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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

Can the Golden Nugget Turn Back the Tide?

We have repeated the same refrain for the past several years that Atlantic City is taking a pounding. Landry’s has decided to buy the Marina for a measly $39 million and is putting $150 million in renovations to crank up this casino-hotel in the hopes that once open, the Golden Nugget will bring in the crowds – it is, after all, a major Las Vegas name.

Recall the last time a "Golden Nugget" existed in Atlantic City. Now known as the Hilton, a severely struggling casino-hotel that is odds on to be closed, the once Golden Nugget was owned by Las Vegas mogul Steve Wynn and was the home of high rollers, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, the Captain of craps, and a legion of delighted casino aficionados. It was a beautiful hotel (and some remnants remain) that was not afraid to primp its wares for all to see.

Of course, Wynn no longer owns the Golden Nugget, and its namesake in Las Vegas has many negative reports. We will be going to the casino when it opens to check it out. We’re not biased; if this Golden Nugget is truly "golden," we will let you know.

The hope on the part of the new owners (and all of Atlantic City) is that their enterprise will bring out the crowds to the Marina section as the old Golden Nugget brought out the crowds to the southern boardwalk.

No More Pit Bosses?

They might be going the way of the Dodo. Pit bosses are no longer required by Atlantic City law to be a necessary and integral part of the casino playing industry. That’s right; you might be seeing fewer employees behind those tables starting now. How many pit bosses will lose their jobs and hit the unemployment lines is anyone’s guess right now. We’ll let you know how this pans out.

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

AC continues to struggle with declining revenues while its PA neighbor grow. March revenue for AC casinos was $280 million, while PA came in at $270 million.

However, many improvements are going on in AC. New restaurants are being opened in various casinos, and The Walk is being expanded. The new Revel casino hotel is moving full steam ahead. Trump Marina, soon to be the Golden Nugget, will undergo a $150 million renovation. Borgata is beginning a $50 million room renovation and many other projects can be seen around AC.

AC is scrambling to enhance their entertainment schedule, including events like the rodeo in April and the Dave Matthews Band festival in June. It remains to be seen how this will all turn out for AC but they are certainly trying to stem the tide on their losses.

Table News: The $25 eight-deck, no mid-shoe entry, table games outside the high roller room at Trump Taj are now H17. Trump Taj has no S17 games on the main floor now.

Everything else seemed about the same from last month.

Hope this helps.



The Hubert Report


Things in AC seem to be bumping along the same lows as in previous months. Traffic is clearly way down, even on weekends, although holidays do somewhat better. At one large Boardwalk casino, for example, there were only eleven table players at 10:30 am on a Thursday morning. More tables were open than players.

Several casinos have cut back on their dice tables, frequently offering only one until the late afternoon. Another trend seems to be that the best BJ games are now at $25 tables, while the $10s tables have the one dollar, 6-5, hit soft 17 variants. This makes it all-important to check out all the tables in a casino before selecting one. They mix the tables so that a "good" game" is next to several "bad" ones. On the other hand, the lack of dicers makes it easier to get GT spots. A paucity of players may bring another beneficial result.

I played in one casino where surveillance had been a problem. At this session, at least two and maybe three control shooters led the way. The pits said not a word despite the fact that the table did well for an extended period of time.


Dealer dissatisfaction is clearly rising. One often hears complaints that a dealer had not been asked to come in the next day, or that they had been cut back for the month. This can produce increased tensions. However, when tips are given they are even more appreciated.

Caveats are in order here. A friend gave the waitress $5 for a drink and asked for $3 change, she tried to pocket the whole thing with a cheery "thank you, sir." I also saw several instances where mixed hard way bets (one for the dealers, one for the player) quickly disappeared into the box.

Everyone seems to buy the theme "wait for the summer" but if things do not pick up regionally, it is hard to see how AC will return to "normal." The fact that more and more casinos are closing some restaurants and bars on weekdays does not help attract the tourist trade either.



Dear Frank and AP:

Atlantic City can’t recover even with the building of Revel and the opening of the Golden Nugget. The slot machines have some of the worst, if not the worst, paybacks in the country and the slot players are the casinos best friends. Needless to say, AC blackjack is a mixed bag going from okay games to crummy games. There really is nothing to attract the good blackjack players to AC when PA has some of the best blackjack games in the country. Just my two cents for what it’s worth.



Dear Frank and Alene:

I like to play blackjack and craps. Atlantic City has some great craps games but the blackjack just doesn’t hold a candle to the games in Pennsylvania. You’d think with such competition, Atlantic City executives would wake up and smell the roses of which games bring the people in and which don’t.






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Here are our ratings for blackjack for May 2011. 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 from last issue. The deepest cuts in AC as we write this; about 75-85 percent as of a couple of weeks ago. Could be a happy time for card counters. This might be a good time to check this casino out. All 8-deck games except for the high roller room action. The hitting on soft 17 is now a fact. Crews are friendly. Craps games are quite good. Three stars: * * *

BORGATA: No change from last issue. The 6-deck games are now almost everywhere again and the penetration is a decent 75 to 80 percent. When we were there a mixture of S17 and H17 was found. Didn’t see any $5 games. This is a happening place and caters to a swinging young crowd. You’ll enjoy the night clubs and the beautiful people. Three stars: * * *

CAESARS: 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 just as most of the regular floor does. High roller room is S17; the main floor is H17 when we were there. 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. Hitting on soft 17 is the norm, but we heard this might be changing soon. Penetration is between 70-75 percent. We have fond memories of this place but we have avoided playing here since a pit boss named Francis went animal-crackers on some Golden Touch dice controllers. Maybe we’ll actually play on our next trip instead of walking through and looking. A 20 million renovation is planned for this historic hotel. Can this place rebound from its recently sad past? Who knows but we are happy with the new attitude. Two and one half stars from a zero a while back: * * ½*

