Bullet Bob's Best Shot! Casino Game Strategies

Let It Ride Poker

The Let It Ride rules are fairly easy and the optimal strategy gives you a short list of plays to remember. Free games are available at most of the online casinos for practice. You might also print this page and clip out the strategy to take to a real casino game. Look for the pay tables that are shown below. These payouts along with optimal play will put the theoretical house advantage at about 3.5%. Not too bad.

Let It Ride Betting CirclesLet It Ride is a poker hand game played on a blackjack type table with a standard 52 card deck. Players try to get a pair of tens or better with up to three bets "riding". The bet placement table layout, from the players view, is shown at the right.

As in video poker, players do not compete against other players or the dealer, but are rewarded for good poker hands received. Players combine their three dealt cards with two community dealer cards to make their final five card poker hand.

Let It Ride Poker Rules and How to Play Procedure

Players make three equal bets in the three circles marked "1", "2" and "$" right to left (as illustrated above). The dealer deals three cards to each player and then two community cards, face down, to himself.

After the player looks at his three cards, he may cancel his bet in circle 1 by signaling the dealer to push it back to him, or he can "let it ride" and stay in play. Once the player chooses to let a bet ride it must stay on the table until the end of the hand. Likewise when a bet is withdrawn, it stays out of play.

Full Pay $,2,1 Table
Royal Flush1000 to 1
Straight Flush200 to 1
Four of a Kind50 to 1
Full House11 to 1
Flush8 to 1
Straight5 to 1
Three of a Kind3 to 1
Two Pair2 to 1
Pair of Tens or Better1 to 1

The dealer then turns one of his two cards face up. The player can now take his circle 2 bet back or he can let it ride. His circle 1 decision does not restrict his circle 2 option in any way. After the player makes his circle 2 choice the betting is over because the $ circle bet always stays in play.

The dealer then completes all the player's hands by turning his second card face up.

At this final stage, if the combined five card hand does not give the player a pair of tens or better, the dealer collects the $ circle bets and any others that the players let ride. If any of the players have a pair of tens or better, the dealer pays the $ circle bet and any others left in play, in accordance with the pay table.

EXAMPLE GAME: Player has three $15 bets in the circles and is dealt 2 fives and a jack. He pulls his circle 1 bet back. The first card the dealer turns up is a five. Now the player has three fives (a sure winner) so he lets his circle 2 bet ride. The dealer's other card turns out to be a nine. Player didn't improve his hand but still has a winning "three of a kind". At the 3-1 payout for this hand, the dealer pays him $45 for his $ circle bet and $45 for his circle 2 bet. Player wins $90.

Let It Ride Poker Bonus Side Bet

Side Bet Payoffs
Royal Flush20000 to 1
Straight Flush2000 to 1
Four of a Kind100 to 1
Full House75 to 1
Flush50 to 1
Straight25 to 1
Three of a Kind9 to 1
Two Pair6 to 1

Some regular and online casinos offer a side bet that you can play with each hand of Let It Ride, if you like. The cost is usually $1 and you can receive from $6 to $20,000 for good hands from two pair to a royal flush.

One online casino offers the side bet at the payoffs shown in the table. Although these odds are as good as you will find, the house edge is still a little over 13%, which makes this a very bad bet that should be ignored (once in a while, I play it anyway).

Let It Ride Poker Strategy, Tips and House Advantage

The strategy below lists the correct play for bets "1" and "2" with a 3 and 4 card hand respectively. Everything should be self-explanatory with the exception of the 3 cards to an inside straight flush and the double inside straight flush.

To put it simply, any sequence of 3 cards missing a card in the middle and one on either end is considered an inside straight flush. For example, 3-5-6 can be completed with a 4-2 or 4-7. However A-3-4 would not be considered playable since it can only be completed with cards 2-5.

A double inside straight flush is any sequence of 3 cards with two "holes" that can only be completed one way (e.g. 9-Q-K, 5-7-9, A-2-3 and Q-K-A).

Optimal Let It Ride Poker Strategy
Let circle 1 bet ride if your first 3 cards are:

  • Pair of tens or better, three of a kind
  • Any 3 cards to a royal flush
  • 3 card open-ended straight flush with no deuce (three or higher)
  • 3 card inside straight flush with at least one high card (ten or higher)
  • 3 card double inside straight flush with at least two high cards

Let circle 2 bet ride if your first 4 cards are:

  • Pair of tens or better, two pair, three of a kind, four of a kind
  • 4 card open-ended straight with all cards ranking seven or higher (for example, 7-8-9-10 through 10-J-Q-K is playable)
  • Any 4 cards of the same suit

The "$" bet stays in play on every hand and leaves no strategy decision for the player.

Sticking to the optimal strategy will yield a house advantage of about 3.5%. Keep in mind the percentage is based on an average of millions of hands and wins or losses can be exaggerated in the short term.

Players should be aware that some casinos impose an artificial table limit on payoffs and should bet accordingly. For example, a wager of $50 for the "$", "1" and "2" bets equals a total bet of $150. Multiplying this number by 1000 for a royal flush yields a payoff of $150,000. If the casino imposes an artificial payoff maximum of $50,000 players need to compensate by lowering their bets.