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).
Oh, Boy, Oh, Boy, Oh, Damn!
Single decks are in Atlantic City! Single decks! Shout it from the rooftops! Go into the streets and sing! Then buy a ticket for Tunica, Mississippi!
Here are the lyrics to shout out at the top of your lungs when you are on the rooftops: "Suckers! Suckers! Six-to-five blackjack payouts will make you lose! Ha! Ha! The casinos think you are fools and, guess what, if you play these single-deck games you are! La! La!"
Okay, so the lyrics aren’t exactly Cole Porter but you get the picture. Those nefarious single-deck games, with house edges at almost 1.5 percent, are now at the Trump Marina and Resorts (editor’s note: the Taj Mahal also recently implemented the game). The 6-to-5 payout for a blackjack, dealers hitting on soft 17, and restrictions in your doubling – God, those MBAs have really taken over the casinos. The fact that AC has two million fewer visitors now is made up by the fact that the casinos are really trying to pound the visitors they do have.
How stupid is the American gambler? Consider that television is geared to 12 year olds and the New York Times is written on a 9th grade level and you get the terrifying picture. The gambler is pretty dim when it comes to protecting his money from the devuring house edge. And these new blackjack games are devouring for sure.
The truth is that blackjack is going to die – killed by the casino executives themselves. Oh, yes, there will still be blackjack games 10 years from now, but Three Card Poker and Four Card Poker will be just as popular. Blackjack will be 6-to-5 payouts even on multiple-deck games. It looks pretty bleak.
Atlantic City has rarely had great games but their 6- and 8-deck shoes, played properly by basic strategy players, yield about a one-half or slightly less house edge. The new single-deck games triple that edge – which means triple the losses. You don’t think even the dimmest gambler is going to see that his losses have been tripled? Give him time and he’ll understand that he’s losing more. At least, that’s our hope. Please God, let the gambler awaken and see! Time will tell the tale.
September is a good month in Atlantic City as the school children are back in school and the Boardwalk is free of running, yelling, whining kids. The blackjack games have not changed much, except for those horrible single-deckers, so caution is the watchword if you are counting and betting with the count in those 6- and 8-deck shoes. You need a nice fat bankroll to handle the swings of these games so saving money for your bankroll is a must.
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 September 2004.
***** = Excellent
**** = Very Good
*** = Good
** = Fair
* = Poor.
BALLY’S PARK PLACE: No change from last issue. 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: It’s gone to their heads. The place has become arrogant now that it seems to be the premier place in AC. The public is fickle and this place could wind up like Trump Marina if Boyd Gaming isn’t careful. The good news is that every table is 6-decks. The bad news is that the 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: This casino is still one of my favorites in the country. Their blackjack games seem to have gotten somewhat looser. The high-roller action was six-deck games with $50/$100 minimums most days, with penetration at 85 percent. 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. * * * *
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: This place is good and bad now – all depending on the dealer you get. 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: Go jump in the lake…or the ocean. We think all players should boycott all casinos that put in those horrendous 6-to-5 single-deck blackjack games. Tell all your slot friends to play elsewhere. Resorts penetration is about 75. 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. Avoid the single-deck scam. ** ½*
SANDS: No change from last issue except their publicity now states they aren’t offering the great games all the time as they pretended to in the past. Place is really seedy now. 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. ** ½*
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: The joint is losing money so they have put in those ugly 6-to-5 single-deck games to squeeze their patrons. I say, boycott the place. Tell your slot friends to play elsewhere. 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: Donald Trump is going downhill at this casino. They have to start redecorating and remodeling to get this place up to snuff. Six-deck blackjack games in high limit area are about 70 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. ** ½*
TRUMP TAJ MAHAL: This casino is becoming #1 in our estimation. We are becoming patrons of the Taj because their dealers and crews are so friendly and professional. Good game with 75-80 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: No change from last issue. 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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