ATLANTIC CITY BLACKJACK REPORT – June 2008
by Alene and Frank Scoblete
Alene Scoblete is the CEO of Paone Press, which sells gaming books and tapes at discount prices. She also writes for www.scoblete.com. Her husband, Frank Scoblete, is the #1 best-selling gaming author in America. Frank’s books and tapes have sold over a million copies. His newest books are The Golden Touch Blackjack Revolution and the Virgin Kiss and Other Adventures. His newest DVD is Golden Touch: Beat Craps Using a Controlled Throw!
For a free brochure call: 1-800-944-0406 or write: Paone Press, Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565. His websites arewww.goldentouchblackjack.com, www.goldentouchcraps.com and www.scoblete.com.
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
(A speech given by Marie Ant-win-ette before the "Let them smoke cake" committee of the New Jersey State Tax and Spend Committee.)
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The time has come to wipe out smoking in the casinos even if it destroys the casino business in Atlantic City. What is more important? People having jobs or the incredibly overtaxed state of New Jersey having massive tax money from the casinos or stopping people from killing themselves? Vices are wrong. Those who are vice ridden are wrong. Just ask New York’s last two governors about dinky-doinking various women, some of whom these men paid for. And what about a former President, huh?
Yes, dealers who are all for the smoking ban now are going to lose their jobs but that is what they want since they have picketed like tobacco on fire. Atlantic City casinos are already 10 percent under what they made in 2006. So what? A few thousand jobs lost is no big deal in the big scheme of history. No one even knows those dealers’ names. If they lose their jobs they can go on welfare and have the taxpayers pay for them and their children.
Oh, I know some anti-smoking advocates want to just install super powerful ventilating systems so the smoke goes straight up without interfering with other players. This is stupid because it is stupid.
Yes, players will have to take time out from play to rush to the smoking rooms to kill themselves and yes it will actually cut down on their overall play and the casinos’ profits and dealers’ jobs and maybe the building of new properties but we are saving their lives. Isn’t that important? It is like drinking was in the 1920s – it is bad for people and you know what? Booze should also be outlawed again. Those Budweiser horses should be made into glue which should also be outlawed because kids snort it to get high. I am also glad that DDT is outlawed in Africa where mosquitoes are now giving malaria to many of the African children and adults. After all, let’s be honest; what is more important? Africans or some bugs?
Also, let’s use corn to fuel our cars with ethanol even if it causes people to die from starvation or food prices to go sky high since so many farms are now planting corn instead of other crops. We must do what is right for the earth even if it kills our fellow human beings in poor countries that, seriously, we don’t care about. Does the world really need Sri Lanka?
In closing I’d like to say something profound but I can’t think of anything.
Yours in good health,
Ms. Marie Antwineette
Office of the Government
Our Readers Write
We have many readers who send us their reports on various aspects of Atlantic City and we do have some that give us reports just about every month – so we have decided to give them the fame and glory (as opposed to "fortune and glory") of their own columns.
You will note that our correspondents tend to have somewhat different views. Always it is up to you to decide which games you want to play by scouting them for yourselves.
The Jon Report
(Jon gives us great reports almost every month when he visits AC. You can use his reports, mix with ours, put a dash of the other letters and you will get a good idea of what is going on in Atlantic City.)
I have some good news and bad news.
The good news is that Caesars and Trump Marina have brand new felts on their blackjack tables. The bad news is that these felts say that they hit soft 17!
More and more casinos are hitting soft 17. Trump Marina is hitting soft 17 on all their tables on the main floor while Caesars is hitting soft 17 on about half of the tables on the main floor. Caesars is hitting soft 17 on the group of $10 - $25 tables away from the high roller room. However they are standing on soft 17 on the $25 - $50 no mid shoe entry tables right outside the high roller room. Here is a summary of the casinos hitting soft 17.
BIG BEN CHIMES IN
I hate smoking but I love casinos. The dealers who think they are getting clean air will get more of it when they lose their jobs and can join the bums on the Boardwalk. If they didn’t like smoking why did they take the jobs? There is something to say about having some vices.
AC is going downhill with these hitting soft 17 rules. The casinos might want to drive people to the really crummy table games that are coming on the floor like "Rock, Scissors, Paper."
