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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


Guest Column: This column was written by Scan, a columnist for and a member of my private message boards at

Revel: Some Random Thoughts by Scan

Well, I finally got to Revel in A.C. I went yesterday afternoon (Sunday) and spent about two hours just exploring. I played Pai Gow poker for a couple of hours. The place is immense, and I think I saw only about 70% of it. Here is what I found.

The A.C. Expressway has new signage directing motorists to "Revel Beach," using the A.C. connector tunnel to Route 30. I believe this is the best way to get there.

The parking structure is huge, with digital signs directing motorist to available spaces. I parked on 12, the highest level other than the roof, which was closed. I walked up to the parking lot roof to enjoy an amazing view of the city. Parking is currently $5 and it is paid on a ticket-vending machine.

I started on the hotel’s main casino level, which is the 6th floor. This is like no other place in A.C. It is really a small town with outdoor parks and indoor area for relaxing, reading, shooting pool, playing air hockey or foosball.

The outdoor’s areas have pools and whirlpools as well as fires pits and music.

The "Spa Pools" are on the "hotel level." The largest pool starts indoors and continues out to the rooftop deck, which is surrounded by whirlpools. The indoor section has pool tables and such for entertainment.

The mezzanine level pools have private cabana. The ocean views are amazing on all levels

There are numerous restaurants and shops with more to come. The restaurants range from an indoor inexpensive taco truck with frozen margaritas to upscale "celebrity chef" establishments.

There are bars everywhere. There is a cool Ultra Lounge bar with amazing views and four high-limits tables. It is open to the public but I think this may, one day, be a high-roller lounge.

The casino is dark with red carpeting and a black ceiling. Lights are strategically placed; however, overall it is dimly lit.

There are plenty of the newest slots that I can’t make heads or tails of, but people must love them because they were getting plenty of use. I scouted the video poker but I did not see any full pay tables. They may have had some but I did not see them.

Blackjack was $10 and $15. On the $10 games, dealer hits soft 17, whereas on the $15 tables, dealer stands on soft 17. It was all 3-to-2 payoffs on blackjacks.

There were 10 craps tables, all manned with personnel. Nine were $10 minimums, one was $15. The tables were not too busy, and a couple of them didn’t have any players.

Three card Poker tables were packed with players.

There were only two Pai Gow Poker tables; both $10 minimums to $1000 maximums. (NOTE: Pai Gow poker Fortune side bet has a poor pay table as compared to others in AC.) I had some orange, purple, and black chip players at my table. They were asking for the max to be raised but they were told not untill Memorial Day.

I also had the good fortune of having a beautiful Sharon Stone look-a-like at my table. She was a high roller with a great personality. She really livened up the table.

Roulette had the computerized sign with "Hot and Cold" numbers showing and percentage frequency of different bets. They also had electronic roulette with a live dealer spinning the ball.

There is a huge poker room that was only about 20 percent full. In addition to Hold’em, they have Seven-Card Stud.

The casino dealers are excellent, with great interaction and customer service.

The casino area has what I call catwalks above it, where patrons can look down on the action

The cocktail waitresses are dressed pretty conservatively in a black, business- type mini-dress.

Revel player’s cards were easy to get; the line moved very fast. Also, there are reps walking around with hand-held sign up machines.

Bathrooms (always a big thing with a germaphobe neat freak such as me) were spotless with an attendant in the larger ones. The stalls are the full door type similar to Borgata.

Hotel check-in had numerous agents and few people checking in. There are bars, lounges, and recreation areas adjacent to the check-in.

There is a tremendous amount of business space; an entire wing is set aside for "think tanks" and "boardrooms." I think they are hoping the business crowd will get them through the cold A.C. winters.

There is an open stage called The Social that will showcase bands and lounge acts.

The Royal Jelly Burlesque Club has scantily clad young ladies, dancing provocatively on a raised stage.


  • The no smoking policy is great.

  • The crowds were nowhere near what I expected, with plenty of dealers standing at empty tables. I was surprised to see that when I briefly walked next door to the Showboat, which is a glorified slot house, and it was packed!

  • It is going to take time for Revel to find its market. The senor-citizen bus crowd is not going to gravitate here because they want the free roll of quarters and the 2-for-1 buffet.
  • What Revel will eventually get are the business conventions. It will also get the high rollers from New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia. The New York casinos just have machines so big players will still head to A.C. The Philly Players have the Sugarhouse, which is surrounded by very high crime (even worse than AC)) and populated by gang bangers and other low lives, so the big players from that area will head to Revel.
  • Revel with also attract the 20 and 30-somethings. They are in the process of building a four-story music club that will pull the nightlife crowd from Borgata’s and Harrah's pool.

