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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. 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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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. I also give them a free subscription to my private web site at

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,

Well, we have some real changes in AC this month.

The all six-deck house is no more. Borgata has switched over to eight decks with the exception of the no mid-shoe entry games in front of the high roller room. Six-deck games on the main floor are hard to find in AC. I cut my teeth in Borgata. It's hard to see it go down this way.

We also lost one of the three S17 casinos. Tropicana has switched over to all H17 on the main floor. So, here’s where we stand with six deck and S17 on the main floor.

The following casinos are all eight decks and H17: Showboat, Claridge, Ballys, Wild Wild West, Caesars, Harrahs and Trump Marina.

Here are the exceptions to the rule:

Trump Taj has a few eight-deck S17 games in front of the high roller room.

Resorts has a couple eight-deck and a couple six-deck S17 games in front of the high roller room.

Trump Plaza is still all S17 with a few six-decks games in front of the high roller room. However, the penetration is usually terrible.

Tropicana has a few six-deck H17 games in front of the high roller room.

Hilton has a couple eight-deck and a couple six-deck S17 games in front of the high roller room.

Borgata is still all S17 with a few six-deck games in front of the high roller room.

The exceptions to AC being an all eight deck H17 town are becoming fewer and farther between. Ironically, when PA opens their tables in a couple months, these will be S17 and offer surrender. AC has chosen to squeeze out profits instead of offering competitive games. We’ll see how it works out for them.

Hope this helps,


Dear Frank and Alene:

The casino executives in Atlantic City are seeing their revenue decline by a huge margin. I read somewhere that we are talking about an overall decrease of 25 percent in the last two years. Instead of making their games really player friendly to get players to come in, they are doing just the opposite. The blackjack games by and large stink to high heaven.

There are times when the casinos are just about empty. Is it me, or are those executives exhibiting a death wish?

It is nuts in AC and those nuts are in the executive offices.

Thomas J.


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

Here are our ratings for June 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’s always best to check out the casinos for yourselves.

Rating system:

***** = Excellent

**** = Very Good

*** = Good

** = Fair

* = Poor.

BALLY’S PARK PLACE: 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. Craps games are quite good. Two and one-half stars: * * ½*

BORGATA: Going the way of all the other Atlantic City casinos. As Pennsylvania gets ready to bring in blackjack games, Borgata and other AC casinos are fiddling with their games to make them – excuse my French – suck. The penetration is decent, about 75 percent, but the heart beats with sadness as we watch the beacon of Atlantic City blackjack go up in smoke. 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. Two and one-half stars: * * ½ *

CAESARS: No change from last issue. You can now 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. 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 and one-half stars: * * ½ *

CLARIDGE: No change from last issue. If they are open when you go there you will find penetration is still about 70 percent. There are early mornings when no blackjack tables are open. One star: *

HARRAH’S: One star: *

HILTON: No change from last issue. The BIG news is that this casino has implemented double deck games which are still there as of this writing. The bad news is that the penetration is a ludicrous 50 to 60 percent. There are some $10 tables with H17 but the $25 table was S17. Thanks for small favors. BJ pays 3 to 2. No mid-deck entry. Wild swings in penetration on other blackjack games and many more eight-deck games throughout the casino. 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 and one-half stars: * * ½ *

RESORTS: No change from last issue. This place is "this" close to closing. The first to be opened in AC might be one of the first to sink in the sea. 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 stars: * *

SHOWBOAT: Oh, yes, this place is owned by "the evil empire" otherwise known as Harrah’s. The blackjack has deteriorated considerably with little penetration – maybe you play 60 percent of the shoe. Go elsewhere. One star (for cleanliness and rooms): *

TROPICANA: S17 for this casino? No more. Now the place is H17. Still has some good penetration, maybe 75 percent; sometimes excellent penetration of 80 percent. Two and one-half stars: * * ½ *

TRUMP MARINA: 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. Still if you can afford the $50 and $100 minimums, the high roller room’s games are good with S17. They offer surrender which they now advertise. Floor games are mostly $15/$25 and up, 8-decks, H17. No mid-shoe entry on the high roller room six-deckers but you can jump in and out on the eight-deckers. Craps tables are 12-footers with 5X odds and good crews. Two and one half stars: * * ½ *

TRUMP PLAZA: No change from last issue. The pit is paranoid and so hit and run only. That paranoia seems to be a move-over from the craps tables where the casino manager has continuous strokes when good shooters descend on his casino. 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. The dealers range from professional to friendly. 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 100X odds table. I remember when this place had many more tables. Crews are very friendly. One star: *

THE BEST BLACKJACK IN ATLANTIC CITY: Toss a coin but avoid any casino rated under two and one-half stars.

The Best Craps in Atlantic City: Bally’s

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

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