How to memorize a deck of cards in less than two minutes?

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#1 29 November, 2013 - 05:09
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How to memorize a deck of cards in less than two minutes?


Can we have a list of guidelines for novices like me who are trying to work up to memorizing a deck in under 2 min? For example, is it better to use the Journey method or a Memory Palace? How far apart should I have the cards spaced out? What system do you use? Any other advice you can think of?

29 November, 2013 - 06:23
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start by going through the deck and picturing the cards, you don't need to assign them a journey yet

29 November, 2013 - 07:30
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Yes, if you want very short times, you need to be able to immediately recognize the picture associated with each card.
But It's not your priority for the moment, and I don't think that aiming 2min is the best goal to have as a beginner, try rather to beat successive marks, like 15min,10min,7min,5min ...
Using a journey is a better idea (I don't know anyone using a palace for this kind of feat). You don't especially need a complex system for speed cards. Personally I have strong difficulties to beat the times I got with my simple system 1 card = 1 image with my new system 3 cards=1 complex image.
The saliency of the loci is a much more important factor than the space between them, but yes if you can have closed loci, it's a small advantage, especially for beginners because it offers you the opportunity to link the images in successive loci.

29 November, 2013 - 08:16
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Thank you for your insight! Just to clarify, I have been working on this for a while and I don't think 2 min is that far out of reach. My fastest time, as of about an hour ago, is 2:16 with zero errors. I'm sure I can do it.

A few questions:

What is the difference between a memory palace and a journey? I understand how each one works, but is one better applied to a particular type of information than another? In other words, why is a journey better for cards than a memory palace?

What do you mean by "closed loci"?

29 November, 2013 - 12:50
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2:16 is fast, congratulations ! You are not a novice at all with this kind of record ;) When did you start to train ?
According to me, the main difference is that journeys are more likely organised to be accessed linearly loci by loci and have more chances to be real place.
Sorry about the "closed loci", my english is not really good. I meant locis not far from each others.

29 November, 2013 - 13:59
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I always thought that journey method and memory palace is the same thing.. Isn't it?

29 November, 2013 - 15:02
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If there is a difference, it must be a thin one because it's the same associative method. Personally I just think that the term palace is more used when the locis are more spatially organised than in journeys, then you can mentally move in your palace and add stuff more freely than in your journeys. With this point of view, a memory palace may contain many different journeys.

Well, it's just my use of these terms, I ll be curious to know what the others think.

29 November, 2013 - 15:10
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Thank you very much! I've been at it for a few weeks now. When I first started, I could only remember two cards of a single suit. Then I learned about the PAO system and memory palaces and other tricks. I've been using a course on memrise that has a timer built in. I also carry around an actual deck and Ive gota little app that will produce random cards.

I got better and better, so I mixed in a second suit, then a third, then the whole deck. I've been working on the full deck for about a week and a half now. I'm hoping to get under 2 minutes soon!

Don't worry about your english. I didn't even realize it wasn't your first language! Youre very good!

8 September, 2015 - 08:19
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Joined: 2 years 8 months ago

I Do This.
Using A Memory Palace or Journey.

Diamond = Formal Wear
Clubs = Camouflage/Soldier Clothing
Hearts = Flowery/Summery/Bright Clothing
Spades=Construction Clothing (High Visibility Vests/Helmets etc)

2= Caesar
3= Pompy
4= Crassus
5= Mark Anthony
6= Cicero
7= Brutus
8= Cleopatra
9= Scipio Africanus
10= Hannibal Barca
A= Alexander The Great
J= Napoleon
K= Field Marshal Slim
Q= Erwin Rommel

I will shuffle a deck of cards and show you how i would memorise the first 7

1 = K-S == Field Marshal Slim using a pick-axe on some concrete
2 = 9-H == Scipio Africanus in a flowery dress with a baskett full of daisies
3 = 3-S == Pompy Using a jack hammer
4 = 6-C == Cicero dressed in ww2 infantry gear whilst dramatically gesturing during an oration
5 = 5-H == Mark Anthony with pig tails and a glittery cloak waving his sword in triumph
6 = 9-S == Scipio sitting on his horse dressed like bob the builder
7 = 7-S == Brutus standing at an anvil, face blackened with soot and dripping with sweat in the heat of the furnace

24 September, 2015 - 07:49
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Joined: 5 years 1 month ago

Curlaub,
Have you gone sub 2 minutes yet?

My own pb is 2:18. (with an extra long recall) and I've been at it for years.

You're amazing. No doubt you'll get down to sub 2 minutes before me, if you aren't already there.

"I got better and better, so I mixed in a second suit, then a third, then the whole deck. I've been working on the full deck for about a week and a half now. I'm hoping to get under 2 minutes soon!"

24 September, 2015 - 08:03
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Joined: 1 year 9 months ago

When reading "moonwalking with einstein" I came across a part in which Joshua Foer (the writer) had the same problem. He'd then train next to a metronome. Every time the metronome ticked he had to go to the next card. This forced him to get out of the subconscious okay-stage of learning something, in which you feel like it's going fine so your brain is no longer focussed on going faster.

If you can work with cards displayed on a cellphone screen, the program Memo52 might be good, you can select the time you want each card to be visible, so that forces you to speed up as well. It doesn't work for me, as I really need to have the cards in my hands to not have my ADD kick in and go all "ooh! bird bird bird! right there, right there! in that tree!"

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