How to Memorize a Deck of Cards

The best memory gurus can memorize a shuffled deck of cards in less than a minute.  Pretty amazing feat right?  Well, let’s take a closer look on how they can do such an incredible display of memory in a short amount of time.  Although, you may not find any practical purposes for such a thing.  But, you could probably win a lot off bets in bars and never have to buy yourself another drink! Ok, let’s get started… 

There are 52 cards in a deck.  The first thing to do is to convert those cards into 52 celebrities.  I recommend using celebrities in this first step as the human mind tends to ignore the mundane and it has a tendency to remember the unusual, gross or even in sexual escapades.  So, if you chose the Queen of Hearts as your own mother…  You do so at your own pearl! Lol. You would be much better off with your celebrity crush for the Queen of Hearts, for example.  You will understand why when it comes time to link all these cards (people) together in unusual, gross or in a sexual way.  Let’s leave our mothers out of this.  Trust me! 

Now, to break the 52 celebrities down further and make it easier for us…  Let’s break down the 4 different suits off the cards.  Hearts – obviously chose people you love.  Clubs – I would choose the party types (Charlie Sheen).  For Diamonds, you can choose the wealthy types (Donald Trump and Oprah).  Spades, you can go with funny celebrities (Kevin Hart and Tina Fey).  You really could categorize them however you want a long as it’s easily recalled by you.  For example, you could devote a suit to sports figures.  If Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs is someone you love; he would be the 2 of hearts as his jersey is number 2.  Same thing for the female side.  Hope Solo is the US Women’s soccer goalkeeper and her jersey is number 1; make her your 1 of hearts.  You get the concept.  The idea is to make them all instantly related to your own specific list in your head.  Do the same thing with each suit of cards for each category you chose.  This really should only take about an hour to assign a famous person to each of the 52 plying cards.  Remember, it can be a famous person from history as well.  It’s totally whatever works for you as there is no right or wrong way to assign your list.  No two people will create the same lists nor should you try to memorize someone else’s list because that wasn’t created by your mind and your experiences.

Once you have your 52 cards assigned to your famous person list, we will begin to learn how to be able to apply this method in memorizing a shuffled deck of 52 cards in the exact order.  However, you need to have your 52 cards available to you for instant recall before you go any further.  For instance, if I see the king and queen of diamonds…  I instantly know for my list that is The Donald and Oprah.  Make sure you have 52 cards down instantly.  Practice with flipping over a deck of cards until you get to instant recall and assignment.  With practice, you will be able to memorize a deck of cards, in random order, in the amount of time it takes to ride in your limo to your awards presentation for winning the US Memory Championship!   The next article we will be learning how to peg or link these cards with associations we already know.  After all, that’s what memory is all about.  Practice, practice, practice until next time.