Best Bets at the Let it Ride Table
Let it Ride is a slower-paced and more relaxing casino table game. Players don’t compete against the dealer or other players; it’s just your cards against the payout schedule. Let it Ride is a game with a large house edge, although it is slightly lower than games like Caribbean Stud.
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To make smart Let it Ride bets you need to know how the action works. Players first place equal bets in three separate betting circles, and are then dealt three cards face down. The dealer also places two face-down cards in front of him which will be used communally by the players later on to form a full five-card hand.
Players next look at their own three cards and make their first skillful decision. If the player likes his hand’s prospects, he can keep his bet in the first circle or else he can take it back. After this, the dealer reveals the first “community card,” so players know 4/5 of their final hand. They now have the option of keeping or removing the bet in the second circle, a decision that is completely separate from the first decision. If you took the first one back, you can keep this one and vice versa. After this, the final card is revealed and the hands are paid off according to the payout schedule; players make no decision on the bet in the third circle.
In Let it Ride, better poker hands correspond to higher payouts. A pair of 10s or better pays off at 1-1, two pair is at 2-1, three of a kind is 3-1, a straight is 5-1 and so forth. The best possible hand, a royal flush, will earn you 1,000-1. Any bet kept in the circles is paid off. (Remember that you do not have the option of taking back the third bet.) If, for example, you take back your first bet of $10, keep your second bet and make a straight on the fifth card, you will be paid off 5-1 on two $10 bets, for a payout of $100.
If you are dealt a pair of 10s or higher with your first three cards, your decision is easy; you are guaranteed to win at least 1-1 on all your bets. Likewise, if you are dealt un-coordinated unsuited low cards like 952, you will take back your fist two bets. How to handle marginal situations is the key to smart Let it Ride play.
In many casinos you find a version called Let it Ride Bonus where you can make a single $1 bet on the side that gives you an opportunity for a huge payout if you hit a premium hand. The payout schedule changes from game to game, but it is normal to find $25,000 or more for a royal flush, and payouts for any hand of three of a kind or better. While it’s tempting to make this bet in hopes of a major jackpot, the house advantage is usually also very large. You just won’t hit those big hands often enough to make it worthwhile.
Let it Ride Smart Bets
Basic strategy – 3.5% house edge if you make optimal decisions with your marginal hands such as straight or flush possibilities. See our complete Let it Ride strategy table below
Also understand that the 3.5% house edge is referring to the amount of an individual bet, not the sum of the three different circles. For example, if you are betting $10 in each circle, you have a negative expectation of $0.35 per hand. It is not 3.5% of $30, $1.05, which would result in ridiculously high expected losses.
Worst Let it Ride Bets
Let it Ride Bonus – The bonus payout schedule are not standard in Let it Ride, so they will vary. In general, however, the house edge will be extremely high. A 25% house edge is common and it can even climb to a 35% house edge in some cases. It takes some math to calculate the edge at a particular table and you will sometimes find a game in the single digits, but be aware that although it varies, it will usually be a very bad bet for you.
Building Your Let it Ride Bankroll
When deciding how much money to bring to the table, understand that Let it Ride carries a higher variance than many other table games, so you should have a larger bankroll. This isn’t just because you are forced to make three bets at the start of the hand, since you can take the first two back any time you choose. Instead, the odds simply dictate that the vast majority of your hands will not be winners, so you will lose your third bet a high percentage of the time. When you do win, however, you get paid off at higher amounts. This leads to a game with larger swings, so a bigger bankroll is necessary.
Since the casino has a sizable advantage with every additional hand of Let it Ride that is dealt, you will be unable to beat the game in the long term. The longer you play means the longer your bankroll will be exposed to the built-in house advantage. Let it Ride players must hunt for a physical or online casino that offers good comps, bonuses and other VIP offers in order to show value.