Speed Cards - PAO vs PO with Dominic

Hi Guys,

I am 39yr M and got into memory 5 years ago when i read Dominic OBrians book. Did speed cards with PA system and had a personal best of 2 minutes.

Then stopped practicing it completely and made new year resolution to practice again with goal of < 1mins. I started to practice with my old Person-Action list using Dominic’s system and reached 3:30 mins after 1 week. I came across this forum and started reading and taking tips.

Sounds like PAO system is better as only 18 pictures and loci points. But after some practice my time with PAO is 7 minutes - it takes a long time to visualize the PAO image and also difficult to recall for me when compared to PA.

Q1. Is there really an efficiency difference or personal choice?

Q2. Is the time I spend to get on this new system going to help reach < 1 minute.

Q3. Can someone please suggest drills to improve my visualization and recall?

Thank you in advance !


I’m not sure about 1 and 2, but if you haven’t seen it yet, I think there are some tips in this long thread:

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For me personally, PA works better than PAO. That’s probably because I don’t practice PAO enough to get fast with it. I can do sub 60 seconds in cards (on memory league) and 80 digits in sub 30 seconds with PA. To get these scores with PAO, I’d need to train much more.

It’s exactly the same for me :slight_smile:

Does somebody know what system does he use who did the new WR?

I feel the same.

I saw Bin Primore’s interview - world memory champion who did speed cards in < 30 seconds using 2 cards at a time - so some for of PA system. He also mentioned his journey’s always contain 26 loci since he has to practice for speed cards.

So now i feel more confident of using Dominic’s PA system to speed.


It’s not a PA system… in PA, the first card gives you P and the second card gives you A. 2-card system require a lot more images than PA or PAO systems do.

The Ben System has a single image for every possible two card combination. The suit combination is the first consonant, the first card’s rank is a vowel that follows, and the second card’s rank in the second consonant. See here for more detail and another 2-card system:

@docelixir Ben Pridmore has a more advanced system than PA. He invented his own, see here: