ATLANTIC CITY BLACKJACK REPORT─ February 2010
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 arewww.goldentouchblackjack.com, www.goldentouchcraps.com and www.scoblete.com.
The Long and Short of It
You have two options when you play blackjack in Atlantic City. You can get yourself a player’s card and put in the time at the tables to become a preferred player. Or you can hit and run, playing no more than about a half hour before heading for the next casino.
Both ways of playing for a competent card counter will bring in the money, but both have their other upsides and even some downsides as well.
The best way for card counters to play is to move around. This allows you to maximize your bet spread, socking in those big bets when the count indicates, and just as a casino pit person is starting to get interested in you, off you head out the door for another casino. Of course, you do not use a player’s club card and you say something to the effect, "My spouse would kill me if I got mail from a casino. I promised her I wouldn’t gamble any more", when asked to sign up for such a card. This method of play will make you the most money per hour spent playing in the game.
The second way to play is to get a player’s club card and attempt to be a regular patron at whatever casinos give you the best game, or the game you prefer playing. In this way, you can cage comps and get all the benefits of your play – which will be winning play over time. Therefore, you win money and you win comps.
Now with the long play, you do have to take certain precautions, one of which is to reduce the size of your monster bets in high positive counts. If you are spending time in a given casino, you must make those big bets look as if a regular player made them. Therefore, you will be reducing your edge from the bigger edge you would have had if you hit and run as the player above did. Still, the comps you get might even make up for the lower win-rate per hour in long play. You might, if you are a pretty big roller, make more in comps than you would if you had gone the hit and run route.
How you play is obviously up to you. But if you decide to stay at a given casino, then you had better perform a good act because once you get tagged as a card counter AC is pretty tenacious in keeping you out of their games by reducing what you can bet and how you can spread.
The long and the short of it – the choice is yours.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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. I also give them a free subscription to my private web site at www.goldentouchcraps.com.
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,
Hi Frank and Alene:
I just got back from my weekly trip to Atlantic City. I play almost exclusively at the Borgata. I have been using the Golden Touch Speed Count for two years now and have been very successful with it.
Yesterday brought a happy change at the $25 and $50 BJ tables. Borgata’s penetration was 1-1/4 decks at most tables. Dealers and pit personnel were friendly and virtually no heat at all.
Dear Frank and Alene:
Atlantic City is becoming a ghost town. The economy and Pennsylvania is hurting the bottom line in a big way.
Want to learn dice control from the masters? Get a copy of our new DVD Golden Touch: Beat Craps by Controlling the Dice! [$299 plus $6 shipping]. Call 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.
All the ratings of casinos are based on the blackjack games.
Here are our ratings for February 2010. 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 is always best to check out the casinos for yourselves.
***** = Excellent
**** = Very Good
*** = Good
** = Fair
* = Poor.
BALLY’S PARK PLACE: No change from last issue. Not a premier place any more. 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 stars: * *
BORGATA: No change from last issue. The casino where Patricia DeMauro had her spectacular 154-number craps roll. 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 or if you see Patricia DeMauro at the table. 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: You can expect about 70 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. Six-deck games in high roller room have 75 percent penetration. The craps games here are good with 12-foot tables. The tables are high so smaller controlled shooters should wear their "special shoes." Two stars: * *
CLARIDGE: No change from last issue. Penetration is about 70 percent. There are early mornings when no blackjack tables are opened. This place is a training ground for new dealers and often the last roundup for washed up personnel. Two and one half stars: * *
HARRAH’S: Blackjack games aren’t worth the time. Harrah’s is now called "the evil empire" by savy casino players. One star: *
HILTON: No change from last issue. 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: Going, going, gone. There’s new ownership as Resorts goes down the tubes. The blackjack game has added a new feature – you can play for $2 up to $5 but you have to pay a 25-cent fee per hand. Why not just write the casino a check and forget about playing? Otherwise, the BJ games are about the same as they always have been. Two and one-half stars: * * ½ *
SHOWBOAT: No change from last issue. The Showboat should change its name to Titanic. Read Jon’s Report about the new double maximum bet rule and the new "other" rules in the last issue of this newsletter. Great rooms; good restaurants and that about sums it up. Blackjack is way below any reasonable standard. Oh, yes, this place is owned by "the evil empire" otherwise known as Harrah’s. One star: *
TROPICANA: S17 for this casino. Usually good penetration; sometimes excellent penetration. Good casino for Golden Touch blackjack. Three stars: * * *
TRUMP MARINA: No change from last issue. 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. Hitting on soft 17. Craps tables are 12-footers with 5X odds and good crews. Two and one half stars: * * ½ *
TRUMP PLAZA: This place has fairly good games but something has to be done with the dark casino and the low-life scum slithering through it. Six-deck games are back outside the high roller room. The penetration is 75 percent. No mid-shoe 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. Two and one-half stars: * * ½ *
TRUMP TAJ MAHAL: No change from last issue. Six-deck games in front of high roller room. 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 and one-half stars: * * ½*
WILD, WILD WEST: No change; no gold-rush either. The silver rush is over too. This place is over as well. Seems like more often than not on "off" hours there are no table games in this place. 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 fool’s 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:Borgata
The Best Craps in Atlantic City:Bally’s
The Best Hotel/Casino in Atlantic City:Borgata / Taj Mahal
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