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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 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, and


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AC is Making the Right Choices…right? ...WRONG!

by Frank and Alene Scoblete

It never ends. The complaints from long-time Atlantic City players just keep coming! They all basically fall into the same category, summed up in three words: ATLANTIC CITY SUCKS.

Wouldn’t you think in a bad economy that’s hurting your bottom line the Atlantic City casinos would look to bring in some players by offering good deals? Wouldn’t you think with the slot parlors in Pennsylvania killing your bottom line in slot revenue that you’d make your slots much, much looser than those in Pennsylvania and let the world know about it? Wouldn’t you think the Atlantic City table games would become the best in the nation to lure gamblers from the East Coast who usually go to Vegas?

Yeah, we would think so too.

But obviously the head (or is it dead?) executives who run the casinos think the opposite. Comps are being cut like crazy. The table games may have some lower minimums but the blackjack games are almost all hitting soft 17s with eight-decks predominant on the main floors and six decks predominant in the high roller rooms. You’d think with deep cuts the casinos would win more money at blackjack, right? Wrong. The cuts have not improved much.

Why won’t the casinos do the right thing and literally save themselves? Tropicana, the Hilton, Trump Plaza, Trump Marina, Resorts – all of them may face extinction if they keep going the way they are going. Why not save yourself?

We can answer that easily: Why didn’t GM, Ford, Chrysler, AIG, Merrill Lynch, the banks and all the rest of the big companies do the right thing? Because the same types of people who ran them also run the casinos. Make that, also run the casinos into the ground. Some folks like to call these executives "bean counters," but they are more like "bean-thrower-awayers."

Atlantic City will survive, although some of the casinos might not, but the looking glass seems pretty foggy in terms of its future now. The Queen of the Sea is drowning.



Our Readers Report

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:

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:
So, have things gotten better or worse for blackjack players in AC over the last couple years? I don’t think that there is a simple answer to the question. Let’s take a brief look at the landscape and how it has changed. I see three major variables that have changed during this time: hitting soft 17, the availability of 6-deck games on the main floor and being able to play at a $5 or $10 table.

A little over two years ago, no one in AC was hitting soft 17 until Harrah’s decided to introduce the rule at their Wild Wild West casino. So this has been bad. On the other hand, 6-deck games on the main floor could only be found at the Borgata (and occasionally a few at the Taj) a couple years ago and now many places (Borgata, Resorts, Trump Plaza, Tropicana and Hilton) offer them on the main floor. So this has been good.

A couple years ago the Borgata offered one $5 table and that was the only one I ever found in AC. Now I have seen $5 tables at several places (Borgata, Trump Marina, Showboat, and Tropicana) during off peak hours. On top of this Bally’s offers $10 tables all day. So this too has been good.

My conclusion: If you want to play on the cheap, things are a little better. You are more likely to find a low limit table. The down side is that most of these games hit soft 17. However, if you play basic strategy, a $10 table hitting soft 17 is better than a $25 table that stands on soft 17. Those players that were already finding $10 and $15 games are a little worse off. Hitting soft 17 is taking money from you. I think the group that has benefited most are the players that play at $25 or $50 tables. There are more 6 deck S17 tables than ever. You can find these games in both the Marina district and on the Boardwalk now.

As I said, it’s a mixed bag. For those players able to play lower limit games or 6-deck games where they used to have to play 8-deck games, things are better. If you are playing at the same level and the dealer is hitting soft 17, things are worse.

I hit a lot of places again this month but I really didn’t observe anything new except for one thing. The 4-deck games at the Trop are gone and most of the casino has gone back to 8-decks with 6-deck games outside the high roller room.

Well, hope this helps.



From Bubba from Boston:

Dear Frank and Alene:


I went to Atlantic City last week and here is a report on my visit.

The word that best describes the casinos pit bosses is paranoid. It seems they are really watching the cash flow and really tracking any play above $50. If they do not change their games, Atlantic City will be a giant Slot resort. 


