ATLANTIC CITY BLACKJACK REPORT – November 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’s New Look?
On October 9th, 2007 a big announcement was made by MGM-Mirage that it is going to build the biggest, most luxurious casino-hotel anyone has ever seen in Atlantic City. The Associated Press quoted Terry Lanni, MGM’s chairman and CEO: "We hope to re-energize the city’s resort offerings and attract a new market of affluent East Coast customers. We believe the success at Borgata demonstrates the eagerness for further evolution of the nation’s second-largest gaming market."
Of course this massive, 3,000 room hotel will have a massive number of games with 5,000 slot machines, 200 table games, and a large poker room. There will be a 1,500 seat theatre where you can unwind and then energize yourself for your assault on Lady Luck’s coffers.
Despite the fact that Atlantic City has been economically hammered by the slot parlors of Pennsylvania, and the partial no-smoking ban which has reduced the amount of playing time for the smokers, two other casino projects are on the boards as well. One will be next to Showboat and one will be next to the Hilton. Both will be large projects as well.
For two decades now Atlantic City has tried to shed its "localized" reputation and become an international playground. Unfortunately, every attempt has failed and one of the reasons is the fact that the Atlantic City "International" Airport isn’t big enough to handle much air traffic, although it does have the minute Spirit Airlines serving it. To fly into Atlantic City requires players to go to Philadelphia and then drive the 56 miles to AC. Not a pleasant way to go. In Vegas the airport is within touching distance of the casinos.
But with declining revenues, Atlantic City’s back is against the wall. They have to attract new people to their casinos and to do this they have to offer something better than they offered before. The MGM-Mirage property is the second step, behind Borgata, in creating resort-style casino hotels. But that tiny airport is still going to be a big, big problem.
Here’s a bet we have for you: Will Atlantic City succeed in its brave new plans or will it once again fail miserably to become a "resort destination?"
Our Readers Write
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 two 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.
Dear Frank and AP:
You can now see evidence of the hurting that Pennsylvania is putting on Atlantic City especially during mid-week when the senior citizens of which I am one used to flock to the shore. Many are staying home to play the slots locally instead of making the bus trips to the shore. Atlantic City is going to have to loosen its slots and offer better table games to in order to get in more revenue. I heard that the whole town is now down about 11 percent which is like falling off a mountain. The Atlantic City executives better wise up or they are going to see more casinos close their doors.
Why even report on the dreadful Atlantic City? No serious card counters play there anymore because the games are worse than they have ever been. You’d have to be nuts to think you can make some dough playing these stupid eight-deck games! I’ve never won in this miserable town.
I have stopped going to the hole by the sea and I head to Vegas where there are still some decent games although that city is getting worse and worse too. Blackjack is being killed by the idiots that run these casinos.
Dear "Scobe" and the "Beautiful AP":
Thanks for reporting on Atlantic City even though these blackjack games rarely change from month to month. I enjoy your columns and comments. The comps at some casinos have gotten better like at the Taj Mahal although the craps games there stink because of the bouncy new tables where the floorpersons and players have to keep running after the dice. Their blackjack games are okay, especially the ones in the high roller room. They have a crazy game outside the high roller room. One week it is six-decks with good penetration, the next week it is eight-decks with medium penetration. Borgata is still the best with the whole casino offering six-decks with good penetration.
Just my two cents!
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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 $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 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? 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 November 2007. We thank many of our readers for helping us to stay as updated as possible.
***** = Excellent
**** = Very Good
*** = Good
** = Fair
* = Poor.
BALLY’S PARK PLACE: Once a high roller place, now declining significantly. 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: What can we say? This is still the 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 too. 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, and not worth playing unless you like to see dice flying off the tables. Go elsewhere for craps, except for Taj which has mimicked Borgata in craps. 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: The idiot pit boss is gone. The place still stinks although there is some chatter that the craps games have gotten better. This is now a "new dealer" break-in casinos so games tend to be slow. One star and one-half stars: *1/2*
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. But we must warn you; this is a big slot place. Sadly, Harrah’s properties in Las Vegas and in Tunica are getting awfully bad reports about how some of the boxmen treat customers who practice a careful shot at craps and there is overwhelming paranoia at the blackjack games as well. So beware when outside AC. Two and one-half stars: * * ½*
HILTON: Going down the toilet! The profits are down somewhere around 24 percent! Yikes! Laying off people and severely limiting comps which seems damn stupid, doesn’t it? The blackjack games here are so-so reports now from some of our correspondents but you must pick the game based on the dealer because the penetration is still highly 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. Two and one half stars: * *1/2 *
RESORTS: No change from last issue. 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: Where are the table games? This used to be a great table-game casino and Harrah’s has made it a slot paradise. The table games are squeezed into a little area of the casino now with awfully bouncy craps tables and awful blackjack games, a really sad fate. Had been one of the best and now is the worst blackjack casino in AC. 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: * * *
Editor’s note: I just received an unconfirmed report that the Trump Plaza just converted their 8-deck games to 6-deck games. We will confirm and report this in the Dec. AC Report.
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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