Let It Ride is a fairly new casino game, offering patrons a simple way to play poker and get paid on their five-card hands. Players do not compete against the dealer or each other, rather you have to decide whether or not you want to decrease your bet as the cards are revealed.
Rules may vary by each casino, but these are the generally accepted rules for Let It Ride, which should be the same for most reputable casinos.
1. Player places three equal wagers.
2. Dealer gives the player their first three cards.
3. Player is given the option to take his first bet back, or continue to ‘let it ride’.
4. Dealer deals one community card, which is used by all players at the table.
5. Player is given the option to take his second bet back, or continue to ‘let it ride’.
6. Dealer deals a second community card, which is used by all players at the table.
7. Player is paid the value of his hand according to five card hand, pay table, and remaining bets.
8. Side bets are paid out, if applicable.
Standard Let It Ride Pay Table
All wins made in Let It Ride are paid one to one, so a 50 pay would give you $250 on a $5 bet. Remember that you are paid based on the amount of wagers you finish the hand with, not the amount that you wager before receiving any cards. Here is the standard Let It Ride pay table, which our strategies will be based off of:
Royal Flush- 1000
Straight Flush- 200
Four of a Kind- 50
Full House- 11
Three of a kind- 3
Two Pair- 2
Pair of tens or better- 1
Anything else- Loss
There are a wide variety of pay tables for Let It Ride, and these will vary among casinos more than the rules will. Make sure to look at a pay table before playing, as your strategies could vary if anything is drastically different than the standard pay table.
In general, Let It Ride is a fairly simple game to play, so optimum strategy can be easy to memorize. First we will need to review a couple terms to assist you in learning correct strategy. More specifically, you will need to know what an inside straight, outside straight, and spread is. Both terms refer to a straight draw, spreads involve a 3 card straight draw while inside and outside straights refer to four card straight draws. An inside straight is when you hold only one card to a straight, 6, 7, 8, Ten would be an example. An outside straight is when two cards could complete your draw, such as 6, 7, 8, 9. An outside straight is preferable because you will complete your draw twice as often. A Spread 4 means that the three cards go across only four ranks, such as 4, 5, 7 (only the six is missing), while a Spread 5 means they go across five rankings, such as 4, 6, 8 (you will need exactly 5 and 7 for a straight). Spread 4 is preferable here because it offers a couple of ways to hit a straight while a Spread 5 offers only one.
Here are the times you should continue to let it ride after three cards:
- Any paying pair of tens or better
- Any paying three of a kind
- Any three suited cards in a row besides Ace, 2, 3 or 2, 3, 4.
- Any three to a straight flush, with a spread of 4, where at least one card is ten or higher.
- Any three to a straight flush, with a spread of 5, where at least two cards are 10 or higher.
- Any three to a royal flush.
Here are the times you should continue to let it ride after four cards:
- Any paying pair of tens or better.
- Any paying three of a kind.
- Any paying two pair.
- Any four suited cards.
- Any four cards to an outside straight, where at least one card is 10 or higher.
- Any four cards to an outside straight.
- Any four cards to an inside straight with four high cards.
One thing to be aware of is the casino’s maximum payout per hand. The maximum amount of credits you can win at a standard table is 3,000 (1,000 credit per each bet) so make sure your bet size is less than 3,000 times the maximum payout or else you will not realize the full equity of of your royal flushes, if you are lucky enough to hit them.
If you are looking to maximize your expected value you should not make a bonus bet since they typically carry an enormous house advantage compared to the standard bets. The 5-Card Bonus Bet pays an additional bonus based on the value of your final five card hand. A 3-Card Bonus Bet pays an additional bonus based on the value of your starting three card hand. Both bets are separate from the main three wagers and cannot be taken back or increased during the hand. They are both losing propositions overall, but if you are looking to gamble a bit more it is recommended to try the 3-Card Bonus Bet, as it typically carries a house advantage around 4-7%, while the 5-Card Bonus Bet typically has a house advantage of over 20%.