Hilton: The games here are getting worst. Most of tables hit on soft 17. They have no mid-shoe entry and really monitor all bets over $50. They are constantly keeping track of the chips and seem a little paranoid. It reminds me they way the Sands Casino was before it closed. Games have really gone down hill; not a place to play.


Harrah’s: They are hitting on soft 17 but a good casino with nice dealers and no heat from anyone. Good place to for Golden Touch Blackjack. Tables are spread out but plenty of action available. Not a bad place to play.


Trump Taj: They are standing on all 17's on $25 tables or more. Good place to use Golden Touch Blackjack. The hotel is great to stay in, new Chairman Tower is 5 stars. Only drawback is it is a huge casino and hotel, plenty of walking to your room and to casino.


Showboat: The worst casino for table games in AC. Conditions are terrible, hitting on soft 17's and cutting off 2-2.5 decks per shoe. Dealers are surprised if you win. Stay away from table action. This used to be the best action in town, now the worst; the boat has sunk. 


Best Regards,

Bubba from Boston


* * * *

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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

All the ratings of casinos are based on the blackjack games.


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Here are our ratings for May 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: Okay, first craps – 10X odds as of this writing. A lot of carnival game players here. This used to be a premium property but it now seems to be a Harrah’s after birth. 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. Crews are friendly. Hotel has declined a lot. Two and one half stars: * * ½ *

BORGATA: Penetration is around 70 to 75 percent on all games, including the six deckers which still 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 ducking out of the way. 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. 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: Ugh. No stars.

HARRAH’S: Harrah’s has ruined more good casinos in this country than hoof-and-mouth disease has ruined more things having "hoofs" and mouths. In Tunica it took the best casino in the country, the Horseshoe, and made it mediocre. 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 slot customers and all their casinos tend month after month to be adding more machines. One and one-half stars: * ½ *

HILTON: Wild swings in penetration on blackjack and many more eight-deck games. Penetration getting worse even as you read this. Place is in trouble. The hitting of soft 17 brings this place down a peg as well. 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 70 percent. For craps, we are dealing with 14-foot tables and a couple of 12 footers. Two stars: * *

RESORTS: No change. Might be going, going, gone before you know it. Getting a little better with blackjack though. But more tables are hitting soft 17. Not really worth playing. Two stars: * *

SHOWBOAT: No change. 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: Down hill. Goodbye 4-deck games! Hello 8-deck games. One star: *

TRUMP MARINA: Blackjack games have improved a lot. But please do not sell this place to Jimmy Buffet. We have nothing against Buffet as a person or performer, but we don’t want to see this place become the "balloon on the head" capital of the East Coast. Empty during mid-week. A nice casino that just can’t seem to find itself. Rooms are clean; hotel is well kept, with great restaurants. On blackjack they are hitting soft 17 on main floor, but not in the high roller room. Six-deck games in high roller room and eight-deck games on the main floor have penetration at 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 six-deckers but you can jump in and out on the eight-deckers. Craps tables are 12-footers with 5X odds and good crews. Blackjack is bringing this place up quite a bit since last issue. Three stars: * * *

TRUMP PLAZA: No change. If this place closes, where will all the low-life scum-sucking creeps go to hang out? Major disappointment in the center of the Boardwalk. Blackjack? Paranoid. Craps? Paranoid! Casino? Dark, unsavory. Restaurants? Mediocre. Just about all six-deck games with somewhat low penetration of 67 to 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. A real big smattering of low-pants wearing steely-eyed low-lifes. One star: *

TRUMP TAJ MAHAL: Blackjack improving. We used to love this place. We actually still love the place. Great crews. Used to be the best casino for games in AC and now isn’t even close. Now they are hitting soft 17 except in $25 or higher games. 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 with barbed wire. 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. Two stars: * *

WILD, WILD WEST: No change; no gold-rush either. The silver rush is over too. This place is over as well. 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 fools 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 Craps in Atlantic City: Bally’s

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

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