Any Tips on Alex Mullen System?

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#1 11 September, 2017 - 17:33
Joined: 3 years 8 months ago

Any Tips on Alex Mullen System?

I've seen Alex on an interview explaining his system,

He showed an example of 2 cards,
3H & 10D
and said He sees "James"

So this is my assumption on his method

H D = J sound
3 = M sound
10 = S sound

That converts to JaMeS

This is probably the fastest method as he is currently the best.

I've read a few posts but I've not seen an easy explanation of this system.

So here is what I've got so far, not sure if it's right.

#♠#♠ - S,Z,C
#♥#♥ - S,Z,C

#♠#♥ - T,D
#♥#♠ - T,D

#♣#♣ - K,G
#♦#♦ - K,G

#♣#♦ - P
#♦#♣ - P

#♣#♥ - L
#♥#♣ - L

#♠#♦ - M
#♦#♠- M

#♠#♣ - J,SH,CH
#♥#♦- J,SH,CH

#♣#♠ - N
#♦#♥ - N

Converts to 16 combinations. But only 8 consonant Sounds are used because they are matched with the others.

If the first 2 cards were;
3H & 10D
we know this is JaMeS

so what happens if it's the other J sound which is matched with Spade and Club?
3S & 10C

This also converts to JaMeS

How is the whole system practiced?
Any tips?

13 September, 2017 - 07:40
Joined: 1 year 13 hours ago (that the method that Alex uses), you can know that with a little of investigation :) . He doesn't use 2704 images, he uses 1.356, he does "Mallow's style".
In that same thread Alex himself says that he have to begin with 3 digit system and speed cards and 2 years later he reach 21s in speed cards in a competition!!!. And he doesn't practice many hours. So this system can't be complex developing a good technique.

I just begin creating images for speed cards about 2 weeks ago. I'm studying images. I want to use the best technique possible, so I'm studying for use the same idea of Alex. But with a slightly diffrence:

I decided not to use any phonetic codes!!, I hate phonetic codes. Yes everybody use phonetic codes and is something invented many years ago, but I realice is not a good idea. Is unnecesary. I want to have the liberty to use the best images possible, and without restrictions. We can use mnemotecnics to codified, mnemotecnic is not abou a rule of a phonetic code, mnemotecnics are simple do associations and use the imagination.

My idea is that: Q♠ and 10 ♦ is the same as 10 ♦ Q♠ . I think is slightly faster to read tan what Alex Mullen does. Why?
What I do?,because you don't need to think in the order of anything. This is like in mental calculation:

Seeing 7 and 8 as 15 means not even noting '7' or '8' more than a microsecond and going directly to the idea of '15'.
We don't need to read that addition from left to right or right to left. "IS ABOUT A WHOLE THING"
We learned to say '7' plus '8' equals '15' in school. A real waste of time."

How I do this?, I'm impressed that I found at this momento easy, I have 80 images. The best is that cards have many simbols and you don't have to use the order, this way is easier to create associations.

Please try yourself with 10 cards this and you can see how easy is this, and how you can remember the images. In my first try was with 10 cards, I was be able to convert every 2 cards in the image in about 1 second without any practice!, yes I had various persons in the images and also only 10. But you can see that works great.

Yo select a image and you associate the image with two cards, the cards you find better. Example: EXORCIST GIRL = Q♠ (the darkest queen, not clubs because clubs represents the luck, spades is for me like like a spike, remembers me the evil), and the bloodi card of all deck is 10♦, not 10♥ because hearts represents the love for me. So Q♠ and 10♦.

Also I don't forget the images ever, codes are much more difficult for me specially in cards.

General idea: select a image and associate the image to the thing you need to codified the way you want. Everybody have creativity to do this.

Another great advantage I feel of NO CODES is that since the beggining of the practice, I'm practicing the visualisation of the images. You never subvocalise because you're not reading codes!!. You're interpreting the image represented.

I have 80 images created and learned for speed cards. I create at the same time I'm study them. I found do this slowly, montth after month for to use the best images posible. How?, I look in my enciclopedia, literally I'm reading every single word, to inspired my to see the existent things and select the iamges that captivate more my attention and the more easly to visualization. In enciclopedia is better tan diccionary because you can see more words, even persons of films like batman!! Also thinking in the use unexisting things we can see in cinema or object important for us in our life. I remember for example I like so much ninja turtles when I was a kid, so I use the ninja turtle. Also I use "it" the clown, a sword which is great because is simple and luminous.


1. Images intriguing. That captivate your attention for any reason. And with a mean for you. And not boring for you. For example a cat don't tell me anything, the cat my sister have is boring to imagínate because he is always sleeping :), but a dog is perfect, have personality and I feel affection.

2. Images in movement if you can. If you have a person, imagen that person doing that caracteristic thing. For example If you imagine a football player, imagin that person with playing with a ball. Or if you have like my Leatherface (man from Texas chain saw), I imagine that man with a electric saw!.

3. Very diferent shape to each other.

4. Easy visualization, the easiest you can.

5. THIS IS A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, HAPPENS TO ME, I DON'T KNOW IF THIS HAPPENS TO EVERYBODY: I found a very big images, difficult to visualise. I have to image the object far away, which is changing the perspective of the loci (something that you can't do specially at high speed memorization because there is no time to think). And imagining the object far away also makes that I can't "feel" the object clearly.


How I practice the images?, when I have a card cerated, I stick two cards one on top of the other but obviously like two cards slightly extended to see both like when your extending to memorize a deck and a cut the rest. The size is like one card. (I have to plastifiqued them for to use all my life otherwise the cards damage over time.)

