ATLANTIC CITY BLACKJACK REPORT – October 2007
by Alene 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.
Atlantic City is Better Than Ever!
This is a misleading title because some of you might think we are referring to the blackjack games. We’re not. The blackjack 12 years ago (give or take) had some four-deck games, many games with surrender, more liberal rules and none of the idiocy of 6-to-5 single deck games and no games with the dealer hitting soft-17s. Given a quick appraisal of AC in terms of blackjack, except for the Borgata, it is nowhere near as good as it was in the past. That is not news to AC blackjack players who have to scout to get decent games.
With that said, the city of Atlantic City is a far superior place to the dump it was 12 or more years ago. Keep in mind Atlantic City used to be a great ocean-side resort in the 1930s, 40s and into the 50s but then it fell into disrepair and finally became one big nasty low-life slum. Criminals owned the streets and they also owned the monstrous public housing that was built for those who could not afford to live there without welfare. As an aside, why does the state (in our state of New York too) build their public housing on the best beach-front property?
When the casinos came they were basically just dumped into the City, which itself was one big dump. If you visited the casinos, as millions regularly did, you didn’t really wander off the Boardwalk. Thankfully, the Boardwalk was patrolled by the police so it was relatively safe.
One block away from the casino heading into the city was off limits, unless you had a desire to be mugged. Even if you were in a car traveling from the beach casinos to the Marina casinos area, you could end up near the "projects" if you made a wrong turn – and that could be a very wrong turn. The lowlifes also came to the casinos, often to launder their drug money, which they still do – but there are fewer of them now.
Atlantic City has gotten rid of a lot of crumbling slum housing – replacing these derelicts with upscale shops and pedestrian precincts, also heavily patrolled by the police. You can actually walk from the Sheraton Hotel, which is near the new Convention Center, to the beach without much worry about getting clobbered over the head by the beasts of the day and the night.
In short, more and more of the city is being reclaimed for the law-abiding citizens who want to enjoy their time at the casinos and at the beach without always having to be on the water. With a great shopping district near the Sheraton and with more building of nice housing, you can see AC rising above the dump it once was.
Unfortunately, no one will be able to knock down the public housing, a seed-bed for criminals, because too many decent people also live there. So AC will always have its share of hoodlums.
Nevertheless it is not an exaggeration to say that today’s Atlantic City is superior to the Atlantic City that existed from 1950 to 1990. In fact, it’s a nice place to spend a few days.
Our Readers Write
Hello Frank and AP,
Love reading all your articles...
We visit Harrah's in AC about once a month. Thought you'd like to know the only no mid-shoe entry blackjack tables are in the high roller room.
Dear Scobe and AP:
I think you are too generous with your ratings of the casinos. I agree that Borgata is the best place in the City but it is not a four-star blackjack game, more of a three and a half star. All the other casinos are two stars or less.
Yes, that’s just my opinion. Since I am a low roller maybe the games that are higher limits are better. I don’t know why AC doesn’t give us good games. I think there are many fewer blackjack players than ever before. There are more Three Card Poker games in some casinos than blackjack games. At least it seems that way.
I don’t want you to think this is a negative letter because I really enjoy your articles and I think you have a great AC Update. I just think you are too easy on these AC casinos!
Tropicana has fewer and fewer tables open, and those that are open are very crowded. All BJ games with $25 and up minimums are no mid-shoe entry. Penetration is about 70-75 percent.
Trump Plaza is a ghost town, probably because their comps are pitiful. After 2 hours playing a $50 minimum table, I racked up $8 in comp dollars. I heard others groaning about their poor slot payouts as a reason for the place being empty.
Caesars no change all summer – crowded tables. All 8D except in high roller pit where min is $100. Decent penetration, in the 75-80 percent range.
Bally’s no change either; 8-decks except high roller pit ($100 min), 75 percent penetration.
Bally’s Wild West – stay away – still all H17 tables.
Hi Frank and Alene:
I want to agree with the letter writer last issue who said that Tropicana is going downhill. I think they have reduced their staff enough that the casino might be less safe. I am not 100 percent sure of this but it certainly feels like a different place. This seems to be happening in other casinos too. I am really disappointed in the house-keeping in several casinos like Claridge and Hilton. Why that has to happen is beyond me.
Keep up the good work. I always look forward to your reports!
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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.
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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 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? The Golden Touch Blackjack class 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 October 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 with Bally’s, Wild, Wild West and Claridge making up the entire complex. No mid-shoe entry in high roller room and on a few of the main $50 tables in casino. 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. All tables are now 5X odds, with a range of minimums. Crews are friendly. Tables are somewhat high so short shooters get your platform shoes. Some correspondents disagree with this statement but we are guessing they are all over 6-feet tall! There are many more carnival games than ever before. Looks like Three-Card Poker rivals blackjack! Hotel has declined a lot. Two and one-half stars: * * ½*
BORGATA: 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! 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 swinging young crowd. Great casino for Golden Touch Blackjack. Four stars: * * * *
CAESARS: No change from last issue. Directly across from Caesars is The Pier, which is a pleasure to walk through – a must see attraction in AC with some of the finest restaurants and views. Caesars itself 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 and higher 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 because we are generous with our ratings. Craps game got a recommendation from someone last issue. Seems a creepy pit boss has been given a promotion so he isn’t seen as often. That is the Peter Principle at work; you get promoted to a level where you are incompetent and stay at that level. One star: *
HARRAH’S: Hotel/casino rating is A. In the casino you will find very friendly dealers and pit personnel. Penetration now ranges somewhat below the 75 percent area. Resplitting allowed except aces. No midshoe entry in the high roller room of 6-deck action, with the rest of the casino being 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 Vegas comps from your AC action! 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. Friendly crews. But we must warn you; this is a big slot place. 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 at craps. So beware. Two and one-half stars: * * ½*
HILTON: No change from last issue. Laying off people and severely limiting comps. 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: Up and down. This casino went up in our estimation when the new company took over and now it is heading downhill. If Resorts wants to start to compete with the big boys of AC, it has to loosen up its pockets to draw good numbers of them in. 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 and one-half stars: * * ½*
SHOWBOAT: Had been one of the best and now is the worst blackjack casino in AC. Craps is also bad according to our correspondents. The tables are like trampolines. One-half star: ½*
TROPICANA: No change from last issue. Gangs away! Blackjack games are now decent and so is the new "Quarter" shopping area. But bad reports have come in about the level of service, cleanliness and security throughout this hotel-casino. 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. Two and one-half stars: * * ½ *
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 but a dark casino with a real smattering of low lifes. Good casino for Golden Touch Blackjack. Three stars: * * *
TRUMP TAJ MAHAL: No change from last issue. Say it ain’t so, Donald! The best national 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 gone. 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 the 6-deck games have $100 minimums. Now the worst casino to play craps in all of Atlantic City with incredibly bouncy and high tables. The crews spend half their time scooting around looking for the dice that have jettisoned off the tables. Good casino for Golden Touch Blackjack. Three stars: * * *
WILD, WILD WEST: No change from last issue. 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
The Best Craps in Atlantic City: Resorts
The Best Hotel/Casino in Atlantic City: Borgata. Taj Mahal
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