As you probably know, poker has more than a few variations. Some are quite complex and aimed at high-rollers and pros, but there are also simple and interesting variations everyone can enjoy. One of these variations is Let It Ride.
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The name is quite unusual for a poker game, Let it Ride. But the card game is very popular among poker and table game fans. Developed by Bally Technologies under the Shuffle Master brand, Let It Ride is a table game based on poker with an amusing spin.
In this poker variant, players form their 5-card hands with 3 cards given by the dealer and 2 additional community cards. Community cards, also known as shared cards, are cards in the center of the table. They are used to complete the incomplete hand.
What are the Rules of Let it Ride?
Before the game starts, the shuffling machine automatically shuffles the cards. The players have 3 circles in front of them on the table where bets are placed. After the betting is done, the machine deals 3 cards to each player and 2 to the dealer. The dealer places the 3-card hands in front of every player. The two cards he receives are placed in front of him. These are the so-called community or shared cards. After this, the machine counts the remaining cards in the tray. After that the players can take a look at their hands.
This is where things get interesting. After seeing their cards, players can take their first bet back or let it ride. After all players have decided, the dealer reveals one of the two community cards. That card acts as the 4th card for each player’s hand. It’s decision-making time again, players can now take the second bet (from the second circle in front of them) back or let it ride once again.
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After the second decision has been made by all players, the dealer reveals the final card. That one will serve as the 5th card in each player’s hand. By now, you already know how the process goes. The players are allowed to take back their third and final bet or let it ride.
Players will win if they have a pair of 10s or a better hand. The payout is determined by the bets they’ve let ride. If a player has left them all to ride, he’ll be paid 3 times. Any players that don’t have a winning hand lose all their bets.
The payout table says that a pair of 10s pays 1:1. A Flush pays 8:1, while a Royal Flush is the ultimate prize> It pays a whopping 1,000:1. If you’re lucky to land it, you’ll probably win a lot of money> No matter how small your bet was. As we already mentioned, Let It Ride is a profitable and fun game. It has high payouts even with a house edge that is higher than blackjack.
Let It Ride Strategies
Strategies such as the Martingale system won’t work in Let It Ride. But there are a few no-brainer strategies you can follow. Obviously, if you have a hand of a pair of 10s or better, you should max out your bets. It’s not that much of a strategy as it is common sense. The game is pretty simple to play. So as soon as you see that your hand is going to win, try and maximize the payout.
The real challenge is deciding to take your bet back or let it ride. In general, you should let the bet ride if you have a winning hand. Three cards to a Royal or Straight Flush. Or some other nearly complete combinations you can use to win. Do you know the rules and winning hands in poker? Than you’ll have no problem making the right decision.
Just like with all casino games, you can’t expect to be profitable in the long run with Let It Ride. However, you can win great prizes occasionally. And it’s pretty fun and easy to play, so why not give it a try?
There are a few optional bets players can make during the game. Thes bets pay even bigger money than some of the winning combinations. But they come with an astronomical house edge of 15-30%.
One of the side bets that is now discontinued cost the players only $1. In 1995, Shuffle Master started an interesting Let It Ride tournament worth a million dollars. Every player that won with a Royal Flush while also posting the side bet in the past 3-6 months was invited to the tournament with a major prize of $1m. The tournament was a hit, but it was later discontinued due to financial problems. Still, the $1 side bet is available in some casinos and quite popular as well.
Three Card Bonus is another interesting side bet in Let It Ride and is placed on the first 3 cards the player receives. The winnings are fixed and displayed in a payout table and are based on the 3-card hand that follows the rules of three-card brag, an old British card game.
Although both side bets offer quite rich prizes, they shouldn’t be placed frequently since they’re far too risky to be worth it.
When Did Let It Ride Originate?
Originally introduced to casinos in 1993, Let It Ride was developed by Shuffling Master founder John Breeding He was trying to fuel demand for the company’s automatic shuffling machines. The game was based on the rules of five-stud poker. Sadly it didn’t click with players due to the house edge which exceeded 3.50%.
However, the potential high payouts are great. Also you didn’t wanna beat teh dealer. You played with friends. All these three ultimately made Let It Ride a hit. Give it a try, you won’t regret it.