The Six-Hour Memorized Deck
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The Memorized Deck:

Memorizing a card stack with the Peg System

Louis Nikola provides 104 english peg words in The Nikola Card System (1927). A partial reprint of this work can be found in Hugard's Encyclopedia of Card Tricks (1937).

Simon Aronson does the same in A Stack to Remember (1979) and Bound to Please (1994).
A popular method you might like is the Peg System in which associated words are used to recall stack-numbers and cards.

First you will have to learn the Major System, a kind of phonetic alphabet (see table below). Then you must remember two sets of 52 words (one set associated with cards, the other with the stack-numbers). Finally you must make pictures by associating words from one set to words of the other.

The Peg System can serve other purposes as well: remembering all sorts of lists, producing effects of mentalism, performing exceptional feats of memory, etc. Here also, any stack can be learned and daily training is required.


1. Learn the phonetic alphabet

Numbers 0 through 9 are associated with different consonants.


0: s, z, and soft c
1: d, t
2: n
3: m
4: r
5: l
6: j, sh, soft "ch", dg, zh, soft "g"
7: k, hard c, hard g, hard "ch", q, qu
8: f, v
9: b, p

2. Memorize a set of 52 words associated to stack-numbers

The word HEN is associated to stack-number 2.
The word HAM is associated to stack-number 3.
The word DOG is associated to stack-number 17.
The word MAN is associated to stack-number 32.

3. Memorized a set of 52 words associated to cards

Words starting with letter "S" are associated to the Spades suit.
The word SUN is associated with the 2 of Spades.
Words starting with letter "C" are associated to the Clubs suit.
The word CAR is associated with the 4 of Clubs.

4. Learn the stack

Form 52 mental pictures by associating words of one set with words of the other.
If stack-number 2 corresponds to the 4 of Clubs, picture an HEN driving a CAR and speeding on the highway.
If stack-number 17 corresponds to the 2 of Spades, picture a DOG with eyeglasses taking a SUNbath on the beach.
Top of the stack
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