PAO 0-99 done, how do i use it for cards? absolutely no idea, help please!

so i spent 10 hours today perfecting my PAO system now i just need to memorise them. but the problems is i want to use this for memorizing cards - how do i do so? i read the other forum threads already but am still confused.

can anyone help me?

i use a modified major system:
0 -s/z
1- t/d
2- n
3- m
4- r
5- f/v/w
6- b/p
7- l
8- ch/sh/sch/j
9- g/k/c

thank you so much! can’t wait to memorise cardS!!

i am confused whether my PAO serve as pegs for inserting card images or they are the cards themselves, if that’s the case, have i overshot by having more than 52 PAOS?

They are the cards. The images are then placed in a memory palace (aka memory journey).

If you have a system for numbers 00-99, you can use the same images for the cards.

This is how I do it:
Spades = 0
HeaRts = 4
Diamonds = 1
Clubs = 7

Ace = 1
10 = 0
Extra images for J, Q, K

Examples of mapping the number images to cards:
AS = 10
2S = 20
3S = 30

AD = 11
2D = 21

10C = 07


thanks josh ! that really helped :smiley:

I assigned each suit numbers alphabetically by suit name, so:

Clubs 01-13
Diamonds 20-33
Hearts 40-53
Spades 60-73

So now when I see a red heart I read “r” and then assign the number. So I see “Heart 6” == r6 == roach.

This made it quite easy for the number cards, but once I got to the face cards I sometimes got confused when I was first learning.

There are many ways to assign numbers to the cards, so do what makes sense to you. I decided that a spade has one sharp point, a heart has two rounded edges, a club has three “leaves”, and a diamond has four points, so:

spade = 10
heart = 20
club = 30
diamond = 40

Then, add the value of the card Ace through 10 (10 is zero, so the 10 of Spades would be 10; Ace of Spades would be 11).

And, for instance, the 9 of clubs would be 39. The 9 of diamonds would be 49. The first digit always gives me my suit and the second my card value, Ace through 10.

For face cards, I switched the suits to the ones position and assigned:

Jack = 50
Queen = 60
King = 70

So, the Jack of Hearts is 52; the King of Diamonds is 74, etc.

My numbers then go 10 through 49, then 51-54, 61-64, and 71-74.

Hope that makes sense. It made the most sense to me, but another system might work better for you.

I’m just now getting my 100 loci journey together with PAO and assigning them to the card numbers. Still lots of work to do, but it’s fun!


I was wondering how the major system works for cards. Very interesting. Though I think I’ll stick with a full PAO system, makes using golf courses for loci easier.

I use major system: I use the starting letter of each suit as the starting consonant
Spade = s
Heart = h
Clubs = c
Diamond = d

the value would be the second consonant following the Major system.
J and Q would be 11 and 12,
10 would be represented by 0
K would be represented by each each suit. KS = Spade, KH = Heart, KC = Club, KD = Diamond

So each suit always starts with the corresponding consonant, SA = suit, S2 = sun, S3 = sumo etc

Just put together my Major based PAO system and was wondering the same thing as the original poster above, how to adapt it to cards. Some very interesting approaches above. You’re all very clever people.

This is a very logical and appealing system except for two things. First, having the suit come first seems “wrong”, since one says the number before the suit, e.g. “the two of diamonds”, not “diamond two”. Do you find this slows you down? My second concern is that the system then switches for Jack Queen King, with them coming first and the suit second, I would think this switch is also confusing.

Off the top of my head, I suppose my fix would be keep your 1 2 3 4 system for the suits but make it the second digit. The first digit is the card, with ten being 0. So that would use 01, 02, 03, 04, 11, 12, 13, 14, etc. But then what to do with the jack, queen and king. I suppose one could make new PAO associations for the face cards to keep things tidy.

I’d be very interested to hear if anyone else has a way of uniting their PAO 00-99 and PAO card systems.

I use a similar system to what arsenius posted above.

