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ATLANTIC CITY BLACKJACK REPORT─ February

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 is The 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.

___________________________________________________________

Something BIG is Coming to Las Vegas in 2009 – Frank Scoblete’s World Casino Championships! Meet players from all over the country in a fun weekend of tournaments and special events. Go here for more information: http://www.goldentouchcraps.com/wcc_2009.shtml

___________________________________________________________

How to Bring Back the AC Patrons

You walk through the AC casinos now and many look like wastelands. About 80 percent of the table games are closed during the week; craps crews stand eyeing the ceiling; blackjack dealers smile as you pass their empty tables hoping you’ll sit and make the time go faster. The slot aisles are mostly inhabited by one or two players.

Many dealers have been laid off. Several casinos look something like the Titanic just after hitting that iceberg. They are listing and heading down into the drink.

Atlantic City is getting hammered. Yes, part of it can be the economy; but AC was going down even before it became generally known that everything else would start going down as well.

The slot parlors in Pennsylvania have hurt; the now defunct smoking ban didn’t help AC’s bottom line either.

For AC to weather this economic storm will take guts on the part of management. AC will have to offer the ever-dwindling slot players machines that are so loose enough people will go home winners, encouraging them to come back to win some more and bring their friends too. AC needs bodies— warm, breathing bodies in those slot aisles to make their casinos feel like casinos again and not funeral parlors.

As you can tell from this issue’s blackjack report, the games are deteriorating just at the time when they should be the best in the country. Fewer and fewer blackjack players are at those tables. Even the ploppiest player knows when he or she is losing more money than ever before.

In short, the AC casinos should be trying to make less money on their games in order to bring in more players. Trying to extract more and more money from fewer and fewer players is self-defeating.

The only chance AC has to turn everything around is to – quite simply – turn everything they have been doing around.

Our Readers Write

If you wish to contribute your reports or observations, we need to receive them by the 24th of the month for the next month. Write to: fscobe@optonline.net

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

Dear Frank and Alene,
 
Say it isn't so! The once uncontested leader in AC has polluted itself with eight-deck blackjack games. The once mighty Borgata is now offering eight-deck games. The Borgata represented themselves as a Vegas-style casino and not an AC-style casino. They are losing this image and it can only hurt. If they are no different, then they are no better. They are offering these games in the new section which was only opened a year or so ago. All of the lD pits are still six deck. They might be doing this because the new section has no automatic shuffle machines. The Borgata has still been offering poor penetration on their six-deck games. Perhaps they were spending too much time shuffling.
 
I visited the following casinos this month. All reviews are of games on the main floor and not the high-roller rooms. (I'm not even going to mention the greedy places offering single deck 6-to-5 BJ games. Do yourself and the rest of us a favor. Don't patronize these games!)
 
Borgata:
Six and eight decks, 70 – 75% penetration, S17. Offering a $5 game and almost always crowded. Say goodbye to another star here!
 
Trump Taj
: Eight decks, 75 percent penetration; S17 on eight-deckers outside high roller room, H17 on the rest of the floor.
 
Resorts
: A couple six deckers on the main floor. The rest are eight decks. The row of tables outside the high-roller room stand on soft 17. The rest of the place hits soft 17. 75 percent penetration.
 
Trump Plaza
: Six and eight-deck games on the main floor. The six-deck $25 games are the most abundant. The penetration on the six-deckers is in the 67 – 75 percent range. There is 75 percent penetration, S17 on the eight deckers.
 
Tropicana:
All six decks now, except for the four-deck games being offered for a limited time. Penetration is all over the place but you can find some nice games. Penetration ranges from 60 to 80 percent. They are offering $5 tables, even during reasonably busy hours. S17 throughout! This place generally opens tables only on an as needed basis, so never a lot of open seats.
 
Hilton
: All eight-deck games on the main floor hit soft 17. However a few six-deck games that stand on soft 17 with decent penetration have been introduced on the main floor outside the high-roller room. Penetration still in the 70 – 80 percent range.

Hope this helps.

Jon

(Jon gives us great reports almost every month when he visits AC. You can use his reports, mix them with ours, put a dash of the other letters and you will get a good idea of what is going on in Atlantic City.)

 

BIG BEN CHIMES IN

Sorry, didn’t go to AC in January. What was the point? The blackjack games are getting worse and worse. If you thought blackjack sucked in the early part of the 21st century, 2009 is shaping up as the worst playing year yet.

All my love,

BIG BEN

 

Hello Frank Scoblete,

Count me as one of the Scoblete-enhanced (or maybe, the Frankified?).  Your speed count for blackjack has changed the game for me and I now look forward to the day when I can make blackjack my sole occupation.  I also find your writings amusing and enlightening.  Golden Touch Blackjack Revolution was a fascinating discussion of the game delivered in style.  As for your book The Virgin Kiss, it qualifies as a genuine epic.

Anyway, thanks for enlightening me.

Sincerely,
V. W.

Dear V.W:

Well, you just made my day! It is great to know that I am actually helping people become advantage players at blackjack and other games. A big thank you is to be given to Dan Pronovost who invented Speed Count and OBS (Optimum Basic Strategy). Be a little careful about trying to be a professional blackjack player. Your edge is small, the games are not good anymore either. Proceed cautiously.

I am also overjoyed that you liked The Virgin Kiss, my first venture outside the gaming arena. I have just finished my second non-gambling book, I Am a Catholic (Sort Of), which should be out in late summer or in the fall.

I am giving you a free 30-day subscription to my private members-only website at www.goldentouchcraps.com.

You will get another email with your password and user name.

We have over 5,000 members on this private site and the conversations are interesting, enlightening and fun.

Enjoy!

All the best in and out of the casinos!

Frank Scoblete

 

* * * *

 

You can read about the Golden Touch Craps World records, including the Captain’s 147-roll hand at www.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 in the BJI store. 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. $22.45 plus $5 for shipping.... click here to order.

And now: Golden Touch Speed Count DVD is available!

* * * *

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 is fscobe@optonline.net.

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 February 2009. 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 wise: it’s always best to check out the casinos for yourselves.

Rating system:

***** = Excellent

**** = Very Good

*** = Good

** = Fair

* = Poor.

 

BALLY’S PARK PLACE: No change. Night time is not the right time if you wanted to play at Wild Wild West – they now send you over to Bally’s. This place is packed with fewer blackjack tables than in the past. A lot of carnival game players here. 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. The hitting on soft 17 is now a fact all over the place. 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 and one half stars: * ½ *

BORGATA: Heading down the tubes. Casino now has eight-deck games, which is not so great. Penetration is around 70 to 75 percent on all games, including the six deckers which make up most of the casino. 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. Okay casino for Golden Touch Blackjack. Three stars: * * *

CAESARS: No change from last issue. Down, down, down the BJ games go. So many more tables hitting soft 17 now. That brings this casino down a big 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 [see our main article in this issue]. 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 but that H17 detracts from this somewhat. You can expect about 75 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. The craps games here are good with 12-foot tables and friendly crews. The tables are high so smaller controlled shooters should wear their "special shoes." Two stars: * *

CLARIDGE: Dump. One star: *

HARRAH’S: No change from last issue. Harrah’s has ruined more good casinos in this country than hoof-and-mouth disease has ruined more things with "hoofs" and mouths. Hitting soft 17 now. 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. 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. One and one-half stars: * ½ *

HILTON: Becoming a blackjack craps shoot. Really wild swings in penetration with more eight-deck games than last time we checked this casino out. The hitting of soft 17 brings this place down a peg. 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. Okay casino for Golden Touch Blackjack. For craps, we are dealing with 14-foot tables and a couple of 12 footers.

Three stars: * * *

RESORTS: Getting a little better. But more tables are hitting soft 17. Not really worth playing. Two stars: * *

SHOWBOAT: This used to be a great hotel-casino. Now it is a great hotel and forget the casino. Another Harrah’s disaster. High roller room got some good reports but the rest of the casino is becoming one big slot machine. Harrah’s has changed this 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: Numero Uno in AC! Not hitting soft 17 and so we go up somewhat in our rating of this casino. Also is offering four-deck games. This is now an excellent place to play in Atlantic City. Penetration is now around 75 percent percent, sometimes more depending on the dealers. Not enough tables open and sometimes the better games are the ones whose tables are closed. Four stars: * * * *

TRUMP MARINA: Empty during mid-week. A nice casino that just can’t seem to find itself. Rooms are clean; hotel is well kept. On blackjack they are hitting soft 17. Six-deck games in high roller room and eight-deck games on the main floor have penetration of 75 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 six-deckers but you can jump in and out on the eight-deckers. Craps tables are 12-footers with 5X odds and with good crews. Whatever paranoia that was reported in the past seems to be gone. Two and one-half stars: * * ½ *

TRUMP PLAZA: Instead of trying to sell the Marina, Trump should dump this place. Major disappointment in the center of the Boardwalk. Blackjack? Paranoid. Craps? Paranoid! I don’t think the management really understands their games or what it means for the casino to have an edge. Big Ben said it a few issues ago; 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 six-deck games with somewhat low penetration of 70 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 big smattering of low-lifes. Two stars: * *

TRUMP TAJ MAHAL: Used to be the best casino in AC and now isn’t even close. In fact, for blackjack and craps it has gone downhill to the bottom. Now they are hitting soft 17. First they screwed up the craps tables so the dice go flying off the table every third roll and now they have decided to give the blackjack games a wicked colonoscopy. Great hotel and great restaurants and great entertainment. Also, generally great dealers and pit personnel. Too bad it isn’t the place to play any more. One star: *

WILD, WILD WEST: Another Harrah’s wipe out! All eight-deck games with H17 – 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: Tropicana

The Best Craps in Atlantic City: Resorts

The Best Hotel/Casino in Atlantic City: Borgata, Taj Mahal

Get Frank Scoblete’s great new book The Virgin Kiss and Other Adventures! Just $16.00 plus $5.50 for shipping.

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