ATLANTIC CITY BLACKJACK REPORT─ November 2011
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. 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 Ghosts of Atlantic City
Some psychic researchers believe that ghosts are house specific as opposed to land specific. They maintain that a stretch of land that houses so many new buildings, a stretch such as the Atlantic City Boardwalk casino area, just doesn’t have the necessary ingredients for entertaining ghosts or entertaining ghost tales.
Well, behind the exterior walls of some of our beautiful Atlantic City casinos are buildings with real histories – and interesting ghost stories as well. Obviously I can’t vouch for the validity of the tales I am about to share with you, but if you like fun ghost stories, well hang onto your lantern and enter the dark world of Atlantic City’s spirits.
The very first casino to open in Atlantic City was Resorts International. However, the building Resorts used to gain a foothold in the land of Lady Luck was actually built in the 1868 as the Chalfonte Hotel. This hotel was moved twice to get it closer to the water.
In 1903, the Chalfonte merged with the Haddon-Hall building to form the Chalfonte-Haddon-Hall Hotel. And that was when the first ghosts were recorded.
This one thousand-room hotel was 15 stories high and the top floors were constantly felt by the guests to have areas of supreme cold – a signal of the presence of ghosts according to the ghost hunters. Although the building was brick and steal, it seemed to move with the wind, which also was heard to howl through the halls.
Some psychic researchers, who would not allow me to name them, say that those winds and howls can be heard to this day. If you ride the elevators, you will sometimes hear knocks and pings of – as one ghoulish expert stated – "the knocks and pings of a disincarnate spirit trying to escape." What is this spirit trying to escape? I have no idea, nor does anyone else. Maybe his luck is as bad as many of the gamblers on the casino floor?
During World War II, soldiers were quartered in the building, which had become a hospital as well. There is talk that many a night ghosts of hospitalized air corpsmen were seen walking the hallways of Resorts and some have even entered the hotel-registration areas. Although some areas of Resorts have been knocked down in 1980 to make room for a parking lot, enough of the old building remains to make a good environment for many spirits and infernal nocturnal manifestations.
The casino has also had its share of spectral anomalies, like the wraith in the Charlie Chaplin "Little Hobo" costume who hangs around the darkest area of the casino, flipping his hat at passers-by. Only a fraction of a percent of passers-by catch a glimpse of the movement, and an even smaller number really see the ghost.
One former Resorts dealer stated, "I saw him. He seemed to notice people but only a few of the people ever noticed him. Some people just thought he was an entertainer and many smiled and just walked by him."
There are also a spectral bride and groom, who are occasionally seen on the second floor where Resorts restaurants can be found. These two only have eyes for each other and they walk through walls strolling arm-in-arm smiling into each other’s pale faces. Who are they? Why are they walking the property? Again, no one seems to know.
On the beach outside of the casino are many cats and early in morning, as the sun is coming up over the horizon to herald the start of day, a woman all in black walks the sand just beyond the Boardwalk and you know she is there when you hear a multitude of cats meowing. She looks as if she is feeding the cats.
Perhaps the strangest visions in the Resorts area are those of children, some very young. Glowing nurses can be seen wheeling children in ghostly carriages and wheel chairs. Young boys and girls slowly walk outside the front of the hotel, many being helped by nurses in uniform. This seems to have its zenith near the valet parking. These spectral children will often just disappear in a puff of pale light. Some of these children look dazed and confused; others look sad; some look hostile and angry. Where do they come from and why are they there? Who are these children?
Are these ghosts really real? Does Resorts have a lingering population of the spirits of the dead who have not gone to their eternal rewards? Or are these but tales "told by an idiot, full of sound and fury / signifying nothing" as Shakespeare’s Macbeth said?
Real or imagined? True or fictional? As I said, you’ll have to make that decision.
Our Readers Report
If you wish to contribute your reports or observations, we need to receive them by the 18th of the month for the next month. Write to: email@example.com
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.
Dear Frank and Alene:
You should really let people know that the Pennsylvania casinos are offering the best blackjack in the East, better than Atlantic City and even better than Tunica and the rest of Mississippi. If you have a choice, Pennsylvania is the state to go to.
Want to learn dice control from the masters? Get a copy of our new DVD Beat Craps by Controlling the Dice! [$299 plus $6 shipping] Call 1-800-944-0406.
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Here are our ratings for blackjack November 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.
***** = Excellent
**** = Very Good
*** = Good
** = Fair
* = Poor.
