ATLANTIC CITY — Just like coin-operated slot machines, $2 blackjack tables have faded into Atlantic City’s gambling history. But in a nod to the past, the city’s oldest casino will resurrect $2 blackjack games.

However, Resorts Atlantic City will collect a 25-cent fee per hand for bets between $2 and $5 at its new “Retro Blackjack” tables.

The fee was approved Wednesday by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission and is the first of its kind in Atlantic City.

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Resorts will debut the $2 games at two blackjack tables during a limited trial run beginning in February. If the games prove popular, Resorts promises they will stay.

Once common in Atlantic City, $2 tables have since been replaced by higher-stakes games in the profit-driven casino industry. Even $5 blackjack tables are rare these days.

“There was a time when there were more low-limit tables,” Casino Control Commission board member William T. Sommeling said, adding that he often receives calls from gambling customers urging the return of cheap games.

Resorts said the $2 tables are aimed at low-stakes players who are just learning blackjack and may be intimidated by higher-limit games.

“Retro Blackjack gives them an opportunity to become familiar with the game while playing with others who have a similar skill level,” said Kevin Brown, executive director of table games for Resorts.

Brown told the Casino Control Commission that the 25-cent fee will help defray Resorts’ operating costs for a game that doesn’t bring a lot of money to the casino.

“From the industry’s perspective, a $5 game is not a break-even game,” he said.

But Michael C. Epps, the only commission member to vote against the new fee, seemed incredulous that a mere 25 cents per hand could put Resorts in the black on blackjack.

“Now you’re telling me that I have to pay a quarter for every hand? Why am I going to do that?” Epps said to Brown while objecting to the fee.

Although the blackjack tables start at $2, gamblers will be able to increase their bets in $1 increments up to $5. The 25-cent fee will stop on wagers higher than $5. Bets bigger than $5 will have to be made in $5 increments.

Contact Donald Wittkowski:

609-272-7258

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