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by Joe "Reload" Freda

Joe Freda has been an avid gambler and writer for the past two decades, covering casino and sports wagering. His efforts include several years of articles at Sportsbook Review and Don Best Sports, while enjoying trips for blackjack, craps, and poker throughout North and Central America. Freda can be reached at or through Twitter (@ReloadSports).


For the final edition of Blackjack Insider, I opted to make one last journey to Atlantic City and enjoy Thanksgiving weekend at Resorts Casino Hotel. Last year's report from the boardwalk still had uncertainty looming for the east coast's oldest casino, with competition continuing to affect its region.

With not having visited for an extended time, I was sent a "Rediscover Resorts" comp offer of $1800 in free slot play and a $100 dining credit. My tier was also discretionarily lifted to the highest level of "Red Carpet," which included extra perks through the stay. I ended up being in for a marathon of gambling over three days, while indulging in a few memorable meals.

Resorts Casino Hotel (1133 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ)

Resorts continues to have one of the best eight-deck blackjack games in Atlantic City, with the rules for half of its main-floor blackjack tables has dealers' standing on soft 17, with $15-25 minimum bets. The other half hit soft 17, while penetration remains a consistent 75% throughout the pit. Splitting up to three hands is permitted, while surrender is not offered. No mid-shoe entry seemed apparent at any table with a $25 minimumor higher bets.

Games on the main floor have their shoes auto-shuffled offline and this keeps the action moving fast. The "Blackjack Match" progressive side bet is offered, as well as the more traditional "Match The Dealer" wager. Two "Spanish 21" tables were also present, while craps (5x odds) and "carnival games" are offered. A set of baccarat tables were not far away, and one open Pai Gow Poker game did not have many takers.

The high-limit room has hand-shuffled six-deck blackjack and "S17" throughout. Penetration was more dealer-dependent, with a 70-75% range. A more unique five-spot table layout is used here, which allows for a bit more comfort than the main floor's six-seated games.

I began my trip using the $1800 free slot play offer and grinding through some...

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