ATLANTIC CITY BLACKJACK REPORT – January 2007
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 newest book isThe Golden Touch Blackjack Revolution. His newest DVD is Golden Touch: Beat Craps Using a Controlled Throw!
Harrah’s Sold! Exclusive Interview with New President! Remarkable Changes in Store!
Harrah’s megalopoly has been sold to a company with a long name but we did get to have an exclusive interview with the new President of Casino Operations and Other Things about his startling plans for 2007. This interview was held at the exclusive bar at Caesars, which blackjack expert the late Ken Uston had an unkind nickname for. Let us introduce you to Mr. Joe-Joe Adrian.
AC Update: Mr. Adrian…
Adrian: That’s me.
AC Update: Since your company has bought Harrah’s what do you intend to do with it in 2007?
Adrian: We bought all of their properties, kiddos, not just one.
AC Update: That’s what we meant.
Adrian: But you didn’t say what you meant so I took it you only meant one property and we actually have a lot of properties called Harrah’s and also some other names. The players call us a lot of names, you should be aware of that.
AC Update: Do you have any specific plans concerning all the properties?
Adrian: Of course, why else would we have shelled out billions for these properties, answer me that.
AC Update: And would you like to share these plans with our readers?
Adrian: Who are your readers?
AC Update: Blackjack players mostly, maybe some other table games. Those are our readers.
Adrian: Gosh dern it, Harrah’s swore to us they went after players who can’t read. Those lying bastards!
AC Update: Some of our readers are card counters.
Adrian: Card counters? What the hell!
AC Update: Okay! Okay! Calm down. There are only a few card counters, okay, the rest of our readers have promised to unlearn how to read so would you, could you fill us in on your plans for 2007?
Adrian: First I am going to enter a casino. I heard they are interesting places.
AC Update: You have never been in a casino?
Adrian: No, the Harrah’s executives said it wasn’t necessary. Most of them have never been in a casino either. They all told me that they think we should model our way of handling things as they do at the Barbary Coast. That place is a role model they tell me.
AC Update: Anything else?
Adrian: I am an MBA so I wait for others to offer ideas and then I take credit for them. Therefore I intend to make the games the best games in the business.
AC Update: The old Harrah’s management said the same thing and that didn’t happen. The games got worse. They ruined Horseshoe in Tunica.
Adrian: That’s what Harrah’s told me to say. I was told it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you say the right things. I am saying the right things, that’s what’s important.
AC Update: What did you do before you got into the casino business?
Adrian: I ran Taco Bell, before that I had a spinach farm in California, and I had some interest in Olive Garden restaurants. But I have fallen hook, line and stinker for being the head of a big casino company.
AC Update: It’s sinker, not stinker.
Adrian: Uh, I didn’t shower today.
AC Update: Let’s move on.
Adrian: You want to change tables?
AC Update: We mean move on in the conversation. What do you find so fascinating about casinos?
Adrian: Heckoreenee! That’s an expression we used at Taco Bell when people started ripping them through their clothes and keeling over. Also, whoa! – get outta the way of that one! Woe! Oh, boy!
AC Update: Tell us what draws you to casinos?
Adrian: Come on, man, they are some places! People go there, play slots, lose tons of money, drink like fiends, throw up all over themselves, and go home with a hangover that could kill Godzilla and then they say they had a good time and they come back! They actually come back! Come on you won’t find that anywhere else in the world. We are going to make it even better for Harrah’s slot players by paying back 50 percent of everything put in the machines. Like the booze they drink, our motto for the players will be "in and out!"
AC Update: We don’t think you can program machines at 50 percent payback. We think all the states stipulate 80 percent or more.
Adrian: Ha! Ha! Ha! Remember I am a NBA.
AC Update: MBA – Em!
Adrian: M and M baby! Whoa! You see I will be able to pay back 50 percent on the slot machines whereas the other casinos won’t.
AC Update: How?
Adrian: By lying. Just fudge the statistics. I learned that from my Uncle Ken Lay.
AC Update: But he’s dead.
Adrian: So they say! Ha! Ha! Ha! So they say, baby, whoa!
