ATLANTIC CITY BLACKJACK REPORT – May 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!
Oh, Boy, We Are Getting Letters
Since last issue, we have been inundated with letters from our readers – many of them about the smoking ban about to take affect. We also have our usual great reporters coming in with their observations of the Atlantic City games.
Dear Frank and Alene,
Look out folks, but Resorts was also offering six decks games outside their high roller room when I was there. These games were also $25 minimum and they allowed mid shoe entry. What's going on? Do these guys think they're The Borgata?
Hopefully a trend will develop here where AC realizes they're not an island any more and they need to offer good games to attract patrons.
I also took a quick peek at Showboat. The dealers where giving nice cuts, but it was all 8 decks on the main floor. One dealer was only cutting off about 1 and a quarter decks (85%) and I saw some others cutting off 1.5 decks (80%). They were also offering the Lucky Ladies side bet at Showboat and a couple of tables of single-deck blackjack paying 6 to 5...
A little note on the unlabeled no mid shoe entry games at Borgata. I finally noticed the difference between the $25 mid shoe entry and the $25 no mid shoe entry games. The ones that allow mid show entry have a table max of $1000 and the no mid shoe entry games had a table max of $3000.
Hope this helps again,
Dear Frank and Alene:
I just read your latest AC trip report, and saw the letter from Joseph P. about the video poker with good pay tables at Yonkers Raceway. You could do him and your many other readers a service by pointing out that the video poker machines offered by the New York Lottery at the various "racinos" throughout the state are not what they seem – they actually are machines that work the same as any other VLT, with the players’ decisions having no effect on the outcome of the hand, and with a house edge of approximately 8%.
In other words, the "9/6" Jacks or Better machine at Yonkers is taking Joseph's money about 16 times faster than he thinks it is, assuming he is a good player. This scam has been documented in two articles by Bennett Liebman of the faculty of the Albany Law School, which can be found at:http://www.albanylaw.edu/media/user/glc/vlt_video_poker.pdf and at: http://www.governmentlaw.org/files/faux_video_poker.pdf
I wrote to the Division of the Lottery after reading these articles and received what, in the most incomprehensible bureaucratese I have ever seen, appeared to be an admission that Liebman is correct. I also wrote to the president of Saratoga Gaming and Raceway, who did not respond.
Anything you can do to spread the word about this travesty – perpetrated in large part by an agency of the government, which is supposed to regulate gaming to protect the consumer, would be appreciated.
Keep up the good work.
Hi Frank and Alene,
Just wanted to let you know that I have confirmed that the Trump Marina is now offering surrender in their 6-deck high-roller room. :) The Borgata though still is the nicest casino in AC and it comps the best too. All of the blackjack tables at the Wild Wild West are now H17 except one which has the Lucky Ladies side bet.
Dear Mr. and Mrs. S:
Just read the latest BJ Insider and saw in your section where Trump may dump his AC holdings, and you were worried that it might be to Harrahs. I agree with your assessment of that outcome ("ugh"), but my stock market research indicates that Harrahs is supposedly being bought out by a private entity in Texas. If so how do you think this may affect their often-obnoxious corporate policies? [From Frank: I wish I knew!]
On another note, I wrote two articles for Henry and BJI centered on Luxor, one before and one after the MGM assimilation of that property. In the second I lamented the demise of some of the best BJ in town, and said that I spent much of my time on the second trip at the craps tables. And the stars somehow aligned so that what I understand about controlled shooting fell into place for one glorious trip. My comment for you was, as Patton said: "I read your book!" And for that I thank you.
My host has planned another golf tournament May 11, so it's back to Vegas we go.
Dear Frank and Alene:
I am a smoker and I am completely disgusted with Atlantic City’s attempt to ban smoking in all the casinos. I am a World War II vet and the government gave us cigarettes when we got our ration packs every month. They addicted me! Now the government wants to end my smoking in the casinos.
I do feel sorry for the people who have to breathe in my second hand smoke but they chose to work in the casinos, didn’t they? Now they are whining and moaning about the smoke. So get another job.
I am disgusted with the political correctness.
Albert V. B.
To All Atlantic City Players:
Frank and Alene you should be stating your opinions on this smoking ban. It is a disgrace. So many gamblers enjoy a good smoke as they play their favorite games. Why not just put in powerful "upward" fans that will suck the smoke to the ceiling vents and get rid of it that way? Why are we allowed to enjoy two vices, gambling and drinking, and not allowed to enjoy a third vice, smoking?
It is unfair.
