How to Play Let it Ride

By Scott, Professional Poker Player,

Let it Ride is a form of poker, though you won’t find it in a poker room. Let it Ride is found alongside other table games in the casino, like blackjack. The table it’s played on even looks like a blackjack table. You do not play either against the dealer or other players, but rather act on your hand alone, based solely on the strength of the hand.

The reason it’s called “Let it Ride” is because you put out three equal-sized bets. As your hand develops, you have the choice to either pull back bets or to “let it ride.” The hand has three stages. You start off with 3 cards, then you get a 4th and 5th card. Any pair higher than a 10 receives a 1-1 payment. In other words, you win whatever you bet. If you have a pair of tens or better in your first three cards, it is a guaranteed winner, so you would naturally “let it ride.” Other cases where you would let it ride is if you have a big drawing hand. Otherwise, the best move is to pull back bets. In Let it Ride, you can pull back 2 of three bets.

Let’s look at the procedure of Let it Ride:

1. There are three circles labeled 1, 2, and 3. You place an equal amount in each of the three circles.

2. Players are dealt three down cards. Based on the strength of the cards, you either leave the bet in circle number one or you pull the bet back.


3. A single community card is placed on the middle of the table for all players to use. Players now have 4 cards. Based on the strength of the hand, players either leave the bet in circle number two or they pull it back.

4. The final card, a second community card, is placed on the middle of the table. Players now have five cards–three in the hole and two community cards. Bets in circle number three remain and cannot be pulled back.

5. The dealer looks at your hand and pays off all winners.

It’s a pretty easy game, as you can see. The decision-making is somewhat automatic. It’s remotely similar to video poker, in that you are not pitting your hand against the dealer (who doesn’t have a hand) or other players. However, there is some strategy when deciding whether to pull back bets or to “let it ride.” When you have at least a pair of tens, the decision is easy. That’s an automatic winning hand that could only improve. When you have a garbage hand, with disconnected cards and no pair, the decision is also easy. You would pull back bets.

There is some gray-area, where a decision will need to be made. Here are some good guidelines on how to act in the first two rounds of the hand. In the final portion of the hand, following the 5th card, there are no decisions to be made. But after getting 3 cards and the 4th card, you need to decide to retract bets or to let the bets stand. Another great place to find online casinos offering Let it Ride is

First Round: 3 Cards
Let it ride if you have a pair of tens or better, any 3 suited cards that are a 10 or higher, any 3 consecutive cards, 3 suited cards where two of them are a 10 or higher, or 3 suited cards with a spread of 4 with one card 10 or higher.

Second Round: 4 Cards
Let it ride with a pair of tens or higher, any 4 suited cards, 4 consecutive cards, or a high inside straight draw where all cards are 10 or higher.

Playing Let it Ride with optimal strategy as described above cuts into the house-edge. And while the house-edge is not as robust as some games, it’s fairly robust. However, some players like the built-in perk of being able to see how things are going and then getting to pull back 2/3 of their money if the hand isn’t looking good. Here are the payouts for the various winning hands:

Let it Ride Payouts:

Pair of Tens through Aces: 1/1
Two Pair: 2/1
Three of a Kind: 3/1
Straight: 5/1
Flush: 8/1
Full House: 11/1
Four of a Kind: 50/1
Straight Flush: 200/1
Royal Straight Flush: 1000/1

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