Let It Ride Poker - How to Play

Let it Ride Poker is one of several variations of poker where players don't compete against each other. Many players who like poker don't like being confronted by aggressive players. They don't enjoy the tension of playing casino poker against real people, so casinos are constantly looking for new variations of poker that give all the pleasure of "making a hand" with none of the underlying tension.

Although Let it Ride Poker was developed only in 1993, it has become very popular, mostly online. There are some land-based casinos that offer it as well. Here we will discuss the game as it is played online.

In Let it Ride Poker you play against the house. The dealer gets no cards. Winning hands are always winners against the house and losing hands are always losers against the house. In most casinos you need tens or better to win and if you have tens or better you cannot lose!

Let it Ride Poker is very fast-paced. While the house's edge is relatively high, about 3.5%, with good, controlled yet aggressive play you stand a decent chance to emerge from a session with more than you had when you started.

Let It Ride Poker

The Play of the Hand

At the Let it Ride table there are three betting circles in front of the players. They are ante, continue, and raise. The word ante is used in all casinos but there is some variation in the use of the words "continue" and "raise". In some online casinos you automatically "make" all three bets up front. Then you have the option of "taking your bet back" for the fourth and fifth cards. So be aware of the language of the table or online casino where you are playing.

*** The player places their ante. A table could have a range from $1 to $100.

*** The dealer deals three cards up to the player. Remember, the dealer doesn't play; s/he deals for the house.

*** The player will always receive two more cards, one at a time. The game, essentially, revolves around the player's decision before receiving the fourth and then the fifth card.

Let's set the next item in bold for emphasis: The player's decision before receiving the fourth card and again before getting the fifth card are the most important factors in having a chance to win.

*** Because the player always wins on tens or better, you always raise if you have tens or better showing. Even if you don't improve your hand you will win because the dealer doesn't play.

*** If you don't have an automatically winning hand you must decide whether to raise or just continue.

*** If you raise you add the same amount as your ante. The computer does it for you graphically.

*** If you continue, you get another card without having to bet more.

Remember, if the online casino makes all three bets for you to start, you must decide to take back or not to take back your bets. To take back a bet is the same as "continue"; to not take back your bet is the same as "raise".

*** After you have received your fifth card the house will pay you if you have won and will take your bets if you have lost.

*** If you have raised and lost, you will lose the ante and each raise.

*** If you have raised and won, you will be paid according to the payout schedule.

Betting Tips and Good Advice

*** The most important bet in Let it Ride is actually a non-bet, to "continue" and not to raise. This requires discipline on the part of the player. It is very common for players to be enticed to raise with a losing pair hoping for three-of-a kind or two pair. This is a losing bet!

*** If you "continue" instead of raising with a losing pair, you will under-bet sometimes, but you will save money most of the time.

*** Many players are tempted to raise on a three-card open-ended straight. This is also a losing bet.

*** The most common betting mistake is to raise on an initial hand with three un-paired winning cards. For example, Ten, Queen, Ace. If the cards are separated, it is not a winning bet to raise on three such cards. If the fourth card is also an un-paired winning card, then you can and should raise. Not only do you have better chances to pair up, you also have a chance at a straight.

*** Always raise when you have a three-card straight flush.

*** Always raise a four-card flush.

*** Always raise when you have a guaranteed winning hand. If you improve your hand you will be paid for the improved hand.

*** You can raise a four-card straight when at least two of the four cards are winners if they pair up.

House Payout (this may vary by casino)

Winning Hand &  Payout
Tens or Better Pair - 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 - 1000 to 1

Little History

Let It Ride Poker was developed by the Shuffle Master Gaming Company to sell more of their automatic shuffling machines to land-based casinos.  It was first introduced to players in 1993 in Reno, Nevada.

Let It Ride Poker Hand Rankings

Royal Flush - A hand with A, K, Q, J and 10 all of the same suite
Straight Flush - A hand with all five cards in sequence and of the same suit
Four of a Kind - A hand with four cards of the same rank
Full House - A hand with three cards of one rank and two cards of another rank
Flush - A hand with all five cards in the same suit but not all in a sequence
Straight - A hand with all five cards in sequence but not all in one suit
Three of a Kind - A hand with three cards of the same rank
Two Pair - A hand with two cards of one rank and two cards of another rank
Pair of Jacks or Better - A hand with two cards of the same rank

Posted by Nick David

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