ATLANTIC CITY BLACKJACK REPORT – September 2005
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.gamblersjamboree.com, 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 at www.goldentouchblackjack.com!
Bye, Bye Children! Hello, September!
We never liked it when Las Vegas was trying to become a "family resort" because you go to Vegas to escape your family. The idea is to get away from it all, kick back, gamble, drink, eat and have fun. Dragging around Junior and Junior Miss did not fit in with that picture. Go to Circus-Circus which is truly hell on earth, with bleary eyed, whining, crying kids and their equally bleary-eyed whiney parents.
Atlantic City in the summer also has too many kids galloping up and down the Boardwalk, not watching which old folks they barrel over. The casinos have provided some amusement-park rides for them and the cheap eateries load the little darlings up with sugar so they are more insane than ever before.
But September changes all that. The over 5-year-old crowd is heading to school where they can torment people who are paid to be tormented – their teachers. Because the older kids have to go back to school, the toddlers and droopy diaper set are also heading back home. The beaches, and Atlantic City has glorious beaches, are now free for the adults to walk on, talk on, and cavort on.
September weather is the best of the year. The evenings are cool; the days are warm; and the kids are gone.
The blackjack games tend to have a slight dip in table minimums in September. That simply means that you can find a five-dollar game now and again. Don’t hold your breath looking for them, though, as you will probably die before you find one. Early mornings are best. If you are the kind of person who likes to get up at 5AM then head for the blackjack pits and you might just find yourself a five-dollar game. The afternoons and evenings are tough for blackjack players who wish to play alone at the tables.
Atlantic City is really a $25 players’ city. When you get into the green and black action most casinos will have 6-deck games for you to play and the penetration is usually fairly good on these games and the rules are excellent too. Except for weekends, the high roller pits usually have plenty of seats. Borgata is still the 6-deck champion of AC as all its games are of that variety. If you like older kids, the late-20, early-30 somethings, you’ll fit right in at this casino.
As per usual, the game scene at Atlantic City doesn’t change much. Even in casinos that have standard penetration, you can always find some dealers who are going deep. In casinos where the penetration is deep, there are always some spoilsports who cut more off than their fellow dealers. That’s just the way it is. It is therefore always best to make a little circuit of the games in the casinos of your choice before you plop yourself down at a table to risk your hard-earned money.
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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 email@example.com.
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. You’ll learn it in 10 minutes, practice for two days, and be able to go into the casino and have a verifiable edge! Learn Speed Count and the new optimum basic strategy in this class. Go to www.goldentouchblackjack.com. Call 1-800-944-0406 to sign up or for more information.
Here are our ratings for September 2005.
***** = Excellent
**** = Very Good
*** = Good
** = Fair
* = Poor.
BALLY’S PARK PLACE: There are magnificent views from the Tower but all those views are on the outside! The inside needs work. Hotel/casino rating is a B-. No change in blackjack games. 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. There are many more carnival games than ever before. Looks like Three-Card Poker rivals blackjack! Two Stars: * *
BORGATA: The youths (or "youts" from My Cousin Vinny) like this place and its newness attracts the throngs and thongs. Sexy waitresses all over the place. Hotel/casino rating is A. Good news is an all 6-deck casino. Penetration is now 75 to 85 percent. High roller room is 6-decks with no mid-shoe entry. Plenty of $10 and $15 games in the main casino. The $5 games are somewhat harder to find. Craps has long tables, 14-footers, and very bouncy, although there is talk of two smaller tables - somewhere. Great casino for Golden Touch Blackjack. Four Stars: * * * *
CAESARS: No change from last issue. Caesars is a great property; bright casino; well-attended rooms and suites. Excellent restaurants. Cheerful place and worthy of the name it bears. Hotel/casino rating is A. They are going deeper. 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 – which are all 8-deck games. 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 are a little high so smaller controlled shooters should wear their "special shoes." Three and a half stars: * * * ½ *
CLARIDGE: The regulars have fled this place. One Star: *
HARRAH’S: Harrah’s knows how to treat its customer base and it shows. Excellent property, good rooms, good views, good staff in all areas. As a corporation Harrah’s is doing something right! Harrah’s has maintained a great corporate image and deservedly so. Hotel/casino rating is A. In the casino you will find very friendly dealers and pit personnel. Penetration now ranges in the 75 percent area. Resplitting allowed except aces. No midshoe entry. High roller room is 6-deck action, the rest of the casino was 8-decks. 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 casino for Golden Touch Blackjack. Friendly crews and decent tables at craps. We haven’t played there but reports are good. But we must warn you, this is a big slot place too. Three Stars: * * *
Guest Comments on Harrah’s – from Scan: Frank, I saw that you were requesting AC info, so I thought I'd add my two cents. Harrah's is my casino of choice. I prefer the Marina district to the Boardwalk. No homeless or gangbangers.
