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Stacks

A stacked deck is an incredible powerful tool for the magician. A memorized deck is for the most part committing a particular order of cards to memory. It will require work, practice and frequent use to keep remembering the stack. For systems of how to do this see our Memory & Mnemonics category.

An algorithmic stack allows one to calculate the card value (either the next card or a card at a particular position in the deck) without having to memorize an entire deck. The most famous such stack is Si Stebbins. Each method has its pros and cons. Try them out and see what works best for you.

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Unknown Mentalist
X Deck by Unknown Mentalist

This intro price will go up to $12 from October 3, 2022.

X Deck is a cyclical stack. Given any card in the stack, you can almost instantly know the next card. It is based on a couple of simple algorithms. The stack looks quite random both value-wise as well as suit-wise. An equally easy variation X Deck 2 is also included. Easy to learn and simple to use, you should be able to get this down in a few minutes.

1st edition 2022, PDF 9 pages.

$6
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Dick Cole
New Card Tricks with the Mark Twain Stack by Dick Cole

The Mark Twain stack is a Si Stebbins stack with a four-apart sequence in SHoCkeD order. It was first published in the February 1935 issue of Modern Mechanix and Inventions magazine. This is a reproduction of this article.

The Mark Twain stack, also called the Riverboat stack (see for example Magic Card System), due to the abundant gambling on Mississippi riverboats, gets its name from the practice on these riverboats to frequently having to measure the water depth. If it was two marks, pronounced 'mark twain', it was ok.

1st edition 1935; PDF 4 pages.

$4
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Si Stebbins
Si Stebbins Teaches Tricks by Si Stebbins

This is the first known publication of the Si Stebbins stack and several tricks that go along with it. It is a reproduction from the Sunday 18th December 1898 issue of the St. Louis Post Dispatch newspaper.

1st edition, 1898; PDF 5 pages.

$4
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Mark Cahill
High Noon by Mark Cahill

There are so many possibilities with a stacked deck, or better yet, "Impossibilities." That's because these decks look regular but what you can do with them quite casually can appear incredible. It's an old stack that's still worth its salt is, "The Si Stebbins Stack." It's sorta the granddaddy of this kind of amazing card magic. And it has a mathematical build to it that allows for a variety of other approaches as to magically finding a selected card and or knowing where or what a card is as to its position. This effect is a refreshing and fun way I found to make a bit more magic happen...

$5
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Oscar Hugo
Magi Card System by Oscar Hugo

A comprehensive treatise devoted to a brilliant cyclical stack system for professional magicians and mentalists.

This ebook covers the topic in great detail, including ten lessons for learning the system, plus how to use the Magi System to its utmost, including clever false cuts and shuffles that'll hide the fact that a setup is used at all. Also included are mechanical methods that can optionally be combined with the Magi System to make it even better.

The ebook contains a mix of effects that are easy to do and ones that take some skill. All are explained in an easy-to-follow manner,...

$15
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Dr. Hans-Christian Solka
Snibbets by Dr. Hans-Christian Solka

An easy-to-calculate version of the Si Stebbins stack.

The name 'Snibbets' (Stebbins reversed) was coined by Rusduck. It denotes a reversed Si Stebbins stack where instead of adding 3 to get to the next card's value one substracts 3. The first to publish a negative step version was Ernest Hammond in The Magic of Tomorrow. While this may seem a rather inconsequential change, it has some advantages over the classic Si Stebbins stack. In this ebook, Dr. Solka takes you through the details of this lesser-known version of Si Stebbins.

1st edition 2022, PDF 19 pages.

$9.90
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Mystic Alexandre
Listen and It Will Speak by Mystic Alexandre

A minimalist storytelling mentalism card routine.

"This is a truly thoughtful and beautiful presentation - the sort of thing that really warms my heart. The presentation here is the thing. And what's really nice about it, is that it is easily adaptable to other effects if one so desires. I love it!" - Sudo Nimh

A special competition was underway at a famous monastery and all the monks were quite eager to do well. The Master had pointed out a very special tree that lived in the woods surrounding the monastery grounds and the monks had been asked to write a story about this tree. The winner...