When it comes to AC blackjack, at most of the casinos really what is the point?
THE HOWARD HERBERT REPORT
(Howard is a regular Atlantic City visitor who frequents Borgata although he does move around a lot. He plays both blackjack and craps, occasionally adding other games such as Pai Gow Poker.)
Borgata is almost three casinos in one. First, week nights; second weekends; and third college crowd times.
It is also three casinos in terms of players. Weekdays much better conditions, etc. etc. General conditions still good for AC. Six decks (not greatest cuts as noted), friendly pits (though see below), $10 BJ games exist nights, and $10-15 dice games abound.
On busy weekends you really have to look for lower-priced games and often high percentage but player "easy" games like Three-Card Poker and Four-Card Poker have no seats at all. I did not find the famous $5 table on all nights. It also gets busy. I went with a small player family member and we could not find ANY open seat on: Three-Card, Four-Card, Pai-Gow Poker or less than $25 BJ.
Having said all that, let me recount my latest experiences, good and bad.
I enjoyed my second real Dom-Scoblete-Captain moment at the dice. I was so hot the other players deferred to me, "let the shooter shoot" and we made some good money. Second day: good players, supporting each other. And a guy comes in, he is huge. I am well over six feet but he towers.
Some one finally asks him do you play basketball, "Yes, for the XXXXX" and does your GM know? "Yes, he drove me down." You can not slam dunk the dice so he lost, but nice to meet an unassuming pro star.
Sitting at a Pai Gow table. The lady next to me plays the bonus and so gets an "envy" chip. A player at the table banks, she picks up the envy bet and the chip so as not to play against her fellow player. [Note: envy bonus is always paid off by the house, not the player-banker.] The dealer has been hot and pulls a full house. The first player walks away to another table at the pit. The table supervisor then rushes over the other table and demands the chip back.
The lady says, "You have others there, let me play this one here."
"No, you can not!"
The table supervisor then comes over, a real nasty elderly white male and says: "I will call casino security and have you thrown out for stealing casino property (this is a chip that is worth nothing)."
She says, "But there are many chips up on eBay that have been taken."
He says. "Not on my watch." She walked, I shadowed.
Switch scenario. I get up early in the AM to play as there are few or no people at the tables. I come out of my room at 5:15AM and there is a guy and a girl together walking down the hallway in front of me but on the other side of the building.
She suddenly falls. I realize that he has pushed her down. She comes racing back to the elevator pit.
She is dressed, but he has only on jockey shorts. He makes a motion to grab her. I say do you want me to call security? I am 6’ 2’ jacketed and look like the casino fuzz.
He says can you let me into my room, sirr? I say, I do not have a security key. And, "it does not look to me like you have a lot of identification on you."
It turned our okay and I did call security to protect the lady; he was not dangerous in my opinion but I needed make sure.
ANOTHER HOME AWAY
We traveled to Foxwoods a few days ago. We are "Borgies’" people but like to try other venues from time to time. The whole scene is much less pleasant and far less professional than Borgata.
The secondary suits and dealers are constantly complaining about work conditions and how they are treated by management. Far fewer tips than Borgata too. Nor does the infrastructure work well. We got a comped room and then decided to stay an extra day. We called a host. "No way can you stay. You have to vacate by 12."
We go to the VIP lounge and get another comped room with no problem. The person attending was polite and efficient. We also had a problem with casino credit, their records seem backwards not to mention inaccurate. And the service was less than friendly to say the least.
The casino was breaking in new dealers at the dice tables. What a disaster!! These people could not have had any table experience prior to this. Following Frank’s suggestion I usually put two dollars on top of my bet for the dealers (I bet $24 six and eight so that is the change). This DOES get me better, friendlier service all the way around. I stipulate "MY CONTROL." I make the point and before I know it my money is gone into the dealers’ pot. WHOA! It turns out that this dealer had never heard of player control. The table supervisor Del was really nice about this and had the patience of Job dealing with all the mistakes at his table. He deserves a promotion.
But having said all that, the dice tables are short (10 feet?), not bouncy. The players are less sophisticated than at Borgies (regulars that is). There are usually seats next to the stickman too for those who follow Frank.
