Caribbean Stud Poker in Atlantic City

Atlantic City is a historical town located in New Jersey on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. The first boardwalk was built here in the 1870’s and that same decade roughly 500,000 visitors began arriving here annually from nearby Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1883 Salt Water Taffy was invented here, even the board game Monopoly is based on Atlantic City. However, where the history of Atlantic City as we know it today began was during the prohibition error. This is when casino gambling and drinking really became the Island’s main draws.

As a legal casino destination since 1976, Atlantic City has grown into the second largest market in the United States. Today there are 11 casinos in total, and the entire boardwalk area is extremely pleasant. Perhaps the big concern here however is the cost of a hotel on the weekend. Please be advised the non-casino area of AC is not a nice place, crime is rampant, and safety just a short walk from the casino is a concern. For most, all beauty is lost once you leave the boardwalk area, which contains rear entrances and exits to several casinos, or once you leave your hotel in any of the very nice marina area properties. Please consider this before opting for a cheap hotel, as the both the boardwalk area and the marina are magnificent, well patrolled, and safe.

Gambling in Atlantic City

Atlantic City is a popular town for slots, table games, and poker. Due to the poker aspect it should come as no surprise the casino table game Caribbean Stud Poker is also quite popular. Personally I visit this area every winter for the Borgata Poker Open and usually play cards both here and at Harrah’s. Between tournaments and cash games, I often play a little Caribbean Stud in hopes of hitting a life changing jackpot. Unfortunately, as is the case for most, this is something I’ve yet to accomplish.

June 2013 Trip Report

At the Borgata, which by the way is IMO Atlantic City’s nicest casino, I found the tables were now located outside the main entrance next to the B Bar. Of course this might change in the future as this was likely a strategic move to place the tables in the most visible location in hopes to plant the idea of a jackpot into the minds of poker players visiting for the tournament. In any case the jackpots that day were just under $100,000 and despite being a rather busy day the table stakes had just a $5.00 minimum bet. I have heard however this often changes to $10 or $15 on Friday and Saturday nights.

The following day I played a nightly tournament at Harrah’s and noticed the same thing. The games were placed very close to the entrance. These were by the bar across from the craps table in the smoking section. They also had additional tables around the corner, so they are parallel to both sides of the bar. This second set of tables was near the low-limit blackjack. Here, the same as Borgata, the progressive jackpots were reasonably large and the table stakes were just $5.00 minimum.

Atlantic City is THE SPOT for Caribbean Stud

What I find quite interesting is I’ve played Caribbean Stud Poker in many casinos around the world. Other places I’ve played include Venetian in Las Vegas, Atlantis in Bahamas, Wynn in Macau, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun in Connecticut, Casino Goa in India, and a casino I forget the name of in the Dominican Republic. Out of all these locations none had as many games present as can be found in either of the two AC casinos I visit each year. These casinos have multiple pits of Caribbean Stud Poker.

What I also find interesting is how the strict the game is. Borgata has a sign on the table saying any conversations between players will result in winning hands being declared void. This is likely an overreaction to players colluding during hands which truth be told, barely even lowers the house edge.

In any case, the reason the game is popular in AC is probably to do with Texas Hold’em first catching on in Las Vegas. You see while Vegas has been a Hold’em town since the 1970’s, prior to televised and online poker booms, East Coast poker rooms rarely offered No Limit Texas Hold’em. Perhaps because alternatives to flop games have long been offered in AC, this made the introduction of Caribbean Stud all that much easier. Whether true or not if you’re a Caribbean Stud fan, then Atlantic City is well worth the trip.