★★★★★ $9
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Adam Hudson
Double Think by Adam Hudson

Two mentalism card routines.

Cut It Out

The spectator is asked to cut a regular packet of cards and to complete the cut by placing the bottom half on top. The performer ribbon spreads the cards face-down onto the table, inviting the spectator to slide any card from within the spread. The selection is at this stage kept face-down with its identity remaining unknown.

The packet is once again gathered up before the spectator is asked to again cut the deck into two piles. The position cut to is marked by placing the lower half of the deck onto the upper at a right angle. The selected card...

$7
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Felipe Suau & Biagio Fasano
S.E.M.P.E.R. by Felipe Suau & Biagio Fasano

What is S.E.M.P.E.R.? (Special Esp Memory Powers Enhanced Radically)

A special trick with a flexible method that offers wide-ranging presentational possibilities. It uses an ordinary deck of 52 poker cards and the trick will be deceptive even for many illusionists, but above all its impact on the audience is devastating.

Two spectators are asked to take a card and put them unseen in their pockets. The magician explains that, under these conditions, it is obviously extremely difficult to be able to identify the cards. Nevertheless, and in order to demonstrate to the public the uncommon...

★★★★★ $15
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Robert Nedbalski
Ned's Ultimate Poker Stack by Robert Nedbalski

An incredible stack that was worked out by hand at a time when computers were not available. The experts were impressed:

"In actual play, that would get the money." - Dai Vernon

"... the best stack since Rusduck's. - Ross Bertram

"... interesting and has possibilities at the gaming table." - Faucett Ross

"... Ned, you've come across a real gem, don't tip it." - Orville Meyer

"Vernon should see this." - Francis Carlyle

Effect:

The spectator takes a shuffled deck. The spectator makes a choice of the type of poker to be played:

  • Straight Poker
  • Stud Poker ( 5 – 6 – or 7 card)
  • Blackjack
  • Draw Poker
The...
$9.95
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Bob Farmer
The Bammo Tarodiction Toolbox by Bob Farmer

A new method to quickly and secretly arrange cards from a small pack all the way to a full deck. No math needed unless you want to understand why it works.

Within magic, no mind approaches Bob Farmer's. Outside magic, Machiavelli came close. The evidence is presented in "The Bammo Tarodiction Toolbox." - Stephen Minch

Bob Farmer's Bammo Tarodiction Toolbox is both a great trick and a genuinely new method for secretly arranging cards quickly, accurately, and right in front of the spectators' noses. - Matthew Field

About what you'd expect from the guy who invented that stupid little hand trick. -...

★★★★★ $30
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Devin Knight
Psychic Card Revelations by Devin Knight

Effect: Two people each select a card. The performer then shuffles the deck by giving it a riffle shuffle. The spectators take the deck and returned the cards with the deck in their own hands in such a manner that there can be no suspicion of trickery. The two cards are not forced.

The performer now spreads the deck face up on the table so all the faces are in full view. The first card is found by contact mindreading (apparently). The first spectator holds the performer's wrist while he moves his fingers over the face up cards. Suddenly, the performer's finger drops down on a card and it...

$8
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Bruce Carlley
Hold'em Poker Stacked Decks by Bruce Carlley

You will learn stacks for 2 - 10 players which allow you to do the following:

Presentation: Bring out the card case and remove the cards. Briefly show the cards and hand the deck to one of the players. Have them cut the deck. And cut again. State that you think he (or she) is lucky and let them deal. He deals and he wins! They have no explanation. He cut the cards and dealt and you did not touch the deck after he cut the cards.

1st edition 2019, 16 pages.

$6
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Gene Anderson
Si Stebbins Card Routine by Gene Anderson

An apparent demonstration of total card mastery, this series of card effects entertains and baffles a lay audience. The magician names missing cards by glancing at a riffling pack, listens to the riffling cards to count packets or locate any card, and detects truth from lies by spelling with the cards.

1st edition 1988, 5 pages; PDF 6 pages.

★★★★★ $6
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William Frederick Pinchbeck
The Expositor by William Frederick Pinchbeck

A series of letters, between an unidentified friend and his correspondent (William Frederick Pinchbeck) comprising of how to train a pig, invisible lady and acoustic temple, philosophical swan, penetrating spy glasses, several magic tricks, such as how to catch a bullet, and reflections on ventriloquism.