Next: Borgata just announced that it is going smoke free, the first casino to do so in AC. They will have two smoking lounges for those who indulge. This should be included in my report in the section where it mentioned the excellent ventilation systems.
That sums it up.
BUBBA FROM BOSTON
I just returned from a trip to Atlantic City and wanted to update you on the conditions of some of the casinos.
The good news:
AC Hilton: Has some great games going. The dealers were cutting off only one to 1.5 decks. Plenty of tables open most $25 but did have some $15 and $10. No heat from pit bosses Great place for Golden Touch Blackjack.
Taj Mahal: Also has some good games going. Plenty of tables open but most are $25 with a few $15. Pit bosses are watching everything almost a little too much but still dealers are cutting off 1.5 to 2 decks. Still you are getting a good game another good place for Golden Touch Blackjack.
Bally's: In your reports you have been critical of this casino but I would like to give you some new information. Games are pretty decent; machine shuffled but dealers are pleasant and make games enjoyable. Games are $25 but they do have $15 tables. No heat from pit bosses and they seem to be generous with food comps. A good place for Golden Touch Blackjack.
Beware they seem to get some bad players that have no clue on the rules and can do some bizarre moves.
They are trying to put some money into the place. A new buffet is opening soon by the poker and race book. Plenty of security is around so place is safe.
Trump Marina: They are now hitting on soft 17 a terrible rule that hurts advantage players. I used to like this place but they lost my business. Only in high stakes pit $50-$100 table min. They stay on S17. Not a good place to play.
Showboat- Still Terrible rules with tables almost nonexistent. The Boat is now the Titantic abandon this casinos.
I hope this helps and keep up the good work!
Bubba from Boston
AC ON AC
Soft hitting 17 on the floor but the HR room was barely occupied. Played well for 15 minutes; won maybe $2,500 with a 1-5 spread on black.
Got a host and some Air Supply tickets and dinner. Ten minutes later the pit manager says the management wants to limit me to one hand only and my tickets have been revoked. RATS! I am a signature player at the Trumps!
Well back to the Taj and as soon as I cash in the eyes are upon me! So the Trumps are history.
So over to the Showboat. Excellent! HR room was a $50-$6,000 max. Only three-four tables but there were open spaces. Always 75% penetration or better! Cha-ching!!!!!!This was the ticket for the weekend. Best action I saw. Resorts I won also but I was nabbed as an advantage player years ago at the Hilton and I forgot they were aligned. One 50% cut in penetration and I knew they were on to me. Hope this is helpful,
I read The Virgin Kiss and Other Adventures! and loved it. Wow! The chapters were funny and some were really mind-boggling. I laughed so hard I was in pain.
I am looking for a sequel!
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You can read about the Golden Touch Craps World records, including the Captain’s 147-roll hand atwww.goldentouchcraps.com/worldrecords.shtml. Want to learn dice control from the masters? Get a copy of The Golden Touch Dice Control Revolution! [$16.95 plus $5 shipping] by Frank Scoblete and Dominator or get a copy of our new DVD Golden Touch: Beat Craps by Controlling the Dice! [$299 plus $6 shipping] Call FRED at 1-800-944-0406.
Frank’s new book, The Virgin Kiss and Other Adventures! is now available by mail order (1-800-944-0406) or onwww.amazon.com. Frank says, "This is the best book I have ever written!" Get one and see for yourself.
The greatest, and easiest, advantage-play method ever developed for beating blackjack – SPEED COUNT – can be found in Frank Scoblete’s new book, Golden Touch Blackjack Revolution! Book comes with a CD so you can practice. $24.95 plus $5 for shipping.
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We’ve decided since many of our Golden Touch Craps dice controllers are now Speed Counters subscribing to this site; we are going to give a quick rundown of the craps games as well. We haven’t played in all the casinos in AC so we would appreciate it if you could email Frank with the table minimums, the odds bets, and anything else you think we might want to use (table lengths very helpful – if you just say "big" we will assume 14-feet as they are at Borgata). If you send us info we will give you a free month on our members-only board that has over 5,000 paid members. Email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
All the ratings of casinos are based on the blackjack games.
