ATLANTIC CITY BLACKJACK REPORT-JULY
by Frank and Alene 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 book isThe Golden Touch Blackjack Revolution. His newest DVD is Golden Touch: Beat Craps Using a Controlled Throw! For a free brochure call: 1-800-944-0406 or write: Frank Scoblete Enterprises, Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565. Frank’s websites are www.goldentouchblackjack.com, www.goldentouchcraps.com and www.scoblete.com.
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By Alene Scoblete
Yes there are such things as advantage slot machines and these machines will give players the edge over the house. They aren’t like most slot machines but they are out there and can be found. Even if you hate playing the slots, as you walk through the casinos, and see one of these machines in a positive mode, sit down and play it – the edge favors you!
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Fun in the Sun? Yuck!
By Frank Scoblete
I hate tattoos on men and women, but I really hate them on women. Tattoos are dull in color, the reds aren’t red; the blues aren’t blue. The artwork stinks. Michelangelo these pictures are not.
Tattoos on women are about as feminine as whiskers on a baby and about as beautiful as a baby’s soiled diaper. Tattoos make women look hard and dumb. Put a cigarette in her mouth and plunk her on a corner in New York City because this is what such images conjure up to this onlooker.
I know that today’s tattooed woman is not interested in my opinion. A friend of mine, Annette, said: "You might not like tattoos but these women aren’t interested in attracting you."
No doubt. They are interested in attracting tattooed men whose tattoos stink just as horribly. I am not denying that there are smart people with tattoos. Indeed Annette’s husband Satch has a tattoo on his arm. Satch, some of you might know, was a member of the great Captain’s craps crew. He was my best man at my wedding to the beautiful AP. His tattoo is still ugly but luckily it is small and out of sight. I like Satch despite his tattoo.
Summer time in Atlantic City brings out the crowds and those beautiful girls in their skimpy bikinis have graffitied themselves and look just like those rundown buildings you see with ugly scrawl all over them. Yeah, graffiti "artists" actually think they are artists as opposed to what they really are – vandals. That is what a tattoo is on a woman (or man), a work of ugly "art" performed by an "artist" who would be better off scrawling dull-colored garbage in his or her own house or apartment.
Next thing – you’ll see little kids with tattoos…and that will herald the end of civilization.
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.)
So, more and more AC casinos are hitting soft 17. The question is does it really matter that much? After all it only increases the house’s advantage by 0.21%. It only affects how the house plays one hand. Can that really be a big deal? The answer is a resounding YES!
Wild Wild West, Bally’s, Claridge, Showboat and Trump Marina are hitting soft 17 on their entire main floors. Caesars is hitting it on half of their main floor. Let’s look at the consequences for basic strategy players and card counters.
A perfect basic strategy player faces a house advantage of 0.43% when the dealer stands on soft 17. If a player is betting $25 a hand, that player can expect to lose $10.75 for every 100 hands played. If the dealer hits soft 17, the house advantage increases to 0.64% and the player will now lose $16. Now in real life 100 hands could yield a big win or a big loss, but over time the house pulls in a much better rake hitting soft 17.
So how do card counters fair? Let’s look at an 8-deck game with 75% penetration (2 decks cut off), because this is the most common in AC. In fact, no 6-deck games in AC hit soft 17 yet. Let’s assume our counter is making a base bet of $25, increases this bet to $50 at a player advantage of 0.5%, $100 at an advantage of 1%, $150 at an advantage of 1.5% and continues to increase his/her bet by $50 each time the count shows the player advantage increases by 0.5%. This would produce a rather healthy bet spread ratio.
If the dealer stands on soft 17 the player’s expectation is to win only $5.42 for every 100 hands played. Here’s the real kicker. If the dealer hits soft 17 the card counter actually LOSES $1.86. Wow!
So 8-decks, modest penetration, and hitting soft 17 makes this game a loser with a spread that ranges from 1 to 12. The casinos know what they are doing! Yes, blackjack can be beat, but the casinos leave a very small opening for players that aren’t very careful. If you don’t play through negative counts (or only modestly negative counts) your win rates goes up to about $12 for S17 and $5 for H17.
In short; find 6 deck games with decent penetration, find 8 deck games only cutting off 1.5 decks or less, limit play through negative counts and avoid H17 games!
I visited the following casinos this month. I’m going to keep my review of this month’s blackjack games to the point of my above comments. All reviews are of games on the main floor and not the high roller rooms.
Borgata: 6 decks, 67 - 75% penetration, crowded tables, S17
Showboat: 8 decks, 75% penetration, H17 – AVOID
Trump Taj: 8 decks, 75 – 80% penetration, S17
Resorts: 6 and 8 deck games, 75% penetration, S17
Claridge: 8 decks, 75% penetration, H17 – AVOID
Ballys: 8 decks, 75 – 80% penetration, H17 – AVOID 75% of GAMES
Wild Wild West: 8 decks, 75% penetration, H17 – AVOID
Caesars: 8 decks, 75 – 80% penetration, S17 & H17 – AVOID H17 GAMES
Trump Plaza: 6 and 8 deck games, 75% penetration, S17 – The 6-deck games here seem to be offering better penetration than Borgata’s games. As much as it pains me to say this, these could be the 2nd best main floor games in town now.
Tropicana: 8 decks, 75% penetration, S17
Hilton: 8 decks, 75 – 87% penetration, S17 – The games cutting off only a little over a deck here are the best in town. This is true for counters only. Basic strategy players are actually hurt by deep penetration.
Hope this helps.
BIG BEN CHIMES IN
Go to the Hilton before it changes its blackjack games, which are now the best in Atlantic City. Trump Plaza has good games but the place is dark and looks like a dump. Also low lifes that used to hang out at Sands now hang out here. Watch the drug sellers launder their money too. You choose to play good blackjack with the lowest scum on earth prowling the floors. Went to Claridge and they should close the place. Never saw so many bored dealers in my life.
Dear Frank and Alene:
I would rather fly to Vegas than waste my time in AC because I just can’t take the crowds. In Vegas you can still find good games but with every day AC becomes a bigger mugger of my money.
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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 email@example.com.
All the ratings of casinos are based on the blackjack games.
If you’re going to play blackjack, why not play with an advantage? The Golden Touch Blackjack class will give you the easiest method for getting an advantage at the game. You’ll learn it in 10 minutes, practice for two days, and be able to go into the casino and have a verifiable edge! Learn Speed Count and the new optimum basic strategy in this class. Call 1-800-944-0406 to sign up or for more information.
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 July 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: No change from last issue. 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: No change from last issue. 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. 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: Si, numero uno! Many great reports on the games here. 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: Just so-so after a good start a while back. Not worth playing. Two and one-half stars: * *
SHOWBOAT: No change from last issue. 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. One star: *
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: Blackjack? Paranoid. Craps? Paranoid! I don’t think the management really understands their games based on our experience in the past two months. Big Ben said 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 stars: * *
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: 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 for shipping. Call 1-800-944-0406 for mail orders.
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