Poker Wiki

Atlantic City, New Jersey, often abbreviated to AC, adopted public gaming 1976, making it one of the oldest sites in the United States. The intent was to create a "Vegas of the East Coast." Consequently AC offers the widest variety of poker rooms in the Eastern states.

Atlantic City skyline

Poker rooms

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The two most prominent cardrooms in Atlantic City are the Borgata and the Taj Mahal. They're peers in the world of prominent Atlantic City casinos, in the sense that Nordstrom and Wal-Mart are peers in the world of retail. That is to say, the ambiance and general marketing strategy of the two is very different, with the Borg clearly aimed at a younger and more affluent crowd. For its part the Taj has a wider selection of non-hold 'em games, including more Omaha hi-lo action and the two way mixed game (O8 and stud hi-lo). That said, the Taj offers bigger seven-card stud games, up to $400/800 or at times $600/1200 [1] so the distinction is as much one of age as of affluence.

The third prominent poker room in AC is that of the Tropicana. While it lacks the cache of the Borg or the size of the Taj, the recent opening of the Quarter entertainment and shopping area has raised the Trop's profile. It's also the primary home of the Pink Chip Game when it makes its sporadic AC appearances.

The poker boom initiated several new rooms open in the second half of 2005. Although short on the higher limits of game selection, they offer regular games and a calmer atmosphere than the larger rooms. Harrah's is a player friendly room with good dealers and a competent staff and also features a bad beat jackpot that pays if Aces full of Jacks or better loses. Showboat, associated with its House of Blues, provides an environment consciously aimed at the new younger crowd of poker players. Caesar's also has opened a new room recently.

Poker chips

The New Jersey Division of Gaming, previously known as the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, regulates all gaming equipment, to include casino chips. The following base colors are mandated for all casino chips in all New Jersey casinos by denomination as follows:

25¢ – Peach

50¢ – Slate Blue

$1 – White

$2.50 – Pink

$5 – Red

$10 – Blue

$20 – Yellow

$25 – Green

$100 – Black

$500 – Purple

$1,000 – Fire Orange

$5,000 – Gray

$10,000 – Bronze

$20,000 – Mustard Yellow

$25,000 – Gold

Getting there

By car

From New York City and North NJ, use the Garden State Parkway (toll) to the Atlantic City Expressway. From Philadelphia, use the Atlantic City Expressway ($2.50 toll to downtown AC).

Toll exclusively from the ACE/GSP junction to downtown is 50c.

Upon arrival, you will see color coded guide signs for the different areas of town:

Marina - Borgata, Harrah's, Trump Marina
Uptown - Taj Mahal, Showboat
Light green

From the south: See thread below

By bus

Greyhound appears to offer some promotional deals with casinos from New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington. See Lucky Streak - Atlantic City.

Academy Bus also offers some casino trips; see their casino tours page.

By train

New Jersey Transit offers frequent train service from Philadelphia, with approximately 1.5 hours' journey time from 30th Street Station to Atlantic City. See NJ Transit's train schedules. Beginning in late 2007, NJ Transit will also offer Friday-Sunday express train service from New York City to Atlantic City.

Ordinary game selection by stakes

Limit hold 'em
Stakes Locations Notes
$2/4 Taj Mahal, Borgata, Tropicana, Harrah's, Showboat, Caesars, others Everybody has low stakes
$3/6 Taj Mahal, Borgata, Harrah's Many tables, $1/3 blinds
$4/8 Tropicana
$5/10 Taj Mahal $2/5 blinds
$6/12 Borgata $3/6 blinds
$7.5/15 Tropicana Crazy action game, played with $2.5 pink chips, $5/$7.5 blinds
$10/20+ Taj Mahal, Borgata The only 2 places for real high limit action
No-limit hold 'em
Blinds Min buy-in Max buy-in Locations
$1-2 $60 $300 Taj Mahal, Borgata, Tropicana, Harrah's, Showboat, Caesars, others
$2-5 $150 $500 Taj Mahal, Borgata, Tropicana, Harrah's Caesars
$5-10 $? $? Taj Mahal, Borgata, Tropicana
$10-20+ $? $? Taj Mahal, Borgata
Locations Notes
Taj Mahal

Locations are listed in order of typical game selection.

AC for cheapskates

It must be a nice way to live -- take down $1000 a day in the Borgata $80/160, then go shop in their boutiques for something to wear out, after a nice meal at Bobby Flay, to mur.mur that night. Or is Mixx where the beautiful people go?

But that lifestyle's not for everyone. If your modest aspirations are to visit AC, win a little money, and not give it all back in travel expenses, you needn't despair. Here's a simple checklist for maximizing your poker fun while minimizing your expense:

  • Try to avoid overnight stays on Friday and Saturday nights, especially during the summer. Of course the games are better when more tourists are in town, so you'll have to estimate if that's worth the added expense.
  • Get a copy of the Traveler's Discount Guide for the Northeast. These green coupon books are available at turnpike rest areas and truck stops throughout the region, everywhere from PA/MD/DC/DE northeast.
  • Stay in the cheapest place you can stand. You're a cheapskate, so presumably that means you're there to play poker, not to enjoy the plush hotel stay!
  • US-30 (White Horse Pike) in Absecon is particularly dense with cheap places.
  • When you're not eating off comps, get lots of hoagies, fruit, etc. from the Absecon Wawa. Much healthier than fast food, the sandwiches aren't bad, and the automated ordering system is kinda fun.
  • Special Borgata note about using comps in the "cafeteria" (belongs in Borgata but we cheapskates need to know when we can get better food for not additional cost!).

Other notes

Throughout AC people tend to bring stacks of red $5 chips into the $2/4 and $3/6 games, which requires lots of making change. A good idea is to buy into these games for two racks of white ($200) and sell stacks of 20 between hands to those with all red. Besides speeding up the game, this also increases physical pot size which many players believe makes the game looser.

Other notes to out of towners: hold'em games are 10handed rake is 10% 4 dollars at taj,borgata,trop harrah's properties have 4+1 for the jackpot. straddles are not allowed. Raising blind is allowed.

Discussion threads

See also Wikipedia:Atlantic City, New Jersey

Poker rooms of Atlantic City, New Jersey
Borgata | Bally's | Caesar's | Harrah's | Resorts | Showboat | Taj Mahal | Tropicana
See also Casinos:Eastern US

Poker rooms of the Eastern United States
Connecticut Foxwoods | (Mohegan Sun)
Atlantic City NJ Bally's | Borgata | Caesar's | Harrah's | Hilton | Resorts | Showboat | Taj Mahal | Tropicana
New Hampshire Seabrook
New York Akwesasne Mohawk | Seneca Allegany | Seneca Niagara | Turning Stone
West Virginia Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort | Wheeling Island