Dear Frank and AP:
The smoking ban in Atlantic City is the greatest thing. I hate to smell the horrible smoke and my clothes are always filled with it when I come home, as if I have been smoking. The smokers are demented because they are causing illness and pain to the rest of us and how dare they I ask? They are a selfish lot and their addiction should not be put off on me and others who hate the habit. Let them go outside on the Boardwalk and smoke in the fresh ocean air – and pollute that!
Please print this letter to let everyone know how I feel.
Dear Frank and Alene:
The slot parlors in Philadelphia have helped me get more comps for the same play in Atlantic City. I notice this at the Trump properties but not as much at the Harrahs "hell hole" properties. May the slots keep sprouting all over so that AC is forced to make it really attractive for even table games players such as myself to come to AC.
Dear Frank and Alene:
The smokers can take their foul death sticks and shove them where the sun don’t shine. Who wants to smell their smoke and breathe it in? I don’t that is for sure. Yes, maybe a big percentage of people who gamble smoke and maybe this ban will help some of them cut down. No matter, I am hoping that a total smoking ban is made law in the casinos.
Dear Alene and Frank:
The dealers are arguing that they want the smoking ban and don’t want to breathe in the smoke of their players. Will they like the ban as much when they start losing jobs when fewer and fewer people gamble at the tables? I don’t think so.
Long live tobacco!
Okay, these are some of the letters we received. If you’d like to comment on the smoking ban or anything else, we look forward to your letters. Write to Frank firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can read about the Golden Touch Craps World records, atwww.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 $4.05 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] This DVD will show you 200unedited controlled throws. Seeing is believing as they say.
Call FRED at 1-800-944-0406.
* * * *
Want information on most of the craps games in the country? Go to:http://www.goldentouchcraps.com/CrapsComparison.htm.
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 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 towww.goldentouchblackjack.com. Call 1-800-944-0406 to sign up or for more information.
Or buy our new book Golden Touch Blackjack Revolution! and learn the easiest advantage-play method ever developed for blackjack.
Here are our ratings for May 2007.
***** = Excellent
**** = Very Good
*** = Good
** = Fair
* = Poor.
BALLY’S PARK PLACE: We are still getting very bad reports about the actual hotel rooms – there doesn’t seem to be a desire to renovate this property. As for blackjack there are 8-deck games all through the casino except for the high roller room action, which is always $100 to $200 table minimums. For craps players, this is still 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 here! Two stars: * *
BORGATA: Comps seem to have loosened here due to great competition from the Trump properties. Some interesting observations by Jon. [See first letter above.] By far this is still the best casino for blackjack in Atlantic City. Always at least one or two $5 tables available and there are sometimes seats at these as well! Hotel rating is an A. Penetration is good. 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. Four stars: * * * *
CAESARS: 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 in blackjack too. 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: There are times now when the craps tables are not manned and other times when this casino seems like a death town. At one time this was the "friendliest" casino and in fact it was. No more. The regulars that I know are beginning to flee this place. The blackjack games are becoming fewer and fewer. Penetration is mediocre. Does anyone play here anymore? One star: *
HARRAH’S: No change from last issue. 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: Well Resorts is starting to see its future – we hope. The report by Jon in the letters section shows that Resorts is putting in 6-deck games outside the high roller room and other reports state that the penetration is darn good, in the 80 percent range. Wow! Now good players have another real option to play in AC. The nationalization of the Resorts brand name might affect some positive changes here. Their Tunica casino has gotten some very good reports. 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. Great casino for Golden Touch Blackjack! Three and one-half stars: * * * ½ *
SHOWBOAT: 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 stars: * * *
TROPICANA: No change from last issue. 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: This casino has always had surrender but you have to ask for it – which some advantage players think is a scam to get them to admit their skills. So be wary. 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. 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: The blackjack is heading back to the best – a rival with Borgata except their 6-deck games are only in the high roller room and outside the high roller room. Come on Taj, make the whole casino 6-deck games! There’s 80 percent penetration, dealer dependent, throughout the casino. In the high roller room all games have $100 minimums. Now this is a great casino for Golden Touch Blackjack. This is still 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 one-half stars: * * * ½ *
WILD, WILD WEST: All 8-deckers now offering H17 games. Ugh! 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. But blackjack now stinks. One star: *
THE BEST BLACKJACK IN ATLANTIC CITY:
2. Trump Taj Mahal,
The Best Craps in Atlantic City: Taj Mahal
The Best Hotel/Casino in Atlantic City: Borgata and Showboat
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