Poker Ride is Microgaming’s version of Shufflemaster’s Let It Ride, which happens to be one of the top table games in casinos around the world. The Microgaming version (available at Fortune Lounge casinos) features crisp graphics, quick gameplay, and the chance to win a progressive jackpot with each hand (for an average payout of $100,000).
Let It Ride debuted in land-based casinos in 1993, Poker Ride came later, in 2005. It’s since become one of Microgaming’s biggest hits since, which is twice as impressive when you consider that the company is the industry leader in online gaming software.
This page provides a broad overview of the game, basic strategy tips, a guide to where you have to make decisions, and how this game is different from your average casino game.
Poker Ride is played with a standard 52-card deck, and there are no wild cards. Gameplay takes place in the following fashion:
1. To begin the game, click on the “ante” button and make your initial wager.
2. The player has the option of placing a $1 side bet. You must place this wager to be eligible for the progressive jackpot.
3. The player is then dealt three face-up cards and two face-down cards. After looking at their cards, the player must decide if they will raise or call. A call continues the game with no additional bets, while a raise will place a wager equal in size to the initial ante.
4. The first of the player’s two face-down cards is flipped over. The player must once again decide if they want to raise or call.
5. The final face-down card is flipped up to reveal the player’s complete hand. The player now receives any winnings based on the payout table. The more money you’ve wagered on a winning hand, the greater your cash reward will be.
6. If you chose to make the $1 side bet, your hand will now be examined to see if you’re eligible for any bonus money. If you are, then it will be paid out immediately. Otherwise, the game will end.
Poker Ride offers players traditional payouts based on the strength of their hand, but several bonus payouts are also available during the course of the game. The following is a list of all possible prizes.
Royal Flush – Pays 1000 to 1, as well as the progressive jackpot if you placed the optional side bet.
Straight Flush – Pays 200 to 1, plus the player will also win 10% of the progressive jackpot if they made the side bet.
Four of a Kind – Pays 50 to 1, as well as a $500 bonus for those who made the side wager.
Full House – Pays 11 to 1, plus a $100 bonus for players who opted for the side bet.
Flush – Pays 8 to 1, as well as a $50 bonus for any player who chose to make the side bet.
Straight – Pays 5 to 1.
Three of a Kind – Pays 3 to 1.
Two Pair – Pays 2 to 1.
Tens or Better – Pays 1 to 1.
Luck plays a large role in Poker Ride, but there’s also a considerable amount of strategy. Raising with a winning hand can result in lots of cash, and following this strategy ensures that you maximize your profit potential.
The strategy begins when you receive your three face-up cards. If you have a pair of tens or better, then you’re already in the money. In these cases, “raise”. The same applies to royal flushes and straight flushes.
If you have less than a pair of tens in your initial face-up cards, then “call”. The hand will continue without any more bets, although you still have the ante in the pot. This might not seem like the most exciting strategy, but it will keep you from raising on hands that don’t have a high chance of winning.
After the fourth card is revealed, it’s time to once again evaluate your hand. If you have a pair of tens or better, continue to raise, as it will increase your inevitable winnings. Holding a potential straight or flush is another reason to stay in at this stage of the game. If you still don’t have a pair of tens or better, well, you should’ve already called after the first three cards were turned up.
Skip the side wager. While you must make this bet to be eligible for the larger bonus money (including the progressive jackpot), such payouts only happen a small percentage of the time. These moments are exciting, but they don’t happen often enough to balance out the $1 you lose on all the other hands.
On the other hand, if the jackpot is large enough, and you’ve got a big bankroll and like trying to win huge life-changing jackpots, give the side wager a go. It’s your money, and some people really enjoy chasing the big jackpots.
Poker Ride should be available from any casino that’s powered by Microgaming. While that’s a large number of sites to choose from, we recommend the following online establishments: 7 Sultans, Vegas Palms, Royal Vegas, and Platinum Play. We’ve played at each of these casinos over the years, and they have a winning combination of generous sign-up bonuses, excellent customer service, and all the hottest games from Microgaming. They also happen to be honest, which is a quality that many online gamers don’t consider until it’s too late.
See also: Microgaming FAQ
Poker Ride is one of our favourite online games thanks to its reasonable cost to play and big payout potential. We also prefer it over pokies because there are more player decisions to be made, and that gives me a greater sense of accomplishment than I get from just pushing the spin button. We also enjoy the fact that it’s made by Microgaming, which means we can expect a fair game every time we play.