ATLANTIC CITY BLACKJACK REPORT
By Alene Paone and Frank Scoblete
Alene Paone 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. His two newest books are: The Craps Underground: The Inside Story of How Dice Controllers Are Winning Millions from the Casinos! and Casino Gambling: Play Like a Pro in 10 Minutes or Less! For a free brochure call: 1-800-944-0406 or write: Paone Press, Box 610, Lynbrook, NY 11563. His websites are www.goldentouchcraps.com and www.scoblete.com. And don't forget to find out about our new blackjack method, Golden Touch Blackjack! (www.GoldenTouchBlackjack.com).
Atlantic City has lost almost 2 million patrons since 2001, yet the town is making more money than ever before. How are the casinos doing this? On the tables, the $10 game is almost extinct on the weekends and it is rare that you’ll find many $5 minimum tables at most places during the week. Yes, you might stumble upon one or two or, at Borgata, three or four, but these are always packed with players. And slots are still socking the patrons as AC slot machines return in the low 90 percent ranges for 25 cent and dollar machines. Yuck!
Sands has changed its advertising and they are now saying that they have 10X odds at craps at "all times," which means someone must have read BJ Insider and realized that they can’t advertise something they don’t actually offer. That’s the power of the Internet press! Unfortunately, the 6-deck Sands games are all coming in with $25 minimums and it looks as if their experiment of being a "gambling house" has become something of a failure. Their single-zero roulette is now $25 minimum as well. We are not going back there any time soon but our friends give us the reports and we give them to you.
With Harrah’s about to take over Caesars Entertainment, the AC scene will look like this: the three Trump properties (Marina, Plaza and Taj Mahal), Tropicana, Resorts, Sands, Borgata and then Harrah’s babies: Hilton, Caesars, Wild Wild West, Bally’s Park Place, Claridge, Harrah’s, Showboat. That’s 50 percent of the AC casino landscape.
And what of blackjack? There really has been very little change from last issue. The summer is the summer – higher minimums, shallower cuts, mobs of people. The younger folks are out in force – those 20 and 30-somethings that frolic and play at the beachside bars and then become loud when they enter the casinos. Ugh!
The students who have been using Speed Count from our Golden Touch Blackjack course are able to find beatable games in a few of the casinos and these they have been beating. Of course, 8-deck shoes are awful and even the 6-deckers aren’t all that great anymore. And brother do you need patience to play those shoes! Many novice card counters don’t realize that when you count into a shoe, there are long periods of play when nothing happens. The counts don’t get positive and you play and play with minimal bets out. But if you want to beat blackjack, you must develop patience.
If you’re going to play blackjack, why not play with an advantage? Golden Touch Blackjack will give you the easiest method for getting an advantage at the game. We’ll be having an upcoming class in September in Las Vegas. The cost is a mere $895. Call 1-800-944-0406 to sign up or for more information.
Here are our ratings for August 2004.
***** = Excellent
**** = Very Good
*** = Good
** = Fair
* = Poor.
