Let-It-Ride Poker is based on five-card stud, and it can be found at both brick-and-mortar casinos and online gambling establishments. The game is known for its leisurely pace, which has made it a favorite of gambling rookies and older players.
Do not, however, assume that a slower game means fewer chances for impressive payouts. Straight and royal flushes offer major cash to lucky gamers, and the side bets can turn a player into a millionaire (especially the progressive option offered online).
Rules for Let It Ride
Played with a standard deck of 52 cards, the objective of real-money Let It Ride Poker is to get the best 5-card hand possible through 3 hole cards and 2 community cards. The dealer does not have a hand of their own, so they cannot influence the outcome of the game.
A hand begins with the player making three bets of equal size. Once this has occurred, the player receives three face-up cards.
The player now has two options. He may either pull back his first wager or leave it on the table.
Once this decision has been made, the dealer deals a community card that can be used by all players. The player then decides what to do with his second wager. As before, he can remove it from the table or "let it ride."
At this point, the dealer puts the secondand finalcommunity card face-up on the table. The players are now paid based on the following: strength of their five-card hand, the amount of money they have remaining on the betting surface, and the pay table.
Let It Ride Payouts
Whether you're playing online or at a land-based casino, the following are the common payouts you can expect to find when playing Let-It-Ride Poker for real money:
Royal Flush - Pays 1000 to 1
Straight Flush - Pays 200 to 1
Four of a Kind - Pays 50 to 1
Full House - Pays 11 to 1
Flush - Pays 8 to 1
Straight - Pays 5 to 1
Three of a Kind - Pays 3 to 1
Two Pair - Pays 2 to 1
Pair of 10s or Better - Pays even money
Side Bets for Let It Ride
Depending on the gaming establishment, one or more side bets may exist for players to wager on. The following two are the most common:
- Some casinos offer a fixed payout side wager that's determined by the player's final five-card hand. While the requirements vary, the player usually needs at least three of a kind or two pair in order to get a payment from the house. The house edge on this bet is high, often ranging from 13.77% to 36.52%.
- Another common side bet uses the player's three cards to form a poker hand. Much like the Pair Plus side wager in 3 Card Poker, the player needs at least one pair to finish in the money. The house edge can be significant here, as well, ranging from 2.14% to 7.10%. If you're playing at a brick-and-mortar casino, don't expect to find this option in the United Kingdom.
Let It Ride Poker Tips
If you want to employ some form of strategy while playing this challenging casino game, I recommend that you use the following advice:
When there are three cards showing (both community cards are still facing down), you should let your bet ride under the following circumstances:
- You have three cards that comprise a royal flush.
- You have a hand that offers a payout (10s or better).
- Three cards towards a straight flush. If the cards span 5 ranks (8-10-Q), then you need at least two cards that are valued at 10 or more.
- If you have three cards towards a straight flush, and they only span 4 ranks (7-9-10), then you need at least one card worth 10 or more.
- When you have three suited cards in a row. The exceptions are A-2-3 or 2-3-4.
When four cards are showing, let your bet ride when any of the following occur:
- You have a hand that pays money (pair of 10s or better).
- You have four high cards (10 or better) towards an inside straight.
- No high cards, but four towards an outside straight.
- At least one high card and four towards an outside straight.
- All four cards are of the same suit.
Note: In case you're unfamiliar with inside and outside straights, here's an explanation. An outside straight has an "outside" card missing (for example, 6-7-8-9), while an inside straight has an "inside" card missing (3-4-6-7).
Let'em Ride Poker
Let-It-Ride is a trademarked game, but some casinos have decided to offer a similar version with a slightly different name in order to avoid having to pay a licensing fee. An example would be Let'em Ride, which is a similar game offered by the fine folks over at Bovada Casino.
Let'em Ride basically works in the opposite direction, with players placing wagers on the table each turn instead of taking them away. Due to the confusion that might result from this difference, the rules of the game are explained below.
The player begins by placing an ante bet. The player is then given three face-up cards, and two community cards are dealt face-down in front of the dealer.
The player now has two choices before the next phase begins. If they raise, they must once again wager the same amount as the initial ante. The other option is to continue on without a raise.
Once the player has made their decision, the first face-down card in front of the dealer is revealed. The player once again has the option of betting the initial wager or passing on the opportunity.
The final card in front of the dealer is now turned over, and the strength of the player's five-card hand is determined. If the five cards give the player a pair of 10s or better, then they receive a payout from the house. Otherwise, the casino claims all bets by the player.
Let'em Ride Progressive Jackpot
When playing Let'em Ride at Bovada, an optional progressive side bet is offered for only $1. This wager pays off if the player achieves a flush or better, and the top prize can always be found scrolling across the upper section of the screen.
The jackpot is fueled by players from around the world (including the United States), so your entire life can change just by playing a single hand. Here are the potential payouts:
- A royal flush pays 100% of the progressive jackpot. - A straight flush pays 10% of the progressive jackpot. - Four of a kind pays out $500. - A full house pays $100. A flush pays $75.
A Hidden Gem
Even though the overall popularity of real-money Let It Ride Poker has waned in recently, it remains sought after by players who want a more casual gaming experience while retaining the opportunity for big payouts. The progressive side bet offered by Bovada is especially tempting for just a $1, even if the house edge is on the steep side.
The next time you visit a casino, I suggest playing Let-It-Ride at least once. While some may find it too slow and random for their tastes, there's also a chance that you'll discover a new favorite. But you'll never know until you try.