How to Play Let-It-Ride
A Vegas Aces Guide
Let-It-Ride is based on the poker game Five Card Stud, which means it uses a traditional 52 card deck. The object of the game is to get a pair of 10’s or higher out of the 5 cards that are available for the player to use. Players are only betting that they’ll get a ranking hand and they’re not betting against the dealer or any of the other players. Traditional poker rankings will apply.
Now, the player has 3 mandatory bets that they must place at the start of the game…Oh, but don’t worry, you don’t have to keep all of those bets up if you don’t want to. If you don’t like your hand, you can pull back two of those bets, but you must leave up the one mandatory bet, no matter what hand you have. Make sure that all 3 bets are an equal amount. Place them on the circles with the 2, 1 and cash sign showing. The player also has the option of playing the Let-It-Ride Bonus side bet, which is at max a $1, & if the player qualifies for a bonus, they’ll get paid according to the posted paytable. If you decide that you also want to put a tip out for the dealer, then you can place the chip in front of the betting circle with the 'Cash' $ symbol in it.
The dealer will give you 3 cards, face down. You are the only one allowed to look at your cards, because the casino will normally request that the players don’t show each other their cards. So if you do this then don’t be surprised when the dealer asks you to stop.
If the player gets a pair of 10’s or higher then they’ll place their cards face down, with the corner of their cards under the wager that is on the cash betting circle. This is an automatic winner for all 3 bets that are on the table. For everyone else, the dealer will ask the players if they want to Let-It-Ride or not. If the player didn’t receive a pair of 10’s or higher, then they can scratch the table with their cards and the dealer will push the player’s wager back to them. If the player has a possible straight or flush, then they may want to Let-It-Ride in the hopes of receiving a bigger payoff. However, the risk of it is, if they fail to obtain a pair of 10’s or higher then they’ll lose all of the bets they left up.
If the player wants to Let-It-Ride, then they’ll tuck their cards under the appropriate bet and the dealer will move on to the next player. Once this decision has been made, the player can’t change their mind. After each guest has made their decision, the dealer will flip over one of the two community cards so that way everyone can see and use these cards in their hand.
Time for round 2. Again, the player will have the choice to pull their bet back or Let-It-Ride. After they’ve made their decision, they’ll tuck their cards under their final bet. When everyone is done, the dealer will flip over the last community card, therefore ending that round.
Now to settle the player’s bet. Using the player’s three cards and the dealer’s two community cards, the player will get paid according to their 5 card poker ranking and the posted paytable. If the player left up all of their bets and they won, then they’ll win odds on all active bets. However, the player doesn’t get paid for any bets that they might have previously taken down.
During this time, the player would get paid for their Bonus bet as well. For example, if the player got two pair, then they would be paid 2 to 1 odds on all of the bets that they left up, plus $3 for their Bonus wager. However, if the player has less than a pair of 10’s, then all Let-It-Ride wagers left in action would lose.
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So, that was how to play, but what about the strategy and the odds? Well, my friend Mike Shackleford from Wizard of Odds is here to explain that to us. And if you get a chance check out his website and YouTube channel for more information. So Mike what is the strategy when the player has three cards?
Hi Heather, thanks for having me. The strategy in this game is pretty simple. So when the player has his first three cards before the first community card is dealt. Here are the situations where you should let it ride. Anything that’s not on this list the player should pull back a bet. First of all obviously if the player already has a ping hand meaning a pair of tens are better. If the player has three to a Royal Flush. If the player has three suited cards in a row, except for ace two, three, and two, three, four. If the player has three to a Straight Flush with one gap and at least one high card. And a high card is counted as 10 or higher. And finally three to a Straight Flush with two gaps and at least two high cards. Anything else pull your bed back.
Okay and what about four cards?
Okay, so here's the strategy, when the player can see four cards, meaning his own three in one community card. The player should let it ride. Again obviously with any paying hand, which would be a pair of tens or better or two pair. If the player has any four to a Flush, obviously including four to a Straight Flush or four Royal Flush. If the player has four to an outside Straight, with at least one high card. And there's two situations where it's exactly borderline, meaning that there's zero house edge in terms of whether or not you pull back or not. Those are four to outside Straight, with no high cards and four to an inside Straight with four high cards. If forced through a decision, I would let it ride in those situations for the same reason I would take advantage of the free odds in craps. There's not often you get a situation where there's no house advantage in the casino, and those two would be two of those situations.
Okay awesome and what is the house edge for this game?
So the house edge is 3.51% and that is defined as how much you can expect to lose, based on just one of your bets. So for example if you were to start out with $300 like this. I really only consider that as committing $100 because you can pull the other two back. So the 3.51% is based on just one wager. So if you were to start out with $300 like that you could expect to lose $3.51.
The element of risk in this game is 2.85%. That is the ratio of how much you can expect to lose over everything that you bet. Which I think is the better measure of how competitive a game is. Compared to other games, the house advantage in this game is kind of high. You can get a much better value in ultimate Texas Hold'em. There the element of risk is a nice low 0.53%.
And I just have to ask this for you know personal. Would you consider this a dead game?
Yeah this game is is pretty hard to find anymore. You know every game has a lifespan and for poker variants like this it's probably about 20 to 25 years. And I can remember this game being around in the 90’s. So I think players are kind of bored with it and have moved on to other games.
Awesome. So I got one more question for you. Does let it ride have any side bets that you want to talk about or anything that people want to be aware of?
Yes, every new game has side bets. This one for example has the classic bonus pay table, there was around from the beginning. And I have seen at least a dozen different variations of this pay table. The house advantage can range anywhere from 5% to 25%. And since then they've tacked on other ones based on just the player's initial three cards and all kinds of stuff. But as I say, for every single game, side bets are sucker bets, leave them alone. Not just the Let it ride but in every game.
Thank you so much.
Thanks Heather my pleasure.
Oh you're welcome. Yes we have plenty of information about Let-It-Ride on my website.