Learning the visualisation: SEARCH A IMAGE OF ALL YOUR OBJECTS AND PERSONS in internet for example. I found importat that every photo take the image in the same angle. Is obvious because you have the locis vizualized in one angle, you have to imagine th object or person in that same angle,otherwise is more difficult to remeber because doesn't fit with the loci. YOU CAN'T CHANGE THE ANGLES, EVER!. Specially in speed cards, you're memorizing at high speed, so you don't have time to imagine changing any angle of any image.

Also IMO is better have the physical object if you can to have familirization with it and this way you can remember and do the visualization better and specially faster when you're doing speed cards, you can imagine the object like if you're seeing in reality, if you your mind have seen the object in reality. For example I have an ancient telephone in a image. I'm thinking to buy a telephone like, have that telephone and use that telephone for to have a better visualization (also I love the look of this telephones).
I don't think is necesary to put any effort watching the images or watching the images for minutes. Simply contemplate them, and the details a few seconds once in a while.


There is a very interesting tip I read from Boris Konrad in this forum:
"For memory sports purposes I do prefer the smaller locations: Only one or two items per spot, doing those very quickly. I tend to "lose" the images in big locations where it is not so clear, which part of it I made the association to."

Speed cards is my favourite task. The task I really like and I want to master.

13 September, 2017 - 10:31
Joined: 3 years 8 months ago

Thank you for your detailed message.
Your English is understandable :)

How is it that
Q♠ and 10 ♦ is the same as 10 ♦ Q♠ ?
They are both different in the order they are displayed.

and how do you mean 7 and 8 = 15
so what happens if it's 6 and 9 = 15
How would you know which is which?

How do you translate 2 cards?

We have Number and Number + a Suit pair.
We also have Image Card and Image Card + Suit pair
And, Image and a Number + Suit pair

How do you decode those?

And how's this done using the system Alex and Johannes does?

13 September, 2017 - 11:03
Joined: 2 years 11 months ago

The reason that Alex's and Johannes's system needs 1352 images instead of 2704 images is that they use the same image for Q Spades, 10 Diamonds as they do for 10 Diamonds, Q Spades. They use a "block" system, whereby they place images on a locus as long as the first card in a duo is RED, then they switch to their next locus when the first card of a pair is BLACK. By using this kind of clue, they can determine whether the first card in the pair is black or red.

Just to clarify, I think Alex (and maybe Johannes) use the values of the pair for the first two consonants in the word, and combination of the suits to represent the third consonant of the word. So if the two cards are Six of Hearts, 3 of Spades, the three sounds might be /j/, /m/, and /s/, using the Major system for the first two sounds, and perhaps the Heart/Spade combination is represented by the /s/ sound. "James" is an obvious English word for those three sounds, and thus his image for that card pair is "James Kirk", a fictional character from the TV show "Star Trek".

13 September, 2017 - 16:49
Joined: 1 year 13 hours ago

thanks tracym for explaining. About: "Alex and Mallow they use the same image for Q Spades, 10 Diamonds as they do for 10 Diamonds, you're wrong. Yes the idea is that they have the same image in two possibilities but If you read the thread I put, Mallow's system (used by Alex Mullen) means:
Q♠ and 10♦ = Q♦ and 10♠ (the same image is represented with different cards, the same values but the suits reversed)

Q♠ and 10 ♦ = 10 ♦ Q♠ is what I do, every two cards independly to the order I have the same image. I believe like this, the process of Reading the images can be slightly faster because you simply need to see both cards and not the order of anything.

Two things I don't explain about what I do.
If two cards are black, if the first is clubs means stop, and move to the next locus. (the same as Alex and Mallow does)
If both cards are red, if the first card is hearts you stop and move to the next locus. (the same as Alex and Mallow does)


I'm speaking about this case: same color and same suit, in this case I have to see the order of the values, If he highest value of that two cards is the first cards, I move tothe next locus.
(this is the "sligthly complex point" in my way in the sense of that I need to do somehing different, but there is not a great amount of this cases in a shuffle deck, and in reality is not very difficult with practice and alway you follow the same patron. For example if both cards are the same suit and the numbers are 2,3. every time you see 2 and 3 in any same suit, always is 3 the highest number, so you don't need to think, you have memorized that, is automatic for the eye.

Erol and evrybody: as I say, you have to investigate a little bit, for to know about things like this. Or askdirectly to the champion. But we know he uses this system. I know that because I read him in the forum telling that.

Or simply reading interviews. In he respond:

Alex Mullen: I use a 2-card system, but with only 1352 images. It’s a combination of Johannes Mallow’s system and Lance Tschirhart’s Shadow System. The general idea comes from Hannes and the phonetics come from Lance. I’ll try not to go into too many details, but the gist is that each image can represent either a black-first pair or a red-first pair. If I see the black-first version, I continue linking images on the current locus. If it’s the red-first version, I make that image the last one on that locus and move to the next locus. So it uses a variable number of loci for each deck. I like it a lot because it allows me to use a “big” card system without having to know too many images outside my 3-digit system.

13 September, 2017 - 16:53
Joined: 1 year 13 hours ago

I have to agree Ben for be pioner of two card system, Mallow for the idea and very important: To Alex Mullen, because I wanted to use the most efficient system and the only way to prove that is practicing and we I had the luck that he allows us demostarte that.

13 September, 2017 - 16:59
Joined: 1 year 13 hours ago

And Alex Mullen is a great inspiration for me because he doesn't practice alot of hours, and in two years he becomes world memory champion.

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