Let it Ride hasn’t enjoyed the extremely high popularity of Three Card Poker or some other table games, but it has a steady following. One of the best aspects of Let it Ride is the fact that the player has control over how much money they’d like to wager even during the hand, allowing them to keep more money in play when the odds are in their favour, and rescue some of their stake when things turn ugly.
Let it Ride is an easy game, but one which still requires some strategy to play, so it can appeal to both serious and recreational gamblers. It’s also available at most online casinos, where you’ll sometimes see some interesting twists on the game format – like slightly different rules and progressive jackpots that promise players even bigger wins!
A traditional game of Let it Ride begins with each player making three bets of equal size. During the hand, the player will have the opportunity to keep those bets on the table, or remove up to two bets during the course of play. In some online Let it Ride games, you may start with just one bet in play, and then have the option of adding additional bets during the hand; this is only a cosmetic change, and has no affect on the strategy or odds of the game.
The goal of Let it Ride is to make the best five-card poker hand possible by combining the three cards in the player’s hand with two community cards placed in the centre of the table by the dealer. The game is played with a regular 52-card deck, and uses standard poker rankings.
Each hand of Let it Ride begins with each player being dealt three cards. The player can now take a look at their cards, and then must decide how they wish to play their hand. If the player wishes, they may remove one bet from the table. However, if they like their hand, they can instead “let it ride” and keep their money in play.
After each player has decided what to do, the dealer will reveal the first community card. Once more, the player can either let it ride or remove a bet from play. After this, the player may have anywhere between one and three bets remaining in play, depending on their earlier decisions.
Finally, the dealer will reveal the second community card. The player hands are now revealed, and winning hands are paid. Players receive winnings on each bet remaining in play, according to the strength of their hand, with the minimum winning hand being a pair of tens. The odds offered can vary between casinos, but one common pay table is as follows:
Many casinos also have a side bet that costs $1 to play, and pays off for particularly strong hands. The pay tables can vary wildly for this bet, and many online casinos even offer it as a progressive jackpot game. A standard pay chart might look like this:
There are three great Let it Ride games that we’d like to recommend to you to try out.
Our #1 recommendation is to try the game Poker Ride from Microgaming. We have an entire page devoted to how to play Poker Ride, which casinos offer the game, and what the best strategies are here: How to Play Poker Ride from Microgaming.
If you want a game that directly mirrors the action you’ll find at a real world casino, try out the game at Bet365.com. This version plays just like the casino classic, including having a traditional $1 side bet.
Alternatively, if getting the most for your money is your top priority, check out Bodog Casino. In this version of the game (called Let ‘em Ride), you’ll start with just one bet on the table, with the option of adding bets instead of taking them away. But this doesn’t change the game’s strategy one bit, meaning you can play it the same way as any other Let it Ride game. Also, Bodog has a side bet with a progressive jackpot – one that often far surpasses the $20,000 payout seen at more traditional tables.
Let it Ride offers players the chance to strategically choose how much money they would like to keep on the table at any given time. This means that a smart strategy is necessary if you would like to lower the house edge as much as possible. While the general strategy is obvious – keep more money on the table when the player expects to turn a profit – sometimes it is not clear if removing a bet is a smart move or not.
Luckily, there are only a few rules you’ll need to follow in order to play Let it Ride with optimal strategy. With your initial three card hand, you should let it ride only with the following hands:
With four cards, things get even simpler. Only let it ride with the following hands:
That’s it! If you can memorize that list, you’ll be a Let it Ride expert.
One other thing to keep in mind at the table is any aggregate payout limit that the casino might have set. This caps the amount you can win on any one hand, regardless of how much you have bet. If you bet enough money so that you will not receive a full payout on a royal flush, this effectively raises the house edge. For instance, if your table has a maximum payout of $90,000, and a royal flush pays 1,000-1, you should not bet more than $30; that way, you can receive the full 1,000-1 on each of your three bets.
Assuming you are playing at a casino with the pay table listed above, and use the optimal strategy we laid out for you, the house edge in Let it Ride is 3.51%. Keep in mind that this is calculated compared to a single bet, not all three bets you start with in play at the beginning of the hand, so the edge is lower than it may first appear.
The side bet we mentioned earlier is a pretty bad bet; most pay tables have house edges that are well over 20%. Progressive jackpots may occasionally make this bet a better one for the player; however, the jackpot amount would need to be exceptionally high to do so.
See also: Roulette Odds