AC Update: How would you treat the delicate issue of American tax-paying citizens who are card counters? Some of them might be heroes from our recent wars, or policemen and women or firemen and women who went into the World Trade Center to save people’s lives, or doctors, or teachers who just have figured out how to beat the game by small margins. How would you handle these people – your fellow American citizens?
Adrian: Politely, cause polite is my middle name, baby; then I will have them killed, but quietly.
AC Update: Thank you Mr. Adrian.
Adrian: Whoa! You are welcome! Heckoreenee! That’s what all the executives will be saying at the new Harrah’s when we take over, baby.
Letters from Our Readers
Hi Frank and AP:
We went to Borgata last weekend and here is the report. Yes they have $5 tables, two of them. But also some $10’s at least until things heat up at night when they tend to go to $15. But they do grandfather at BJ.
Dice tables no change, and I could not find those elusive short ones that you keep referring to in your reports. Pit crews and bosses friendly in both dice and BJ. One small downer is that they are taking perks away from black card players. For example, one pays full rate for buffet, which means $46 for two at Sunday brunch. Also, the free drinks at the bar are gone.
New Amphora Lounge has lost its charm and gained only space. The two times I have been there NO veggies, which is upsetting for a vegetarian like me (potato is not a veggie). But they have added a sushi station and a carver. But still, good food at regular buffet and specialty restaurants are GREAT if expensive. Seemed to us like a thinner crowd than usual (numbers not girth), but that is subjective.
Hope all is well with you,
Dear Frank and Alene:
The Atlantic City scene is better than most players think. Yes those 8-deck games rot but the 6-deck games in the high roller rooms are pretty good. You almost always get 75 percent penetration and often more. You do have to have a big bankroll to make the proper spreads. I try to go 1 to 12 but you do have to mix it up as many AC properties are getting jittery.
My favorite properties are Borgata, Taj Mahal, Showboat, Hilton, and Tropicana. I know a lot of people don’t like Trop but every time I have gone in there I have found beatable games.
Keep up the good work.
Dear Frank and AP:
I just switched from Hi Lo to Speed Count and Optimum Basic Strategy. I found I was able to play maybe two hours with Hi Lo before I started to jumble the count up. The Speed Count has allowed me to spend about three times as much time at the tables than when I was playing Hi Lo. Atlantic City is tough when you are a small stakes player such as myself and I like to Wong about 25 percent of my time but the tables are really crowded. During the week because they don’t open most of the tables, the lower limit ones can be packed.
But I love playing blackjack and I don’t have the time to fly out to Vegas to play those juicy two deck games.
I think you are underrating the games at Trump Plaza, which have been very good the past month and a half. Check them out.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Casino Killer Advantage Weekends
In 2007, Frank Scoblete’s Casino Killer College is opening – and our first advantage play weekend of seminars will be in April in Tunica and in October in Las Vegas taught by some of the biggest names in casino gambling. There are slightly different formats for the two venues as follows:
The Tunica Weekend on April 21 and 22
Advantage Slot Machines and Video Poker, Other Good Machines, Maximizing Cashback and Comps: This class is given by two experts in the field – gaming columnists Jerry "Stickman" and Street Dog. They will explain which slot machines can give players an edge over the house and which are the best video poker machines to play – and what optimum strategies to use. They will also discuss the best non-advantage slot and video poker machines that are close contests between the house and the player. Includes excellent information on maximizing cashback and comps. Class is two hours, from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM on Saturday, April 21. Cost is $199. Call FRED 1-800-944-0406 to sign up. Limited seating.
Advantage Pai Gow Poker: Many players don’t realize that Pai Gow Poker is a beatable game – if the players know what they are doing – playing the right games with the right strategies. This class will teach you how to expertly play your hands and how to use the banking element of the game to get the edge over the casino. The instructors of this course are Frank Scoblete and Dominator. States Frank Scoblete: "This class will be hands on instruction. Pai Gow is a great game and it can be beaten." Class is two hours, from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM on Saturday, April 21. Cost is $199. Call FRED at 1-800-944-0406 to sign up. Limited seating.
