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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


Which AC Casinos Should Be Shuttered?

Everyone knows that Atlantic City is almost in a death knell with nearly all of its casinos in some kind of peril. There is constant talk about which casinos are about to be closed and which big casino projects have been abandoned.

But if you could be the arbiter of which casinos should go, and which should stay, which would they be? We can tell you from the experiences of our readers, which casinos should close and which should remain open. They include:

Borgata – decent blackjack games; beautiful casino. Stays open.

Taj Mahal – decent blackjack games; beautiful casino. Stays open.

Trump Marina – very friendly dealers and pit personnel. Quaint hotel. Stays open.

Caesars – worth playing; nice hotel. Stays open.

Bally’s – this starts the decline. Probably should stay open.

Hilton – nice place. Probably should stay open.

Harrah’s – we’re sliding down now. Up in the air.

Showboat – pretty place but has lost its old gaming luster. Up in the air.

Wild Wild West – Up in the air.

Tropicana – Up in the air.

Resorts – shutter it.

Claridge – shutter it.

Trump Plaza – raze it to the ground.

We’ll see what we’ll see.


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.


Bubba from Boston writes:

Dear Frank and Alene:

Just returned from four days in Atlantic City and I will give you some information that I observed.

As you drive into the city, many billboards are devoid of any promotions or casino offers. This leads me to believe that the casinos are cutting cost every chance they can.

We stayed at the Marina and at the Taj on this trip. Both hotels said they were sold out and this was during mid-week. The casinos were busy but not overly crowded. This leads me to believe that the casinos are holding rooms aside.

I played at the following casinos and will give you my view of the conditions: 

Trump Marina: Some games hand shuffled, others are machine shuffled. Rules haven't changed – dealers hitting soft 17 and they were cutting off about 1.5 decks per shoe. Blackjack games are limited with only four tables open, dealers are not very friendly, and more machine-like. Not a good place to play.


Hilton: $25 tables with standing on all 17's. Good place for Golden Touch Blackjack. Not very busy with eight games open. Dealers are not very friendly. Good Place for short sessions. Pit bosses are around all the time.


Bally's: Hitting on soft 17's but most games are hand shuffled. Dealers are friendly and are happy when you win. Great place to use Golden Touch Blackjack (i.e. Speed Count). Very busy, but had tables open to play. (Your "good place to play" rating should be upgraded.) Some dealers were cutting only a little over a deck per shoe. Good run here; made some money.


Taj Mahal: Played at $15 tables and did well playing for six hours during one run without heat, averaging $50 per hand.  Dealers are friendly and cutting off less than a deck and a half per shoe. Stay away from $25 tables … most players play scared and will not take a hit if they have a chance to bust. Great Place for Golden Touch Blackjack. Conditions are better … rating should improve.


Will return soon to AC, and give reports on other casinos.

Best Regards 

Bubba from Boston    


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Here are our ratings for August 2010 (they are based on the blackjack games). 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: 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. Three stars: * * *

BORGATA: 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, the woman who set the all-time longest throw of 154 numbers, 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 but to us these folks on swinging on fumes. 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: Wild swings in penetration on 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: 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 – asking for surrender was a trick in the past that Marina used for ferreting out card counters. 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: 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 and Taj Mahal

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