Comparing Venetian and Palazzo Games to New Jersey Sites

December 15, 2014
Comparing Venetian and Palazzo Games to New Jersey Sites

Venetian and Palazzo are owned by Las Vegas Sands. Sheldon Adelson, the company’s founder and CEO, is morally opposed to online gaming.  He has stated concerns pertaining to problem gambling as one of his reasons for wanting to ban the activity.

USPoker surveyed the games offered by Venetian and Palazzo to other Las Vegas Strip resorts and those spread by New Jersey casino sites to see where players have a better chance of winning or at least lose less money.


We previously reported that all Venetian and Palazzo blackjack games with a minimum bet under $50 now pay 6-5 on a natural. This adds 1.39% to the house edge compared to the standard 3-2 payout. While some casinos have pits or single deck games that pay 6-5, there are still other selections that pay 3-2 at every other Las Vegas Strip casino except Casino Royale, which only offers four comparable blackjack tables. Venetian and Palazzo offer dozens of 6-5 tables.  All are shoe games.

(Note: O’Sheas spreads only 6-5 blackjack but it is a bar within the Linq, which offers some 3-2 games.)

All but one traditional online blackjack game that we surveyed in New Jersey pays 3-2. The one that pays 6-5 returns 2-1 on a suited blackjack, which wipes out .57% of the 1.39% additional edge created by a 6-5 game. That New Jersey 6-5 game also has a minimum bet of just $.10.


Blackjack is not the only table game where players receive a lower than expected return when compared to New Jersey sites or even competing Las Vegas casinos. Both Venetian and Palazzo offer roulette with just one zero for those willing to wager at least $25 per spin. This wheel is missing a rule standard at casinos owned by MGM Resorts and available at some New Jersey sites we surveyed.

These competing single zero roulette games offer “la partage”, which is a half-back rule. If the ball lands in the 0 well in a la partage game, the even money bets only lose half. The other half is returned to the player. At Venetian and Palazzo, all money is lost. This affects red/black, odd/even and low/high.

The online version of this game in New Jersey has a minimum bet of $1.

Big Wheel

If you love sucker games, you will want to run to the Big Six Wheel. All of the bets on the Big Six Wheel have a hold of at least 11%, according to Wizard of Odds. A couple of these wagers have a 24% house edge. You will not find this nonsense game at New Jersey sites. Las Vegas casinos that spread it generally keep it within party pits.

Casino War

Casino War is exactly as it sounds. It is a game played by kids that somehow made it to the casino floor. Venetian required a $15 minimum bet during our visit and it is dealt out of a shuffle machine. A player could easily play 10 hands a minute shorthanded and five at a full table.

The edge on the game is 2.9%, according to the Wizard of Odds as the Venetian does not use the favorable 2-1 bonus payout on the ante on a back-to-back tie.  A shorthanded player will theoretically lose $261 per hour at the minimum bet, based on an average of 10 hands per minute. A player at a full table receiving an average of five hands a minute will theoretically lose about $130 per hour.

Three New Jersey sites we surveyed offer this game. Each pays 2-1 on a back-to-back tie, lowering the house edge by .56%. The tie bet at New Jersey sites pays 11-1, while Venetian and Palazzo only pay 10-1.  The minimum bet at New Jersey sites for Casino War is $1.

Caribbean Stud

Venetian and Palazzo have four of the last five Caribbean Stud tables in Las Vegas. These tables had a $15 minimum bet during our survey, meaning that a player will essentially bet $45 per hand that he does not fold because a two times raise is required to play. The house edge on this game is 5.2% with an element of risk of 2.6%, assuming it is played with proper strategy. It also offers wild variance. Caribbean Stud is virtually a dead game everywhere due to its massive edge and bankroll requirements. It is not offered by any New Jersey site.

Video Poker is a great resource for video poker throughout the country. That site shows that the best video poker at Venetian and Palazzo is 9/5 Jacks or Better, which has a 1.55% hold with perfect play and five coins wagered.

Every video poker game that we surveyed in New Jersey offers a better return to players than the ones found in Venetian or Palazzo. The best is generally 9/6 Jacks or Better, with an edge one-third that of Venetian and Palazzo’s paytable for the same game.

Las Vegas Strip tourists will find 9/6 Jacks or Better or video poker with higher returns than that at 17 Strip casinos, according to  Virtually all downtown Las Vegas and locals casinos also spread better video poker than Venetian and Palazzo.

Historically Poor Return on Slots

A report in the 2000’s by Wizard of Odds showed Venetian spreading the worst slot payouts of any Las Vegas casino. Only the airport ranked lower out of 71 surveyed locations. Compare this to the standard 95% return at online slots.

Conclusion: Players have a better chance of winning at online casinos and most other Las Vegas casinos than they do at Venetian or Palazzo.

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