Golden Touch Dice Control Class: The only way to beat craps is to learn how to control the dice. Learn how to do this from the World’s Greatest Dice Control Experts in a two-day class that teaches you the art of Golden Touch dice control taught by Frank Scoblete, Dominator, Stickman, Rock ‘n Roller, Mr. Finesse, Chip, Billy the Kid, No Field Five, Street Dog and other great GTC instructors. Class is from 9AM to 4:30 PM on Saturday, April 21 and from 9 AM to 3 PM on Sunday, April 22. Two price packages available. Call DOM at 1-866-SET-DICE or FRED at 1-800-944-0406.
Frank Scoblete’s Las Vegas
Casino Killer Advantage-Play Seminars
Saturday, October 27
9AM to 11:30AM:
Winning at Casino Poker, Low-Limit Tournaments and at Internet Poker with Bill Burton and Dominator. Two instructors who have made the final tables over 20 percent of the time when they play. These guys are winners and know what it takes to make you a winner. Let them teach you their methods. This seminar is 2 ½ hours long and will show you how to win in all versions of today’s Texas Hold’em games. $295. Call FRED 1-800-944-0406 to sign up. Limited seating.
12Noon to 2:30 PM:
Winning at Blackjack with New Advantage Techniques with Henry Tamburin. Yes, Henry he’ll talk about Speed Count, the Optimum Basic Strategy and several other advantage techniques to help you improve your edge over the house. Seminar is 2 ½ hours long and is $295. Call FRED 1-800-944-0406 to sign up. Limited seating.
3PM to 5:30PM:
Winning at Video Poker and the Cashback and Comp Game with Jean Scott and Henry Tamburin: Video poker is beatable. Even if the game might slightly favor the casino on some cases, with comps and cashback you can do to the casinos what they are doing to all the other players who don’t have the winning edge. Two giants of casino gambling will teach you the ins and the outs of how to get the edge at Video Poker. Seminar is 2 ½ hours long and is $295. Call FRED 1-800-944-0406 to sign up. Limited seating.
Sunday, October 28
9AM to 11:30AM:
Advantage Slot Machines, Other Good Machines, Maximizing Cashback and Comps: Strictly for slot players looking to get the edge or to maximize their expectation through good machines, comps and cashback. This class is given by three experts in the field – gaming writers Frank Scoblete, Jerry "Stickman" and Street Dog. See above for fuller description. Added material for special Vegas slot machines in this seminar, which is 2 ½ hours long and $295. Call FRED 1-800-944-0406 to sign up. Limited seating.
12Noon to 2:30PM:
Advantage Pai Gow Poker: Advantage play taught by Frank Scoblete and Dominator. See above. Seminar is 2 ½ hours long and $295. Call FRED 1-800-944-0406 to sign up. Limited seating.
3PM to 5:30PM:
Best Strategies and Money Management for Roulette, Let It Ride, Three Card Poker, Caribbean Stud, Four-Card Poker with best-selling author and radio show host John Grochowski: Even though these games can’t be beaten, you don’t have to have your head handed to you when you play them because there are optimum strategies to cut the house edge and increase your comp worth to the casinos. Seminar is 2 ½ hours long and $295. Call FRED 1-800-944-0406 to sign up. Limited seating.
The seminars costs for Vegas are as follows:
If a person takes 1 Seminar = $295
If a person takes 2 Seminars = $495
Every seminar over 2 is $100 for each additional seminar.
Call FRED 1-800-944-0406 to sign up.
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You can read about the Golden Touch Craps World records, including the Captain’s 147-roll hand at www.goldentouchcraps.com/worldrecords.shtml. Want to learn dice control from the masters? Get a copy of The Golden Touch Dice Control Revolution! [$16.95 plus $3.50 shipping] by Frank Scoblete and Dominator or get a copy of our new DVD Golden Touch: Beat Craps by Controlling the Dice! [$299 plus $6 shipping] Call FRED at 1-800-944-0406.
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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.
Or buy our new book The Golden Touch Blackjack Revolution! and learn the easiest advantage-play method ever developed for blackjack.
Here are our ratings for January 2007.
***** = Excellent
**** = Very Good
*** = Good
** = Fair
* = Poor.
