How To Memorize a Deck of Cards With Superhuman Speed

In 2009 I set a USA record for the fastest to memorize a deck of cards. I did it in 1 minute and 27 seconds. This record stood for two years in the United States. Now this may seem freakishly fast. But the good news for anyone attempting to memorize a deck of cards is that the first time I tried – just a year before – it took me over 6 minutes! I was not born with a natural ability; instead, I perfected a system that anyone can learn to memorize a deck of cards with seemingly superhuman speed.

The system consists of two main ingredients:

1. Creating a mental map 2. Creating substitute images for each playing card

Create a Mental Map

To create your mental map, you are going to take an imaginary walk, memorizing items as you go along. My suggestion is that you select a route you walk daily in your real life, such as a walk through your home. As you “walk,” you need to select 52 spots to store in your mental journal.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Select 5 rooms in your house (i.e., bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, living room, garage).
  2. Memorize 10 pieces of furniture in each room. Stand in the doorway of each room, and looking around the room, number 10 large items in a clockwise direction. For example, the first piece of furniture on your left may be a desk. Going around the room clockwise, #2 might be your bed, #3 could be a dresser, #4 a mirror, #5 a TV, etc. It really doesn’t matter which items you select, but if you use a television in one room, avoid using a television in another. And choose large items over small ones (e.g., the desk, not a pencil on the desk).
  3. Repeat these 50 items over and over in your head until you can close your eyes and say them flawlessly and rapidly.
  4. Now add 2 more pieces of furniture at the end – maybe in a new room or even 2 landmarks in your yard.

Create Images for Every Playing Card

This next part is where you use your creativity, and it is 100% up to you how you create the images. But every card needs to be turned into a noun (person, place, or thing). For example:

  • King of Hearts could be your dad.
  • Queen of Hearts could be your mom.
  • Ace of Diamonds could be Donald Trump (diamonds = rich).
  • 5 of Hearts could be your daughter Kailey because she is 5 years old and you love her (hearts could mean love for you).
  • Queen of Clubs could be Madonna because she is a woman and sang in dance clubs. 3 of Diamonds could be a touchdown because three starts with a “T” and Diamonds a “D.” It’s a TD!
  • King of Clubs could be Elvis because he is a male and sang in clubs.
  • Ace of Hearts could be an airplane because they call a pilot who shoots down a lot of planes an “Ace,” and they stop hearts from beating.
  • 6 of Hearts could be a tank because a 6 on its side kind of looks like a tank and tanks stop hearts from beating.
  • 7 of Hearts could be dice because of “lucky 7? and you love to play dice (again, hearts = love).
  • Jack of Hearts could be someone named Jack or a name that starts with “J” that you love.

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