ATLANTIC CITY BLACKJACK REPORT – July 2007
by Alene Paone and Frank Scoblete
Alene Scoblete 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 is The Golden Touch Blackjack Revolution. His newest DVD is Golden Touch: Beat Craps Using a Controlled Throw!
For a free brochure call: 1-800-944-0406 or write: Paone Press, Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565. His websites arewww.goldentouchblackjack.com, www.goldentouchcraps.com and www.scoblete.com.
Summer Fun in AC
It’s now "summer at the shore" and this is the time when Atlantic City is hopping with lithesome women in skimpy bikinis and muscular young men trying to impress them. The beaches explode with people of all ages, in fact – men, women, and children – swimming, sun bathing, looking to be seen and looking to see, digging big holes in the sand and eating some sand in their sandwiches.
Most of the casinos have outdoor beach-bars for those who want a drink before they go into the real drink – for a swim that is.
Unfortunately with all this action, the table minimums, which are always high in Atlantic City, go through the roof in the summer. The real hole most AC gamblers dig in the summer is usually in their bankrolls because they bet too much and play too long.
Too much summer "fun" can lead to winter bankroll doldrums for the unwary and unwise.
Even the best blackjack advantage players know one thing, usually hard learned, and that concerns the necessity for a large enough bankroll to last through the trying times – and, as most of you know, playing advantage blackjack can cause many trying times.
Non-cognoscenti of advantage play believe that once you have the advantage you always win. Would that be so! But it isn’t so. You know that; we know that.
You might have a nice bankroll to play a six-deck game going from $10 to $120 without breaking a sweat when Lady Luck says, "True count is 10? Ha! Ha! I gave the dealer 16 and let him hit it with a five. You lost your split with a double down on each one with your biggest bets out! Ha! Ha!"
While this can be annoying, it isn’t going to kill you because your bankroll can sustain such ill fortune. However, in the summer when $10 tables are extremely hard to find, you’ll have to bet $25 and then go to $300 to keep that same edge you so desire. Now think of this: You split your pair ($600 in action) and now you have to double on both ends of the split (another $600 in action) and now you face that dealer’s 16 in a true count of +10 – and you have $1,200 in play.
Oh, yeah, you are the favorite to win this hand, right? I mean 16 with all those 10s waiting for you to watch the dealer bust. So what if your two splits resulted in two hands of 12 and 13, so what? That’s more tens waiting to nail this dealer. Hooray! You are the favorite.
And the dealer hits to 21 and there goes your $1,200. Your biggest bet when you played within your bankroll was $120 (with a split and two doubles that equaled $480) but at those $25 tables the high bet is a killer for someone working on a bankroll geared to a $10 to $120 spread.
At blackjack, for small rollers, the summer is probably the best time to go elsewhere than Atlantic City. If you can’t afford such great resort towns as Cape May (our favorite New Jersey town) and you feel compelled to be near some water – take a bath. Save up your bankroll for winter. By not playing in the summer, your bankroll will get larger if you make regular contributions to it.
That’s the other thing. You should always be making contributions to your gambling bankroll even when you aren’t playing. I call these bankrolls 401G – and the "G" stands for gambling. If you work a regular job or own you own business, you should keep putting money in that 401G. Before you know it, you might actually have enough to play those $25 games without worrying about dropping dead from a heart attack because the dealer hit to 21 in a massively high count.
Yes, the summer is beautiful in Atlantic City, but it just isn’t everyone’s cup of gambling tea.
We Get Letters
To Frank and Alene Scoblete:
I just returned from a trip to Atlantic City and would like to let you know some of your information is incorrect!
Showboat Casino now has the worst games in AC. They hit on soft 17 and cut out at least 2 decks per shoe. Casino has more carnival games and they are adding more! Rooms are nice, workers are pleasant. This used to be the best but I will not play there again.
Trump Taj was a good place to play B.J good penetration, dealers’ pleasant $15-25 tables open.
Trump Marina had great penetration, cards are shuffled by a machine; they are generous on comps, not a bad place to play!
Tropicana first time playing here generous on comps, good penetration plenty of B.J games. The Quarter is a nice place. Buffet was good.
Keep up the good work!
Bubba From Boston
Several things to report from AC, again please do not use my name if you use this material. Thanks.
Playing conditions about the same at Borgata. Again it seemed as if there were a fewer people than usual, especially for a holiday week and weekend. Higher limit tables multiplying, but that is normal as the warm weather approaches. But it does mean fewer $15 and $10 games, although the $5 tables are still around.
Gourmet restaurants the class of AC, and if you can afford the comp dollars, well worth the price. But make reservations!
A man bought a newspaper at one of the stands. He put down a dollar and walked away with the paper. "Sir, sir," came the call from the young African-American woman who worked the stand. The man did not turn around at first as he was in front of the elevator. "Sir, sir," she insisted. He finally came back to her. She handed him a $5 dollar bill which he had inadvertently peeled off with the $1. That lady has good Karma!!! Typical of the fine service that Borgata delivers on a consistent basis.
