Let it Ride is a variation of traditional poker played in casinos. Unlike the communal characteristics of typical poker, however, Let it Ride is played against the casino and not against other players. Let is Ride is definitely one of the most popular games at casinos – both online and off - and was in fact voted the 3rd most popular table game after slots and blackjack.
Compared to traditional poker, Let it Ride is considered more slow paced and is extremely popular with players who prefer to take their table games down a notch, or with older players. (As a side, some casino dealers jokingly refer to the game as Let it Die, due its slower pace).
Let it Ride is actually a simpler version of five card poker and is played with a standard single 52-card pack. The game allows players to pull back two out of the three bets that have been made at the table. The game’s popularity has skyrocketed since it was introduced to online casinos, with the latest trend being multiplayer Let it Ride tournaments on the internet.
How to Play Let It Ride Poker
As a variation of five card stud poker, Let it Ride has players betting on a poker hand which consists of three cards in the player’s hand and two community cards from the dealer’s hand. The players form a five card hand which either qualifies for a payout, or it doesn’t. In Let it Ride, the players do not compete against a dealer or other players. Instead, the payout is determined by the ranking of the player’s hand only, and how it relates to the pay table.
- Players make three bets of equal sizes in spaces marked 1, 2 and $. Some casinos offer the player the choice of making an optional $1 side bet as well.
- The dealer then deals the player three cards face down.
- Two communal cards are dealt face down.
- The player’s three cards plus the two communal cards make up the hand.
- After examining the three cards, the player has a choice of pulling back the first bet or leaving the wager. If the latter is chosen, this is known as to ‘Let it Ride’.
- The dealer then exposes one community card.
- Once again, the player has the choice of pulling back the wage – this is independent of the first choice.
- After the players decide whether to let the second wager ‘ride’ or not, all cards are placed face down and are left untouched.
- The dealer reveals the final community card to the player/s.
- The players’ three cards are revealed.
- Losing wagers are collected and winning hands are paid out according to the pay out table, and how many times the player ‘let it ride’.
Players are paid out on their one, two or three remaining bets according to a standard payout table. The goal of the game is to draw a hand that qualifies the player to win from the payout schedule.
- Pairs of tens or better – the player wins 1:1
- Two pairs – the player wins 2:1
- Three of a kind – the player wins 3:1
- Straight – the player wins 5:1
- Flush – the player wins 8:1
- Full house – the player wins 11:1
- Four of a kind – the player wins 50:1
- Straight flush – the player wins 200:1
- Royal Flush – the player wins 1000:1
The optional side bet in Let it Ride poker is only offered at certain casinos. The player can win this $1 side bet if the first three cards contain a winning hand. The side bet in this specific version of poker is considered one of the worst bets as the house edge is over 13%. Some casinos will offer a fixed payout scheduling on the side bet option which is better for the players.
Rules to Note about Let It Ride Poker
- Players need to keep their three cards in full view of the dealer at all times.
- A player may not take back the third bet, regardless of the decision made about the first and second bets.
- When playing around a table, players are not allowed to show other players their cards as this leads to an unfair advantage. This rule is sometimes not strictly enforced at many casinos. Experts claim that long term profits can be made from Let it Ride poker if players are able to see the cards of at least 5 other players at the table.
Let It Ride Poker Table Layout
Strategy: When Should Players 'Let It Ride'
As explained above, players are faced with the decision of whether to let their cards ‘ride’ or not, twice within a game of Let it Ride. If players play with the correct strategy, the casino edge remains favorably low at 3.5%.
In bet 1, players should generally ‘Let it Ride’ if:
- They have a pair of tens or higher.
- They have three of a kind.
- They have three to a royal flush.
- They have three to a straight flush.
- They have three to a flush, with the condition that two cards are ten or higher.
- They have three to a flush with J-9-8, 10-9-7 or 10-8-7 .
In bet 2, players should generally ‘Let it Ride’ if:
- They have four of a kind.
- They have three of a kind.
- They have two pairs.
- They have a pair of tens or better.
- They have four to a royal flush.
- They have four to a straight flush.
- They have four to a flush.
- They have four to an outside straight.
- They have four to an inside straight (with four cards 10 or higher).
The Advantages of Playing Let It Ride Poker at Online Casinos
If players decide to play Let it Ride at online casinos, they may be missing out on the experience of playing with other players around the table, but they have the advantage of being able to pace the game, as well as the amount of bets. As sole players, they need to try and outwit the computer (which always enjoys an upper hand), and match their skills with the computer’s ‘thought process’.
Originally invented by the card shuffling company, Shuffle Master (which still owns the name and logo copyrights of this game), Let it Ride is popular due to the excitement it generates and the ease at which it is understood. While traditional table poker depends on bluffing and a certain amount of deception, some players like the slower-paced Let it Ride, which combines a certain level of intelligent choice with the luck of the draw. The optimal strategy for Let it Ride is also relatively easy to understand and remember.
To win at Let it Ride, players need to develop a good play strategy. Once this is done, however, they stand a good chance of winning at one of the most popular games to be found at casinos today.
Posted by Denise Marie
Let It Ride Poker Resources
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