This week we wanted to showcase a trick that is very easy to do, but has a reputation of fooling magicians. The effect is this: someone mentally selects a card and you explain that you will name their selection. "Its name is Phil." Get it? You named their card. The cheap trick and cheesy joke sets the audience up for a whopper: the card they mentally selected is removed, all the other cards are shown to have different names written on their backs, and the selectedÂ card is shown to be the only one labeled Phil.
There is nothing to memorize, nothing to switch, the deck does everything. The effect itself is so unbeatable that this deck finds its way into professional shows all the time. And the reactions are huge! The audience thinks the trick was justÂ a silly joke, so when you show themÂ that "Phil" is printed on the back of theÂ randomly namedÂ card, they flip out.Â
Geek Factoid: The basic premise of "Phil" can be traced back to Fed Lowe's "Christened Reverse." Trevor Duffy reinvented a version that was created by Phil Goldstein in the early 1980s, called "Final Fred," which was introduced in a lecture at the 1985 FISM convention in Madrid. Duffy and Goldstein have discussed the issue of the prior invention and luckily an arrangement has been made allowing Duffy to market the effect with Goldstein's approval. The ironic thing is that Duffy's version was entitled "Phil"Â beforeÂ becoming aware ofÂ Phil Goldstein's similar effect.