This book includes the first known description of the "Eight Kings" card stack.

  1. Method of teach the Pig – from Letter I. to IX. See also Letter V. Appendix
  2. Principles of the Acoustic Temple – from Letter IX. To XIV. See also Letter II. Appendix.
  3. A Demonstration of the philosophical...
$6
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Hugh R. Johnston
Ten Mystifying Card Tricks by Hugh R. Johnston

Easy to learn, hard to detect. A booklet of routines that use the Si Stebbins stack.

This is an early publication by Hugh Johnston predating his larger Modern Card Miracles by several years. Includes research on its likely publication date by Chris Wasshuber.

  • The Secret
  • Rapid Counting
  • Weighing the Cards
  • To Tell the Center Card of Pack
  • To Locate Any Card Called For
  • To Have the Joker Tell You What Card is Drawn
  • To Tell the Number and Suit Of As Many Cards As Are Drawn
  • To Tell Card That Is Drawn While Blindfolded
  • To Cut the Cards in Three Heaps and Tell Bottom Card of Each Heap
  • Reading the Cards
  • To Have Pack Cut and Name Bottom...
$6
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Hugh R. Johnston & F. B. Sterling
Modern Card Miracles by Hugh R. Johnston & F. B. Sterling

A complete card-act with patter.

This ebook describes moves and routines for a stacked deck. The authors are using the Si Stebbins stack, but most of what is taught applies to other stacks, memorized or algorithmic. At the very end a simply two person code is taught.

Dornfield, President of the Chicago Society of Magicians writes in The Sphinx magazine, November 1919 page 209:

"On the same program, Hugh Johnston put over his line of incomprehensible sliders and puzzlers. The way that fellow can make a card or a whole deck do his bidding is nothing short of miraculous. He is at present busily engaged in conducting the only...

★★★★★ $10
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Geoff Williams
Mnemonica for Everybody by Geoff Williams

Mnemonica for Everybody is a streamlined, graphical method for easily and quickly learning the Tamariz stack.

It's the same Peg Memory System (PMS) I developed that I used to learn the Aronson Stack in an hour while driving. BTW, this same technique works great for every memorized stack out there including the Aronson Stack, The Six-Hour Memorized Deck by Martin Joyal, the Nikola stack and others.

Even though there are no actual tricks taught in this manuscript, it does contain links to several free memorized deck tricks and other resources (including a free e-book from Simon Aronson).

Please refer to the writings...

★★★★★ $15
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Steve Sanders
Recycling Stebbins Again by Steve Sanders

More fun with the original Si Stebbins Stacked deck. Contains an explanation of the original Si Stebbins stack and how to set up any deck of cards in that order.

Four different effects using the stack:

Kind of a Four
The spectator chooses a card and the performer prognosticates what that card is by looking at 'indicator' cards. Eventually, the 'indicator' cards are shown to be the three 'mates', matching the value of the chosen card, making four of a kind in all.

Curried Stebbins
A version of Paul Curry's Out of this World where two spectators randomly pick cards and it transpires that one spectator chose all...

$7
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Steve Sanders
Si-Step by Steve Sanders

Si-Step is a system which enables you to know what card is at a given position in the deck or get the position of any named card. Specially developed for the original Stebbins Stack and for people who do not like mental arithmetic.

It was originally published in 2014 in Recycled Stebbins.

PDF 8 pages.

★★★★ $0
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Jack Yates
Jack's Pack by Jack Yates

Jack Yates was a very clever and innovative magician who has somehow stayed below the radar and is completely unknown - undeservedly so - to many particularly in the US. Jack's Pack is a clever stacking method for finding any card in a deck by way of using numbers, names, words, etc.

Edited and with additional notes by Ken de Courcy.

1st edition 1978, 8 pages; 1st digital edition 2017, PDF 10 pages.

$7
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Geoff Williams
Aronson Stack for Everybody by Geoff Williams

In 1979, Simon Aronson gave the world of magic an incredible tool - A Stack To Remember - which has come to be known as the "Aronson stack," a seemingly random arrangement of cards that has amazing miracle properties built into it.

