Some problems with Ed Cooke's method of memorizing a deck?

Nov 10, 2017
Hey guys

I've been experimenting with this method of Ed Cooke for deck memorization. It seems to work pretty well since I can memorize a whole stack in about 20 minutes-half an hour and I have just begun. (compared to the stack I have in my long term memory which I memorized without any specific method, which took a whole afternoon)
There seems to be some problems though:

If I try to memorize more than one stack in a short period of time, the mnemonic scenes I get in my head for each one are bound to be confused/overlapped, which means I might mistake the order of some cards of the deck I just memorized and the one I am currently memorizing (hope that makes sense)

Other problem is the more I try this method the less efficiency it seems to have (??), like: On the first couple decks I memorized I got all the cards on my first attempt, ie: I could say all the cards in order from top to bottom without getting any wrong. However on the decks I memorized on the following days I could not get 100% the first time, some I didn't remember at all and some I got wrong (once I even got past 15 cards wrong to be honest =p) then once I saw the correct cards and tried passing through the whole deck again, only then I could get the whole order correctly, which at long range is definitely not the point.
(My goal is within some years of practice being able to do a memorization while doing a table spread and some patter, so I can only have one chance to have a glance at the cards.)

So anyone else tries/tried this method and also experiences these problems?

How do you fix those? Any tips?


forum moderator / t11
Elite Member
Sep 14, 2008
Louisville, OH
Food for thought. I'm going to take this a completely different direction than what you thought. Have you ever thought of just playing the easy way out where a card is selected, returned to the deck at a seemingly fair position, then ribbon spread the entire deck face up....."appear" to be memorizing the entire deck order. Have them remove their card while your back is turned and they place it somewhere else in the spread? You then turn around and relook at the entire spread and select their card? This is what I do and it plays nicely.
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