The Borgata is too crowded and filled with 20 somethings so as a 40 something I usually stay away unless it is to go to one of Borgata's restaurants. As for Trump Marina it is OK but I prefer Harrah's. Anyhow, Harrah's has now added two new craps tables as well as new tables games just outside "xhibition bar."
The bar is on the casino floor near the hotel lobby entrance. Harrah’s seems to be looking for the "Party Pit" atmosphere here. Music is playing and the dealers and pit cheer for player on hot hand. Table limits and odds change but it is usually 5 times odd!
Every time I have been there they had one of these tables at $10. Also you can, surprisingly, almost always play $5 tables (2x odds) in the MORNINGS in the main craps tables area if you are looking for lower limits. Furthermore dealers are very professional and drink service is good. This bring the total number of craps tables in Harrah’s to 7or 8. On another note Harrah's now has a "Family Style" Italian restaurant sort of like a "Carmines" I have heard very good things about it.
HILTON: No change from last issue. This hotel is situated on the nicest area of the boardwalk. The place seems pretty busy in the summer months, more so than during the winter. Hotel/casino rating is now a B- due to darkness of casino and also what look like halogen lights on some of their slot machines. Very off-putting. The blackjack games are 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 on occasion. 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 casino for Golden Touch Blackjack. For craps, we are dealing with 14-foot tables and a couple of 12 footers, which were closed during the times we spent there. Three Stars: * * *
RESORTS: New annex is nice. Hotel/casino rating A-. Some 6-deckers on main floor with no mid-shoe entry, usually $25 minimums. Most games are 8-deckers. Resorts penetration is about 75. 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 too. Avoid the single-deckers. Good casino 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 that were open on the weekend. Three Stars: * * *
SANDS: Is this still here? One Star: *
SHOWBOAT: The table game area has shrunk considerably. Good casino-hotel. Excellent blackjack in high roller room and sometimes the game is just $25 minimums. The penetration is about 80 percent now. A game worth looking at. Rooms are all full-sized and spacious; suites are great. Hotel/casino rating is A. Resplitting now allowed up to three hands. No mid-shoe entry. Eight-deck games have 80 percent penetration and allow mid-shoe entry, although there is not that many tables available. We remember when this place had great table-game action. Can now find $25 games in high roller room at those very good 6-deck games. 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 casino for Golden Touch Blackjack. Craps is fine here too. All the tables are now 12 footers. There are 5X odds on all tables. Three and a half stars: * * * ½ *
TROPICANA: The biggest moneymaker in AC. Hotel/casino rating is A. Blackjack games have actually improved here. The main floor now has 6-deckers with mid-shoe entry allowed on almost all of them. High roller room is 6-decks with no mid-shoe entry. Penetration is about 75 percent on all games. Big improvement here in all areas of play. Craps tables are 12-footers. Three Stars: * * *
TRUMP MARINA: No change from last issue. Small may not be better any more and this place is somewhat small. The casino seems cramped and the slots are backing right up on the table games. The hotel rooms, while clean and well appointed, are small as well. Hotel/casino rating is B+. 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. Two Stars: * *
TRUMP PLAZA: No change from last issue. Hotel/casino rating is now C+. 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. High roller room is 6-deck games. Craps tables are 12-footers. Very friendly crews. Two Stars: * *
TRUMP TAJ MAHAL: We find it hard to believe that this casino is having economic difficulties, as it is the best place to stay and play in Atlantic City. It has the best casino and the best hotel too. Rooms are all clean and well attended; the building and casino are light and spacious. The staff in all areas is terrific. This is the place to stay. Hotel/casino rating is A+. Despite the fact that they have brought in those 6/5 single-deckers, this place is now tied #1 for blackjack (with Borgata) in Atlantic City as well. We are becoming patrons of the Taj because their dealers and crews are so friendly and professional – although a couple of craps dealers are a little too antsy and bossy from recent reports. Good game with 75-80 percent penetration (even saw some 85 percenters!), dealer dependent. You can find 6-deck games with $25 minimums right outside the high roller room. In the high roller room all games have $100 minimums. Multiple Action, Double Exposure and Spanish 21 are still available at $10/$15 minimums and up. Excellent casino for Golden Touch Blackjack. This is the best casino for craps in AC as well. All 5-X odds tables and one 20X odds table. The crews have been universally pleasant. Tables are all 12-footers. In our estimation, this is the number one craps and blackjack casino in Atlantic City. Four Stars: * * * *
WILD, WILD WEST: All 8-deck games. This is a part of Bally’s Park Place. Penetration is about 75-80 percent on all games. Good place for Golden Touch Blackjack. For craps this is a fun place to play with one 5X odds table. Crews are very friendly. Three Stars: * * *
THE BEST BLACKJACK IN ATLANTIC CITY: Taj Mahal and Borgata
The Best Craps in Atlantic City: Taj Mahal
The Best Hotel/Casino in Atlantic City: Taj Mahal
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