Venetian is located towards the north end of the Las Vegas Strip. It is the largest hotel in the U.S. and second largest in the world when its sister casino Palazzo is included in the count. The pair hosts 7,117 hotel rooms. The Venetian is home to 4,049 of them.
The Venetian opened on May 3, 1999. It is on the former Sands property. The parent company, not coincidentally, is called Las Vegas Sands.
Sheldon Adelson is the founder and CEO of Las Vegas Sands. Adelson is a controversial figure that is active in conservative politics. He is also adamantly opposed to online gaming, including poker, even though Venetian hosts the largest poker room in Las Vegas.
Venetian Tables and Games
The Venetian used to be a great place to play blackjack. In 2014, it became the worst place to play blackjack under $50. That was when Las Vegas Sands destroyed its blackjack conditions at Venetian and Palazzo.
The shoe games at Venetian and Palazzo under $50 paid 6-5 on a blackjack after the change was made. Players can double down before and after the split at these games, but that is hardly any consolation for the terrible rules. There are 35 tables that adopted these rules. Some have a $25 minimum bet. The lowest is $10. The max is $2,500, but clearly nobody able to afford the max would sit at these tables, at least one would hope. These games have a house edge around 2%. It depends on whether dealers allow surrender. Some do, while some do not. The dealer hits soft 17 in these games.
There are three double deck blackjack tables with $50 to $5,000 limits. Players can double down before and after splitting. The dealer hits soft 17 at these tables. The house edge is 0.4%. There are three of these tables at The Venetian.
Players that prefer a shoe game can also find $50 tables that pay 3-2 on a blackjack. There are three of these tables that allow double down on any two cards and after splitting. The Venetian also offers surrender and re-split aces at these $50 tables. The dealer hits soft 17. The house edge is 0.47%.
Lower limit players may want to try out some of the exotic blackjack games. There are three Free Bet Blackjack tables, as well as two Blackjack Switch and two Spanish 21 tables. Venetian and Palazzo are the only casinos in Las Vegas where Spanish 21 is spread. The dealer hits soft 17 in all of these games.
The high limit area requires $200 minimum bets. The maximum bet is $10,000.
Three high limit tables are double decks that offer double down before and after splitting. The dealer stands on all 17’s. The house edge is 0.25%.
There are also three high limit six-deck shoe tables where double down before and after splitting is allowed. Surrender and re-split aces are also permitted. Even better, the dealer stands on all 17’s at these tables. The house edge is 0.27%.
Low rollers have an alternative to the awful 6-5 blackjack games spread at The Venetian. There are four video blackjack machines that pay 3-2 on a natural. They are the Dealers Angel games. Double down before and after splitting is permitted by the devices. Surrender is also available. The dealer hits soft 17. The Dealers Angel machines accept the Grazie card, which gives players 0.08% in free play. This counters the lack of ability to re-split aces.
Grazie for Frequent Blackjack Players
Using the Grazie card for green chip action and lower is pointless. Action at $25 and lower will not be rated properly, if at all. Black chip players will receive decent comps. Players that give lower action should play the $5 Dealers Angels machines. These issue points and comps at a rate of 20% of the theoretical house edge. That is our preferred play at all levels below $100 action.
The four video blackjack machines that pay Grazie points are the most obvious difference between The Venetian and its competitors. There is also one of these machines at Palazzo. Players should consider asking for comps at Palazzo, which offers rooms for lower action because it is less prestigious than Venetian, but just as nice. The stand on 17 games are nice, but it is easy to find these tables at other casinos with a much lower minimum bet elsewhere.
The Inside View
It is hard to find anything to like about The Venetian. The games under $50 are a total ripoff. You should not have to bet $200 to get a blackjack game with a house edge around 0.25%. If you can afford a $200 minimum bet, then The Venetian is a great choice because the rooms are so nice and you are guaranteed to get comped with any serious level of play. Otherwise, you should give action to lower limit games elsewhere. You will get just as nice of a room with a lower theoretical edge. If you must give low roller action to Venetian, play the video blackjack games.