Overview: Any discussion about Open Face Chinese in Las Vegas has to include The Venetian. This is because the room has become the epicenter for low stakes Open Face play. Even in the weeks preceding the World Series of Poker, the room could be counted on to run at least one $5/pt and one $2/pt game every day, and has shown a willingness to spread multiple $5/pt games if the interest is there. The one caveat is that they will not open an Open Face game if there is a more traditional, “full-table” game that they feel, based on the interest lists at the time, needs to be opened first. If there is a 12 person line for 4-8 Omaha, and a dealer/table becomes available, then they’re going to open a 4-8 Omaha table first no matter what. I can’t really fault them for that given how much of a rake-generating machine games like 4-8 Omaha are.
Also, if they feel the room will hit capacity that night, they have asked that the Open Face games be moved over to Palazzo – however this only happens occasionally (only on the very busiest weekends) – Venetian has 59 tables so they don’t make the conclusion that capacity is going to be hit until they have approximately 50 tables in use.
That said, if there is interest and an open table/dealer, they are more than willing to spread a second or third $5/pt game for players – better that than an empty table. As a result, Venetian has pretty much cemented itself as the current epicenter for low stakes Open Face play – if you want to play $5/pt, Venetian is your best bet, and often times your only bet. And odds are you will be able to play $5/pt, as they almost always have a game going, and if there’s enough interest they will open a 2nd game, and if there is not enough interest, you are only one or two players away from a seat opening up.
That said, the same is not true for $2/pt. The room refuses to run more than 1 $2/pt game, even if there are empty tables and available dealers. If you are interested in playing $2/pt, I highly encourage you to voice your desires to management, perhaps enough people voicing a desire for them to spread multiple $2/pt games when the interest is there will make them switch their position.
Rake: $5 per 1/2 hour for $2/pt and $5/pt, $10 per 1/2 for $10/pt. This is the best rake for Open Face Chinese in Las Vegas currently.
Rules/Royalties: Venetian lets the players who start the table choose 1 of 3 Fantasyland Options – either No FantasyLand, FantasyLand w/out Recoccuring, or Reoccuring FantasyLand (with the standard rules of Trips up top, Full House+ in middle, Quads in back for one to be able to stay in FantasyLand). Once that choice is made, then only unanimous consent of whoever is currently at the table can the rule set be changed.
For whatever reason, the room insists that the Button always moves, even when entering or staying in FantasyLand.
Venetian follows the standard 2/4/6/10/15/25, double in middle, 6s-Aces are 1-9 points. They have adopted the rule that all Trips up top are worth 20 points. However, they do one thing different from other rooms – Trips in the Back is a 1-pt royalty. At first, this seems silly given how easy it is to have Trips in the back, however, given that Trips in the middle are worth 2 points at a lot of places, including Venetian, having Trips in the back worth 1 makes sense because it continues the concept that the Middle royalties are double the back royalties. And frankly, it’s a 1 pt. royalty, so it really isn’t a big deal in the long run. I have grown to like this rule because it logically is consistent and allows the royalty structure to be consistent throughout the distribution of points for certain hands. It also allows for an easier sheet or plaque displaying the Royalties. On the other hand, many people are not familiar with this rule so it does create some confusion. Ultimately, the fact that Venetian added its own rule variation shows how seriously Venetian takes Open Face and its commitment to ensuring proper gameplay.