Clubs = 21 - 33
Diamonds = 41 - 53
Spades = 61 - 73
Hearts = 81 - 93

This covers all the cards from Ace to King for each suit. I’ve had no problems adapting to this system despite it being a “suit comes first” idea. Each card has a numerical value. Ace is 1, 2 is 2, Queen is 12, King is 13. This gets added onto the base of 40, 60, 80 for D, S and H (coming from the Dominic system) and clubs is chosen as 20 arbitrarily because it wouldn’t fit as 30. The arithmetic stops being required completely very quickly as you learn to recognise the cards directly.

Having thought this over, I’m leaning toward the Arsenius system above, with the following tweak:

0x spades
2x hearts
4x diamonds
6x clubs

Jack, Queen, and King are 1, 2, 3

My reasoning for allocating the suits this way is as follows:
A spade is a shovel. The 1 is the handle of the shovel, the 0 is the blade.
2 looks like the right side of a heart, 3 looks like a heart laying down, as in <3
4 looks like a diamond, and 5 . . . um, yeah. It’s best buds with 4. :~
6 looks kind of like the club, and once more, we have 7 along for the ride.

Well, makes sense to me. :slight_smile:

Suit comes first, and 10 is 0. So 10 of clubs is 60. 3 of hearts is 23. Jack of spades is 11. King of diamonds is 53.

I look forward to comments, improvements, variations, and general madness. :party:

I’ve created a graphic to help learn the suits in the system I propose above. Take a look and tell me what you think (Click the picture for a clearer full size version):

So I’ve run into what I’ll call a “multiple translation” problem. When I see a spade, I first translate that to a zero, then translate that to an S. I’ve realized this is slowing me down. So now I’m going to attempt to associate each suit with the Major system letter that it corresponds with, resulting in the following:

I’d like to know if anyone else has encountered this issue in using a PAO/Major system for cards.

Hey look, I’m a necromancer reviving a dead topic!

So I’ve ended up combining Josh Cohen’s Major based numbering system for suits

Spades = 0
HeaRts = 4
Diamonds = 1
Clubs = 7

and modified arsenius’ idea of listing all thirteen cards in a row:

Spades 01-3
Diamonds 11-23
Hearts 41-53
Clubs 71-83

Where Ace = x1 and where 10 = y0 Jack = y1, etc

I have major based PAO system built that includes numbers 0-9, not just 00-09, because I find it’s helpful for memorizing license plates. The benefit of this is that I can use the major-for-suits method without running out of room (0x’s lead into single digits, not into 1x’s ), I don’t have to create new i mages for face cards, and 10-to-King is still “intellectually” close to the major suit number and is “logically” sequential.

For those wanting to stick to the major system, I think this is a pretty good setup.


Speaking of which, does anyone have an anki deck with good playing card images? I’m not too happy with the cards I have now.



Just downloaded a simple 52 card deck from Anki called “Card Image Files - Unleash your Hidden Poker Memory” or just search for “poker” The answers on the back were pictures but unfortunately they didn’t match my system so I replaced them with text. Good luck


Yeah, I have the same one–it’ll do the trick :slight_smile:


This is genius. Wd, man !

While this is up, I’ll go ahead and mention the way I convert cards to numbers. I really like a lot of the ideas mentioned in this thread.

I do something similar to what @cvstuart mentioned: spades have 1 point, hearts have 2 humps, clubs have 3 leaves, and diamonds have 4 points. Using this, I simply treat the card as a number: 2 of spades is 21, 3 of clubs is 33, etc.

I treat 10s as zeros. For face cards, I treat Jack as 1, Queen as 2, and King as 3. Then, to differentiate from ace/2/3, I add four to the suit for face cards. So queen of hearts would be 26.

Treating face cards like this can be a bit slow, but it’s what I’ve found works best for me. Hopefully this helps someone trying to apply their number system to cards!

Ever since I started learning memory techniques, I just had a very hard time building a card system, so I’ve experimented a lot with trying to apply my number system to cards. Of course, this should only be a last resort, as it would certainly be fastest to remove the intermediate step and simply have a card system to begin with.