A typical 2-card system requires a total of 2,704 images.
If that’s not hard enough for you, a 3-card system takes 140,608.
The claim I’m about to make will either sound absurd, naive, delusional, or anticlimactic (if it’s already been done and I just haven’t run across it yet). If it happens to be the last one, then please excuse my “wow this is super amazing” tone. It was a breakthrough for me, at least.
I suppose if it’s already been done I can’t exactly call it the Jon System, either…
We’ll sort that out later. For now, here’s the crazy claim:
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I’ve created a style of 3-card system that uses fewer images than a standard 2-card system.
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So, I guess you could say that’s it’s not a pure, traditional 3-card system. It involves two encoding steps for every set of three cards. I’ll explain it, and I guess you can decide for yourself whether it counts.
I realized while brainstorming ways to optimize card memorization that every card really contains two pieces of information: the suit and the value. I wondered then if encoding the two separately for each set of cards would prove more or less efficient. It turns out that it was more. A lot more. I’ll do the math in a minute.
The way that I imagined a person would encode them separately would be to first encode the values into an image based on the order that they appear. 2:5:Q would have a unique image, for example. As would J:10:4 or 2:2:A.
Then they would encode the order of the suits as they appear (S:S:H or C:D:S, etc). This could be using predefined images, or (as I’ll discuss later) actions.
Then in recalling you would recall both the values and the suits, so if you had Kh:6s:3d, it would become K:6:3 and H:S:D. You would recall both parts and be able to say put the first, second, or third components from each set together to recall the specific card.
I know I’m getting a bit long winded with the explanation of the basics, and I’m probably just making it more confusing a this point, so here’s that math that I promised.
A Formula, Just For Fun:
To see how many images it would take for an n-card system like the one I’m suggesting, you would raise the number of card values you have to the number n, and then add the number of suits to the power of n, so…
(13^n) + (4^n)
For a 2-Card System:
A standard 2-card system requires 52*52 = 2,704 images. The Jon System requires a total of 185.
And not all of them have to be images, but like I said, I’ll get to that later.
For a 3-Card System:
A standard 3-card system takes 525252 = 140,608 images. The Jon System requires 2,261.
That’s right. A 3-Card Jon System needs fewer images than a standard 2-card system. I think that’s pretty cool, personally.
That thing that I keep mentioning about not using just images pertains to the idea of combining images and actions. I intend to use images for all of the values, but I think that it would work better for me overall if I use actions for the suits. That way I can say “(image for values) does (action for suits) to (image for next three values) which does (action for next three suits) to…”
I just sort of feel like that would be more effective for me.
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So that’s what I’m working on. I appreciate any support, advice, or questions or whatever that any of you feel the urge to share. Thanks for bothering to read this thing.
I don’t know if it counts as a true 2- or 3-card system, but I think with some practice I can reach similar times with it. I’ll let you guys know how it goes (though it may be a while before I actually time myself memorizing a deck - I have to finish filling out the images first :P).
Also, if there’s a cooler name than “Jon System” (my name is Jon, so you can see how original that one was ;P), please feel free to trash my name and use that one instead.
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