Tricks You Caw Now Do

I mention this particular occasion to give you an example of the sort of tricks you can do, once you have learnt how to memorize a pack of cards in order. With a little concentration, you should be able to recite the cards backwards as well as forwards. You simply move along your journey in reverse order.

More impressive, I think, is the ability to sing out any card you are asked for: the 12th, the 39th, the 25th, and so on. This feat is easily achieved, providing you have reinforced certain stages along your journey.

If you look back to my route through the streets of Guildford (in Chapter 16), for example, you will notice that the 11th stage is a staircase. Whenever I am mapping out a new route, I always make sure that the 11th stage involves stairs. The 21st stage is always a door or gate. And I know when I am half way, because the 26th stage is invariably a 'stop' of some kind. I use other markers for the 31st, 36th, 41st, and 46th stages.

I avoid reinforcing the obvious stages (10th, 20th, 30th, etc.) because no one ever asks me these! I find that people always try to catch me out by calling out odd numbers. But when someone asks what the 46th card is, say, I can tell them in an instant. And if they choose the 44th card, I either work back from the 46th landmark, or count forward from the 41st.

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