Let It Ride Rules

Let It Ride is based on five card stud poker. In this game, you are not playing against any other players or the house. It is simply you against Lady Luck.

The player places three equal bets in front of him. Most casinos require each of the three bets to be at least $5 but some offer lower limits. Some casinos also offer a bonus payout that you can bet $1 to play. The bonus payout will be explained in more detail later.

Each player and the dealer receives 3 cards face down. The dealer immediately discards one of his three cards. He does not look at the card before discarding it so he has no say on which one is removed. Once all of the cards have been dealt, the players can pick up their cards. After looking at your first 3 cards, you may ask for your first bet back or "Let It Ride". If you don't think you are going to have a winning hand, you ask for your first bet back by dragging your cards on the table the same way as if you were taking a hit in Blackjack. The dealer will then give you back one of your three bets. The money you are given back is now not a part of the bet you are making. In other words, if you end up having a losing hand, you don't lose the money you were just given back. And, if you end up having a winning hand, you are not paid on the bet you just took back. If you think you will have a winning hand, you would slide your cards face down under your bet. That bet that you left on the table will stay there for the remainder of the hand.

After every player has been given the option to "Let It Ride" or take it back, the dealer flips up one of his 2 cards. All of the players at the table are now using the dealers up card, along with their 3 original cards, to try to make a good hand. The process then repeats - You can either "Let It Ride" or take it back. If you think you are going to end up with a winning hand, you would "Let It Ride". If not, take it back. Whichever decision you make, it does not affect the decision you made on the first bet. In other words, if you let the first bet ride because you thought you would have a winning hand and now you don't think you will have a winner, you can pull back your 2nd bet but the first one has to stay on the table.

Once you have made a decision on the second bet, and either have decided to "Let It Ride" or pulled it back, you must tuck your cards under your remaining bet(s). Of course, if you want to take back your second bet, make sure the dealer gives it to you before you tuck your cards. Otherwise he will think you want to "Let It Ride" and won't give you the money back. Once you tuck the cards this time, you can't touch them for the remainder of the game.

The dealer then flips his second card face up. Now all players are using his 2 up cards, along with their 3 original cards, to try to make a good hand. If you have a winner (Pair of 10's or better), you win and are paid based on the bets you have left on the table. (If you let all bets ride, you will be paid on all 3 bets. If you pulled back the first one but let the second one ride, you will only be paid on 2 bets since you pulled the first one out of the game.  Of course, if you pulled the first two bets back and then discovered you have a winning hand, you will only be paid on the 1 remaining bet.) If you don't have a winner, the dealer takes all of the bets left on the table. Since you made 3 bets originally, and you were given 2 chances to pull back, you will always have at least 1 bet left on the table.

The payout table for Let It Ride is shown below. Before playing, check the payout table of the casino you wish to play at to make sure you understand their payouts. The payout table is printed on the table felt in front of every player.

Hand Payoff
Pair of 10's or Better 1 to 1
Two Pair 2 to 1
Three of a Kind 3 to 1
Straight 5 to 1
Flush 8 to 1
Full House 11 to 1
Four of a Kind 50 to 1
Straight Flush 200 to 1
Royal Flush 1,000 to 1

As mentioned earlier, some casinos also allow players to bet an extra $1 to play for a bonus payout. If the casino you are playing at offers this, they will have a red circle just above where you place your 3 bets. If you place $1 there when you place your 3 bets, you will be playing for a bonus payoff in addition to a regular payout for your initial 3 bets. The typical bonus payouts are shown below but can be different from casino to casino. If the casino you are playing at offers the bonus payout bet, they will print their bonus payout schedule on the table felt next to the standard payout table. If you have a hand that is listed in the bonus payout table below, you will be paid for your 1 - 3 standard bets, using the regular payout table, plus the bonus amount listed below. If you don't bet the $1, you only will be paid for your 1 - 3 standard bets using the regular payout table. If you bet the $1, you are not given an opportunity to pull it back. It has to remain in play for the entire game.

Hand Bonus Payoffs - Varies
Pair of 10's or Better $0
Two Pair $6 or $0
Three of a Kind $9 or $5
Straight $25
Flush $50
Full House $200 or $75
Four of a Kind $400 or $100
Straight Flush $2,500 or $1,000
Royal Flush $25,000 or $20,000

Finally, if you are curious as to what the odds are that you will hit a specific hand in Let It Ride, they are:

Hand Probability (X out of Y Hands)
No Winner (Less Than a Pair of 10's) 10 / 13
10's or Better 1 / 6
Two Pair 1 / 21
Three of a Kind 1 / 47
Straight 1 / 255
Flush 1 / 508
Full House 1 / 694
Four of a Kind 1 / 4,165
Straight Flush 1 / 72,193
Royal Flush 1 / 649,740

Need more help? Visit the Poker Books page.

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