Having said the above, I did encounter some new dealers who were slow or even made mistakes. This must be summer hiring.
Dear Frank and AP:
Smoking? In this day and age what moron smokes? The people who do should have their idiot heads examined! We know there is not a single positive thing about smoking and why should the rest of us have to breathe in their fumes and pollute our lungs? The government is in charge of public health, right? I see this as a public health problem. I say ban smoking in all casinos and in all areas of casinos.
Screw the smokers as they have screwed us all these years. To hell with them is what I say!
If you smoke, then quit and stop making excuses. The deal is this – you either quit or you are an idiot. There is no in between!
Fed Up with Tar and Nicotine,
Dear Frank and AP:
You guys do a fine job considering the games in AC tend to be quite stagnant. Except for the six-deck games at Borgata and in the high roller rooms, all we small rollers have to look forward to are $10 and $15 games during the week and $25 eight-deck games on the weekends. That’s too big for me.
Even in Vegas those $5 games are getting harder to find but those 6-to-5 payouts on blackjack are getting easier to find.
I really think the casinos are screwing up the game of blackjack and I see more and more of the bad games like Three Card Poker and Let It Ride taking up what were once the blackjack tables. Why do people play these games when they haven’t got a prayer to win?
As a basic strategy player I know the casino has a small edge over me – but that is it, a small edge. I have many winning sessions and it makes me want to come back for more. But if blackjack really goes more and more to the 6-to-5 payouts and more and more to bad rules, then I will probably stop going to the casinos.
I find Atlantic City is moving more towards the high rollers than towards the low rollers such as myself. I think there will come a time when they regret that choice.
Very truly yours,
* * * *
You can read about the Golden Touch Craps World records, including the Captain’s 147-roll hand 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 $5 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.
The greatest, and easiest, advantage-play method ever developed for beating blackjack – SPEED COUNT – can be found in Frank Scoblete’s new book, Golden Touch Blackjack Revolution! Book comes with a CD so you can practice. $24.95 plus $5 for shipping.
* * * *
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 that has over 5,000 paid members. Email address 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. 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. 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 July 2007.
***** = Excellent
**** = Very Good
*** = Good
** = Fair
* = Poor.
BALLY’S PARK PLACE: High minimums now in effect. Rumor is that Harrah’s is looking to dump this three-casino property – one of the top 20 biggest casino properties in the United States. 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. 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: Read one of the letters above. This is still a superior venue in Atlantic City and still number one for blackjack. Always at least two $5 tables available and there are seats as well! Summer is bringing higher limits throughout the casinos, so you might have to play very early in the morning if you are a low roller. 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 80 and 85 percent so you can get some good games here. Craps has long tables, 14-footers, and very bouncy, although there is talk of two smaller tables - somewhere. This is a happening place and caters to a young crowd. Great casino for Golden Touch Blackjack. Four stars: * * * *
CAESARS: If you thought the minimums were high in the spring, welcome to summer. Even Three Card Poker has $25 minimum tables! Amazing! What is even more amazing is the fact that when we visited these tables were full of players. Caesars is making the bucks and The Pier is a pleasure to walk through – a must see attraction in AC with some of the finest restaurants and views. Caesars also has 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 at 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: One star for old times sakes: *
HARRAH’S: No change from last issue except that the minimums are higher. Harrah’s Atlantic City properties are excellent. 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 is 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: Now listen up: Unless Hilton starts to give out those comps and lure in some more players it might end up empty and then imploded. This place is hemorrhaging money and has the title as the worst place for comps in AC. How can that be? Don’t they want customers? 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: Now Resorts is starting to compete with the big boys of AC. This place is starting to challenge the other casinos. 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. The new hotel addition is clean and serviceable, but not luxurious. Two Stars: * *
SHOWBOAT: See letter above. No stars.
TROPICANA: 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: Is this place coming on or going out of business? Some of our Golden Touch craps players love this place. The eight-deck games have penetration at 80 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 best casino-hotel at one time is no longer even in the top 10. Ouch! We were there recently and the 6-deck games outside the high roller room are now gone again. Lucky Ladies bet now available, no thanks. Good game with 75-80 percent penetration, dealer dependent, throughout the casino. In the high roller room all games have $100 minimums. Now the worst casino to play craps in Atlantic City. Three stars: * * *
WILD, WILD WEST: Lacking the spark it used to have. All 8-deck games with about eight tables now offering H17 games – insane. This is a part of Bally’s Park Place and Harrah’s is looking to sell this complex like a pan of gold. 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, Showboat
The Best Craps in Atlantic City: Tropicana
The Best Hotel/Casino in Atlantic City: Borgata. Showboat
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