How to remember which cards have already been played

How many trumps are still in play? If you don’t count, you’ll annoy your fellow Jass players and give away points. This does not have to be! With these tips you can remember the cards better.

Counting trumps and knowing which cards are Bock is a must. A very good Jasser always knows which cards are still in play. There’s no question about it: playing cards requires brains.

Why is it so easy for some people to remember cards and so difficult for others? “People differ in their ability to remember and memorize,” says Klaus Oberauer, head of the Department of Cognitive Psychology at the University of Zurich. However, those who were not born with this talent do not have to resign themselves to this gap. “There are various memory techniques that can be used to significantly improve this ability.”

The Station and Schilten Nell

One of them is the route method. “This is a pictorial learning technique based on our brain’s spatial memory,” Oberauer explains. What is meant by this is that memory is linked to places with certain information. “Let’s say you imagine your way to work and mark different points you pass.” That might be a train station, the Italian place around the corner or an ATM. “Now, when you’re playing cards, you pin the cards that have already gone to those places. That way you can remember the order by linking the train station to the Schilten Nell, for example.”

Maps are much easier to memorize with crazy and funny stories. “If you need to remember several cards, it helps to put them together in a picture,” Oberauer explains. For example, if roses is played and the ace, king and pawn have gone, you can make up a bizarre story to go with it: the ace proposes to the king and the pawn gives them roses. “You create a little story or movie in your mind’s eye and thereby make that information unique in your memory,” the professor explains.

Practice makes perfect

As with most methods, it takes some time to apply them in a way that is helpful. The brain has to warm up first. No athlete can achieve peak performance from a standing start. Age does not play a major role here. “Memory capacity does decline in people over 60, but you can compensate for it to a large extent with these techniques,” Oberauer says. Are there differences between men and women? “None serious, but women have a slightly better memory on average.”

An important prerequisite for remembering something is to be completely attentive. “Jassen is a social activity where people also talk, order a drink in a restaurant or are easily distracted by other things,” Oberauer continues. “The important thing is not to get distracted and to keep your attention on the game carpet despite all that.”

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