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The Six-Hour Memorized Deck - Martin Joyal

The Six-Hour Memorized Deck - Martin Joyal

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The current preoccupation with memorized stacks continues with this unexpected and remarkable entry. The author has devised a stack, the essential elements of which can, following the explicit instructions provided, be functionally mastered in four 90-minute study sessions. The claim seems extraordinary, but the evidence is here. I have little doubt that most readers will be able to begin to put this to use within the predicted time parameters.

This differs from the currently popular Aronson Stack in a number of significant ways. In order to learn a full-deck stack, a mnemonic approach is typically relied upon. The student first learns a "phonetic alphabet" of sounds and numbers. Two lists of 52 words must then be completely memorized, one list corresponding to the numbers one through 52, and one to the identities of 52 playing cards. Finally, these sets are paired together, using mental imagery, and the result is studied until facility with the stack is achieved.

It's a process that is not as difficult as it sounds, but neither is it easy or quick. While Mr. Aronson optimistically posits a 30-day learning curve, I don't consider that a terribly realistic expectation if you plan to have much of a life that month. Three months is probably about average for most students, and six months would certainly be a reasonable time frame for those taking the process at a leisurely pace. You had also better keep practicing to keep up your familiarity. Take a couple of months off and not only are you likely to lose mastery of the stack, but there is no quick road back; you may find yourself having to repeat much of the same process to relearn it.

By contrast, the Six-Hour Stack depends on a handful—fourteen to be exact—of built-in, highly intuitive rules. The study program is designed to thoroughly teach those rules to the student, which results in a functional utilization of the stack. What you do not get is the built-in tricks of the Aronson or other similar stacks. What you see is what you get: knowledge of the position of every card in the deck, along with its position in relation to any other.

NEW, hardcover with dust jacket, 240 pages

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