HARRAH’S: Many blackjack folks call this company the Evil Empire, as in the dark side of the force. This is Darth Vader’s casino corporation. They hit on Soft 17 on all games and the penetration is about 70 percent. The casino is pleasant and the crews are friendly and professional. Two stars: * *

HILTON: No change from last issue. Wild swings in penetration with more eight-deck games throughout the casino. Penetration is between 70-80 percent depending on the dealer. Place is in trouble. The hitting of soft 17 brings this place down a peg as well. 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. For craps, we are dealing with 14-foot tables and a couple of 12 footers. Two and one-half stars: * * ½ *

RESORTS: The reports are in and out about this casino. Many H17 games on main floor; high roller room is S17. Penetration on all games is about 70-75 percent which is not bad considering this is AC. Decent craps games. Two stars: * * ½*

SHOWBOAT: They will now be allowing pets into the hotel – one of the more disgusting developments for people who don’t like dogs, cats and gerbils. Slots dominate this place now. The blackjack has deteriorated considerably with little penetration – maybe you play 60-66 percent of the shoe. All games are hit on soft 17. Go elsewhere. One star (for cleanliness and rooms): *

TROPICANA: No change from last issue. Now the place is H17 on all games except those outside the high roller room. Still has some good penetration, maybe 75 percent; sometimes excellent penetration of 80 percent. Two and one-half stars: * * ½ *

THE GOLDEN NUGGET: Not fair to rate this casino yet since it will open in late May. Will it be better; will it be worse; will it have the same so-so feel as the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas? Let’s see what the future holds. No rating yet.

TRUMP PLAZA: No change from last issue. Trump Resorts should have sold this place instead of the Marina. You now can "buy" your way into a rotten game by paying 25 cents for $1 blackjack. This place has fairly good games but something has to be done with the dark casino and the low-life scum slithering through it. Maybe the time has come to raze the place? Six-deck games are back outside the high roller room. The penetration is 70-75 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 down to arrogant and ignorant. Two and one-half stars: * * ½ *

TRUMP TAJ MAHAL: As with Marina and Plaza, you now can "buy" your way into a rotten game by paying 25 cents for $1 blackjack. Now they are hitting soft 17 except in high roller room. 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, great dealers and pit personnel. Too bad it isn’t the premier place to play any more because it is a great place to stay. Two and one-half stars: * * ½*

WILD, WILD WEST: The penetration has gone deeper lately and this is a very, very good thing – you might find 80 percent. Crews are friendly. All games are 8-decks; mixture of H17 and S17 from latest reports. Three stars: * * *


THE BEST BLACKJACK IN ATLANTIC CITY: Look for three starred casinos (we now have a few).

Best Craps in Atlantic City: Caesars

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


Frank Scoblete and Dominator’s

Golden Touch Advantage-Play Friday!

In Las Vegas on Friday, October 21st

Winning is the most fun! Learn exciting advantage playing methods that will give you a real mathematical edge at slots, video poker, craps, blackjack, and Pai Gow Poker. Learn these simple methods that turn the house edge in your favor – for real! Learn from the finest players/instructors: best-selling authors Frank Scoblete, Henry Tamburin and Dominator, plus renowned gaming columnists Jerry "Stickman" and John "Skinny." Call 1-866-SET-DICE for more information or to reserve your seat. Seating is limited. Here are the classes and times:

CRAPS and ADVANTAGE DICE CONTROL: Get a Real Edge! with best-selling authors Frank Scoblete and Dominator (1 hr, $89) Craps can be beaten but you have to know exactly what elements are necessary to do so. In an analysis of and discussion about proper betting and dice control, best-selling author Frank Scoblete and the world’s greatest dice controller Dominator will go step-by-step through the elements that can make you a winner. They will teach you the right way to play too! Comes with the book: Casino Craps: Shoot to Win! by Frank Scoblete with Dominator. (9AM to 10AM)

ADVANTAGE PAI GOW POKER: Get a Real Edge! with gaming columnist John "Skinny" (1hr, $99) Pai Gow Poker is a fun card game. But many players don't realize they can get a real edge over the casino if they play the game properly. Learn how to do so. Pai Gow can also yield good comps for the player with far less risk than most other games. Learn everything you need to know to get a real edge at this enjoyable game with John "Skinny," the Pai Gow king! (10:15AM to 11:15AM)

ADVANTAGE SLOTS: Get a Real Edge! with gaming columnist Jerry "Stickman" (1 hr, $99) This class explains which slot machines can actually be beaten and the exact strategies needed. Then you will learn exactly where these machines are located in Las Vegas so you can play them after class. Comes with the book: Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines! by Frank Scoblete. (11:30AM to 12:30PM and 4PM to 5PM)

ADVANTAGE VIDEO POKER: Get a Real Edge! with video poker expert Henry Tamburin (1 hr, $99) Learn how to get the edge playing video poker by knowing which video poker games to play, the exact location of these games in Las Vegas, expert playing strategy, and tips on how to get the maximum cash back and comps. Comes with a Video Poker strategy card. (1PM to 2PM)

ADVANTAGE BLACKJACK: Get a Real Edge! with best-selling author Henry Tamburin (1.5 hrs, $149) In one hour of practice with the new, easy-to-learn and master Speed Count, you can nail down a real mathematical edge over the casinos. Once you know this simple method, Henry Tamburin will tell you exactly which casinos in Las Vegas are the best to play Speed Count this weekend! Comes with the book Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge! by Frank Scoblete (2:15PM to 3:45PM)



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