Blackjack Insider Newsletter, Oct. 2004, #57
ATLANTIC CITY BLACKJACK REPORT – September 2004
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).
Eight Decks and "Single" Decks and AC Heads Downhill
Being reporters for this great newsletter is usually fun. What’s not fun about going to casinos? However, Atlantic City’s blackjack games are rapidly becoming unplayable, except in the high roller rooms where most people just can’t afford to play. That is not fun, unless you want to scout around for eight-deckers that have really deep penetration. Wonging is largely a waste of time in AC because the tables are usually crowded. Blackjack is defined as very sad.
Borgata, which started its life as an all six-deck casino, is slowly converting to an eight-deck casino with mediocre penetration. The people are flocking to this place, as it does have the Vegas feel, but the games are going downhill faster than you can say – 6/5 single deck.
That zombie-fied single-deck game is at several casinos with its 6/5 payout for blackjack and its hitting of soft 17. What a damn waste of time for players. Unfortunately, the ploppies have gravitated to the game, thinking that it must be better for them. No, it isn’t. Even the eight-deckers are better than these single-deck monsters.
The MBAs have begun the unraveling of good gambling in many casinos, not just in Atlantic City, and for those of us who go back in years, it is a sad, sad thing to see. The starched suits, the smug demeanors, the lackluster eyes have taken over the game of games.
Otherwise, Atlantic City is doing just fine. The fall on the boardwalk is a great walking time of year. The tourist-type visitors are diminishing and the gamblers basically stay indoors. The bus crowd is still noticeable outside but they aren’t doing much foot travel. The beaches are empty, so a walk along the water is a fun thing.
The Caesars reconstruction of the Pier One Mall is really underway and that should add some life to the boardwalk when it is finished. Of course, the place is not the number one gambling town in the US. That probably is still Tunica, Mississippi but even there we are beginning to see the head of the monster – as the zombie-fied single-deckers are there now too.
Those of you who have patience and have a count system that is relatively easy to use over hours of time can still find some beatable games in the city. Our Golden Touch Blackjack students who are "forced" to play in AC say that in the mornings they are finding beatable games. Good luck to those of you who are trying to play winning blackjack.
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 upcoming classes in 2005. The cost is a mere $895. Call 1-800-944-0406 to sign up or for more information.
Here are our ratings for November 2004.
***** = Excellent
**** = Very Good
*** = Good
** = Fair
* = Poor.
BALLY’S PARK PLACE: Always a crowded place. The 8-deck games have about 70 to 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. **
BORGATA: It’s gone to their heads and their bankbooks. The casino is now bringing in the eight-deckers and ruining their opening bid to be the best place to play blackjack in AC. It isn’t even in the top five anymore. 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 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. * *
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: Craps players have had trouble with an incredibly emotional boss in the mornings. That has ruined the place for me. This used to be my favorite place in AC; now it isn’t. Tell all your slot-playing friends to head elsewhere. Their blackjack games have deteriorated as well. The high-roller action was six-deck games with $50/$100 minimums most days, with penetration at 70-75 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.
* * 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: No change from last issue. 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: 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. But Resorts has brought in those single-deck zombie-fied blackjack games. Avoid the single-deck scam. Okay for Golden Touch Blackjack. ***
SANDS: Their publicity now states they aren’t offering the great games all the time as they pretended to in the past. Single-zero roulette is $25 minimums. The 10X Odds game is only on the weekend at $50 minimums. If you can afford that you’ll play in a cleaner, less noisy place. Sands 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. Place needs to be torn down. **
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: Single-deck monsters are here, too. Six-deck games in high roller room and eight-deck games on the main floor have penetration of 70-75 percent mark, but you won’t find any dealers going much deeper. Games are mostly $15/$25 and up, especially on weekends. **
TRUMP PLAZA: 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. **
TRUMP TAJ MAHAL: Okay, despite the fact that they have brought in those zombie-fied single-deckers, this place is now #1 for blackjack in Atlantic City. 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. *** ½ *
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: Taj Mahal
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