The Borgata used to be one of the best places to play blackjack in New Jersey, and whilst it still attracts a great number of hopeful blackjack players, the game itself has been on the decline over the last 5 years, at least from the perspective of the player. Atlantic City has been suffering on the whole and the casinos within this gambling city have been losing money at a ridiculous rate. In an effort to curb this, the casino where professional Don Johnson once won several million dollars playing blackjack has been doing its best to push up the house edge.
Not so long ago, there were a number of tables at the Borgata where the dealer stood on soft 17 and only 6 decks were used. This may sound like a high number, especially when you consider that single deck and double deck games are quite common in Las Vegas and Reno. However, Atlantic City is unique in the respect that the casinos there are not allowed to kick-out or ban players for card counting. Because of this, nearly all blackjack games use 8 decks, and it was a welcome relief to play games at the Borgata that only used 6.
Those games are no longer there though, at least not in the quantity that they once were. The same games that moved from 6 decks to 8 decks also changed the rules, with the dealer now hitting on soft 17. As any professional player will tell you, these small changes can have a big impact on the game, shifting the house edge up enough to make them unappealing to diehard players.
These are not the only changes and word on the street is that for a number of years now the Borgata has been making slight and subtle changes to their games, which make a big difference in the long run. These changes are visible on the lower stake tables and in the high-roller rooms. As a result, the high-roller rooms are now all but empty, which means that whilst increasing the odds in their favor and earning a little money because of it, the Borgata have now suffered and lost most of their custom.
Rules aside, this is an acceptable place to play blackjack. It is a big and grand casino and as it is a resort, there is also plenty of other things going on. From the perspective of a tourist the Borgata is still great. If you want to test your luck on the slot machines, crap tables or roulette tables, then great. If you’re not a professional blackjack player and would barely even qualify as an amateur, then the blackjack tables will also still provide an interesting lure. However, from the perspective of a professional blackjack player, one who always seeks the lowest house edge for the biggest potential profit, the Borgata is not worth your time.
In fact, in all honesty, Atlantic City on the whole is going the same way as the Borgata, which means that if you’re looking for a great game of blackjack, then maybe you should head south, to the heat of the desert.