  • Unfortunately, I think many of Revel's new hires will be laid off after the summer. Numerous dealers were at empty tables now. In fact, the hotel checking had more agents that people checking in.

The final word: If you want to visit Revel, go before Memorial Day because the low table minimums will be raised when they officially open that weekend.


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:

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,

A lot going on in A.C. right now; however, that still doesn’t include more gambling. Gaming continues to drop in A.C., especially at The Atlantic Club [the old Hilton] and Trump Plaza. I have only one thing to say to those two places, "It’s time to sell!" Heck, give the properties away. You’re losing money anyway.

So what’s new? Revel is open. The property is spacious and beautiful. They will not be in full swing until late May but it is very nice. It would be impossible to describe here. It’s of the same quality as Borgata but a very different look and feel. It’s definitely worth the trip to see and enjoy. The BJ games are … well … it’s A.C.

Golden Nugget (once Dump Marina) is almost completely done with its $150 million renovation. The grand reopening is in late April. The outside of the building is a new color (yes, it is gold), and has lighting on it similar to Harrah’s A.C. The inside is … WOW.

I hadn’t been in the place in a while. It’s alive and beautiful inside. Looks first class, like its two neighbors Borgata and Harrah’s in the marina. I was very impressed. This really shows what can be done with a property when the owners really care. Like Revel, this is worth the trip to see and enjoy. The Atlantic Club and Trump Plaza need to unload their properties to someone who will show them this care. The BJ games at Golden Nugget are … well … it’s A.C.

Revel: Mostly 8 deck H17. I found ten 6-deck S17 games on the main floor. Pen is about 75%. Nothing special. Sorry folks. Limits seem low right now but it’s still the off season and they are in soft opening mode.

Showboat: 8 deck, H17, 75% pen.

Trump Taj: 8 deck, H17, 75% pen.

Resorts: Still a couple 6-deckers on the main floor and cuts are 80 to 85%. Very nice.

Claridge: Table games are gone. Eliminate from report.

Wild Wild West: Table games are gone. Eliminate from report.

Harrah’s: 8-deck, H17, 75% pen.

Golden Nugget: 8-deck, H17, 75% pen.

Borgata: 6-deck, S17 outside high limit room. 8 deck, H17 for the rest. 75% pen.

Pennsylvania: 2 (seen at Sands Bethlehem), 6 and 8 decks, S17, split to 4 hands, double after split with late surrender throughout entire state.

Hope this helps,



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Here are our ratings for blackjack May 2012. 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. I am getting used to the hitting on soft 17 and my ratings are starting to change as I take this fact for granted. That is not a good thing. 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: * * ˝ *

CLARIDGE: Closed most of the time. When it is open, it is a ghost town. Didn’t get to see the games while we were there. Our rating is based on last time we came by. Two stars: * *

HARRAH’S: The more things change the more things change but there is no change for this issue. The blackjack games are so-so with eight decks and penetration of about 70-75 percent. Good place for craps. Two and one-half stars: * * ˝ *

HILTON or ACH: 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. For craps, we are dealing with 13-foot tables and a couple of 12 footers. The casino is now actively promoting to the locals and if by local they mean the baggy pants worn under the buttocks folks laundering their drug money, this place may rival Trump Plaza in lowlifes. Two and one-half stars: * * ˝ *

RESORTS: No change from last issue. 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: * * ˝*

SHOWBOAT: No change from last issue. 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 at some slow times the minimums are $25. Pass this place by unless you are walking Fido. One star: *

TROPICANA: This place is going in the opposite direction from Trump Plaza and ACH by bringing the highest rollers into AC. 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. Three stars: * * * (for penetration)

THE GOLDEN NUGGET: 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 but the report is paranoia reigns supreme here. Three stars: * * *

TRUMP PLAZA: This place is beginning to resemble an empty parking lot midweek. We kid you not, it is starting to be called "Dump Plaza" or "Trump Dump" 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: * * ˝ *

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: * * ˝*

WILD, WILD WEST: Another ghost town.. The penetration in their blackjack games has been far better when players are actually playing the game – 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, Taj Mahal, Showboat and Wild, Wild West.


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