Many magicians have avoided adding memorized deck work to their repertoires because of the daunting task of committing a stacked deck to memory. Struggling to grasp the associations of the cards and their locations within the stack, most quit after a few hours or days. I was the same way... until a Harry Anderson manuscript got me to thinking about how to make...

★★★★ $15
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Unknown Mentalist
Stebbins Surprise Stack by Unknown Mentalist
  1. Can a Si Stebbins PLUS TWO stack be made useful for stack magic?
  2. Can the values of this stack be made to look random enough for fair scrutiny?
  3. Can this stack be made useful as a memorized deck - knowing the card at a given position and vice versa - without a sweat?
  4. Can this stack have a monodistic sequence instead of the repeating tetradistic sequence like the regular Si Stebbins stack?
  5. After having achieved all the above, will the stack still remain simple and easy to learn?
  6. Can this same framework be applied to the other Stebbins +3 or +4 stacks?
  7. Finally, will it be possible to perform...
★★★★★ $18
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Percy Abbott
Magic Card System by Percy Abbott

This is one of the books that Abbott published for the troops during wartime in the 1940's. It uses Si Stebbins system, except the step size is 4 rather than 3, also known as "The Riverboat Stack" or "Mark Twain Stack" (see New Card Tricks with the Mark Twain Stack). Routines can be performed with most other stacks.

  • Foreword
  • The Magic Card System: The Rules That Make It Work
  • Effect Number One: A Skeptical Spectator Interrupts
  • Effect Number Two
    • It Might Happen To You
    • Effect Number Two As Performed By Two Persons
  • Effect Number Three
  • Effect Number Four
  • Effect Number Five
    • The Effect Done With An Assistant
  • Effect Number Six ...
$4
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Enrico Varella
Memorable Mentalism: Mysteries With the Mnemonic Deck by Enrico Varella

"The only people who speak of the difficulties of the memorising a deck of cards are those who've never seriously tried to learn one." - Simon Aronson

Would it be useful to you if you knew the identity of the top card of a shuffled deck? What if you knew both the identity of the top and bottom cards of a shuffled deck in use? If you know the identity of four cards on the top of a shuffled deck, how would you apply this knowledge? Would you desire to demonstrate that you can speed memorise a packet of cards within seconds? Now, imagine this: You know the identity of every card in an entire...
★★★ $10
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Ferry Gerats
The Gerats Principle by Ferry Gerats

The principle facilitates in determining the position and identity of the matching of cards in two decks, which have been randomized by the cutting of each deck. The principle works in conjunction with a memorized stack. A presentation is given where you don't have to commit a stack to memory.

The Gerats Principle enables you to perform the following effect:

Two decks are on the table. After two spectators have each cut one of the decks to their heart's content, the magician is able, without handling the cards, to tell whether there will be a matching of cards (ie: 2♥/2♥)) at a certain...

★★★★ $15
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Unknown Mentalist
Karma Deck Psyclical by Unknown Mentalist

If you already own Karma Deck Pro or buy along with this, you will get this ebook for $3 only.

This ebook gives you 7 cyclical stacks based on the Karma Deck. The stacks have random sequence of values and suits and it is very easy to know the next card given any card in the stack.

Basically the Karma Deck was designed for use as a memorized deck without the sweat of actually memorizing it. One could learn the Karma Deck in 5 minutes and then know which card is in which position and vice versa. The basic principle was simple enough for that and at the same time powerful enough to generate 7 different...

★★★★★ $12
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Unknown Mentalist
Kommando Kard by Unknown Mentalist

If you already own Karma Deck Pro or buy along with this, you can get this ebook for half price.

Are you alone and deckless? No problem. Now "deckless" does not mean "powerless" anymore. Just have this one single Kommando Kard with you in your wallet or pocket and you are set to perform these 15 amazing routines, without ever needing a deck of playing cards.

Yes, this is deckless stack magic and deckless card mentalism rolled into one. A path breaking style and refreshingly new way of performing card mentalism using the Karma Deck stack (you will need to be familiar with the Karma Deck), but without having a...