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Or buy our new book The Golden Touch Blackjack Revolution! and learn the easiest advantage-play method ever developed for blackjack.
Here are our ratings for June 2008. We thank many of our readers for helping us to stay as updated as possible. There may be some disagreements in ratings among our correspondents but all these reports are based on individuals’ experience. A word to the wide: it’s always best to check out the casinos for yourselves.
***** = Excellent
**** = Very Good
*** = Good
** = Fair
* = Poor.
BALLY’S PARK PLACE: No change from last issue. More hitting on soft 17. This used to be a premium property but it now seems to be a Harrah’s after thought. No mid-shoe entry in high roller room and on a few of the main $50 tables in casino. Mixed reviews about how deep the penetration is but we found it in the 75 percent area. All 8-deck games except for the high roller room action. For craps players, this is a good casino for the game. All tables are now 5X odds, with a range of minimums. Crews are friendly. Tables are somewhat high so short shooters get your platform shoes. Some correspondents disagree with this statement but we are guessing they are all over 6-feet tall! There are many more carnival games than ever before. Looks like Three-Card Poker rivals blackjack! Hotel has declined a lot. One star: *
BORGATA: Limits have steadily moved higher. The $5 table has largely vanished. Penetration is now somewhat spotty too. Casino is all six-deck games, which is great – for AC, that is. Penetration varies between 70 and 75 percent which is worse than ever before. Craps has long tables, 14-footers, and very bouncy, and not worth playing unless you like to see dice flying off the tables or gaze upon beautiful cocktail servers. Go elsewhere for craps, except for Taj which has mimicked Borgata’s craps tables. This is a happening place and caters to a swinging young crowd. Good casino for Golden Touch Blackjack. Three stars: * * *
CAESARS: Hitting soft 17 on many tables. That brings this casino down a notch. Directly across from Caesars is The Pier, which is a pleasure to walk through – a must see attraction in AC with some of the finest restaurants and views. Caesars itself also has excellent restaurants but you have long walks to find them. Cheerful place and worthy of the name it bears. Hotel/casino rating is A. They are going deeper at blackjack too. You can expect about 80 percent penetration with most of the dealers. The main floor of eight-deckers has some of the upper-limit tables ($25 and $50) with no mid-shoe entry. All the games in the high roller pit are also no mid-shoe entry with $100 and higher minimums. Table game action has improved and that is very noticeable in the blackjack pits – which are all 8-deck games. Six-deck games in high roller room have 80 percent penetration, as do the eight-deckers on the main casino floor. Good casino for Golden Touch Blackjack. The craps games here are good with 12-foot tables and friendly crews. The tables are a little high so smaller controlled shooters should wear their "special shoes." Two and one-half stars: * * ½ *
CLARIDGE: Dump. The place still stinks although there is some chatter that the craps games have gotten better but we have been reluctant to play here in the past year – sour taste in our mouths from a foaming maniacal pit boss. This is now a "new dealer" break-in casino so games tend to be slow. Almost now blackjack games and the high roller room has become an antique store. Hitting on soft 17 is standard. One star: *
HARRAH’S: No change from last issue. One of my correspondents, Scan, thinks this is the most underrated casino in AC. In the casino you will find very friendly dealers and pit personnel. Penetration now ranges somewhat below the 75 percent area. Resplitting allowed except aces. No midshoe entry in the high roller room of 6-deck action, with the rest of the casino being 8-decks. Play here and at Showboat and your play counts all across the nation. For those of you who like to go to Vegas you can get some good Vegas comps from your AC action! A room that would be discounted for $80 in AC would be free in Vegas based on the same play – this is not official but based on our calculations of the offers we’ve received. But we must warn you; this is a big slot place. Sadly, Harrah’s properties in Las Vegas and in Tunica are getting awfully bad reports about how some of the boxmen treat customers who practice a careful shot at craps and there is overwhelming paranoia at the blackjack games as well. So beware when outside AC. Harrah’s prefers their slot customers and all their casinos tend month after month to be adding more machines. Two and one-half stars: * * ½*
