The Atlantic City Hilton is adding new gambling options in hopes to attract savvy gamblers looking for better odds.
President and Chief Operating Officer Michael Frawley says the addition of a new blackjack game, increasing its craps odds and grouping high-paying video slot machines together are the first steps toward helping the Hilton increase market share and gaming revenue.
"We believe that you have to provide a little more value as as far as gaming goes," Frawley says. "We no longer have the benefit of exclusivity, so we have to give the best value for our guests that we can."
The Hilton recently debuted Double Deck Pitch Blackjack, which plays like standard blackjack except that only two decks are used and players are tossed cards and able to hold them. Players can also signal with their cards whether to hit or stand, for a more interactive game.
"It really gives the players a better chance as opposed to a six-deck shoe," says Frawley, who adds that the Hilton will offer as many Double Deck Pitch games as the market demands. "It's a fairly common game in markets other than Atlantic City. It's popular in Mississippi, Las Vegas and other markets. For whatever reason, it's something that wasn't offered here until now."
All of the Hilton's craps tables have also been increased to 10x odds, which means players can back up their original bet up to 10 times on the Come, Place and Don't Pass bets. Frawley says the Hilton is the only casino to offer those odds in the city.
"It's new to the market," Frawley says. "Multiple odds are for educated gamers looking for the best value. The odds are basically known as your only free bet. There is no house advantage. You are getting a true payoff. I think 10x odds have been experimented in town before, but we're the only ones right now to offer it."
Also, the Hilton grouped 85 of its highest paying video poker machines, some which are set to the maximum payoff of 99.6 percent, in one area Frawley calls the "full pay area." In most casinos, high-paying video poker machines are sporadically placed between others that don't pay as well.
"Now, players can easily find the highest paying machines," says Frawley, who noted the machines of all denominations are located in the rear of the casino near the front entrance. "There are good poker games on every casino floor. What we've done is group the best and convert a few more to higher payouts and put them in one area. We even show you where they are.
"These are all things we realize we have to do to be more competitive," Frawley says. "There are a lot of educated gamers out there. And we have to accommodate them."
Dusk at Caesars Atlantic City was once again hopping with some appearances that attracted some nice crowds.
For starters, Blake Lewis performed songs from his latest album "Heartbreak on Vinyl." The singer, beatboxer and runner-up on the sixth season of "American Idol" dined at Mia before appearing at Dusk, where he sipped champagne late into the night with his fans.
Also at Dusk, the newest cast member of "The Hills," Stacie Hall, hosted a party on Saturday night. Eight inches of snow did not stop the reality star's fans from coming to see her. Drinking Gray Goose vodka and soda all night, Hall gave a shout-out to the crowd from the DJ booth and danced with friends on the Dusk dance poles.
Boardwalk Hall was full of racing enthusiasts and midget car drivers who would love to be on the NASCAR circuit. Most of them probably didn't know that a NASCAR star was right in the audience watching them. Race car champion Tony Stewart was in the crowd, playing it pretty low key as he watched the racers on Saturday. Stewart is a member of the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame.
It's apparent that Larry David is a major Cheap Trick fan. The "Seinfeld" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm" creator rocked to the sounds of Cheap Trick at Harrah's Resort on Friday night. And it wasn't the first time. David also attended the classic rockers' show the last time they were in town.
this weekend at Trop
The Tropicana Casino and Resort's "Festival Carnivale" returns for the second year 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5.
The property-wide celebration will include $5 food and beverage specials at many of the casino's restaurants, salsa dancers, live music and hourly drawings for rooms, dinners, show tickets and more.
The $5 menus can be found at A Dam Good Deli, A Dam Good Sports Bar, A Time For Wine, Alto Vino Wine Bar, Carmine's, Corky's B-B-Q, Firewaters, Hooters, Il Verdi, Palm Restaurant, P.F. Chang's China Bistro, Planet Rose, Red Square, Wellington's and Zeytinia.
After the main event, Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar will host the official after party - Noche de Carnivale - that will feature costumed Brazilian dancers, a percussionist and its resident DJ playing Latin beats. There will also be giveaways, including masks and beads.
Tickets that are redeemable for food, drinks and specials can be purchased at the IMAX box office or the New Member Center in The Quarter.