Intelligence Intensification/Memory Techniques/Memorizing Playing Cards

This module assumes you are familiar with pegwords (see parent module) and the major system. If you are not, study them before continuing.

Using the major system a set of pegs was constructed for the playing cards:

A 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K
C Cat Can Comb Core Coal Cash Cookie Cough Capo Case Club Cream King
H Hat Hone Ham Hare Hell Hash Hog Hoof Hippie Hose Heart Queen Hinge
S Suit Sun Sum Sore Sail Sash Sock Safe Soap Sauce Spade Steam Sing
D Date Dune Dam Door Doll Dash Dog Dive Deb Dose Diamond Dream Drink
  • For these pegs, the first letter is the same as the suit
  • The last letter (A-10, Ace treated as 1, 10 treated as 0)is derived from the major system,
  • Jack is the name of the suit
  • King and Queen (sort of) rhyme with the words "king "and "queen".
  • If any of these give you trouble, make up one of your own.
  • Memorizing this list will require practice.


To quickly memorize a run of cards visualize the first card, visualize it associated with the second, visualize the second associated with the third,and so on. For example to memorize the sequence 8H,QC,2H,KD,4S,3D, Visualize a giant hoof for 8 of hearts, link it to the next card by imagining it stomping in a puddle of cream (QC=cream)Now associate cream with Hone (2H) by imagining a pencil sharpener floating (or swimming) in that lake of cream. Associate Hone with drink by imagining yourself drinking from a pencil sharpener. Associate drink with sore by visualizing an anthropomorphic bottle or shotglass (with a cartoon mouth) yelling "Ouch!", now associate the sore with a dam by imagining a dam with an oozing sore (not a water leak but a bloody sore) on it.


This is a quick method for keeping track of which cards have been played and which have not. When a card is dealt out, visualize its peg and imagine that item destroyed. When you want to know whether a particular card has been dealt, visualize the pegword, and you will immediately notice whether or not it's been destroyed.


  1. the 6C is dealt out imagine cash being destroyed (a $100 bill on fire)
  2. next the 10H is dealt imagine a hose chopped in half
  3. 4H- a rabbit (hare) is run through a meat grinder
  4. 2D- a sand dune is washed away in a hurricane
  5. 8C- cough - someone coughs so hard they are turned inside out
  6. AH- a hat is stomped flat
  7. 6S- a sash is ripped from the window and torn to shreds
  8. 4D- a door is kicked in so hard it bursts into a million pieces
  9. AC- cat-picture the most gruesome cruelty-to-animals you can imagine
  10. 3H-Ham- throw it down the garbage disposal
  11. QD- dream- you are awakened suddenly, destroying your dream. Picture a dream cloud vanishing
  12. KH- break a hinge in half
  13. 8H- hoof- a blacksmith pounds a horseshoe on so hard that the hoof shatters into pieces
  14. 5D- Doll- tear its head off
  15. 2H-Hone- Smash a pencil sharpener with a hammer
  16. 9C- Capo- Tony Soprano is gunned down
  17. 10S- the sauce is burning on the stove. Imagine the smell.
  18. QS- steam- a meteor crashes into the Old Faithful geyser, destroying it
  19. 3D- Dam - the dam breaks open with a massive flood
  20. 6D- Dash- a runner does the 100 yard dash-right off of a cliff
  21. 8S-Safe-a safe is blown up with dynamite
  22. JH-a heart (bloody organ-not the valentine) is chopped up on a cutting board
  23. 3S- sum- smash a calculator with a hammer
  24. 9D- Destroy a debutante somehow- dump a bucket of blood on her like in the movie Carrie
  25. JC-A (golf)club is mangled by an irate golfer. Imagine it twisted like a pretzel.
  26. AD- Date- You are so mad at your date that you hit her/him with a baseball bat

Without looking above see if you can answer the following questions:

  • Which Jacks are still unplayed?
  • Has the King of diamonds been played?
  • How about the 2 of hearts?
  • How many Aces remain?
  • Can you make a list of the remaining cards?

Double Pegword SystemEdit

You can memorize the entire deck (or any sequence of cards) by associating the card pegs with these number pegs:

0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
0 Tie Noah Ma Rye Law Shoe Cow Ivy Bee
10 Toes Toad Teen Time Tire Towel Teach(er) Taco TV Tub
20 Nose Net Nun Enemy Nair Nail Notch Nuke Knife Knob
30 Mice Mat Moon Mummy Mower Mule Match Mic Movie Mop
40 Rose Rod Rain Ram Error Roll Roach Rock Roof Rap
50 Lasso Loot Lion
  • This will take a lot of practice!
  • Even if you can't memorize an entire deck error-free with one run, you can still learn it fairly quickly and can amaze anyone by handing them a deck, asking them to name a card, then instantly telling them where it is with an answer like "that's 24th in the deck".