By the Odds: Let it Ride Strategy

Rules and strategy for Let it Ride at live and online casinos.

Rules and Strategy for Let it Ride PokerOf all the casino table games out there, Let it Ride isn’t the first one I’d recommend. It’s not even in the top 5; at least, not for the strategic-minded gambler who’s looking for the most profitable games. However, it can be extremely fun to play. And since entertainment should be the number one priority in gambling – after all, no game delivers a player’s edge – it may be one worth learning.

Beyond ascertaining the rules, a Let it Ride strategy isn’t difficult to memorize or adhere to. We’ll go over the basic rules of the game and standard pay tables, then talk about ways to maximize your odds of winning.

Rules for Let it Ride Poker

First of all, this game goes by several names, thanks to the expansion of so many online casino software platforms. Other common adaptations include Let ‘Em Ride, Let Them Ride, and Free Ride. If you see the word “Ride” in it, it’s safe to say it’s probably the same game (although the pay tables may vary slightly).

This is a rather simple game, where players aren’t forced to make any decisions outside of reclaiming a bet, or letting it ride. Here’s how it works.

  • The player makes three equal bets, placing one chip in each of the circles, generally labeled 1, 2 and $.
  • Each player receives 3 cards.
  • Two more cards are dealt face down as community cards.
  • Each player looks at their own cards, determining whether to reclaim (take back) Bet 1, or let it ride (leave it in play).
  • The dealer turns up one community cards.
  • Each player decides whether to reclaim Bet 2, or let it ride.
  • The dealer turns up the second community card. Bet $ (3) cannot be reclaimed.
  • Based on each players’ 3 cards, combined with the two community cards, their hands are evaluated. If a hand ranks high enough for a pay out (see Standard Let it Ride Pay Table below), all of their bets remaining on the table are paid at the corresponding rate. If not, all remaining bets on the table are lost.

Standard Let it Ride Pay Table

There may be some variation to the pay table, depending on where you play. The following is the most common Let it Ride pay table used.

Hand Ranks (Highest to Lowest)

Payout

Royal Flush

1000 to 1

Straight Flush

200 to 1

Four of a Kind

50 to 1

Full House

11 to 1

Flush

8 to 1

Straight

5 to 1

Three of a Kind

3 to 1

Two Pair

2 to 1

Pair of 10s or Better

1 to 1

Easy Strategy for Let it Ride

A player’s strategic decisions – reclaim a bet, or let it ride – can be split into two sections; 3-card decisions, and 4-card decisions. The following charts detail how to react in any situation, based on mathematical probabilities of developing a winning hand.

Three Card Hand

Let it Ride?

Any Winning Hand (Paired 10s or Better)

Yes

3 card Royal Flush

Yes

3 card Straight Flush

Yes

3 card Straight or Flush with 2+ 10-value cards

Yes

Suited J-9-8 / 10-9-7 / 10-8-7

Yes

Off-suit K-Q-J / Q-J-10

Yes

Off-suit A-K-Q / 9-10-J

No

Pairs 2-9

No

Anything Less

No

When the first community card is revealed, the situation changes drastically. At this point, there’s only one card left that can help you, essentially cutting your odds of developing a winning hand in half (unless you already have one).

Four Card Hand

Let it Ride?

Ant Winning Hand (Paired 10s or Better)

Yes

4 card Royal Flush

Yes

4 card Straigh Flush

Yes

4 card Flush

Yes

4 card Open-ended Straight with a 10+

Yes

4 cards to a High Straight, all 10+

Yes

Anything Less

No

If you’re new to the game, or new to invoking a strategy for Let it Ride, stick to these guidelines. You’ll have much higher odds of winning than playing on basic instinct.

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