BALLY’S PARK PLACE: Mixed reviews about how deep the penetration is but we found it in the 75 percent area. All 8-deck games except for the high roller room action. 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 and one-half stars: * * ½*
BORGATA: No change from last issue. Several readers want us to definitively state that the prettiest women can be found at this casino. Is this true? We have no idea. Always at least two $5 tables available and there are seats as well! Hotel rating is an A. Penetration is pretty good right now. Casino is all six-deck games, which is great – for AC, that is. Penetration on games varies between 75 and 80 percent so you can get some good games here. Match the Dealer bet is available on many tables. Craps has long tables, 14-footers, and very bouncy. This is a happening place and caters to a young crowd. Great casino for Golden Touch Blackjack. Three and one-half stars: * * * ½ *
CAESARS: No change since last issue. Getting some disturbing reports about Caesars – they are looking for high rollers and not low rollers. We didn’t think that would surprise anyone. Excellent restaurants but you have long walks to find them. 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. 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 stars: * * *
CLARIDGE: The blackjack games are becoming fewer and fewer. Penetration has improved to 75 percent. Does anyone play here anymore? Two stars: * *
HARRAH’S: Harrah’s Atlantic City properties are excellent but what will happen when the new owners take over? 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. However, Harrah’s properties in Las Vegas are getting very bad reports about how some of the boxmen treat customers who practice a careful shot. Three Stars: * * *
HILTON: No change from last issue. Is this the worst place for comps in AC? Some reports say it is. We’ll wait for further reports but a word of caution is advised. Those 6 to 5 blackjack games are now here as well. The blackjack games here are getting good reports from some of our correspondents but you must pick the game based on the dealer because the penetration is dealer dependent. 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. High table minimums, especially on weekends, a lot of $25 tables, rare $10 tables. Penetration about 75 percent, sometimes up to 80 percent. Good casino for Golden Touch Blackjack. For craps, we are dealing with 14-foot tables and a couple of 12 footers. Three Stars: * * *
RESORTS: No change from last issue. Match the dealer bet has been added to some of the tables. Resplitting is allowed at all tables but penetration barely makes it to 75 percent now. Casino also offers multiple-action blackjack and Spanish 21 at $10 minimums. Avoid the single-deckers that pay 6 to 5 for blackjacks. Excellent place for craps. Mostly small tables, with some games 5X odds. Two Stars: * *
SHOWBOAT: Here’s praying the new Harrah’s management doesn’t ruin this fine casino. 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 are 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: Some good reports starting to come in on this place. Is it a fluke? Time will tell. We didn’t see any real change on our visits but who knows? Hotel/casino rating is A. Blackjack games are now decent and so is the new "Quarter" shopping area. Those main-floor six-deck games are now gone. 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. Good casino for Golden Touch Blackjack. Three stars: * * *
TRUMP MARINA: No change from last issue. 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: This place might be going out of business. It also might be torn down if the partnership between Steve Wynn and Donald Trump comes to fruition. Gee, it was just renovated. Getting good reports on this property’s face lifting too. Some of our Golden Touch craps players love this place – they will be unhappy to see it go. The eight-deck games have penetration at 75 percent, 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 six-deck games. Craps tables are 12-footers. Very friendly crews. Good casino for Golden Touch Blackjack. Three stars: * * *
TRUMP TAJ MAHAL: Six deckers outside of the high roller room are a thing of the past. Lucky Ladies bet now available, no thanks. Good game with 75-80 percent penetration, dealer dependent, throughout the casino. Some writers have said that the Taj staff – one floor woman in particular – are a little paranoid. That would be a sign of insanity on the part of this woman! In the high roller room all games have $100 minimums. Excellent casino for Golden Touch Blackjack. This is the best casino for craps in AC as well. All 5-X odds tables. The crews have been universally pleasant in our experience. Tables are all 12-footers. Three and a half stars: * * * ½ *
WILD, WILD WEST: No change from last issue. All 8-deck games with about eight tables now offering H17 games. This is a part of Bally’s Park Place. Penetration is about 75 percent on all games. For craps this is a fun place to play with one 5X odds table and one 2X odds table. I remember when this place had many more tables. Crews are very friendly. Two Stars: * *
THE BEST BLACKJACK IN ATLANTIC CITY: Borgata, Taj Mahal, Showboat
The Best Craps in Atlantic City: Taj Mahal
The Best Hotel/Casino in Atlantic City: Borgata and Showboat
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