ATLANTIC CITY BLACKJACK REPORT – January 2005
By Alene Paone and Frank Scoblete
(with great help from Ron Camejo, Hobart Spalding, Johnny Crusoe and Dennis Lofton)
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.goldentouchblackjack.com, www.goldentouchcraps.com and www.scoblete.com.
And don’t forget to find out about our new blackjack method, Golden Touch Blackjack!.
We Love Winter in Atlantic City
Many people say they love Atlantic City in the warmer months but not us. Let’s check that for a second. We like Atlantic City in the warmer months – how can we not, with that great Atlantic Ocean at your doorstep. But the crowds on the Boardwalk and on the beaches are not fun for us. We prefer the semi-solitude of a freezing cold winter morning, when the two of us are with maybe a half dozen other intrepid souls who walk the beach and Boardwalk while everyone else stays indoors. It is invigorating along the shore in winter.
That’s not the only reason we like Atlantic City in winter. The blackjack games are better. Atlantic City always has good rules, except on those abominable 6/5 single decks, and you should be spanked if you play them. In winter, you will find some $5 tables, plenty of $10 and $15 tables, and the penetration seems better as the temperature drops. Of course, much of the penetration in AC is dealer dependent but this is true in many places.
Interestingly enough, we received a letter from a player who plays both Atlantic City and Tunica. This writer wanted to know why the Atlantic City pit personnel are not as friendly as those in Tunica. First of all, the volume in Atlantic City each and every day is immense. I believe Tunica gets about 9 million visitors in a year, while Atlantic City gets about 34 million (give or take). A lot of this traffic is loads and loads of bus-people. The AC pits seem just a bit more harried. Also, for some strange reason, East Coasters of the Northern variety seem a little more demanding. That could make some pit personnel a little standoffish. Regardless, the nature of working with the public – the gambling public – is not easy. When people are losing their money, as most people are most of the time in casinos, a percentage of them are not very happy – and a percentage of that percentage can be royal pains in the buttocks. We never excuse bad behavior in any casino personnel but we certainly can understand the pressures faced by them in the whirlwind of an AC day. Perhaps the way to brighten the faces of the pit people is to be bright and friendly. If you’re smiling, maybe that will help them smile.
So what’s new in Atlantic City this month? There are more carnival-game tables. Four-card poker is making its debut. There are a lot of Three-Card Poker tables and Let It Ride games are also flourishing. The easy games with the high house edges and fast paces are making serious inroads among casino gamblers. If these players of carnival games are slot players, then that is actually a good thing for them, since they will be losing far less per hour. Keep in mind those poor slot players can lose up to $400 per hour at those dollar machines.
Blackjack is as blackjack always is – a great game, despite the 6-deck and 8-deck onslaught that is AC. We did our checking of the AC casinos just before New Years so some of this information might change – for the better. Once New Years is over, except for Super Bowl weekend, the games should loosen somewhat more than they are now. You might want to add a half star to all these ratings.
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FRANK SCOBLETE’S GAMBLER’S JAMBOREE
WINDSOR CASINO in Ontario
May 21 and 22
It’s going to be a who’s who of gaming authors and celebrities May 21 and 22 at Windsor Hotel and Casino in Ontario, Canada, for Frank Scoblete’s Gambler’s Jamboree. Make your reservations early.
Great seminars will be presented by Jean Scott, Henry Tamburin, Dan Pronovost, Dominator, John Marcal, John Robison, Walter Thomason, John Grochowski, and Frank Scoblete. You’ll have plenty of time to meet the authors and discuss your favorite gambling topics. The casino is beautiful. Have a North of the Border fun weekend! Special room rates for anyone attending the Jamboree.
The cost is $199 for one person and $299 for two people. You can get a 10% Blackjack Insider discount by calling 1-800-944-0406 and mentioning Blackjack Insider discount.
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We’ve decided since many of our Golden Touch Craps dice controllers 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 www.goldentouchblackjack.com. The cost is a mere $895. Call 1-800-944-0406 to sign up or for more information.
Here are our ratings for January 2005.
***** = Excellent
**** = Very Good
*** = Good
** = Fair
* = Poor.
BALLY’S PARK 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. This casino is always crowded. * *
BORGATA: No change from last issue. Good news is the return of an all 6-deck casino. The bad news is that the penetration has sunk to about 70 percent to 75 percent. Standard AC rules which means that for basic strategy players it’s a fine game. High roller room is 6-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: They are going deeper than last month. You can expect about 80 percent penetration with most of the dealers. 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 80 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. * * * ½ *
CLARIDGE: Nothing but bad reports coming from this place. Remember when this was the friendly casino? Their blackjack games have deteriorated as well. However, you can find some $5 and plenty of $10 games. The high-roller action was 6-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 8-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 craps bosses evenings. Stay away from the morning and afternoon games – crews are nice, but those pit bosses or shift managers are real downers.
* * ½*
HARRAH’S: No change from last issue. Harrah’s has maintained a great corporate image and deservedly so. 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 from your 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: 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 with a few $25/$50 6-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. * * *
RESORTS: No change from last issue. Some 6-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 craps tables. * * *
SANDS: Loud place to play in. You have a mixture of 6 and 8-deck games with 75 percent penetration. Craps has one 10X game on the weekends with a $50 minimum, which is totally ridiculous. * *
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. 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. 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 all tables. * * *
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 6-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: No change from last issue. Single-deck monsters are here, too. Six-deck games in high roller room and 8-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 6-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: Fast – can you say this place is about to be sold? That’s the latest rumor from AC people. The 8-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: The best casino in Atlantic City. Despite the fact that they have brought in those 6/5 single-deckers, this place is now #1 for blackjack in Atlantic City as well. We are becoming patrons of the Taj because their dealers and crews are so friendly and professional. Good game with 75-80 percent penetration (even saw some 85 percenters!), 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 as well. The crews have been universally pleasant. You’ll find 2X and 5X games here. There is one craps table with 20X odds. 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 *
THE BEST BLACKJACK IN ATLANTIC CITY: Taj Mahal
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!
And don’t forget to find out about our new blackjack method, Golden Touch Blackjack!
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