BALLY’S PARK PLACE:Good cuts of about 80 percent. 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 sad fact. Crews are friendly. Craps games are quite good. Three stars: * * *
BORGATA: Same as last issue. The 6-deck games are now almost everywhere again and the penetration is starting to look like the old Borgata, if you can call a relatively new casino "old." There is a mixture of S17 and H17 was found. Didn’t see any $5 games; although I was told that one or two tables have such limits during the day during the week. This is a happening place and caters to a swinging 30-something crowd. You’ll enjoy the night clubs and the beautiful people, although more competition is coming in with the New Golden Nugget. We’ll see what happens. This is still a good casino for blackjack. Not a good casino for craps. Three stars: * * *
CAESARS:No change from last issue. 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:They are doing all right in their games. We’d say this is an average Atlantic City casino when it comes to blackjack. When we were there it was all eight-deck games with about 66 percent penetration. We wonder if Harrah’s is considering closing this place completely during the winter months? Two stars: * *
HARRAH’S:The more things change the more things change! We are re-thinking our attitude towards this particular Harrah’s and that is based on one single incident where a floor person was very friendly to Frank and his Golden Touch teammates Jerry "Stickman" and John "Skinny" – knowing full well who they were. Over and above everything else, casinos are (or should be) people-oriented businesses. Frank puts a lot of stock in this. The blackjack games are so-so with eight decks and penetration of about 70-75 percent. Two and one-half stars: * * ½ *
HILTON:They are in deep, deep trouble; the casino is now rumored to be this close to a sale or, worse, a full closing. Wild swings in penetration with more eight-deck games throughout the casino. Penetration is between 70-80 percent depending on the dealer. 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 13-foot tables and a couple of 12 footers. Two and one-half stars: * * ½ *
RESORTS:They have ghosts of the past and a new theme that goes back even further. Resorts is now going all out for that 1920’s look! The reports are in and out about this casino’s games. 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. Has opened the first Atlantic City gay nightclub and is courting the gay community, which is a smart move as gay vacation resorts and nightclubs seem to make a good go of it.. Two stars and one-half stars: * * ½*
SHOWBOAT: Animal house time! Stay away from Resorts if you aren’t a lover of smelly slobbering canines. Showboat is now the animal friendly casino-hotel. Yuck! Slots dominate this place now and we are guessing they will be making some slots look like fire hydrants. The blackjack has deteriorated considerably with little penetration – maybe you play 60-66 percent of the shoe. All games are hit on soft 17. High roller room is passable with better penetration, about 75 percent, and some slow times the minimums are $25. Pass this place by unless you are walking Fido. One star: *
TROPICANA:No change from last issue. Bringing the highest rollers into AC. The rumor is that they are inviting the high rollers who hit them for millions in the spring to their tournament games. 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: Three stars: * * * (for penetration)
THE GOLDEN NUGGET:No change from last issue. So far this "new" casino has continued with the gaming policies of Trump Marina but has, in the blink of an eye, transformed many areas into vibrant, with-it places – a new party pit with sexy dealers (I got to see a sexy young woman interviewed: "Do you know how to deal?" "Yes." "You start tomorrow night!"); the superb restaurant The Chart House; and new rooms that are small but beautiful. The blackjack games in the high roller room are excellent with penetration of 80 percent and top rules such as splitting and resplitting; and standing on soft 17. The eight-deck games in the casino are ho-hum and basically the same as all the other casinos in AC. The craps games are excellent and – as always – this place has the nicest and most professional dealers you will find. Give it a whirl. Three stars for a good beginning: * * *
TRUMP PLAZA:No change from last issue. We kid you not, it is starting to be called "Dump Plaza" but it does have fairly good games. Still 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 and friendly down to arrogant and ignorant. Two and one-half stars: * * ½ *
TRUMP TAJ MAHAL:No change from last issue. 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. 100X odds on craps but the table is as long as an aircraft carrier. Three stars: * * *
THE BEST BLACKJACK IN ATLANTIC CITY: Look for three starred casinos (we now have a few).
Best Craps in Atlantic City: All except: Borgata, Trump Plaza, Taj Mahal, Showboat and Wild, Wild West.
Frank Scoblete and Dominator’s
Golden Touch Advantage-Play Friday!
In Atlantic City on Friday, March 23
Winning is the most fun!Learn exciting advantage playing methods that will give you a real mathematical edge at craps, blackjack, and Pai Gow Poker! Learn these simple methods that turn the house edge in your favor – for real! Learn about the best of the best slot and video poker machines in Atlantic City too! Learn from the finest players/instructors: best-selling author Frank Scoblete, 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:
INTRODUCTION TO CRAPS AND DICE CONTROLwith best-selling authors Frank Scoblete and Dominator (10AM to 11AM – One hour, $99)
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.
THE BEST OF THE BEST VIDEO POKER IN ATLANTIC CITYwith Casino Player magazine’s Jerry Stickman (11:15AM to 12:15PM – One hour: $99)
Learn the best video poker games to play in Atlantic City and the expert playing strategy to take the house edge as low as it can possibly go! You’ll learn tips on how to get the maximum cash back and comps. Comes with a video poker strategy card.
ADVANTAGE PAI GOW POKER:GET A REAL EDGE! with gaming columnist John "Skinny" (12:30 PM to 1:30PM – One hour, $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!
BEAT ATLANTIC CITY’S BLACKJACK!With blackjack experts, Frank SCoblete and Dominator (2PM to 3:30PM – 1.5 Hours, $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 in Atlantic City and throughout the nation. Once you know this simple method, you’ll be able to hit the Atlantic City casinos and casinos throughout America with a real edge! Comes with the book Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge! by Frank Scoblete
THE BEST OF THE BEST SLOTS IN ATLANTIC CITYwith slot expert and gaming columnist Jerry "Stickman" (4PM to 5PM – One hour, $99)
This class explains which slot machines are the best to play in Atlantic City. Stop being a player who plays any machine and learn which machines give you the very best chances to win. Also learn what machines are the most deadly! Comes with the book: Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines! by Frank Scoblete.
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