BALLY’S PARK PLACE: Always a crowded place. The 8-deck games have about 75 percent penetration. Penetration is about 1.8 decks on the six-deck games in the high-roller pit and these games are almost always $100 to $200 minimums. You can resplit for a total of three hands, but aces can only be split once. Multiple Action and Spanish 21 are also available for minimums of $10. Good place for Golden Touch Blackjack. ***
BORGATA: Every table is 6-decks. Penetration has sunk to about 70 percent. Standard AC rules which means that for basic strategy players it’s a fine game. Plenty of $10 games and some $5 games as well. * * ½ *
CAESARS: No change from last issue. Table game action has improved and that is very noticeable in the blackjack pits. Six-deck games in high roller room have 75 percent penetration as do the eight-deckers on the main casino floor. Good casino for Golden Touch Blackjack. Multiple Action and Spanish 21 available at $10 and up! ***
CLARIDGE: No change from last issue. The high-roller action was six-deck games with $50/$100 minimums most days, with penetration about 80 to 85 percent when we visited. You can resplit pairs up to four hands in high-roller room (but no more resplitting of aces). The rest of the casino, all eight-deckers, doesn’t allow any resplitting. Multiple Action and Spanish 21 available for $10 and up. To stay here, you have to make the trek to Bally’s Park Place to register, which is not the best thing for the senior citizen crowd, which really likes this place. Great place to play Golden Touch Blackjack. *** ½ *
HARRAH’S: No change from last issue. Very friendly dealers and pit personnel. Penetration now ranges in the 75 percent area. Resplitting allowed except aces. No midshoe entry. Play here and at Showboat and your play counts all across the nation. For those of you who like to go to Vegas you can get some good comps for AC action in the desert! A room that would be discounted for $80 in AC would be free in Vegas based on the same play – this is not official but based on our calculations of the offers we’ve received. Good place for Golden Touch Blackjack. ***
HILTON: Depending on the dealer, you can still find some very good penetration at the Hilton. Resplitting allowed except aces. High roller room is 6-decks, rest of the casino is 8-decks. Pits have been quick to jump on suspected counters, so be wary. High table minimums, especially on weekends, a lot of $25 tables, rare $10 tables. Penetration about 75 percent throughout the casino. The Multiple Action and Spanish 21 also have okay penetration for $10. Good place to play Golden Touch Blackjack. ***
RESORTS: No change from last issue. Casino is fresh and bright. Great penetration has arrived. Now in its 25th year of operation, Resorts looks better today than it did when it opened and it is undergoing major renovations. Resorts penetration is about 75 percent now. Most of the $5 games have become $10 games, even midweek, but this is still a bargain by AC standards. Resplitting is allowed at all tables. Casino also offers multiple-action blackjack and Spanish 21 at $10 minimums. Good place to play Golden Touch Blackjack. Pits are friendly. ***
SANDS: Going downhill again with raised table minimums. The place is also very loud with their nightclub almost on the casino floor. You can resplit up to three times as you go deaf. A good place to play Golden Touch Blackjack, if you can afford the minimums. ***
SHOWBOAT: No change from last issue. Six-deck games in the high roller room have standard penetration of about 75 percent. Resplitting now allowed up to three hands. Eight-deck games have 80 percent penetration. Can now occasionally find $25 games in high roller room. They announce them with a big sign during slow times. You can get great deals in other venues by using your card as it’s a part of the Harrah’s Total Rewards program. Good place to play Golden Touch Blackjack. ***
TROPICANA: No change from last issue. Blackjack games have actually improved here. Still the low man in the city but any positive movement is a good thing. **
TRUMP MARINA: No change from last issue. The joint is losing money. This place has a big youth clientele -- and youth is fickle -- because of all the rock bands that play here. So if you like the high energy of often-dimwitted young folks loudly having a good time, this is the place for you. Six-deck games in high roller room and eight-deck games on the main floor have penetration of 75 percent mark, but you won’t find any dealers going much deeper. Games are mostly $15/$25 and up, especially on weekends. **1/2*
TRUMP PLAZA: No change from last issue. Six-deck blackjack games in high limit area are about 75 percent penetration with $100 minimums – sometimes the dealer will now go even deeper. Sometimes when it’s slow, they will honor a request for $50 minimum. The eight-deck games have penetration ranging from 70 percent to 75 percent on all, depending on the dealer. No midshoe entry on eight-deck games outside high-roller pit but you can find $25 (a few) to $50 minimums on these. Allows resplits, except aces. Most eight-deck tables are $10 and higher. Good place to play Golden Touch Blackjack. ***
TRUMP TAJ MAHAL: We are becoming patrons of the Taj. In the past few months the friendliness of the pit crews and dealers is winning us over. Good game with 75 percent penetration, dealer dependent. Multiple Action, Double Exposure and Spanish 21 are still available at $10/$15 minimums and up. Good place to play Golden Touch Blackjack. ***
WILD, WILD WEST: Penetration has deteriorated in the last couple of months to slightly under 75 percent on all games. Still a good place to play, atmosphere wise. ** ½ *
THE BEST BLACKJACK IN ATLANTIC CITY: Claridge
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