★★★★★ $18
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Unknown Mentalist
Karma Deck Pro by Unknown Mentalist

If you already own Karma Deck or buy along with this ebook, you can get this for $18. This is a special price on the occasion of the first birthday of Karma Deck. The owners of Karma Deck Pro can also get Kommando Kard for half price, and Karma Deck Psyclical for only $3.

Karma Deck is a landmark in stack magic. Period. Released exactly a year ago, Karma Deck went on to become the number one bestseller stack on Lybrary. With an introduction by none other than Richard Osterlind, it received rave reviews from some of the all time greats of magic and mentalism. Today it is used by top pros all over the world.

Karma Deck Pro is an...

★★★★★ $30
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Louis Nikola
The Nikola Card System by Louis Nikola

The Nikola Card System is more advanced than either the Si Stebbins or "Eight Kings" card systems. Even upon close examination pre-arrangement seems impossible with this system.

  • Section 1: Argument
  • Section 2: Curriculum
  • Section 3: Utility
    • 1. "Stop"
    • 2. Cards By Weight
    • 3. Weighing Chosen Cards
    • 4. The Sense Of Touch
    • 5. Human Magnetism
    • 6. Locating
    • 7. Spelling
    • 8. To Spell Any Card Called For
    • 9. Thought Anticipated
    • 10. Unconscious Thought Transmission
    • 11. Wizard's Whist
    • 12. All Trumps
    • 13. The Spelling Bee,
    • 14. The Game Of Poker, And
    • 15. The Game Of "Nap"
    • 16. To Name The Position...
$4
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Drew Backenstoss
Requiem: Two Innovative Approaches to the "Memorized" Deck by Drew Backenstoss

Professionals all over the world understand the devastating impact that a memorized deck can have on their audiences. It's a tool with unlimited potential - it allows for a myriad of immaculately clean card locations, revelations, and more. But, until now, it's been a difficult tool to master.

Requiem - Two Innovative Approaches to the 'Memorized' Deck puts the incredible world of mem-deck work within anyone's reach.

Because no two minds work alike this ebook contains two very different stacks that allow you to know the position of any card and the card at any position in what passes as...

★★★★★ $18
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Unknown Mentalist
6 Special Stebbins Stacks in 60 Startling Seconds by Unknown Mentalist

If you already own 13MM of Si Stebbins or purchase along with this, you will get this ebook for half price.

An unbelievably simple method. No Kidding. You will learn 6 special Si Stebbins stacks in just 60 startling seconds. Does it sound Strange? Shocking? Staggering? Yes, it is simply superb! Just one simple set of easy rules and you can learn 6 stacks in one shot. And all of these as memorized decks, not just cyclical stacks.

In the earlier release 13MM of Si Stebbins, with one single effort you could get triple payoff. Here, your one single effort gives you 6 times the payoff. The rules are so easy that a school kid could...

★★★★★ $18
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Danny Crauwels & Chris Wasshuber
The Stack and System Maigret by Danny Crauwels & Chris Wasshuber

The problem with all existing memorized stack systems is that they use memorization systems not specifically designed for a memorized stack. Most memory systems are designed for the retention of LOTS of information for a relatively SHORT amount of time. When Dominic O'Brien memorizes 54 decks of cards (more than 2800 cards) with a particular journey system then he retains that information for a couple of hours max. After that he has forgotten the sequence. He has to, because around the corner waits another memory challenge where he has to memorize many other things. However, the magician ideally wants to remember...

★★★★★ $20
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Unknown Mentalist
13mm of Si Stebbins by Unknown Mentalist

The owners of this ebook can purchase 6 Special Stebbins Stacks in 60 Startling Seconds for half price.

This is a secret method in plain sight. Maybe this can also be called as Si Stebbins Easy Memory System.

A simple method to use Si Stebbins +3 stack as a Memorized Deck. Given a card position you will know the card identity or vice versa, very easily. Once you learn this you are bound to get the "why didn't I think of this myself" feeling. There is also a novel but easy suit sequencing method which makes the suit order more random instead of the red/black alternating look of chased, shocked etc.

A cool routine is also included where...

★★★★★ $12
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