Let it Ride

Every few years, a new variation of poker becomes popular at the casinos. This version is popular for numerous reasons. The players are paid according to their hands as opposed to having an opponent. Let it Ride is much easier to understand and learn than most poker games which makes it a good choice for beginners. 

The online version offers tables with extremely small house edges enabling the player to enjoy the game for long periods of time. One of the best benefits in comparison to other poker games is that the pace is much more relaxed. If you’re into that, choose a casino here to play the game:

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Let it Ride History

This game is similar to Caribbean Stud Poker. The main difference is the players are not trying to beat an opponent or the dealer. This is one of the more recent games offered by casinos. Baccarat and roulette have been around for hundreds of years. This game was not introduced to the casinos until 1993. The game was developed originally to sell products. The Shuffle Master Company created the game because they needed a way to ensure their automatic shuffling machines would be used in the casinos. The company created the BG-1 shuffler in 1992. Despite the new technology, the brick and mortar casinos were not impressed.

The only way Shuffle Master could succeed was to develop a new game linked to their shuffling machines. Let It Ride first became available at casinos in Reno, Nevada. Shuffling machines were not frequently used in Las Vegas for another five years. The game is currently available at both brick and mortar and online casinos with shuffling machines being commonly used.

The Online Version

There are several differences between the online and land-based versions of the game. Certain online casinos offer a version of the game with a progressive jackpot. The players are able to enjoy the game at home or when they are on the move. They do not have to travel to a casino to play. The players can relax while playing at the speed they choose. Online casinos also offer incentives for new and existing players such as welcome bonuses and free spins. Playing online additionally eliminates the need to tip the casino staff. The basic gameplay is the same at both types of casinos.

The odds and house edge vary among the online casinos, so the player should perform research. Some of the best casinos to play the game include 888 Poker, Betway Casino, Jackpot City, Spin Casino, Leo Vegas and Dunder.

Playing the Game

The best way to understand how to play this game is to realize it is set up in a similar fashion to Texas Hold’em. The game begins when each player receives their hole cards. The player then creates the best five-card hand possible by combining their cards with the community cards. 

Only two community cards are available, so three of the hole cards must be used by the player. Once the player has played a couple of hands, the rules become easy to understand. The difference between this game and the classic table games is the bets must be placed prior to the start of the hand. The bet is placed on three symbols.

One-third of the bet is placed on 1, 2 and $. Two community cards are then dealt by the dealer. In between every hand, the player must leave their bet on the table to ride or remove one-third of their bet. No matter what the player decides, the ante bet does not change. A minimum of one community card is dealt to every player. 

This enables the player to determine if they want to keep their wager on the 2. The final card is dealt by the dealer and all of the hands are revealed prior to the bets being paid. The majority of the casinos offer a side bet. The payout is greater for everything between a royal flush and a two pair. The house edge for a side bet is a minimum of 13.77 percent.

Initially, the community cards are dealt face down. The players have two opportunities to take back one-third of their bet. The first opportunity is after the player has a chance to look at their three cards. The second is after they see the first community card. The player can then remove another third of their bet. The player can also leave their bet on the table. This is referred to as letting it ride.

Different Bets

The player is trying to complete their hand as opposed to competing against another player or the dealer. The payout is based on the final hand of each player. There are variations according to each casino or table, but the average payout table for each hand is defined below.

  • Tens or better pay one to one
  • Two pair pays two to one
  • Three Kings pays three to one
  • Straight pays five to one
  • Flush pays eight to one
  • Full house pays eleven to one
  • Four of a Kind pays fifty to one
  • Straight Flush pays 200 to one
  • Royal Flush pays 1000 to one

There are two bonus bets the players should use. One is a three-card bonus. This is a bet the player can make regarding their three-card hand. The player can make a good payout on flushes and threecard straights. The average payout for betting on a three-card bonus is:

  • Pairs pay one to one
  • Flush pays three to one
  • Straights pay six to one
  • Three Kings pays thirty to one
  • Straight Flush pays forty to one
  • Mini Royal pays fifty to one

The five-card bonus is an additional bet the player can make on the outcome of their final hand. This is a separate bet from the initial wager. The player must make this bet before the game begins. The player is unable to withdraw this bet. These payouts are a lot higher and are defined below.