HILTON: Many great reports on the games here. Clearly this is numero uno in AC now.This is still number one in all of AC. Resplitting allowed except aces. High roller room is 6-decks; rest of the casino is 8-decks with a few $25/$50 6-deckers on occasion. No mid-shoe entry on the six-deckers. High table minimums, especially on weekends, a lot of $25 tables, rare $10 tables. Penetration about 75 percent or higher. Good casino for Golden Touch Blackjack. For craps, we are dealing with 14-foot tables and a couple of 12 footers. Four stars: * * * *
RESORTS: No change from last issue. Up and down. This casino went up in our estimation when the new company took over and now it is heading downhill. If Resorts wants to start to compete with the big boys of AC, it has to loosen up its pockets to draw good numbers of them in. Resplitting is allowed at all tables but penetration barely makes it to 75 percent now. Casino also offers multiple-action blackjack and Spanish 21 at $10 minimums. Avoid the single-deckers that pay 6 to 5 for blackjacks. Excellent place for craps; mostly small tables, with some games 5X odds. The new hotel addition is clean and serviceable, but not luxurious. Two and one-half stars: * * ½*
SHOWBOAT: High roller room got some good reports but the rest of the casino is becoming one big slot machine. We used to like this casino but Harrah’s has changed it into a slot joint. Where are the table games? Had been one of the best and now is one of the worst blackjack games in AC. Great rooms; good restaurants and that about sums it all up. One star: *
TROPICANA: This is the Titanic that almost sank. Two stars: * *
TRUMP MARINA: No change from last issue. Another casino that is economically bleeding to death, yet we like this property a lot. This place is giving good comps from some reports and the game is okay. Six-deck games in high roller room and 8-deck games on the main floor have penetration of 75 to 80 percent mark, but you won’t find any dealers going much deeper. Games are mostly $15/$25 and up, especially on weekends. No mid-shoe entry on the 6-deckers but you can jump in and out on the eight-deckers. Craps tables are 12-footers with 2X odds. Two stars: * *
TRUMP PLAZA: Craps first – talk about paranoid! I don’t think the management really understands the game of craps based on our experience in the past two months. Next: why doesn’t Donald Trump put some money into this place? It seems every lowlife street creep now parades with his baggy under-the-ass pants through this place acting tough. Who needs that when you have a lot of cash on you? Just about all 6-deck games with somewhat low penetration of penetration of 70-75 percent, depending on the dealer. No midshoe entry on games outside high-roller pit but you can find $25 (a few) to $50 minimums on these. Allows resplits, except aces. All tables are $10 and higher. Craps tables are 12-footers. Very friendly crews but a dark casino with a real smattering of low-lifes. Good casino for Golden Touch Blackjack. Three stars: * * *
TRUMP TAJ MAHAL: Say it ain’t so, Donald! Now they are hitting on soft 17 on some tables.The best national casino-hotel at one time is no longer even in the top 10. Ouch! We were there recently and the 6-deck games outside the high roller room are gone. Lucky Ladies bet now available, no thanks. Good game with 75-80 percent penetration, dealer dependent, throughout the casino. In the high roller room all the 6-deck games have $100 minimums. Now the worst casino to play craps in all of Atlantic City with incredibly bouncy and very high tables – anyone under six feet strengthen your toes because tippy-toe is the only way to play these tables. The crews spend half their time scooting around looking for the dice that have jettisoned off the tables. Two and one-half stars: * * ½ *
WILD, WILD WEST: No change from last issue. Smoke gets in your eyes. Lacking the spark it used to have. All 8-deck games with most offering H17 games – insane. This is a part of Bally’s Park Place and Harrah’s is looking to sell this complex like a pan of gold. Penetration is about 75 percent on all games. For craps this is a fun place to play with one 5X odds table and one 2X odds table. I remember when this place had many more tables. Crews are very friendly. One star: *
THE BEST BLACKJACK IN ATLANTIC CITY: 1. Hilton
The Best Craps in Atlantic City: Resorts
The Best Hotel/Casino in Atlantic City: Borgata, Taj Mahal
Get Frank Scoblete’s great new bookThe Virgin Kiss and Other Adventures! Just $17.95 plus $5.50 for shipping. Call 1-800-944-0406 for mail orders or go to www.goldentouchcraps.com.
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