The Garden State often gets seen as New York’s less exciting cousin. Yet, the most densely populated territory in the US has more than its fair share of attractions, with its entertaining boardwalks, stunning beaches, untouched nature, and premium casinos ranking as the top things to visit here. The latter is what many think of when New Jersey tourism pops up in conversation, as gambling-wise, Atlantic City is probably the second most famous destination in the country and the only one along with Las Vegas that can cater to real high-roller play.
While most people associate the Jersey Shore with the now legendary reality TV show that ran for three years on MTV (from 2009 to 2012), a series that raised much controversy regarding its portrayal of Italian-Americans. The truth is that life in Garden State’s beach coast cities is nothing like the one depicted in MTV’s tendentious show. The Jersey shore offers varied diversity for people of all ages and backgrounds. It has aquariums, amusement parks, arcades, zoos, the Barnegat Lighthouse, and more than a reasonable amount of casinos, many of which organize blackjack contests similar to those that can be played online. These range from low-limit tournaments to more prestigious ones geared towards twenty-one big-shots and professional gamblers. Below, we rattle off the five best venues on the Jersey Shore, why they have attained this honor, and what they provide regarding blackjack action.
Harrah’s Atlantic City
Located on 777 Harrah’s Boulevard in Atlantic City, Harrah’s Atlantic City is one of the older higher-end gaming spots in the Garden State. It opened its doors in November 1980 and is one of the three venues in the marina district. Initially conceived as an establishment planned to carry the name – Holiday Inn Marina Casino, constructed via a partnership between the Holiday Inns brand and LM Walters CO. But Holiday Inns purchased Harrah’s Corporation, and the property was re-branded as Harrah’s Marina Resorts before its grand opening.
It is a resort boasting over twenty-five hundred rooms with a gambling space that stretches 160,000 square feet. The blackjack contests held here are usually open events implementing the elimination format, charging around $300 as an entry fee. Players must phone ahead to participate. Though, sometimes, walkups also get accepted. For events where the player pool reaches above four hundred, the prize funds can grow to $150.000.
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City
Found on 1000 Boardwalk in Atlantic City, the Hard Rock Hotel in New Jersey originally opened in 1990 as the Trump Taj Mahal. It received its current name in June 2018, when the Seminole Tribe of Florida reopened this locale that closed in October 2016 due to financial difficulties.
The Hard Rock in Atlantic City has a casino floor that sprawls 167,000 square feet and houses more than two thousand gaming machines and one hundred tables. High-profile charity blackjack competitions have gotten hosted here, and real-money ones also.
The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa on 1 Borgata Way is the most renowned Jersey casino. Vici Properties owns this establishment that MGM Resorts International runs. It opened in July 2003, featuring a Tuscany Modernism theme. Its signature attraction is its poker room, but it also has a well-visited comedy club and the notable Angeline by Michael Symon restaurant.
Regarding gambling fun, the Borgata is famed as the spot where a player rolled a pair of dice one hundred and fifty-four times, including twenty-five passes, and as the site of Phil Ivey’s baccarat cheating scandal. The Borgata organizes blackjack tournaments now and again, but to attend these, gamblers usually have to get invited.
Caesars Atlantic City
Like its sister venue in Sin City, Caesars Palace, Caesars Atlantic City also implements an Ancient Greece and Rome motif. And it was the second casino in Atlantic City, opened on the Boardwalk Regency in 1979. It has a 124,000-square-foot floor, and its most enticing attractions include the Pier Shops and Dusk Nightclub.
The blackjack contests at Caesars Atlantic City are also primarily invitation-only but are free to enter, utilizing the accumulation format. Their prize pools are at most $20,000, with the winner customarily snagging a quarter of the reward fund supplied.
Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel & Casino
Famous for its address of Park Place and the Boardwalk, Bally’s Atlantic City is one of the most massive gaming resorts in New Jersey, though its gambling section extends only some 80,000 square feet. Yet, in 1997, The Wild Wild West Casino opened as an extension of Bally’s gaming offer.
Bally’s Wild Wild West casino’s website regularly lists weekly blackjack competitions on twenty-one tables that incorporate rules similar to the top RNG online casino options for 2023. However, these are often open for reward program members only.