Let it Ride is a popular poker variant table game that's been around for more than 20 years. The game is still available at most major casinos.
What's unique about it is that players are allowed to take back 2 of the 3 required bets if the deal cards are not favorable to the player.
How to Play Let it Ride
There are six or seven seating areas. Each betting zone has three circles where three bets of equal amounts must be placed. Also included are additional betting areas where two optional bonus bets can be positioned. Note that a five-dollar minimum table would actually require a total wager of fifteen dollars per hand plus the bonus bets. The dealer will then pitch three cards, face down, to each player and also place two community cards face down in the center of the table.
To complete the five-card poker hand, players use the community cards. The objective of the game is to acquire a good poker hand by combining your three cards with the two community cards. The dealer does not play.
The player first reviews his or her three cards and must decide either to let the bets ride or ask for one back. A decision to let it ride will require the player to place the three cards face down under the first betting circle. When retrieving a bet, the player must seriously scrape the cards on the felt inboard. The dealer will return one unit to the player.
The dealer then turns over the first community card. Players again have the option of taking back the second bet or letting it ride. After that round is completed the dealer reveals the last community card. All players must let the third wager ride.
All winning five card hands require at least a pair of ten's or better. Payment is made according to a predetermined pay table. Winning amounts paid vary between casinos depending on jurisprudence.
Common Pay Table
Pair of 10's or Better – 1 to 1
Two Pair – 2 to 1
Three of a Kind – 3 to 1
Straight – 5 to 1
Flush – 8 to 1
Full House – 11 to 1
Four of a Kind – 50 to 1
Straight Flush – 200 to 1
Royal Flush – 1,000 to 1
The house edge is about 3.5%.
Optional Bonus Bets
For $ 1 you can wager that the income of the final five card hand will range from three of a kind which pays $ 5 up to the Royal Flush that nets $ 25,000. This sounds inviting but gaming experts put the house edge for the following pay table over 13%:
Three of a Kind – $ 5.00
Straight – $ 25.00
Flush – $ 50.00
Full House – $ 200.00
Four of a Kind – $ 400.00
Straight Flush – $ 2,500.00
Royal Flush – $ 25,000.00
The 3 Card Bonus option is based on the value of a player's initial three cards. The maximum amount players are allowed to wager varies between casinos. Here are the payouts:
Any Pair – 1 to 1
Flush – 3 to 1
Straight – 6 to 1
3 of a Kind – 30 – 1
Straight Flush – 40 to 1
Mini Royal (Suitted Q, K, A) – 50 to 1
Some jurisdictions do not offer the Mini Royal.
The house edge is about 6% for this bet. Although this option can be tempting keep in mind that the chances of being eliminated at least a pair on your first three cards are about one in four.
Correct Strategy for the First Bet
- If you have any winning hand with a pair of 10's or higher in your three cards, you should let it ride.
- If you have three cards to a straight flush and one is a 10 or higher, let it ride.
- Otherwise, pull back your bet.
Correct Strategy for the Second Bet
- If you have any kind of winning hand with a pair of 10's or higher, let it ride.
- If you have four cards to a straight flush, let it ride.
- If you have four cards to a flush, let it ride.
- If you have four cards to an outside straight, and at least one of those cards is a 10 or higher, let it ride.
- Otherwise, pull back your bet.
Good Luck with the game!