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Blackjack Insider Newsletter, Nov. 2004, #58


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 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 and And don’t forget to find out about our new blackjack method, Golden Touch Blackjack (!


Goodbye Kids, Hello Childish Adults

What we love about the winter months in Atlantic City comes down to a simple list:

  1. The young kids are gone. Why parents would bring young kids to AC is beyond us. The amusement parks on the piers are okay but will not keep a kid’s attention longer than a couple of hours. The beaches are nice, of course, but AC just isn’t the summer resort city for a family in our opinion. Also kids in the hotels are nuisances. The extreme of that is Circus Circus in Vegas – that’s crying city. But wintertime, the kids are gone in AC.
  2. The beaches are wide open; almost no one is on them. You can walk for miles and see one or two of your fellow walkers.
  3. The Boardwalk (going south) is also pretty deserted. You can walk and not worry about the bike riders, who are usually not out in the winter months. You can see all the beachfront properties – some are beautiful, some are garish.
  4. The games start to have lower minimums in the daylight hours.
  5. Comps are easier to come by, although AC comps are much tougher than comps in other venues. Borgata will give you a comp if you play three hours of blackjack at $10 a hand – and that comp is not for the gourmet meals.

Now, with the kids out, you begin to notice the adults, many of who are more obnoxious than those whining seven-year olds. Our recent trip saw many examples of really idiotic behavior by the adults. One guy in the high roller room of one casino picked up his cards and threw them at the dealer! He was angry that he had lost $20K in the last few hours. He couldn’t understand that the dealer had nothing to do with this. And, fella, don’t gamble if you can’t handle losing – because just about all gamblers ultimately lose

Many players have gotten into the habit of whining out loud so that everyone within the nearest five miles can hear about their bad luck. These players have no idea that none of us, not a single one of us, gives a damn about their luck – and we also are annoyed by their infantile whining. Shut up, please.

The drunks are annoying, as drunks usually are. They come to the tables and try to be funny – they aren’t. Slurring your words is not a sidesplitting laugher. Frank had one woman pass out on his lap. She was asking for a hit and then she just whoozed over and went out like a light.

"As easy as Speed Count is," said Frank, "It was hard to keep composed when this sotted creature went down onto my lap. I then had to help her to the floor so she wouldn’t hit her head. But I did keep the count!"

Are the games any better in the cold weather? Yes, they are, although there are fewer six-deck games in AC now that Borgata is starting to incorporate the eight-deckers into their mix. But the good news is that there are more $5 and $10 games as the weather gets chilly. Some of these games will start to go deeper too.

We’ve decided since many of our Golden Touch Craps players are now Speed Counters subscribing to this site, we are going to give a quick rundown of the craps games as well. We haven’t played in all the casinos in AC so we would appreciate it if you could email Frank with the table minimums, the odds bets, and anything else you think we might want to use (table lengths very helpful – if you just say "big" we will assume 14-feet as they are at Borgata). If you send us info we will give you a free month on our members-only board. Email address is

All the ratings of casinos are based on the blackjack games.


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. Learn Speed Count and the new basic strategy in this class. We’ll be having upcoming classes in 2005. Go to The cost is a mere $895. Call 1-800-944-0406 to sign up or for more information.

Here are our ratings for December 2004.

Rating system:

***** = Excellent

**** = Very Good

*** = Good

** = Fair

* = Poor.


BALLY’S PARK PLACE: Always a crowded place. The 8-deck games on the main casino floor 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. No mid-shoe entry in high roller room and on a few of the main $50 tables in casino, otherwise you can usually Wong here if you wish. For craps players, this is a good casino for the game. There is one 5X odds table, usually a $25 minimum; the rest are 2X odds. Crews are friendly. Tables are somewhat high so short shooters get your platform shoes. **

BORGATA: Two pits in the back of the casino have six-deck games and you can usually find one or two $5 tables there. It’s always best to play early in the day when the minimums are lower. But 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 everywhere. Standard AC rules which means that for basic strategy players it’s a fine game. High roller room is six-decks with no mid-shoe entry. Plenty of $10 and $15 games in the main casino. Craps has long tables, 14-footers, and very bouncy. * *

CAESARS: 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 minimums. 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! The craps games here are good with 12-foot tables and friendly crews. The tables we saw were all 2X odds. ***

CLARIDGE: This used to be our favorite place in AC; now it isn’t. Tell all your slot-playing friends to head elsewhere. Craps players should avoid the mornings here, as one pit boss (or shift manager) is extremely emotional and abusive. He yelled at the top of his lungs at a $600 player when we were last there. Their blackjack games have deteriorated as well. However, you can find some $5 and plenty of $10 games. The high-roller action was six-deck games with $50/$100 minimums most days, with penetration at 70-75 percent percent. No mid-shoe entry on the high roller action. 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 but does usually allow mid-shoe entry. 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. The smallest craps tables in AC. Good game afternoons and evenings. Stay away from the morning – crews are nice, but that pit boss or shift manager is a real downer.

* * ½*

HARRAH’S: 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. Friendly crews and decent tables at craps. We haven’t played there but reports are good. ***

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 with a few $25/$50 six-deckers. No mid-shoe entry on the six-deckers. 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. For craps, we are dealing with 12-foot tables and 2X odds. We haven’t played here in years and years. ***


RESORTS: Some six-deckers on main floor with no mid-shoe entry, usually $25 minimums. 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. Good for Golden Touch Blackjack. Excellent place for craps. Mostly small tables, with some games 5X odds. Last we were there, the high roller room had two 10-foot tables. ***

SANDS: Eight-deck games are back! You can jump in and out as they allow mid-shoe entry. The high roller area has 6-deck and some of the $25 games are also six-deckers, all with no mid-shoe entry. 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 (yes, some executive has a great sense of humor). 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. Craps tables, 2X odds and one 5X odds (last time we were there) are mostly 12-footers and the crews are very friendly. But it is just too loud in this place. **

SHOWBOAT: Six-deck games in the high roller room have standard penetration of about 75 percent. Resplitting now allowed up to three hands. No mid-shoe entry. Eight-deck games have 80 percent penetration and allow mid-shoe entry. 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. Craps is fine here. There is one 14-foot table, usually the one open in the morning, but around noon the other 12-foot tables open. There are 5X odds on one table and the rest are 2X. ***

TROPICANA: No change from last issue. Blackjack games have actually improved here. The main floor has eight-deckers with mid-shoe entry allowed on almost all of them. High roller room is six decks with no mid-shoe entry. Still the low man in the city but any positive movement is a good thing. Craps tables are 12-footers. **

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. No mid-shoe entry on the six-deckers but you can jump in and out on the eight-deckers. Craps tables are 12-footers with 2X odds. Haven’t played here in years. **

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. Craps tables are 12-footers. Very friendly crews. **

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. Excellent place to play Golden Touch Blackjack. This is the best casino for craps in AC. The crews have been universally pleasant. You’ll find 2X and 5X games here. There is a rumor that they are bringing in 20X odds. If that happens, may the lord be praised! Tables are all 12-footers. In our estimation, this is the number one casino in Atlantic City. ****

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. For craps this is a fun place to play with one 5X odds table. Crews are very friendly. ** ½ *





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