a person at the table, absolutely everything matters. He lives a game of cards. This is akin to the memory of chess players. But, if you do not have such an ability, this is absolutely no reason to be upset. Alex Mullen can remember a deck of cards in 15.61 seconds. Probably not a single professional card player came close to these results. As for Alex, he uses something like a “Shadow system” when a mnemonist remembers two cards at once in one way. You can her description on this forum. But I think, if you just want to play bridge and remember all the cards that have been released, it is too difficult to create such a system, because it requires more than a thousand images that need to be trained to be automatic. PAO systems are more than enough for this. Just pick up the images of people for all the cards and train every day. Moreover, at first it’s enough just to mix the deck and look at each card, presenting it as an image, until you begin to visualize each card automatically. Then start remembering, all the time trying to increase speed. When you learn to memorize three cards at a time, it will not be difficult for you to arrange the images of cards in the form of PAO along your mental route. When you want to know what kind of cards your opponents have left, you simply scroll through this journey in your mind, and it is already easy to understand which images are missing among them. Although, there is another idea that may interest you. One mnemonist remade a little of Tony Buzen’s system specifically for card games. The whole point is the mental distortion of the image. If you want to use this system, it is better to use the usual Major system with 100 images. Because developing 100 PAO images will be an unreasonable amount of time. You simply distort the image of each card in your mind. So, if the image of a baboon you designate is some kind of card that comes out of the deck, you prototype that baboon in a block of ice and so with all the cards that came out. When you want to know the opponent’s cards, you simply look at all the images of the cards in your mind in the usual way and see which ones are distorted by a block of ice and which are not. Those that are not, this is the opponent’s cards. In the next game. You will distort the images of the issued cards, presenting them in a bonfire and so on and so forth. But, the drawback of this system is that you will remember the cards that have been released only until you remember the new cards. In fact, this is a one-game system. And it is not suitable if you want to remember these cards for a long time. I hope I could help you.

I see I misstated my office. It is for spades. Sure you figured that out.

I’m an avid and fairly good bridge player. Here are the key things to remember—and a Memory Palace + the Major System works well.

As “declarer,” ideally, you want to remember:
● The bidding.
● The opening lead.
● The cards that are out in your two (rarely three) longest suits, yours + dummy’s.
● Which cards you have that are good. It could be a little 3 if the only remaining card in that suit that is out is the 2.
● How many high card points each opponent has played (A=4, K=3, Q=2, and J=1).

As I said above, I use my home as my Memory Palace with 5 key locations: one for the opening lead (my front door), one for each suit, and one for length cards I hold that now are good.

I am completing a bridge eBook for aspiring players. I’m doing this in conjunction with a world class player and teacher. The content is which partnership agreements you should have with your partner and which you should not have.

If anyone can improve on my memory system, please do so. I want to include it in my book—with attribution?


I’m working on my own system for blackjack, and the biggest issue is reusing the memory palace over and over. What do you do to counter “ghosting”?(remembering old images)

I thought about your words. The first thing is your problem. Use the house as a palace of memory. This is too few points. What prevents you from playing exactly what you always think, which cards to remember. If you remember all the cards in a row, everything will change. You need to create a route where there will be more than 50 places for a deck of cards. And it’s better to memorize the results of the bidding with your home.This is where the house comes up. To memorize bidding data, you should encode the number in the first letter, and the suit in the second and memorize this in the usual way from your system for numbers. If you want to memorize some other important points that sound like terms, you can assign them reference images, as you did with numbers and playing cards. Anyway, I am guided by the fact that if you remember the order of all 52 cards, it is very easy to correlate who played which one. After all, you remember what cards were in the hands of you and your partner at the beginning of the game.

Thanks very much, A-24. As I said, I don’t need to remember all the cards played, just the ones still out. That goes down by two at each trick. I like your idea of using a route, which I will use to remember the bidding. Re cards still out: ghosting will be an issue on the next deal. That’s when I may need to have two memory palaces.


Ghost images, is it an echo effect? You can try mentally erasing all the images after the end of the game with a rag. It does not take much time. Of course, having two routes is at least a good idea.