Let It Ride Poker Strategy and Tips

Game of Let It Ride Poker.

Let It Ride is a very popular poker variant, similar to a five-card stud. It is an easy-to-play, quick game with only a few actions taken in each round. The biggest difference with other types of poker is that you have two chances to remove one-third of your wager.

Like five card stud, the game uses a five-card hand: The player’s three cards and two cards are used by all players at the table. Playing follows the simple pattern laid out below.

How to Play Let It Ride

  • Step One – To start the hand, three bets of equal size are placed as an ante bet. Each player then gets three cards placed face down from the dealer that only they can observe.
  • Step Two – This is the section that makes Let It Ride different. You can now choose to remove one of your three ante bets. This leaves a total of two-thirds of the original wager. Your other option is to keep the whole bet in and ‘Let It Ride.’
  • Step Three – Once all players have made their decisions, one community card will be laid down. This is used by all players. You can then decide if you want to take your second bet and reduce the pot to a third or continue to ‘Let It Ride.’
  • Step Four – The dealer then lays down the final community card. Depending on your hand, you will then receive a payout. This is the second difference, as in Let It Ride you are not playing against others at the table. Instead, you are aiming to get the best hand possible to scoop the dealer payout.

For a more detailed look at the rules of Let It Ride check out our ‘how to play’ guide.

Payouts

These pay-outs will differ from casino to casino. Use this as an average and check the game you are playing before you begin.

HANDPAYOUT
Royal Flush1000-1
Straight Flush200-1
Four of a Kind50-1
Full House11-1
Flush8-1
Straight5-1
Three of a Kind3-1
Two Pairs2-1
Pair of Tens and Up1-1

Let It Ride Strategy

The best strategies for Let It Ride can be broken down into two main sections. These are what you should do after the first bet and second bet, each dependent on your hand.

After the First Bet

The most obvious move is to Let It Ride if you have a winning hand in your three cards.

Other choices all relate to if you could get a straight flush. Anything higher than 2-3-4 should be ridden.

Understanding the gap, a missing part of the sequence, is imperative. For example, 2-3-5 has one gap, which is 4. If you have a flush with a gap and one of the cards is higher than 10, Let It Ride. If you have two gaps, but two of the cards are higher than 10, Let It Ride.

Anything else should see your bet pulled back. This means in most instances; your first bet will come back to you.

After The Second Bet

Continue to ride if you have a winning hand. You should also Let It Ride if you have four cards to a straight flush or four cards to a flush.

For the next part of the strategy, you need to know the difference between an outside and an inside straight. Outside straights have a higher chance of appearing, as they require one of a possible two cards to see you get the desired hand. For example, 5-6-7-8 is an outsider. This is because you need a 4 or 9 to get your run.

An inside straight is one where you need one card to get the hand. 5-6-8-9 would be an inside, as only a 7 can get you the hand you need.

Four cards to an outside straight after the second bet should be ridden if at least one of those cards is ten or higher. Any other results should have the bet pulled back.

Variations on Let It Ride Poker

There are a couple of variations on the standard version of the game which you may encounter when playing online:

Let It Ride 3 Card Side Bet

This is like a pair plus bet in three-card poker, which some casinos may offer. The difference is that in Let It Ride, there is a separate win for Mini Royal hand. This is a suited ace, king, and queen.

Let It Ride 5 Card Side Bet

Some casinos will allow you to play the 5-card Let It Ride side bet. Payment is based on the final poker value of the end five-card hand. However, it is well known that this is not a great bet to make. Depending on the casino, the house edge can vary from anywhere from 13.77% to 36.52%. In most instances, you do not get your original bet back even when winning.

Top Tips for Let It Ride

Sticking to the strategy above provides the best odds. However, there are a few tips that can help you enjoy the game even more:

Manage Your Bankroll

Managing your bankroll is very important when it comes to Let It Ride. You will get to play for longer and extract more enjoyment from the game. You are also placing three bets at any one time which can be retracted, so managing your pot is a key factor in the game.

An easy method of managing your money is to bet around 3% of your bankroll on any round. As you can retract this depending on your hand, it will often end up much less.

Know Your Cards

Another tip is to stick with the strategy, even if it seems like you may have a good hand. If not, you will soon see your bankroll slipping between your fingers. Many people do this as they know they only need a pair to secure the lowest payout, so assume the risk is worth it.

As noted, before, this strategy seems very conservative. However, it is the best strategy to make the most of your money. The odds of getting great poker hands are tough in any variation, but in Let It Ride, the two community cards are your only chance to get a hand. If you have anything less than an existing hand, or three to a straight flush, it is not worth it.

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Wayne “D22-soso” Chiang is a StarCraft World Champion, the “Live at the Bike” Poker Stream Producer and one of the top Global Poker Tournament winners.

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