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Fred Trick

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Fred Trick was the card routine created by Fred Lowe (with Paul Marcus) originally called "Christened Reverse". The magician predicts that a freely selected playing card will be named "Fred" by showing that it has the word "Fred" written the back.

Paul Marcus discusses in May-June 1982 issue of Magicana (New Zealand) how he developed an effect in the 1950s based on an old vaudeville gag of someone yelling out the name "Bill" when asked to "name a card". When asked by Bill Madsen to contribute an item for his upcoming book "Hex" in 1969, Marcus offered up his "A Card Named Bill".[1]

When Fred Lowe was marketing his effect "Christened Reverse" (using a different method and presentation), he was told of Marcus performing a version of the effect, so he added him as fellow inventor.

It was seen by Dave Campbell in 1971, who developed another method to create "Fred the Card" trick (as a dedication to Fred Lowe).

Phil Goldstein developed a version in the early 1980s, entitled "Final Fred" which he presented at a 1985 FISM convention lecture in Madrid.

It was reinvented years later by Trevor Duffy, coincidentally calling it the "Phil" Trick.[2]


  • A Card Named Bill by Paul Marcus in Hex! by Bill Madsen (1969)[3]
  • Oscar, marketed trick by Nick Trost (1980)
  • A Card Named Fred /Christened Reverse the Second by Ali Bongo in Abracadabra Vol. 73 (1981), popularized by Don Alan under the title "Clyde" and "Fido".
  • The Dream in The Smagorad by Denny Laub and Gary Inglese (1983) - inspired by "Say It Again Sam" marketed by Stoner's Magic Shop, a card was selected mentally by a woman in the audience from a deck that had different names written on their backs. The mentally selected card had the woman's name.
  • Female in Thirty Five Years Later (1986) by Ed Marlo - All the cards have a different name on the back and the card selected is the only card with the spectator's name on it.


  1. Paul Marcus, Magicana (New Zealand) Volume 30,No. 175 (May-June 1982)
  2. Nick Trost's Subtle Card Creations, Vol. 3, page 759, (2011).