  • Tens or Better pay one to one
  • Two Pair pays three to one
  • Three of a Kind pays four to one
  • Straight pays 25 to one
  • Flush pays fifty to one
  • Full House pays 75 to one
  • Four of a Kind pays 100 to one
  • Straight Flush pays 1,000 to one
  • Royal Flush pays 20,000 to one

The Strategy

It is simple to memorize the basic strategy for this game. Each player has two options. Once the player sees their three cards, they can let their bet ride or pull one-third. The player has the same option once the first community card is revealed. The player should leave their bet on the table if they have:

  • Three of a Kind or tens or better
  • The first three cards of a Royal Flush
  • Three cards in a row of the same suit excluding Ace, two, three and two, three, four
  • Three cards for a Straight Flush providing one is a ten or higher
  • Three cards for a Straight Flush with two high cards

The same is true after the first community card is revealed if the player has:

  • Three of a Kind, Two Pair or tens or better
  • Four cards in the same suit
  • Four cards for an outside straight including a high card
  • Four cards for an outside straight without a high card
  • Four cards for an outside straight including four high cards

The player must choose the amount of their standard wager, five-card bonus and three-card bonus. The worst house edge is for the five-card bonus. The best strategy is keeping this bet small. Letting it ride is a combination of luck and strategy. If the cards do not cooperate, there is nothing the player can do. There are four good strategies for improving the odds according to the elements of the game. These are as follows.

Strategy One: Three Suited Cards

When the player has three cards in a row of the same suit, they should leave their bet on the table. The exceptions are if they have an Ace, two and three or a two, three and four. In this instance, the player should pull out one-third of their bet. 

The majority of lower card Flushes follow the same pattern. A three, four and five can become three, four, five, six and seven, two, three, four, five and six or Ace, two, three, four and five. The chances of getting a flush are a lot lower with all of the above combinations.

In every other situation, the player should let their money ride when they have three suited cards. This does not mean the player will always receive the suited cards necessary to complete their hand. It does mean the high payout is worth letting the bet ride. 

If the player is receiving the cards they want, they should continue to push their bet. If the first community card fits the hand, the player should let their bet ride. If the fourth card does not suit, the player should remove one-third of their bet.

Strategy Two: Four Suited Cards

Whenever there are four suited cards in a hand, the player should let their bet ride. The player will fill in a flush approximately 25 percent of the time. The high payout is worth letting the bet ride. If the player has four cards needed for an outside straight, they should leave their bet on the table whether or not they have a high card. If the player is attempting an inside straight with no high cards, the payout is not worth letting their bet ride.

Strategy Three: The Straight Flush

When there is a spread of four, the player should bet for a Straight Flush provided they are holding a minimum of one high card. A high card is ten or greater. A spread of four means the cards are spread between four numbers. 

This can be a seven, eight and ten, eight, nine and Jack, nine, ten and Queen or a nine, Jack and Queen. If the player is attempting a Straight Flush with a minimum of two high cards, they should bet a spread of five. This is when the cards are spread between five numbers. A good example is seven, ten and Jack.

Aggregate Payouts: Warning Regarding Maximum Payouts

A lot of casinos offer an aggregate payout maximum. This places a limit on the amount of money the player can receive for any hand due to the aggregate of every single player sitting at the table. When this occurs, the edge of the house increases. The player must adjust their bets accordingly. 

Both online and brick and mortar casinos offer aggregate payout limits. A good example is if the maximum casino payout is $75,000 for each hand. The player would divide the size of the jackpot by 3,000. This will enable them to figure out their maximum bet. The maximum amount paid for each bet has a different divider. To be precise, the player must understand how to calculate.

The House Edge

The house edge for a standard wager is generally about 3.5 percent. The three-card bonus varies between two and seven percent depending on the structure of the payout. The player should look at the paytable for several casinos. If the payouts are better than defined above, a three-card bonus bet is a good option. 

If the payouts are not as good, the player is better off making standard wagers. The house edge for Let It Ride Poker is 3.51 percent. This puts the game right in the middle in comparison to the majority of casino card games for the house edge.

The house edge for this game is similar to Three-Card Poker, although it is a lot better than the side bet for Pair Plus. The odds for Caribbean Stud Poker are not as good. The odds for player-friendly games such as craps, baccarat and blackjack are better. The house edge is not as good as European Roulette, but it is better than American Roulette.

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